READER COMMENTS ON
"Everything You Need to Know About Obama, The BRAD BLOG Already Told You in 2007..."
(26 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 2:51 pm PT...
Thanks for this, Brad. It's great to read some of the things I've been thinking.
I'll offer this again--I'm not at all sure voting for Obama again is the smart play.
1. If we're gonna have Republican policies anyway, might it not be better to let the Republicans be the ones in office so they can take full credit for them? Of course not that they would, they'd still blame the Democrats, Bill Clinton, and Obama, but it'd be a harder sell with themselves in office.
2. Besides Obama's constant capitulations(what he delusionally calls "compromises")there are multiple ways Obama is even WORSE than Bush.(Glenn Greenwald is constantly cataloguing these). Like going after whistleblowers harder than any administration in history(after campaiging on the need to support them) and okaying the new assassination policy for select U.S. citizens out of favor with our government(after campaigning on the need to return to the rule of law).
3. This notion of HAVING to vote for Obama feels like an abusive co-dependent relationship. Obama and Co. really don't give a shit about us or true progressive values. I challenge anyone who thinks differently to name ONE progressive cause Obama has championed. With Obama in office it offers fantasy fodder for many liberals who need to believe that someone is minding the store. They'd prefer to keep going to their chiropractors to get the knives pulled out of their backs than to admit/look at how much/often all those beautiful campaign promises are being betrayed.
4. There is no time for the nonsense of the Tea Partiers OR democrats like Barack Obama, Harry Reid, et al. It's truly up to us and I can't help thinking, as horrible a thought as it is, that maybe the most efficient way to get us up off our collective asses and storming the gates, or whatever it'll take to change our course for real, is to have absolutely no illusions about the madmen and women who are running things. Meaning, maybe the desperate stimulation we need is to have the Completely Crazies take over the White House. I realize this is a scary, radical notion with certainly no guarantee of success, but does anyone see anything but disaster just down the road with the insane timetable of doing nothing real to address our multiple urgent problems that both the Tea Party and the Obamatrons seem glued to? Can anyone explain how we avoid catastrophic economic and environmental disaster with Obama and Co. leading the way they do? I'm suggesting that the one possible benefit to having the Completely Crazies in charge is that things will probably get worse a whole lot quicker. And that this just might be the only situation immediately, obviously drastic enough to get us to asct forcefully in time to save at least a remnant of what we have.
I know this sounds crazy. But as they say--desperate times call for...
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 2:59 pm PT...
Brad et. al,
I am sure you could not care less for my thoughts (as a conservative) on this topic but I will give it a go anyway.
For one thing, I totally agree with you! Somebody be sure and archive this comment!!
The Democrats should have elected Hillary. She would have beaten McCain w/o any problem and I believe she would have been a better president. The best president the Democrats have had since Truman was Bill Clinton. Sure, I did not vote for him, and I did not support some of the things he did, but he was/is a brilliant politician. He knew how to get things done and "compromise." The economy fared well under him (though I believe this was in a large part due to the tech boom).
Obama, on the other hand, well like I said...I agree with Brad.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 4:02 pm PT...
Brad, I thought the same thing back then, and I agree with you now. Obama is not a good negotiator for liberal causes. And I am a pretty solid liberal-minded person --- but does that mean John McCain and bimbo-brain VP would have been better? Not by a long shot. It just means we need those in the other branches of government to steer the ship a little harder away from the asinine and dangerous Republican brain trap.
It's like a giant case of domestic abuse, where the Republicans beat up on the Democrats. The Democrats call the police over the obvious wrongdoing, but then then refuse to press charges. Over. And over. And over.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 4:32 pm PT...
I didn't vote for McCain / Palin.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 4:32 pm PT...
Davey Crocket @ 2 said:
The best president the Democrats have had since Truman was Bill Clinton.
And the best president Republicans have had since Bill Clinton is Barack Obama.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 4:44 pm PT...
PatriotNW raises a worthy point of discussion:
Obama is not a good negotiator for liberal causes. And I am a pretty solid liberal-minded person --- but does that mean John McCain and bimbo-brain VP would have been better? Not by a long shot.
Your points are well taken in the rest of your comment, but allow me to focus on the above for a moment. While Palin would have been a disaster at just about everything, in every way, let's just stick with the idea of a McCain presidency for a moment.
Do you think Dems would have allowed McCain to cut medicare, as this "deal" will do, or even entertain the idea of slashing the completely solvent Social Security as Obama himself is said to have done? They certainly didn't allow it under Bush, though he definitely tried to do same, but was beat back by an aggressive Democratic opposition.
I'm certainly not arguing in favor of a McCain presidency, but Dems seem to find the courage to at least hold the line on the most important progressive programs under Republican Presidencies, but fail to do so when a D is in the White House.
That works both ways, mind you. A Dem President would never have been able to negotiate with Russia to dismantle ALL nuclear weapons, as Reagan did. And it took Nixon to open Communist China. But hopefully you take my point here.
In the end, the jury is still out on what Obama will have actually accomplished during is Presidency (which is still ongoing, obviously.) But where Obama has continued with and/or expanded upon many of Bush's worst policies, and has failed to stand up for progressive values in so many other places, the point is worthy of discussion. As is Ernie Canning's argument last week that a progressive Democratic primary challenger would certainly be in order to try, at least, to force Obama over to the Left...even a little!
In any case, I believe his skills as a negotiator, at this point, are beyond debate --- which is the point of the article. He is, frankly, horrible at it. From top to bottom.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 4:50 pm PT...
I'm sorry I didn't read David Lasagna's comments before I happened to read PatriotNW's. So let me just note that he makes a good case for much of the sentiment behind my thoughts to PNW above, and I'm happy to associate with them in every way.
One point David averred, however:
3. This notion of HAVING to vote for Obama feels like an abusive co-dependent relationship.
For the record, you didn't have to vote for him in '08, and you don't have to vote for him in '12. Just in case there was any confusion about that. For the moment at least, for those of us still allowed to cast a vote, we are allowed to vote for whoever we wish. Or not vote at all, if preferred.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 7:44 pm PT...
Well slap me naked and bury my clothes...that was pretty funny.
See you guys do have a sense of humor!!
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 7:58 pm PT...
What's funny about slapping you naked and burying your clothes?
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 8:12 pm PT...
Dear Brad @7,
I know I have a choice of voting for the candidate of my choice or not voting. I was referring to what sometimes feels like an hostile intolerance from liberal friends about even THINKING of doing anything but voting for Obama in 2012 given what we've seen of the array of challengers so far.
YOU MUST VOTE becomes a sacrosanct decree. To deviate from it is countenanced as heresy. Any reasons or thoughts offered, as I've done above, tend to be given short shrift. To even question such a core assumption-you should always vote- seems to sometimes have the effect of making a new thought undigestible. Thanks for the backup.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 8:37 pm PT...
Davey Crocket @8
that was pretty funny.
I wasn't joking.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2011 @ 8:40 pm PT...
David Lasagna @10
YOU MUST VOTE becomes a sacrosanct decree.
Not to me.
To deviate from it is countenanced as heresy.
Not by me.
Any reasons or thoughts offered, as I've done above, tend to be given short shrift.
Then, like me, don't offer them.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 8/2/2011 @ 5:42 am PT...
Too late. I've already constructed my little portable lemonade stand so I travel around selling cheap lemonade and offering free alternative narratives guaranteed to piss people off. It's fun to see the lemonade come flying out of their mouths. And I feel helpful when I can pat them on the back to help them stop choking. This provides a little caring human contact that I hope shows I'm not their enemy.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 8/2/2011 @ 5:45 am PT...
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 8/2/2011 @ 5:54 am PT...
Here's another gem from a local treasure in My Fair City, Marc Levy, publisher of Cambridge Day, about what lessons his generation (GenX) learned from us Boomers and what lessons today's kids are learning from what they see around them now: http://tinyurl.com/CambDayGenXCynicism.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 8/2/2011 @ 7:43 am PT...
Davey Crocket @2 wrote:
The Democrats should have elected Hillary.
Hillary, like Obama, is a DINO (Democrat in Name Only). There's not a dimes worth of difference between Hillary and Barack. That's why she's his Secretary of State.
The major impetus for the demise of American labor arose when Bill Clinton joined with Reagan and Bush I to ram NAFTA through on the fast track. Americans laughed when Ross Perot warned of the "Giant sucking sound of jobs headed South." They've since headed East as the billionaire class outsourced the U.S. mfg. base in search of $2/day sweatshop labor.
Before her husband was elected, Hillary served on Wal Mart's board of directors. Before 1991 Wal Mart did not have a single store outside the U.S. Today, thanks to NAFTA & other "free trade" agreements, its the world's largest retailer, not only availing itself of sweatshop labor and minimum wage but "off-the clock" schemes in which its employees have been forced to work overtime for nothing! Yet the five members of the Walton family are amongst the world's ten richest people.
In 2008 and in 2012, Democrats should only vote for someone committed to real democratic values --- an immediate end to war, and a dismantling of overseas bases used to bolster Empire, restoration of Eisenhower tax levels for incomes over $1 million, the replacement of "free trade" with fair trade, single-payer healthcare, clean energy, election integrity and equal justice under law.
If no one committed to those values challenges Obama in the primaries, then true Democrats should vote for a Third Party candidate.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 8/2/2011 @ 8:02 am PT...
PatriotNW @3 wrote:
does that mean John McCain and bimbo-brain VP would have been better?
Ah, the lesser evil paradigm.
Of course Obama/Biden is not worse than McCain/Palin. But then a President Obama has proven to be markedly worse than a President Kucinich or a President Nader would have been.
We can grouse about the power of corporate money and how it has emasculated the electoral process. But in the end, it is we the people who are responsible for this mess.
We will continue down the slippery slope towards a feudal autocracy unless and until we the people display the wisdom and courage to break free of the lesser evil paradigm. We must not only select but demand leaders who are committed to liberty, equality, democracy and an end to corporate control of our economy, environment and means of mass communications.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 8/2/2011 @ 12:56 pm PT...
There are always lesser evils. There could be lesser evils to the candidates you, yourself, bring up as yet another lesser evil. So you are playing your own game. My intent was (which Brad picked up on) was to understand that things could have played out very differently. And although it might be possible that the Democrats would grow a pair of stones and stand up for worker's rights and cherished entitlements if a Republican were President, I have my doubts. There have been countless times during the Bush administration that the D's caved to the strongarm tactics. Sure, there was a lot of bluster about them pulling a real filibuster against arcane legislation --- pull out the cots, the whole works. But sadly I see over and again an inability to stand up... to truly make a stand for the majority values of their constituents. So, is Obama a "lesser evil" than McCain/Bimbo? Absolutely. But there is a systemic lack of conviction that can carry thru to the end of the legislative games that the Republicans play.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 8/2/2011 @ 1:05 pm PT...
One more thing. While it is not without merit to complain about the lackluster negotiating skills of Obama and/or the Democrats, to leave it at that would be placing the chicken before the egg. Let us not forget it is the bullshit cowardly tactics by the Republicans that set the stage. I just wish the Republicans' crisis manufacturing machine would finally reach the end, like the boy who cried wolf one too many times and the townsfolk finally turned their back to them.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 8/2/2011 @ 3:22 pm PT...
I'm thinking the fear-based worldview as manifested in what you're calling the Republican crisis manufacturing machine has been around for a very long time.
Reading Susan Jacoby's "Freethinkers" a few years ago I was surprised to see so many quotes from hundreds of years ago that were just about verbatim what we're hearing from the right today.
The difference today is that what has always been a marginal way of thinking, and I believe still is a marginal way of thinking, has such a powerful voice and so much influence these days. This is testimony to how very successful the right wing noise machine has become since a group of conservatives set out to change the information dynamics of the media after Goldwater's defeat.
I think the way to defang them is to get a critical mass of us who are telling(OUT LOUD) an alternative story. That, I believe, is what Brad(and Ernie) is heroically contributing to here. And others of us out here, in our humble ways, around the country. There's obviously no shortage of this type of work to be done at the moment as we are in deep, deep shit in so many ways.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 8/2/2011 @ 4:07 pm PT...
Agreed. I also commend the work that Brad does and hope that others continue to get involved in creating a just political system.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 8/3/2011 @ 11:54 am PT...
PatriotNW. If the best you can say about Obama is that he is not Sarah Palin, you really haven't said much have you?
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 8/3/2011 @ 1:30 pm PT...
I'm pretty sure I wasn't posting on this thread to tell everyone what I thought were the best qualities of Obama. In fact, I'm absolutely sure that's not what I was saying.
If the best you can say about my posts is to allude to some fabricated reasoning of your own making, I'd say the one who hasn't said much would be you.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 8/3/2011 @ 2:28 pm PT...
The topic of this piece was Obama's proclivity to give away the store before the negotiations began.
Your response @3 was: "does that mean John McCain and bimbo-brain VP would have been better?" which amounted to a non sequitor when measured against Brad's core point.
When I described your response @17 as typifying the lesser evil paradigm; noting that while Obama may have been better than Palin, he is decidedly worse than a Kucinich or Nader, you replied @18 "there could be lesser evils to the candidates, you yourself, selected..."
I address the "lesser evil" paradigm based on whether a candidate (Obama/Clinton) at least gives lip service to core progressive policies even as they carry out the corporate agenda vs. the extreme right which would prefer a rapid demise of democratic institutions in favor of an authoritarian plutocracy.
Please explain, when measured against the core progressive values shared by Democrats, Greens, Socialists and independents, either Kucinich or Nader amount to an "evil" --- lesser or otherwise.
As to your last comment, you are sadly being disingenuous. You have yet to post a single fact about Obama that would show that he deserves the support of the progressive community other than the point, I conceded at the outset --- that he is not, as you wrote @3, John McCain or Sarah Palin.
Thus, I stand by my observation @22 that "you really haven't said much, have you?"
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 8/3/2011 @ 5:03 pm PT...
Put down your convoluted PowerPoint charts and come back to Earth.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 8/3/2011 @ 5:42 pm PT...
Is that your best shot, PatriotNW?