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Marion On January - 19 - 2010

We’re approaching the anniversary of Obama’s first year in Office. Some of us, real Progressives who understand that the path of government is slow and torturous, think he’s accomplished a great deal. We’re on the threshold of having a national healthcare program – not ideal, but a start, and something – like Social Security – upon which we can build into the Third Rail that Social Security became in time. Most reasonable politicians in the Progressive mold, like Jay Rockefeller, Chuck Schumer and James Webb, understand this. Killing the bill, as Howard Dean, a Democratic grandee with as much of an axe to grind as Joe Lieberman, will play right into the hands of the Republicans and show our party as being weak, divided and unfit to govern.

The economy is healing, although job growth is slow; but jobs are usually the last piece of the puzzle that goes into helping an ailing economy,

Obama’s recently announced a tax on those banks who’ve taken the most of the TARP funds, in order that Americans be reimbursed … ‘every last dime’ were the President’s exact words.

Yes, he’s escalated Afghanistan, and no one’s easy about that, nor was it an easy decision for the President to make. And, no, Bill Maher, he didn’t sound like Bush at all in that instance. That he took six weeks to deliberate what action to take makes him more unlike Bush than not. So enough of that posturing, Bill. You know better than that. We see you and your show’s back on air soon. Take it for granted and use that common sense I so admire to rationalise the fact that Obama’s got an exit strategy all lined up. That he’s probably told Karzai in no uncertain terms that if the t’s aren’t crossed and the i’s aren’t dotted to Obama’s specifications by such-and-such a date, we are out of there. Wham, bam and thank you, ma’am … gone.

Use your common sense again, Bill, and you’ll come to know that sometimes, ‘we the people’ aren’t supposed to know everything that goes on behind closed doors in our own government. Sometimes, it’s better that way. In summoning up the World War II spirits of our respective fathers, remember

Or to put it in words you and I would better comprehend:-

We could all do with a bit of that!

But what I wanted to know, precisely, is who exactly these sheeple of the Left are? Because that’s exactly what they are: sheeple – as incapable of rational or critical thinking as their counterparts on the extreme Right. They watch opinionator programs which cherry-pick news items and give them a slant, and they think they’re watching a news and information program whose talking head is marginally more entertaining than either Brian Williams or Katie Couric. Williams and Couric deal in fact – a great deal of the sort that doesn’t merit network news’ attention, but fact, nonetheless. Olbermann and Co deal in infotainment.

These sheeple read The Huffington Post and reckon it’s an online newspaper. It’s an aggregate, filled with cribbed news items from reputable sources, along with pithy, anonymously-sourced bylines by their own cub reporters, steeped in suppostion and innuendo. It’s a tabloid. End of.

And whilst we’re on the subject of stupidity, I want to go on record to say, as a New Year’s resolution, that let’s have a little less ad nauseam ad hominem attacks on American stupidity. I’m as guilty of saying this as a certain, well-known celebrity fundit:-

Bill, I know you mean well, when you say that Americans are stupid. You’re using reverse psychology, trying to gee us all up into actually proving we’re not stupid. But it’s not working, because those to whom you’re directing your rant, are simply agreeing in tandem, and living with the fact that we, as a nation, are stupid, are hopelessly inferior to any and all of our European, Canadian and Antepodean cousins (mostly, because we don’t have healthcare), and we’re hopelessly doomed.

In short, the sheeple of the Progressive base seem to have given up.

And they’re thanking you for that, Bill. Really. Now, when you or I say that, do we ever stop to think that we, too, are Americans? I don’t consider myself stupid,and I know you don’t; yet when we say ‘Americans are stupid,’ do we ever stop to think that we still carry American passports?

When you say that America is a stupid country, do you ever stop to think that … you live there? Do I ever stop to think that, after 28 years of living in the UK, I still want to be American?

If we haven’t, we should. And I admonish you with love, William. In fact, stupidity isn’t a concept which limits itself to one nationality. In fact, stupidity knows no geographical boundaries; and I deal with it on a daily basis in four different languages.

We’re coming up to the first anniversary of the Obama Presidency, and there are people still whining that this man hasn’t done or accomplished anything in one year. People are judging him harshly, Bill, because he hasn’t righted the economy, given us single-payer health insurance, ended both wars, quelled Al Qaeda, found everyone jobs with six-figure salaries and built new homes for all those repossessed. Even you, Bill, have been harsh on this man, and I know you know, far better than the legions of your fans, how slow and cumbersome government can be. You know about democracy comprising debate and compromise

Yet you propagate the rumour that in the first 100 days, all Obama achieved was the purchase of a puppy.

What about the closing of Gitmo? (Not Obama’s fault if that’s proving difficult).

What about the Lily Ledbetter Act, ensuring that women are paid equally to men for doing the same job?

What about putting a date to withdrawal for the troops in Iraq? That’s supposed to be this May.

All accomplished during the first 100 days.

On the eve of Obama’s first anniversary, it’s ironic to think that on Tuesday night, we’ll all be focused on the special election in Massachusetts to determine the successor to Teddy Kennedy’s legacy. At this point in time, the Democrat Martha Coakley is fighting for her political life. And pundits, Right and Left are using this election as a litmus test for the Obama Presidency.

Sometimes, I have a hard time figuring out exactly who it is in this country who wants Obama to fail.

Coakley’s Republican opponent, Scott Brown, is a rabid Rightwinger in the Tea Partier tradition, running on a ticket of morality and family values. He boasts that if he wins the election, he’ll be the ‘number 41’ necessary to defeat healthcare reform.

And if he wins, it’s clear that his eyes are really on the big prize of the Big Chair in 2012.

Scott Brown has also been a nude centrefold for Cosmopolitan magazine. So, when you think of the dignity of the office of POTUS, who would better grace it? This man …

Or this?

That’s a no-brainer, much less a no-boner.

I happened to be speaking online with a noted political voice recently, when I bemoaned the lack of critical thinking ability amongst the Progressive base. I was worried to the point that I thought they would be the key that would unlock the door of the Oval Office to the Republicans.

My source opined that these sheeple were really mostly young first-time voters, aged between 18 and 24, with no sense of immediate history, and no recollection of the Clinton era, except of material wealth. Their only experience of government was the quasi-dictatorship of the Bush regime. They perceive America as weak at the moment, as failing and as falling behind. Rather than shoulder a burden, it’s all too easy to sit back on the sofa, plug in the Ipod, and plug out the world, or rant and rail at Obama as the source of blame for not giving everyone everything that they want and now.

For that, they reckon, he deserves to fail.

So … maybe it’s time we channelled a little bit of JFK attitude, in asking not what one’s country can do for one, but what one can do for one’s country:-

Bill paraphrased this best, when he admonished his viewing audiences not to sit back and expect President Obama to do everything for YOU; rather buck up, tighten your belt and work with the man and for him to better our situation as a whole.

I hope Bill remembers that. If he doesn’t, I’ll keep reminding him of that.

Otherwise, the sheeple of the Left have another option … and that’s to come out of the political closet and admit their true identity. A couple of weeks ago, I happened to catch an interview with John Le Boutillier, an ex-GOP congressman, on The Lionel Show on Air America. Le Boutillier stated (and I learned something here), that the neocon movement was really comprised of lapsed and disaffected liberals. So, Sheeple of the Progressive Base, if you’re that disaffected, take a hike to the Right, because remaining static, will only result in the said circular firing squad:-

That’s reminded me, in closing, of another of my father’s most fervent political philosophies:-

If you move too far to the Left, you’ll always come out on the Right.

Categories: News & Politics, The Media

21 Responses so far.

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  1. Corgi Lover says:

    Marion, I don’t know what you’ve been consuming, but that was so wrong.

    We won’t have a national healthcare bill, or it will be this abomination that will merely alienate even more voters in November. After yesterday, the right wing and the centrist (ha ha) democrats are going to dig in and stall everything else.

    As for getting things incrementally, you are speaking of a different time. We have never had the sad groundswell of activity to stop the government from doing things in as many ways as we have now. In the fall, we will lose seats. We will probably still have a majority, but not a functional one.

    And in 2012 it is likely that, mostly because of the propaganda machine on the right and the American public’s belief that answers should come instantaneously, President Obama will be voted out. And we will get a Republican who will further devastate America and will then blame Obama and the Democrats for the disaster which that new Republican and his Congressional friends will have actually created.

    But you can continue to want to believe in all this. Myself, I’ve come to the realization that we’re all doomed, and that the so-called progressives who will accept just about anything and call it a victory are to blame as much as ill-conceived policies and actions from both governing bodies.

  2. choicelady says:

    Marion -- thank you! This is solid. I detest Mahr for the very hype that you call out. He’s part of that sneering dismissive pseudo-progressive elite that are NOT the 18-24-year-olds but people in their mid years who, again, have nothing at stake but who do cherish their role as armchair complainers. “God! Ain’t it awful?!” You have really made clear how superficial is their knowledge about anything, but how big are their egos about finding fault.

    I am sick to death of these people!!!

    I do want to make one correction -- the neo-cons largely were not liberals but Stalinists when they were younger. It really matters because the Stalinists were inclined to a world view of absolute control by a core elite that morphed nicely into an absolute control by a core RW elite. Once you begin with the presumption that you are the dominant force in the universe, it sort of doesn’t matter what you believe = just so you’re in charge. Fits so nicely with your narcissism.

    Otherwise, Parts 1,2,3 -- brilliant!

  3. Kalima says:

    I’m glad you brought up the accomplishments of your president, we must have been thinking alike because after reading an article on the Guardian about how progressives and liberals are accusing the President of getting nothing done, I first checked on Google for a list, amazingly couldn’t find one. Then I remembered nellie had written a post here on the 6th of September, listing some of the President’s accomplishments until the beginning of September, AdLib kindly added more.

    My last link on MB this morning was a list of accomplishments in the first Bush year, it’s a sobering read.

    Here is the link to this morning’s Morning Blog. It is the 22nd comment down the thread.

    http://planetpov.com/2010/01/19/morning-blog-1-19-10/

  4. KQuark says:

    How predicatable it’s all Obama’s fault according to Huffy Main.

    COAKLEY’S POLLSTER: WE’RE HURT BY WHITE HOUSE FAILURE TO CONFRONT WALL STREET

  5. Tiger99 says:

    Wow !!! What a great post… I would love to see a large group of Dem’s who accepted PAC money from Hamsher make a big public display in returning it…

    Marion, I have been meaning to ask,”Do you feel better now”? 😎

  6. KQuark says:

    Bravo an absolutely fabulous series of pieces. I am so furious at the progressive base or whatever the fuck they want to call themselves this week. The fact is choicelady said it the best a little while back. These people simply “have no skin in the game”. They either have healthcare insurance through their employer or they are young and think they never need it. They don’t give a shit about the tens of millions of working families that will benefit from the lower premiums that will result from subsidies, the uninsured with preexisting conditions and they don’t even care about people who want to keep what they have when they change employers.

    The biggest thing progressives have shown me is how ignorant they are about issues especially healthcare. Their single payer only chants sounded like right wing bumper sticker talk. The slogan is based on the false assumption that they think the only healthcare systems that work are single payer. When in truth most systems are hybrid systems and many are 100% private like in the Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland that are much cheaper and better than ours. The power of the public option died months ago when the first house bill did not make it available to people who had coverage under their employer. In the end it was a token option that would do little to lower costs. The worst part is progressives with their current narcissistic view do not even understand that the biggest savings even when the PO was viable were mandates that spread the risk. The most important part of a healthcare system is that it needs to fit the culture of the country and single payer at least in one step was never a viable option based on the electorate.

    Like the Republicans radical progressives would rather see people like me go bankrupt and the rest of the country with it just because it’s not purist change enough.

    Now off to beg for my six figure hospital bill to be written off AGAIN. It’s amazing that in the past year I have seen much more compassion from greedy profitcare and device manufacturers then people who claim healthcare is a human right.

    • Marion says:

      Put simply, they think single-payer equals ‘free’ healthcare. That ditzbrain Coinyer101 on HuffPo is always extolling this.

      I live in the UK. I have the fabled single-payer, which is supposed to look after you from the cradle to the grave, but doesn’t. Between us, my husband and I pay around the equivalent of $1200 per month, taken out of our salaries proportionately via the National Insurance, which funds the National Health. If our salaries go up, our contributions go up. They go up every year anyway. That averages roughly about $14,500 paid annually. Not so different from what’s paid on private plans in the States. And it doesn’t include dental or optical treatment.

      And, yes, I do feel better. Thanks.

    • LABC63 says:

      Good luck!!

      Your post is priceless and so true…a fitting comment to a great series of articles!

  7. boomer1949 says:

    marion,

    I throughly enjoyed all of it, Parts I, II, and III.

    Positively excellent and would make a fantastic OPED piece!

    Thank you so much.

  8. Khirad says:

    Yup on the neocons. Just take Bill Kristol’s father and former Trotskyite. In one of Jon Stewart’s sparrings with Bill Kristol, the latter quipped that the neocons were liberals that “grew up”. Har-dee-har-har.

    In partial theory, they were meant to be arguably a more moderate domestic, “compassionate” conservatism. Foreign policy-wise? batchit insane. In the end they failed on both fronts spectacularly. I’m sure you knew that, but the origins make it a much more curious ride with some apt lessons to take measure of, as you noted.

  9. nellie says:

    Marion, I’ve inserted some art for the preview thumbnails, but I don’t have the same graphic mojo as KQuark. If you want different photos, please don’t hesitate to say so.


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