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AdLib On September - 1 - 2010

It is a given that the party out of power picks up seats in the off year election.

Why is that? The logic would seem simple. American voters have the patience and vision of a nearsighted 3 year old. Every two years after they have decided that they want a particular party to run the country, they conclude, “Where’s the unicorn I wanted?” and decide that the other party might have a better unicorn ranch…even though the very reason they elected the current party was their dissatisfaction with the delivery of unicorns by the party that was previously in power.

So, first we have to begin with the concept that no matter what the American electorate orders from the menu of Democracy, when it arrives, they always want to send it back and just get the nachos instead.

As disappointing as that principle of American Democracy may be, it creates a paradox that is inescapable.

a. If a party wants to have power, it must win elections.

b. Once a party wins an election, it is held to an unrealistic standard by an impatient public.

c. The party in power, not being able to meet unrealistic expectations is eventually viewed negatively by the public.

d. In the following election, Americans vote for the party they last voted out because, since they are not currently in power, they provide an alternative to the party in power that has failed to meet unrealistic expectations.

e. Rinse and repeat.

What is kind of depressing is that Americans seem unable to commit to long term goals, too reliant on short term gratification to solve profound issues and build long term successes. Can you imagine if the American electorate was a building contractor? Every other month it would tear down the work that had been done all month and replace all the workers because it wanted the perfect house built in a month and that didn’t happen. This is the Sisyphus School of Construction.

This paradox does however necessarily trip up all that participate in it.

The Republicans, after having handed a near Depression to Obama, have executed a Party of No campaign since he was elected. Thanks to our thriving public education system and a fair and balanced MSM , the American Public instead blames Obama and the Dems for what the GOP has wrought. So, just one and a half years after recognizing how destructive the policies of the GOP are, their bi-annual amnesia has kicked in and they’re ready to proclaim to the Party of Destruction, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

The Republicans will win many seats in Congress, perhaps enough to take over the House. What will that mean?

Well, Michelle Bachman and Darryl Issa have boasted loudly about spending the next two years in a Clinton-style witch hunt against Obama, times 100. Joe Barton, who apologized to BP for their being asked to compensate people for ruining their lives will be in charge of energy policy. And John Boehner who declared that HCR would bring the Apocolypse will be Majority Leader in the House.

Is there a way to give the American electorate an IQ test or at the very least, a consultation with a mental health professional?

But wait, remember the cycle described above? The silver lining to the Repubs possibly taking over the House is that…they will be in power. So now the unrealistic expectations will be projected on them by the Public. In 2012 they won’t be able to run as they are this year, as the outsiders who had no control over the last two years. Uh-oh!!! Yes, they will BS about how, “If only we had all the power in DC, we could bring you the unicorns you want!” but that’s a bit more complicated than just being able to say, “Blame them, we’re not in power, nothing’s our fault!”

And as we learned from a Repub House impeaching Clinton, not to mention the 8 years of Bush and 6 years of Repub control in Congress, give them a little power and they’ll hang themselves with it.

We should work as hard as we can this year to fend off Repub control of the House but if despite all of our best efforts, they win…it could be the big motivator for Dems to get out in 2012 and re-elect Obama and a Dem majority in Congress. We may have to give up two crucial years of gridlock for at least two more years of progress but that might be the best deal we can get.

It is nearly impossible for Obama and Dems to get credit for what they prevented from happening. If we had a President McCain, I think we would have plunged into a massive depression that would have set this nation back twenty years or more from where it is today (giving tax cuts to the wealthy instead of the stimulus spending would have been the nail in the coffin). But that concept is not concrete enough for many out there to appreciate. Nor are all of the other strides Obama has made.

And don’t get me started on the Purist Dems attacking Obama, I imagine many of them smugly watching Repubs win this year, pleased at how it harms Obama’s presidency. If there was a way to give a Wedgie of Mass Discomfort to all of them, I gladly would.

Ultimately, the pendulum that passes for the mass mindset of American Voters will have a chance to swing back to sanity by 2012 and while we can’t give an inch this year, if Repubs win back the House, I think there will be a silver lining to that sulfurous cloud that could descend on DC after this November.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

97 Responses so far.

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  1. caleb36 says:

    The following thoughts are not particularly original, but perhaps they can help both me and others understand and discuss last night’s election results. First, although this was a very bad night for Democrats, it was not comparable to the watershed disaster of the 1994 election, where the Republicans swept the table on all levels and opened the door to President Clinton’s subsequent impeachment and ultimately the Presidency of George W. Bush. Republican gains last night were selective and regional, and left Democrats in a fairly good defensive position to counter the coming Republican onslaught.

    Although the Republicans gained ground in most states, their landslide victories were heavily concentrated in the South and Midwest. The U.S. Senate, despite major Democratic losses, remained solidly in Democratic hands, and the surprisingly large victory of Harry Reid in Nevada was inspiring, as was Barbara Boxer’s victory in California. The loss of the great progressive Senator Russ Feingold in Wisconsin was terribly disappointing. It is election results like this, along was Tea Partier Rand Paul’s victory in the Senate race in Kentucky, that sometimes cast real doubt on the intelligence of the American voter.

    The loss of at least 10 Democratic governorships (including a cluster of Midwestern governors in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa) was at least partially compensated by Jerry Brown’s return to office in California and, in my state of Illinois, the victory of incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, whom the polls had declared to be behind during the entire election season.

    The real disaster was the loss of over 60 Democratic seats in the U.S. House. Here the Republican gains were greater than in 1994, even exceeding the legendary Republican House gains during Truman’s first Presidential term in 1946. The progressive House that Speaker Pelosi crafted has been obliterated. New Speaker John Boehner appears both unintelligent and ominous. His bursting into tears during his victory address last night for no evident reason was EXTREMELY odd behavior.

    The import of the loss of Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker is incalculable. Of all the Democratic leaders in the past two years, she has been the most effective, securing the passage of hundreds of bills through the House, most of which, such as the climate control legislation, languished and died in the Senate. The smear campaign launched against Pelosi by Fox News and other conservative outlets was almost beyond belief. They were constantly ridiculing and deprecating her and questioning her sanity. Judging from the various talkback threads I have perused, Pelosi seemed to have had far fewer defenders than did President Obama, perhaps because she was less known and most of what goes on in the House corridors is “inside baseball.” Unfortunately, part of the reason Pelosi had fewer defenders may have been that she is a woman.

    In summary, although the Republican gains were not as widespread as in 1994, where the Republicans did triumph, particularly in the U.S. House, their victories were devastating to the cause of progressive change. In response, we can only commit to do more in 2012.

  2. Zoe_y says:

    Hi Everyone, I wanted to register just too tell AdLib how much I appreciate this article. It has been frustrating to watch the media make so many people dance to their tune. Highly charged emotions, short term memory, mixed with impatience is what I see and hear every day when it comes to politics.

    What I don’t hear through all of the distraction is what the Republicans will do to make anything any better. What I see clearly through all of this is that the Republican agenda is not forward thinking.

    Sadly, watching too much television and listening to the opinions of others constantly, instead of thinking for ourselves, seems to have left many people making their political decisions the same way they do on Survivor and American Idol. Oh, well….

    Thank you for this article. I have printed it out and will read it from time to time as a reality check.

    • choicelady says:

      Welcome Zoe_y -- glad to have you on the Planet where the talk is fascinating and sometimes zany. Life is good here, all ideas are welcome, and now -- so are you.

    • Khirad says:

      My welcome, as well. Please stay around for a bit. :-)

    • Kalima says:

      I think that it’s all been said below, so I’ll just add my welcome to The Planet, and hope that what you find here will encourage you to keep hoping for a better future for America and it’s citizens.

      A warm welcome to The Planet Zoe_y.

    • boomer1949 says:

      Zoe_y,

      Welcome to the Planet. AdLib is our fearless leader and, in addition to being beyond humble, he is one heckofa’ guy.

      If you have time, be sure to read the other brilliant articles he has posted.

      Also, we do a couple of things on Fridays. Attendance is not mandatory, and most of us are around in some way or another. Friday Night Music Thread kicks it off and than at 7:00 PM PDT we roll right into Vox Populi (live chat with topics for discussion). Drives some of us crazy, but is informative and fun non-the-less. Wreaks havoc on those East of the Mississippi… πŸ˜†

      If you have questions or are hesitant, be sure to email [email protected]. Our fearless leader is a gentleman, scholar, and by far the most diplomatic individual I’ve “met” in a very long time.

      Again Zoe_y, Welcome to the Planet!!

      boomer1949
      OHIO, USA

    • AdLib says:

      Zoe_y, how kind of you! Thank you so much for your gracious words.

      A very warm welcome to The Planet!

      Absolutely, far too many Americans now treat elections no differently than American Idol, voting for who they “like” or against who they “don’t like”.

      As if this was high school or indeed, American Idol.

      Critical thinking is absent from this simplistic thought process, the core concept of “Who would take this nation in a direction that most benefits me?” is conspicuously missing.

      Instead, this segment of voters give themselves and their decision process over to “feelings” which in truth, is giving oneself over to whoever can manipulate your feelings. They become tools of the mercenary, those who would lie, cheat and steal for power and say whatever it takes to stampede the emotionally motivated over their cliff.

      Living by one’s emotions is handing the reigns of one’s life over to whoever or whatever can fire them up. It is a loss of self-determinism. If I know that a person is motivated solely by emotion and I am unprincipled, it is very easy for me to get them to do what I want simply by pushing the buttons that I know will produce the emotions that will cause them to make the decision I want.

      So, part of what we need as an “awakening” for these types of voters is (from someone in a position such as Obama) to expose the game that’s being played on them and move the conversation in this nation away from voting on how pissed off you are to voting on the actual impact on your life that the policies of a politician or party will make.

      The decline of education in this nation, much to the delight of the Repubs and corporations, is hugely contributing to their power over the political system in this nation. The whole anti-intellectual movement of the “Know Nothing” Tea Partiers feeds wonderfully into this scenario.

      So, in essence, we need a true Educator-In-Chief to smarten up these folks, at least beginning by encouraging people to recall what the Repub policies did to destroy this country just a year and a half ago.

      Once again Zoe_y, welcome to The Planet!

      • Zoe_y says:

        One glaringly wonderful difference here on the Planet is the level of respect given regardless of the discourse. Ideas and thoughts cannot get mired down in name calling and flame baiting (that place has it’s own internet address).

        I agree we need an Educator-In-Chief and in fact I think that is what the President is trying to do as he reminds us how we got here and that it didn’t happen overnight. I’m just very concerned how the media is getting only one side of the message out and it’s not in favor of this President.

        Hopefully there are more non-politically savvy people like me who want to learn from and join in on conversations like you have here.

        Thanks again AdLib.

        • AdLib says:

          That is the hope, that when we all can come together and discuss our own ideas and POVs without all the manufactured conflict and drama at other sites, we may learn a great deal and develop some valuable insights.

          • KevenSeven says:

            Remember the good old days of fishing for the gullible liberal at Huff? You burned me once, so bad!

            There is a thread over there about Axelrod blaming the Rethugs for destroying the economy. The Goons are shouting how it is Obama’s fault.

            I wrote:

            “Bush?

            Bush who? America has never had a president named Bush…..

            I really think you liberals are pretty confused. I hope you don’t mind my saying so.”

            And people were falling for it!

            But the primaries were much more fun, I must admit.

            Bad, bad caucuses! It is just not fair!

            • Khirad says:

              Although, some trolls are so unintentionally satirical I often find myself asking them seriously if they meant it that way.

            • AdLib says:

              Heh! Them were fun days! It is quite amusing how, no matter how much you tip off people that you’re doing a parody of a troll, just the fact that you use the troll vocabulary or say something negative in the midst of a self-ridiculing statement, there are those Dems who have little sense of humor and in a kneejerk way, attack anyone who says literally anything that doesn’t affirm the party line.

              I remember thinking many times when I’d spoof a troll over there, “Maybe I shouldn’t have been so obvious” but it always caught some people.

              Look forward to your updates!

            • KevenSeven says:

              Like Hitchens says: perhaps there should be a font specifically for irony. Some people are just immune to it.

  3. troll says:

    I see you forgot my friend Ralph Nader.

    And don

    • AdLib says:

      Yep, I liked and respected Nader for many years and it was very sad (for the nation in the end) to see him become devoured by his ego and become a spoiler who helped bring in the Bush era.

      And his egomania became more pronounced with each following presidential election, feeling energized by having an impact in 2000 and claiming to be the savior of democracy by draining off Dem votes. He even was unashamed of taking money from Repubs who used his candidacy to siphon votes off, he was a willing and ready stooge for the GOP.

      It would be better for our democracy to have more political parties but parties that merely divide one party guarantee the victory of the other main party.

      • troll says:

        When it comes to brains, there isn’t a dimes worth of difference between the two main political parties. That’s why pundits and prognosicators and stupid polls have gained so much traction over the years.

        Now, idiot Boehner thinks the center is composed of teeny weeny brained iced tea drinkers. He needs to think again. On the left, Pelosi and Schumer think the center is composed of suburban mommys hauling the kids around in a bullet proof SUV while these same suburban mommys disparage and denigrate law abiding citizens who like to keep in touch with the million year old human heritage of hunting and fishing. Pelosi and Schumer need to think again.

        The leadershit of both main parties need to rethink when it comes to taking money from mega multinational corporations. The teeny weeny brained iced tea drinkers need to rethink when it comes to issues like social security and “too big to fail.” If they didn’t like TARP, they are going to love it if the republicans take control of congress in November. The trolls on the left need to rethink if they don’t like the 2nd Amendment.

        When it comes to locking up the bad guys, throwing away the key doesn’t work. 3 strikes and you’re out is a failure foisted on everyone by none other than police and prison guard unions. Teeny weeny brained ice tea drinkers and suburban mommys in bulletproof SUV’s think it’s great. Most people in the center know it’s a failure.

  4. KevenSeven says:

    Oh, your analysis could be expanded by considering the impact of TV and cable, especially the nonsense of 24/7 news.

    Along with compare/contrast the structure of govt and elections cycles. Like Federal-separation of powers vs parliamentary.

    Some parliamentary systems are relatively stable and slow to swap parties, Britain and Germany jump to mind. Others are whacky quick to change governments. Italy is the classic example.

    All that could be drawn out much further to expand your points.

    • bitohistory says:

      Are not most parliamentary governments under minority leadership right now with many smaller parties bargaining away their principles for a seat at the table of power? Seems to me that most all democratic countries are qite divided right now.
      Why the dissension, the divisiveness? With your 24/7 cable “news” constantly harping about how unhappy people are, it makes it hard to be happy. People don’t ever have to watch, read or listen to anything they might find disagreeable. One can find web sites, cable stations and radio programs that mirror what they want to hear, never wandering off their reservation.

      Then there are the ones that watch nothing but the western channel and still vote. πŸ˜‰

      • KevenSeven says:

        There is an enormous range of variability in parliamentary systems.

        Britain has a system that I don’t really understand, but I do know that the Liberal Dems get a lot less seats than they do votes. Britain would be a 2 and a quarter party system.

        At the extreme end of thaq is the Israeli kenneset, where if you have 120th of the vote, you have a seat. If Israel had had a three party system (representation requires attaining some minimum. 15 or 20%) a two state solution would have been achieved decades ago.

        I think Germany and Sweden and Holland have things structured such that typically three parties are represented, or possibly four. But not lots more than that. Italy is famous for having governments change every year, not not as much of late.

        So, no, I am pretty sure there are several stable parliaments going today.

        • bitohistory says:

          K7, I did not mean to insinuate that most Parliamentary governments aren’t “stable”, I asked that weren’t most of them being run with a divided government under a minority lead coalition. I believe that Germany and all of the members of old “Crown Colonies” are right now. The other point I was attempting to make was that some of the parties that join the leadership have lost their credibility in the voters eyes. IE. the Greens in Germany, perhaps the Greens in Australia, and now the LibDems in Britain. I’ll let MightyWoof explain Canada.

          I’m sorry, I am losing your point. Are you saying that the parliamentary system is better because of its stability, its better representation, or what exactly?

          • Khirad says:

            You can now add the Aussies to that.

            • bitohistory says:

              Hey she has a huge majority--ONE VOTE πŸ˜† She said this morning that it will survive the three years before the next scheduled elections.

              3 weeks? 3 months? πŸ˜‰

      • Mightywoof says:

        Yup, Bito -- although I can only talk to Canada and the UK. Canada has 5 parties, 4 of whom are actually in Parliament (Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and the Bloc -- the 5th party are the Greens and they made a good showing but didn’t win a seat). The UK has many parties but, and Marion could correct me here, for many years there were only two that held seats -- the Conservatives and Labour. I think the LibDems won seats in the last election for the first time (at least in my memory) -- there are many parties in the UK.

        Depending on the actual vote system used the Parliamentary system can provide a very stable form of government -- first past the post (like Canada’s) means whoever wins the most seats gets to be the government. If the government has a majority then they really get to govern, if they get a minority they can still govern but can be over turned if the other parties vote against them on a budget bill.

        The most unstable form of democratic government, in my view, is proportional representation -- it may be more democratic than first past the post but then you end up with a government that can’t govern and the most peculiar (and occasionally unsavoury) bedfellows (Israel and the hard religious right comes to mind). There’s a lot more to it than that. I also think having defined terms of government is bad for democracy -- if a government (in your case the Dems) cannot get the confidence of the House then another election should be called -- it;s amazing how it concentrates the minds of those in government if they don’t want to go back to the voters!

        You’re right about the divisiveness right now -- I think there are many reasons for this -- globalisation where the middle and lower income folks have seen their jobs disappear to the east, the increasing divide between the haves and the have-nots, a political class that seems to be more concerned with large corporations rather than the ‘man in the street’, turning from small c to large C capitalism and, this is my personal beef, turning citizens into customers …… it’s a never ending and exhausting list!

        • Khirad says:

          Nah the LibDems have been around for a while and been fairly consistent as the last half in two and a half parties. And it is a merger of older parties (well one didn’t last that long and included part of Labour emigres), too. They actually did worse than expected this year.

          • Mightywoof says:

            Heh Khirad -- I know the LibDems or their predecessors have been around since my grandparents were twinkles in their parents eyes -- or even longer in the case of the Whigs πŸ˜† but while I was growing up (admittedly that was in the dark ages) they were so small as to be non-existent. I think this last election was the first one that they won any actual seats in Westminster. Oops -- I should Wiki before I speak!! They have been winning seats in Westminster -- 20 seats in their first election of 1992.

            I know they were expected to do better than they did and from comments I’ve read in the Guardian I think their coalition has hurt them badly with their supporters.

  5. bitohistory says:

    Should the Republican Party puge this man? Does this pass the purity test?

    My idea is everybody from Stanford who

    • choicelady says:

      bito- I was told by a VERY good source, that he remains perhaps the scariest person running becausse of his lies about accepting integration. Quite recently he walked out of a meeting saying to an aide -- “Great meeting. No C***s here.” (Reference to Black people, not women, but then what’s the diff? He probably disrespects both.) My one shining hope is that this nation has not often tolerated the chubby and mush-mouthed, so it’s not likely he will go very far, racism or no. Personally I don’t want him purged -- I want him “outed” for his racism and disgusting attitudes. The MSM, including HuffPo, do NOT expose these people enough.

      • bitohistory says:

        C’Lady, Oh, I don’t think he is close to getting purged. I was being my sarcastic self and pointing out his/the party’s hypocrisy. If he decided to actually run will the poverty of Mississippi be exposed? How about the huge disparity between the have’s and have nots in that state.
        I am unsure of the order of his dislikes. Women, blacks or just all poor people.

        He calls his lobbying practice for large corps and illegal money raising from foreign companies a public service and he is proud of it.

  6. bitohistory says:

    So many perplexing things in this chart from the Gallup poll.

    How is on the plus side for some of these topics is beyond me!
    Terrorism +24? Why? Have we had some major attacks that I haven’t heard about? Did some laws get changed? No, in fact the “Patriot Act” was renewed, more foreign arrests, more targeted drone attacks?

    Immigration +15? Why again? Illegal immigration is down, more deportations, especially criminals (up 40% from Bush), more actions by DOJ on businesses?

    Federal Spending +15? Bush went from a surplus and left Obama with 1.37 billion deficit and a huge tax cut for the rich, a recession and two wars to pay for and his deficit was only 1.7 billion? Where is this wasteful outrageous spending by the Dems?

    The Economy +11? Oh, I understand the Dems didn’t blink nod their head and wiggle their nose like Genie or Samantha. The ecomy is improving quite steadily, people, yes unemployment is still too high. I mean Rayguns unemployment rate zoomed down from 10.8% to 8.5% in two years and the inflation rate was over 5%. Why can’t Obama do that “magic”? (snark)

    OK, the thing is thay many of the R’s and Tea Partyers are all “We’re going to repeal HCR!” and that polls at -1 for the R’s! That is a non-issue?!?!

    Go down the list and please help me understand, please. Someone, anyone?

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/health-care-and-stimulus/

  7. Moist Robot says:

    I agree with the gentleman below, who fancies himself a physicist, by saying this is a most excellent piece, Adlib

  8. bitohistory says:

    Will the Republicans unveil a “plan” to combat their party of no label? Will they be able to appease both the GOP-“Regulars” and the demands of Tea Party-“Insurgents?” There is a faction that believes that not outlining a platform for the mid-terms is best. Will it, should it, be a new “Contract on Americans”?

    The 1994 “Contract with America” included a pledge from Republicans that within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress they would introduce 10 major pieces of legislation:

    • AdLib says:

      Well, the TX GOP has made a great start:

      TX GOP platform:

      Re-criminalize sodomy, make gay marriage a felony

      the Texas GOP seeks to end the state’s lottery, which provides millions in funding to public education;

      restrict citizenship to children born in the United States whose parents are citizens;

      end federal sponsorship of pre-kindergarten schools;

      impose a jail sentence on any illegal immigrant in the state;

      shut down all day-labor centers;

      cut off all bilingual education after a student’s fourth year in a U.S. public school;

      legalize corporal punishment in public schools;

      mandate that evolution and global warming be “taught as challengeable scientific theory”;

      and demand that Congress evict the United Nations from U.S. soil and end American membership in the global body.

      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/0621/tx-gop-platform-jail-mexicans-criminalize-sodomy-gay-marriage-felony/

      And The Maine GOP has a few ideas in their platform:

      -- Return to the principles of Austrian Economics, and redirect the economy back to one of incentives to save and invest.

      -- Discard political correctness, make public the declaration of war (Jihad), made against the U.S. on 23 Feb 1998, and fight the war against the United States by radical Islam to win.

      -- Defeat Cap and Trade, investigate collusion between government and industry in the global-warming myth, and prosecute any illegal collusion.

      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/maines_new_republican_party_pl.html

      • bitohistory says:

        Those look very similar to the Ohio Tea Party one I posted the other day. It’s a good thing that neither of main’s two senators are up for re-election, they would be drummed out of their party.

        Personally I hope they do develop a campaign platform instead of the ambiguous open ended sloganeering they are doing now.

        Just heard a Teabagger on NPR listing her grievances against government intrusion in her life. 90% of them were state or local laws, but one about knocked me off the chair!! She objected to child labor laws!!

        • AdLib says:

          While she was at it, did she mention wanting to get government off of her back when it comes to keeping slaves? Does she want her vote taken away and given back to just men?

          Damn government, if only corporations, white men and the wealthy were free of all government regulations…The Final Days would finally get here!

  9. KQ says:

    One of your best pieces Adlib because it shows how the shortsighted American people are and why they get what they deserve for not thinking about the future instead of the present. I for one saw allot of this coming from the right and left. The right only cared abut getting back in power and have proven they will take down this country to do it and libs/progs think government can wave a magic wand and fix everything. The first truth can only be described as sedition and the second truth you descriped with your metaphor.

    No one seems to remember history FDR did all he could to get out of the only economic period we can compare to these past couple of years. By today’s standards his congress would have been booted within 2 years and even though that did not happen to his presidency it still took WWII to get out of the GD. The big difference back then was Americans were patient and not driven like automatons with slanted media from the right and left.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey KQ!

      Thanks for the kind words. Indeed, I would think that if FDR had such a fickle electorate, there would never have been a middle class for the Repubs and corporations to be destroying today.

      That generation pulled together as a nation when facing The Depression and WW II. They had to give up butter and eggs, they saved rubber and steel, they used gas cards, they grew Victory Gardens, they supported radical changes to the way government and society worked.

      Meanwhile, today, even Dems who haven’t had to make any such sacrifices at all, wail about having to make the smallest sacrifice in their fantasies of what Obama should have done as President.

      What an embarrassment they and others out there are who assail this president and Congress for not reversing a near Depression overnight and fulfilling all of their wishes. Compared to the willingness to sacrifice and have patience in hard times that The Greatest Generation displayed, our generation looks like a petulant child with ADD.

    • Kalima says:

      O/T, excuse me, but it’s great to see you here again K. Missed you muchly.

    • KevenSeven says:

      Quark.

      Adlib’s rather trenchant column does not “show” anything.

      It argues a point. A point that could readily be challenged.

      Not that I don’t agree with it. But it is not “evidence” in any scientific manner, and thus “shows” nothing.

      Rather it lines up generally accepted observations about the nature of American politics and draws a not terribly controversial conclusion.

      Nicely written, but not proof of anything.

      Just saying.

      • AdLib says:

        Must disagree, I think your statement is inaccurate.

        How can it be readily challenged that the American electorate typically changes its choice for the leadership of this nation in off year elections?

        The facts and statistics are only on one side of the proposition so though one could readily challenge any factually documented assertion, it doesn’t mean there’s any legitimacy to their claim.

        As for why this happens, I welcome your offering any alternatives to the obvious conclusion that people vote for the other party in off years because they do not keep a commitment to the party and policies they voted into office in a Presidential year.

        • KevenSeven says:

          As I wrote, I largely, almost perfectly agree with you. If I were to tackle a rebuttal, it would need be only an intellectual exercise.

          However, I think your syllogisms are open to critique. If someone really wanted to go after the whole cause/effect element of your analysis, I am sure that a reasoned rebuttal could be spun.

          So, again, you did not “show”, something. You argued a point, and well. But obviously I would not agree that your argument is utterly conclusive and of a magnitude of certainty such as E=MC squared.

  10. KevenSeven says:

    OK, “Menu of Democracy” should not have a capital “D”. This may seem pedantic or trivial, but it is not. It is a serious point.

    And while I grooved on most of this, it sure as hell sounds like what the Reactionaries like to tag us with: sense of superiority over the ignorant unwashed.

    Not that I cannot sing chorus on that, but how persuasive would this be without that tone?

    Just thinking back to my old tone….which has not gone away….

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Kev.

      It’s more bewilderment and disappointment than a tone of superiority.

      If you watch someone put their hand over a flame, get burned, then do it again and complain about getting burned, then do it again, I suppose that those who learn from experience might appear like they’re exercising a tone of superiority when they chide the hand burner to quit being so foolish.

      However, it does not take a genius or someone with a college degree to be frustrated with people who could force all of us to keep putting our hands over the flame just to learn what many of us learned before, that it’s going to burn us.

      I could actually make the reverse argument about how the hand burners are anti-intellectuals. They resent others for displaying the critical thinking they lack and attack them as acting superior. Pride in ignorance is what the RW is all about, they are the new Know Nothings and proud of it with Sarah Palin as their Know Nothing Queen.

      Personally, if people are offended by my frustration at them burning their hands off because they’re not clever enough to figure out that fire burns (or Repubs burn down the economy and the middle class), so be it.

      • KevenSeven says:

        Well, I see that as well.

        But I was commenting on tone, and my ears heard what my ears heard.

        I perfectly agree with your analysis. And could go on to discuss how the structure of our government and our electoral schedule and how it might not be natural in a parliamentary system that had three effective parties.

        If you need someone to sing chorus about the goddamn Puritans, you know I know the tune.

  11. bitohistory says:

    There you go AdLib, they are starting fresh out of the gate with a sure winner in 2012!! Mr. “if-it-smiles-funny-bomb-it” Bolton.

    Earlier this week, when the Daily Caller asked neoconservative war hawk John Bolton if he wanted to run for president in 2012, the former (recess-appointed) U.N. ambassador wouldn

    • AdLib says:

      2012 may be one of the most interesting election years, even more interesting than 2008.

      In 2008, the momentum was understandable to get someone else in the WH than the ones who had just destroyed our economy.

      In 2012, it won’t be so clear cut. By then, the economy may be more stabilized, maybe not in a strong recovery but not as tenuous…or it may not.

      We will have had 2 years of at least a couple wacko Tea Partiers on the loose in Congress, demonstrating the dead end they represent.

      If the Dems retain the House, maybe the public will tire of Repub blocking of progress. If Repubs win the House, their “Lynch Obama” fervor could destroy them.

      Ultimately though, it will be a national campaign about what Obama has accomplished and what a President Palin or President Romney would do to our fragile economy and nation.

      Then people will really have to rethink if they want to go back to the days of Bush policies. De-regulation, corrupt theft of our Treasury, more war, greater economic inequity, the potential ending of Social Security and Medicare…

      …and just as Harry Reid’s defeat was assured until he had a wackjob as an opponent, I welcome and root for the Boltons and Palins to run for the Presidency, the more extreme they are, the better for Obama.

  12. Moist Robot says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I got my unicorns and I’m still upset! I was promised a trial box of unicorn glitter reality sprinkles to put on my unicorns so they would actually exist outside of my minds.

    Obama is JUST like that guy who sold me those sea monkeys I saw advertised in that Archie comic book when I was going through my limerent relationship with Jughead.

    NO! The sea monkeys don’t sit in their livingroom watching TV while the mom monkey serves them cake! It was a hoax!

    Obama is the man I voted for to give me my unicorns and unicorn glitter reality sprinkles, but all I got were three unicorns and a flashback of a crushing sea monkey disappointment.

    I’m voting Republican no matter who runs on that side.

    • bitohistory says:

      MR, What principles do the Republicans have that appeal to you?

    • KQ says:

      ridiculous hyperbole no further comment needed.

    • AdLib says:

      Well, just a warning, the Repubs may promise you that you can really see the bones in your hand with the X-Ray Specs they’re promising you…

      …(whisper)but it’s really just a feather embedded in the glasses!

      And them Sea Monkeys Obama promised you may actually have been brine shrimp but a little cocktail sauce could turn disappointment into a Demolicious snack!

      • boomer1949 says:

        Well if they do try the “bones-in-the-hand-X-Ray-Specs” approach, it won’t be an original idea. What haven’t they stolen?

        Years ago, the guy at the shoe store pulled that stunt on my parents every time they took me for a new pair of shoes. Must be the reason I wear mittens on my feet and shoes on my hands.

  13. Rudy says:

    There is a word called a self-fulfilling prophecy in which we predict something that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true. Our constant belief that Republicans will retake the House and Senate is ridiculous. We need to stop doing that because it doesn’t have to happen.

    I believe that for the first time, Democrats will finally break the trend of losing control of both houses at every midterm. I have no doubt. Of course, they will probably lose some seats but they will definitely gain new ones and I hope that b*tch Bachman is one of the seats they take. She need to be placed in a lunatic asylum where she belongs because she is batshit crazy.

    And for purists, I never believed they were ever true liberals/progressives. They are just a bunch of folks pretending to be outraged liberals, ratfucking us. It’s not many of them, it just seems like a whole lot of them because they are talking the loudest. We need to start ignoring them.

    • AdLib says:

      I’m right with your positive thinking on this, I do think the Dems could keep control of the House. They need more of an organized and effective game plan though than they have been practicing. And who knows, something could happen between now and November that tars the GOP and/or benefits the Dems.

      A self-fulfilling prophecy is typically when one changes one’s behavior because of anticipating something, making that outcome more likely. I agree that we shouldn’t fall into that trap, we should continue to fight hard to retain control in Congress no matter what the MSM may say.

      At the same time, it’s only practical to consider all the possible outcomes, one of which could be the GOP gaining a majority in the House despite our best efforts. And my point is that if such a situation occurs, we can’t allow ourselves to be defeatist about it, we need to see the silver lining and use that to our advantage.

      As to these Purist Dems not being real Dems, some are frauds but I have had in depth conversations with such Purists who are longtime Dems but are absolutist about their dogma, they really are bitter adversaries of Obama because he hasn’t brought them the unicorn they wanted.

      It’s astounding that Dems could be so self-centered and short-sighted, giving aid and comfort to Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck but it is true.

    • Kalima says:

      I agree Rudy, the Republican scare tactics seem to be working on the Dems a little too well. The only good thing that would come out of a Republican majority is that they would actually be in the public focus long enough to have to do much more than say no or filibuster every darned thing in Congress, taking the harsh spotlight off the Dems there for a time, and make this bunch of incorrectly wired layabouts, work for their paychecks for a change

      Oh and I think that I have been rather remiss in welcoming you to The Planet.

      Welcome to The Planet Rudy!

  14. bitohistory says:

    We have all heard about the President’s speech last night. Both from the left (he didn’t praise Bush) to the left(Yeah but we still have troops there). Why have we heard so little about his words on the cost of war and how it affects domestic policy or should? (Bush and a Republican congress was happy to borrow)

    Our nation


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