Here's to you!

I grew up in a small town in Southern Idaho surrounded by the culture wars.  Deep in the deepest of red territories, my friends growing up were children of Mormons, farmers, loggers, and other small business owners.

As the child of a set of highly educated, atheist, liberal-tarian, gun-owning, outdoor loving, bleeding heart, miles davis-listening parents, I grew up somewhat differently than those around me.

Embedded in a homogenized culture helped me to become a student of it.  The national culture wars of the 1990’s were very familiar to me, as I had been living inside a mild version of them since the 1970’s.

Now all of us are wearily familiar with the GOP playbook of the last 30 years.  Fractures have started to appear in the GOP monolith.  They have played nearly every card they have, pushing the political narrative so far right that only sociopaths can be counted on to carry the banner for the theocratic and kleptocratic right.

However the result of these elections have resulted in very few sweeping changes to laws and statutes that have to do with right-wing culture issues.  What has resulted is  30 years of pillaging of the commons.  The wealth of our nation has been sucked into the pockets of the top .00005%.  And they want more.

Liberals shake our heads and fists at those that consistently vote against their/our own economic interest, in many cases destroying their/our local communities, simply because of an (R) next to a candidate’s name, or a promise to save the babies.

At least we aren’t suckers like our brothers and sisters on the right.  We know better.

Several weeks ago I made up my mind to vote for Barack Obama again in 2012.  I understand that events may transpire to change that decision, but there it was.   In a rare moment of introspection I wondered where that certainty had come from?

Was it because I agreed with the majority of the policies and legislation that the President had championed?  Tough to say.

Was it because he had kept the promises from his campaign that were most dear to me?  No, actually he hasn’t yet.

Is my certainty because he is the lesser of two evils?  Is that it?  After the giddy days of 2008, it was disappointing to think that “I’m not as bad as the psychopaths in the other party” was the best Obama had to offer.

How did we get here?

I have a theory.  Barack Obama has borrowed pages from the Clinton presidency and the GOP playbook to craft a two-term strategy that may be foolproof.

Obama is offering cultural reform in return for the left and independents acquiescence about the core economic issues of our nation.  The genius of his strategy is that unlike the poor righties, I believe he intends to deliver on many of those reforms.   Why? The left is too smart and fickle to fall for empty promises forever.

I am confident that as an Obama supporter in 2012, I will walk into the voting booth with a long list of Obama’s accomplishment spooling in my head.  Many of these hard-won victories are HUGE accomplishments.  This will justify in my mind voting for him again.

But I can’t shake the feeling I’ve been set up.

I’m being given gays in the military in return for outsourcing jobs.

I’m being given veteran homelessness initiatives for no change in odious bankruptcy laws.

I’m being given health insurance for pre-existing conditions for enshrinment of health industry profits.

I’m being given the Lily Ledbetter fair pay act in return for credit cards still being able to charge us 30%.

I’m being given green initiaves in return for no change in oil and coal subsidies.

I’m being given benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees in return for minor changes to derivative regulation.

I’ve been given Elisabeth Warren, only to have her marginalized, her authority and power more symbolic than real.

I’ve been given two women Supreme Court Justices, (one hispanic!) in return for almost no push-back against Citizens United.

I’ve been given a small stimulus bill in return for more tax cuts.

Is this enough?  Will Obama’s base and swing voters be satisfied with sweeping social changes, while having the wealth of the nation carted away from under their noses?  I don’t have an answer for that.  But I suspect that this choice is being deliberately crafted for our consideration.

Here’s a test: flip-flop all of the above bargains.  How would you feel?

For example:  Would you take concerted effort to repeal Citizens United in exchange for two more old white guys as justices?

Would you take credit card fees capped at 10% if it meant Lily Leadbetter had to wait, possibly for a long time?

Would you take the end of oil and coal subsidies if it meant delaying green intiatives?

If you could bring jobs home from China and India if it meant delaying gay’s right to serve, would you take it?

I know that there have been efforts by the House Dems to solve these problems, but you aren’t going to stop 30 years of laundering our money and jobs with the passive, cautious “leadership” the White House has shown.

I think they’re okay with keeping the economic game just the way it is.  I think Obama would be perfectly satisfied to give us sweeping social change shackled to the same old economic dance partner.

If that is the case, will that satisfy you?  Will that earn your vote?  If so, why?  If not, what will you do next?

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KillgoreTrout
Member

choice;

You mentioned the 30 million waiting for a better bill. I just want to say, that they have to wait until the majority of the healthcare reform bill goes into effect. In what, 2013?

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KillgoreTrout
Member

I’m not sure exactly what a culture warrior is. I can make a vague guess, but would like someone to explain it to me.

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anachoret
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anachoret

My take on the culture wars is that it was created as a new take on the “urban vs rural” split, in a battle for suburban voters.

I first noticed it’s effects in elevating incarceration rates of urban youth, for things like Marijuana possession. It was rolled out as a “get tough on” mantra. The notion that we needed a new “morning in America” was because we had not been tough enough on things like petty crimes, which allowed urban centers to become the horrible dens of inequity that they were (especially if you didn’t live in one, and believed what you saw in the media). I believe Pat Buchanan said “We need to take back our cities.”

Today it is most evident in the speeches which differentiate between “Real” America and those areas that embrace “multiculturalism on steroids.”

It had and has real effects, and, I would argue, has been one of the reasons that America has the incarceration rates it has today. It spawned the image of American cities as “battle-grounds” and war-zones, rather than communities and neighborhoods. As the phrases “Culture War” and culture warriors implies, it is to be seen and portrayed as a war, pitting American against American, for “The very soul of our nation.”

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PocketWatch
Member

From one of my rants … I don’t know if it addresses your question, but in my mind it does…

Fire, ice, asteroids, volcanoes, global climate change, pole shifts, war, gay rights, race, religious disputes, oil disasters, financial collapses, American Idol, political parties, Jersey Shore, riots in Greece… they are all bogeymen with which we distract ourselves from the real threat of our time.

In an age when everyone invents his own truth, there is no community, no commons, only factions and fractures.

Without community, without a sense of commons, there can be no consensus to resist the greedy, the envious, the cynical, the solipsistic and power-mad narcisists who sieze control and turn the institutions of civilization into a series of doom machines, real or imagined.

The question each of us needs to ask ourselves is, which side of this very real conflict are we on?

Do you honestly believe that "every man for himself" and "I've got mine" are real answers, and that the civilization that allows you to operate that way is actually beneficial and will be self-sustaining if everyone thinks and behaves that way?

Or, do you believe that we ARE our brothers' keepers, and that by fostering that belief, and by building a true commons we can all share in order to prosper, we will all end up in a better world?

To me, that is the cultural divide.

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Buddy McCue
Member

Pat Buchanan described the “culture war” fairly well in a speech to the 1992 Republican National Convention. He said that it was a war going on in this country for the soul of America. It was all about “public morality.”

He said, “The agenda Clinton and Clinton would impose on America — abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat — that’s change, all right. But it is not the kind of change America wants. It is not the kind of change America needs. And it is not the kind of change we can tolerate in a nation that we still call God’s country.”

Economic issues and foreign policy are not nearly as important as these cultural issues to the “culture warrior.”

“Culture Warrior” is also the title of a book by Bill O’Reilley, who adopts the term to describe himself and his own efforts. To him, the war is between “traditionalists” and “secular-progressives”.

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James Michael Brodie
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And for many of us, the term meant the beginning of sorting out the “them” from the “us.” There was suddenly a coming together of this idea that some were more American than others — a sea change from the “huddled masses yearning” stuff that had defined us to that point.

Mr. Buchanan and Mr. O’Reilly were two men who saw a future time when they would not represent the majority, and then they created evil others in much the same way DW Griffith did a century ago.

To me, “Culture Wars” was code for a new Post-Reconstruction.

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Buddy McCue
Member

I can see that.

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audadvnc
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audadvnc

“I’m taking your money and rights and handing them off to the one percenters. But look at this nice set of rose colored glasses I got for you!”

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Sabreen60
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Sabreen60

CL…I’m not a mushy person, I’m really not. I’ve fought quite a few battles in my lifetime. Reading rarely brings tears to my eyes. But, after reading your comments (especially the one that has no reply button)I felt this somewhat harden fighter “welling up”. You expressed, almost with poetry, my thoughts so completely. I don’t have the wherewithal to express myself so eloquently as you have done. So thank you for expressing in writing that which swirls around in my mind.

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James Michael Brodie
Member

Agreed. It seems the change we have sought has come at a price. Part of me still believes that if we vote real progressives into office we would see real reforms. The thread I am holding tightly to is quite slim indeed.

Perhaps this is what change looks like. Without beating a tired horse, I must again ask where we would be under a McCain Administration.

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caleb36
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caleb36

One of the mistakes i think many people make about President Obama is separating him as an individual person from his party. In his policy positions, Obama is a quite typical representative of today’s Democratic leaders, specifically the Illinois Democratic party from whence he comes.

I have worked for many years in jobs connected with the Illinois legislature. Illinois has a Democratic-controlled House and Senate and a Democratic Governor (Pat Quinn). It has nothing akin to the filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate, which means that what the Democratic leadership wants to enact, it generally can. Illinois also has a budgetary deficit which, in relation to its size, is either first or second worst in the nation.

What has occurred in recent years is a bifurcation of political point of view on social vs. economic issues among the Democrats. On non-economic issues, the party has moved remarkably in a progressive direction. Since November, the Illinois General Assembly has legalized civil unions and voted to abolish the death penalty (the Governor’s position on this latter legislation is not known, but it is expected that he will sign it). Legalization of medical marijuana failed on two close votes but appears headed for passage in the near future. Any of these actions would have been inconceivable in Illinois even five years ago.

On the economic front, the situation is the opposite. Democrats are not only condoning, but initiating, a series of anti-union, anti-public employee measures. It is Democrats, not Republican, who have moved forward with legislation to make major cuts in workers’ compensation benefits, disenfranchise thousands of public employees from collective bargaining rights, prevent teachers from striking, support charter schools at the expense (both financially and morally) of public education, and cut public employee health care and pension benefits. While it is true that the State urgently needs to economize, the Democrats are joining in the chorus of blaming public employees for the fiscal crisis, instead of the big financial institutions whose chicanery caused the crash and resulting downturn in state revenues.

In the area of taxation, the Illinois Democrats have proved more progressive than the president and U.S. Congress by enacting income tax increases on both individuals and corporations. Had they failed to do so, the state may have gone bankrupt. Tied to this tax increase, however, is legislation proposed by the leadership that would require an extraordinary majority to enact any legislation increasing state spending by more than the amount of the state’s revenue growth over the past several years. This proposal, which would largely eliminate the possibility of even small programs to enhance the public welfare, has the potential of becoming Illinois’ equivalent of California’s infamous Proposition 13.

In their economic, labor, and education policies, the Democrats can in no way be considered any longer the lesser of two evils. On the contrary, it is they who are taking the lead in initiating an aggressively pro-corporate, anti-union agenda. Doubtless the increased flow of corporate dollars to their coffers (encouraged by the Citizens United decision) is behind this change in political orientation. It is to be noted that the drastic rightward turn in the party’s direction is very recent, less than two years, and picking up steam noticeably within the past six months. It is also noteworthy that every high Democratic state official, including our formerly quite liberal governor, is on board.

My point in writing this is that the decision of whether to support President Obama in 2012 should not be taken separately from an evaluation whether to support the Democratic party as a whole. To my mind, today’s Democratic party fails to meet minimum standards of even a slightly progressive political organization. The increased social progressivism is wonderful, but it doesn’t make up for the basic failure to take the people’s side in a time of economic depression. Is a liberal challenge possible from within the party? I hope so, because it is virtually impossible for a third party to succeed in America. At present, however, there appears no sign that this is the case.

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escribacat
Member

Interesting post, caleb. How strange that they’ve chosen to move to the right when the very election of Obama shows that the country as a whole moved to the left after Bush.

My problem with withdrawing support from the Democrats is a very simple one. All it does is divide the left-leaning voters and pave the way for the election of a Republican. It is a guaranteed outcome. So you don’t agree with everything the Democrats do — would you rather have a Republican in office?

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caleb36
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caleb36

Thinking more about your question, there is, of course, a great gap between the two parties on non-economic issues, which has become much greater now that the Democrats have move leftward and the national Republicans have become complete troglodytes. This is, in itself, a compelling reason to vote Democrat if we as a nation do not wish to return to the dark ages.

Interestingly, Illinois Republicans have a moderate tradition (Lincoln, after all, is from here), which the national Republicans have tried to crack with only partial success. Thus, Republicans in the Illinois legislature were among those voting for civil unions and abolition of the death penalty. The last three Republican Governors were all moderates, with the latest, George Ryan, commuting the sentences of all prisoners then on death row. The 2010 candidate for governor, Bill Brady, however, broke the moderate Republican mold. He is not quite Tea Party, but getting there.

Just because Democrats are much better on social issues is no reason to become complacent with the party. Because the Democrats have been so weak, and now actively regressive, on economic issues, many voters legitimately see no reason to vote for their candidates. The result may fearfully be the success of a Republican-supported social counterrevolution.

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caleb36
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caleb36

This is a great dilemma that you pose. The Republicans have taken such extreme, kooky right wing positions that they have made it impossible for me NOT to vote for what I consider an unacceptable party, the Democrats. Again citing Illinois, the Republican candidate, Bill Brady, would have essentially eliminated state government had he been elected, by cutting tens of thousands of state jobs and many vital programs. (He was the favorite in the polls and only lost by 31,000 votes.) But if Americans continue to be denied fundamental, democratic (small “d”) choice by the two parties, we will eventually go the way of Egypt.

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Redemption Song II
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Redemption Song II

…well.

Yeah, that’s basically how I feel about Obama…open eyes and a slight twist of the lips.

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david p canada
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david p canada

President Obama campaigned from the Left and once elected, morphed into a moderate Conservative. Normally I would give him kudos for that, except for one issue.

Health-care.

This isn’t just the elephant in the room, it’s a whole herd of them. If the US is to remain competitive in the global economy, single-payer health-care must be implemented and soon. Small- to medium-size business would rejoice as that is the no. 1 issue for new hires.

Sure, it would mean a tax increase and a big one. So what? Once passed, Americans could get on with the job of becoming wealthier, something they are very good at.

What has been passed now is a joke. Poor people will not pay for health-care. The only way to get money from the poor is to raise the price of booze, smokes, and lottery tickets.

As it stands now, with the exception of military strength, Canada is a superior country to the US, simply by the way it treats it’s citizens, especially the weakest.

I have many more thoughts on this…

And I’m still a Conservative.

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Truth
Member

David, are you sure you are a Conservative? In any case, great post.

I just don’t think Obama campaigned as a leftie. IMO he was center left before the election and he is center left today.

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kesmarn
Admin

David, if you keep this up, you just might become known as one of those conservatives who gives conservatism a good name! 😉

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jdmn17
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jdmn17

I worked in health care, delivery and supplier. The mark ups are outrageous and the profits obscene so getting the corporations to buy into it is unlikely. Ditto the insurance industry that makes a killing on premiums. We have a longer road then we know.

And I do agree with you about Canada being superior in it’s treatment of its people. They just have a much sunnier attitude on the whole, the people that is.

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escribacat
Member

Hey jdm…you make an important point that almost never gets addressed in this debate — when you talk about the outrageous markups and profits, you are referring to the hospitals, clinics, doctors, etc. Why do Americans have to pay more for everything than the rest of the world?

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jdmn17
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jdmn17

Ecat – first my thanks for astonishing me I made a point – important too 🙂

The medical device field I served in – well let’s say retail prices were a function of insurance reimbursement. Countries like Canada paid about 20% of what we pay here. Why? They refuse to pay more. And they told the US companies to take it or shove it. Ditto many other Euro countries. We saw prices range from $2000 to $10000 for the same product. The US is about $8000 btw, Japan, Suisse are the two highest. Also the potentate states like SA etc. They pay about ten grand for a product that goes for two in Canada.

Doctors get much higher rates than Canada but Canadian docs still make a good living and are held in higher esteem while for the most part being just like your next door neighbor, because they often are.

Hospital costs in Canada are lower because they are not profit driven (and before you say most hospitals are not for profit – I beg to differ, that’s all accounting).

Nurses and allied health care workers are mostly on par across all countries. We can’t blame health care workers for the problems. And yet when they threaten to walk over the shoddy treatment they get for lower pay and reduced benefits they are demonized in the press.

The mark ups just kill me. We bitch about DoD paying $400 for a hammer they can buy at Home Depot for $25. Medical products are the same yet we don’t express outrage over that. Why? Because the MSM doesn’t really want us to be aware of that or we might end up rallying in Central Park like the Egyptians.

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choicelady
Member

I would live in Canada in a heartbeat – did one summer while teaching at UCCB in Sydney, NS. But we are stuck with our own, odd notions of “exceptionalism” that have been honed over two centuries and through much propaganda to propagate the idea that the private sector is best.

Canada’s health care plan is outstanding – except for the regressive tax used to pay for much of it. There is not a lot good one can say about a 17% VAT that falls most heavily on the poor. In CA we are looking at funding a single payer plan – very hard to do without gouging the poor. So while I hail Canada’s plan to the skies, I have reservations – big ones – about how you all have chosen to pay for it. I do NOT know whether people below a certain income level get some kind of rebate? I have to laugh if they don’t – you offer us tourists a form to file to get OUR VAT payments back (I won’t do that – I support your system and am happy to add my pittance to it.)

Now = scroll down to last night’s discussion of HRC, and you will see that imperfect as it is, it borrowed many of the principles of the CA single payer plan including per capita costs. So it’s not a failure. It’s a start. And maybe, over time, we will find a funding plan that is less burdensom to the needy. Or perhaps not. But that is a flaw in the Canadian system, and one that troubles me a great deal.

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Mightywoof
Member

Hi CLady! I despise sales taxes of any kind and, true to my socialist heart, I would love to see them consigned to the dustbin of history and progressive income taxes returned. Howsomever ……. I wasn’t too sure about the Sales Taxes bring used to fund health care up here so I went looking. While not an authoritative source ( http://www.canadian-healthcare.org/page8.html – I don’t have much time this morning – maybe David P can add further to this?) the health care plans in each Province are funded primarily from both Federal and Provincial individual and corporate income taxes although in some Provinces a portion is also funded thorough sales taxes. Ontario, where I am, at one time also charged an income-dependant health surtax at the time you do your tax forms to supplement the funding – I can’t recall if they still do. A bit of a dog’s breakfast and it’s constantly under attack from both the funding end (costs must be contained) and what is actually covered – but we still get excellent health care imo with no upfront cost to the patient …… and I don’t fall for the meme that our health care is free – we simply spread the risk and don’t charge individual premiums for our government insurance (at least not here in Ontario).

Regressive sales taxes are a whole ‘nother conversation!!

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zootliberal
Member

Holy crap funksands, I have had a long hard day and then I come home, fire up the friggin’ cpu and read this! I mean sure it was well written, sure it had gobs of truth, put mostly it hurt my head having to ponder why in the hell I still support this guy and, no thanks to you, that won’t be so easy. Now I probably won’t sleep that well either – so I hope you’re proud of yourself.

Perhaps I can work out a more useful comment in my dreams, as I can’t right now, so I will just play Flamenco Sketches (which hopefully you’ve come to like, despite the fact that your parents most certainly did) and hope that Cannonball Adderly’s oh so sweet solo can drown out this clamoring of yours now echoing in my head.

Have some consideration, Jesus.

btw, that it was brilliant doesn’t help one fucking bit. good night.

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KillgoreTrout
Member

You can never go wrong with Miles Davis and his peers.

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Truth
Member

Zoot, scroll down and savor choicelady’s comments. They are a treat!

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KB723
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KB723

You Folks have a Great Evening. I am out… See ya’ all around on another time. 😎

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ghsts
Member

Awesome post!

Like you, I’m just looking for some way back to him but for me it is like expecting to get eggs from a squirrel. I knew Obama from my heydays in Chicago, and was kinda creeped out by his stances on polar issues in the state senate but was all-in for his other two campaigns. You don’t usually get to Harvard by rocking the boat and expected the occasional pain in the back. I loved DeVito in the Rainmaker, and wanted to believe in the mythical lawyer for the underdog.

He is a man under pressure no doubt but that shtick didn’t work out of w’s mouth and unholy out of the mouths of Democrats. I don’t need to be satisfied by success in the first two years not to mention my lifetime. Like the Civil Rights movements before us, real change takes decades or centuries not months and not for lack of trying. Dare I say it, I was looking for some one to take a stand for the Real.(Case in point Obama would have walked away from Egypt after Mubarak agreed to not run in September.)

In the HC bill we got ‘no preexisting condition’ and lost everything else. The admin didn’t give us DADT repeal the courts did, though the prez made it stick no doubt. The “Crisis with Just Say No Pain” hit and everyone cried jobs, so Obama started licking the jackboots. OK, they may be Doc Martins but my face lost feeling years ago. Down with corporate lobbyists, turned into please sign here for your free tote bag as you exit the oval office. Accountability for unjust Wars turned into what good could come from rehashing the past? So no, I won’t trade your head for my bed, a new cardboard box could be fun though.

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choicelady
Member

This is what makes my teeth grind – in the Health Care bill you got HUGE changes that will make major alterations in covering millions. I’d suggest reading it – all of it – and not leaping to such simplistic conclusions. Progressives have to take more responsibility for understanding details and not just some ‘frame’ that makes us dismissive without substance.

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ghsts
Member

Many, myself included, got nothing that is not a frame it is the wall.

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AdLib
Admin

Great job on voicing what I think many Progressives are feeling and recognizing now.

Politics is about compromise. No president comes into office and gets everything they and their core constituency wants. It’s all about strategy, what do you trade for what, what do you give up for what to accomplish SOMETHING.

That’s my issue with the Dem Purist view. If it had prevailed, we would not have HCR and many of the other items you list.

I learned that an absolute commitment to philosophical purity is a recipe for absolute failure. With all the Blue Dogs and conservative Dems in Congress, we saw how flatly impossible it was to get some things passed. Could Obama have said or done anything else to get Lieberman to stop opposing and blocking Medicare for all? I doubt it. So was that him selling out Dems? No, it was Lieberman taking the trophy for that.

Wishful thinking is not a legitimate political philosophy. There are realities that exist no matter what. This is what some of these Purist Dems, opposing Obama today really don’t understand. It amazes me too how so many think the President can make laws and how Obama is blamed for what Congress couldn’t accomplish.

I’m with you, when I walk into that voting booth I will be thinking about how much he actually has accomplished and how much more he might be able to without needing to seek election again and possibly, a new Dem majority in Congress.

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PocketWatch
Member

I have a theory that goes like this…

I believe that if the economy was healthy and there were few issues pending, President Obama (or any reasonably center-left President) would have been happy to go down the path the left wanted, and the right knew it.

People in the WH knew months if not longer before the crash, that it was coming, but WHEN was the question.

I find it highly suspicious that after the election and before taking office, all of a sudden…. BOOM!

How better to keep a moderate Dem President who has the charisma to carry the day on many social issues hog-tied and surrounded by corporatists than hand him a steaming pile of economic dogshit, bagged up and flaming on the White house steps? And that’s exactly what happened.

There is no political downside to that. All the economic ills can be – correctly or not – laid in his lap, and the right gets four years to beat the crap out of him in the media. And further, it limits what anyone is able to accomplish, because everyone in government is now focused on one thing.

I find it amazing he’s gotten as far as he has in the circumstance, and, as I said, I suspect a rat. A big, nasty, corporate rat.

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ghsts
Member

As my mother always said, ‘food goes in the mouth on the floor only attracts mice.

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choicelady
Member

I’m not quite sure what it means, but I love it anyway!

LOL!!!

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ghsts
Member

Sloppy kids eating in the basement, we didn’t have rats in the heartland only mice.

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bito
Member

In the “heartland”? You must have never seen a one of the rats in a steel mill in the MidWest, they could carry a lunch box away. lol

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choicelady
Member

bito – LOL!!!! I’ve heard that about Mill Rats. ALL of the senses of the term! Did you work there? Fascinating place I must say, rats and all!

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bito
Member

C’Lady, yes I was one and I saw them. I worked at the USS Gary works for a while going to school. You had to carry your lunch in a metal lunch box and then place it in a metal locker. Those things were large, scary and unafraid of humans.

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bito
Member

😆 C’Lady the rats in the Gary works kept cats as pets. Kept them on leashes and walked them. 😉

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choicelady
Member

bito – hang around the grain elevators circling the Great Lakes – the workers give the rats names and great respect!

I agree about the lunch boxes! Steelworkers at Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna swore they went hungry because the rats had taken the boxes!

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choicelady
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MossyOak
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MossyOak

Great post, Funksands! I’ve been struggling with the same issue and you gave me much to consider. My thinking at any given moment: Yes/no/maybe….filling that little oval in with a pen next to him name will not be an easy act. I do agree Obama is reading from Clinton’s playbook and, as much as I liked Clinton after his eight years and a booming economy, I now realize he was just another neoliberal kneeling at the corporate altar to get re-elected.

The most cogent point of your post, the getting something for losing something, is a pattern that has played out in DC consistently since Obama took office, paring unlike things into bills to make it palatable for all and satisfying for none. DADT was fabulous, but seven million people lost their homes. That’s tough medicine to swallow. If Obama is the chess master we all thought him to be, it is in the area of sending mixed messages where he has excelled. Barring anyone better throwing their hat in the ring (highly doubtful) I guess we’re stuck with him.

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ParadisePlacebo74
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ParadisePlacebo74

Well written. I can’t find anything in your assessment to disagree with.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

No President Obama will never be a culture warrior. Not only is it not in his DNA to be that divisive, it’s also the only strategy he could use to get in office. I knew what Obama was before I voted for him and that was a much more moderate and pragmatic man than many on the left would let themselves see in him. He never ever said he was a left wing George Bush even though that’s what the right still thinks he is and the left wants him to be.

The comparison to Reagan is a fair one in this way. His words outstretch what he is willing to compromise on policy much like Reagan conservative words outstretched his actions. Because he knows like Reagan words are seeds for crop to be sown years down the line not one week or even in the next election cycle.

I think allot of the dichotomies you present are unfair in that it implies Obama had ultimate say on all these issues when most of them were decided by Congress, specifically the Senate. Many of the things you mentioned were just amendments to laws that were shot down in the Senate for example.

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KillgoreTrout
Member

I think Obama misplaced his veto pen.

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bito
Member

KTrout, what do you think he should he have vetoed?

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Several bills actually. HCR for one. He should have sent it back and asked for single payer. That’s what he campaigned on. The Patriot Act extension of 2 years ago.
Further military spending for Afghanistan.

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PatsyT
Member

Killgore,

The Obameter Scorecard

PolitiFact has compiled more than 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign and is tracking their progress on our Obameter.

We rate their status as Not Yet Rated, In the Works or Stalled. Once we find action is completed, we rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken.

Promise Kept 134
Compromise 41
Promise Broken 38
Stalled 72
In the Works 219
Not yet rated 2

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/

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KB723
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KB723

Killgore, I am sorry to say that, he campaigned on many promises to be broken. It is the ritual…

Folks seem to forget that campaign promises are little more than campaign “Slogans”

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choicelady
Member

Hi Killgore – well, did you count votes? I did since I support single payer in CA. By the largest possible stretch of the imagination (blackmail was not out of the question) we could be assured of 40, maybe 50 votes for single payer in Congress. Period. You NEED 216.

That’s the rub. So scroll down and see what I found when I read the federal bill – I was OVER THE MOON about some of it. All of it? Nope. Still don’t like mandates in the private market. But other aspects to it are amazing.

And this WAS the will of PEOPLE. My organization worked since 2004 to have our 1.5 million members in CA understand options in health policy and how they fit their moral values. We had over 200,000 intense activists who, after reading my analyses, stood up and support the federal HCR openly, actively, proudly. They were just a fraction of the people who spoke out for HCR. I’m proud of that even as I still work for single payer – a MUCH better plan – in CA. But millions are getting care now that did not have it, and that is nothing short of amazing. I cannot dismiss help – real help – in favor of ideals. Whose life shall I sacrifice in honor of a principle that cannot be obtained?

I can sacrifice only ONE life – mine. If I can see that millions will be helped and no one hurt by a policy, then I have no moral choice other than to move forward. I cannot throw those people away. We have folks here on the Planet who are finally getting health coverage for the first time in YEARS. That is worth its weight in gold to me.

If you could find more than 50 votes (with or without blackmail) please let me know. We could not do it. But what we got is like Social Security in the 30s and Medicare in ’64 – a really great first step. That is huge.

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choicelady
Member

Killgore – again, can’t answer directly, but please understand when I say the fact you’re tired of incrementalism means nothing. Nothing at all. It’s a feeling, not a policy. It’s yours, not everyone’s.

If you’re willing to send this back for a stronger bill for which there were INSUFFICIENT VOTES, then YOU tell the 30 million people they have to wait many more years for health care coverage because it annoys YOU to do incrementalism.

I rather think that the 30 million might have a couple of things to say to you about that. I submit that they could not care less what you “feel” when they have life-saving gain to hand. Can you explain to me why I should listen to you instead of to them? Seriously. I am asking why your being tired of incrementalism takes precedence over their health and lives?

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KillgoreTrout
Member

I just think Obama should have vetoed the bill and sent it back for a stronger bill, that included single payer.
There is a fine line between compromise and capitulation. And the person that can clearly see that line would be an excellent leader, indeed.
I suppose that I am just tired of incremental improvements to problems that have been long standing. The HCR we got is still better than what we had.

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KB723
Guest
KB723

choicelady. Oh My… You are sooo intelligent and up to par with the current issues.

I am Blessed just to have shared comments with you.

I am pleased to know that You and others here are fighting the good fight and wish the best to you and others who contribute.

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