Which side are you on?

Gary Wills finds some former professor of Obama’s wanking about how Obama must be defeated because he’s not a “true progressive”. Wills lets the dude have it:

To vote for a Republican means, now, to vote for a plutocracy that depends for its support on anti-government forces like the tea party, Southern racists, religious fanatics, and war investors in the military-industrial complex. It does no good to say that “Romney is a good man, not a racist.” That may be true, but he needs a racist South as part of his essential support. And the price they will demand of him comes down to things like Supreme Court appointments. (The Republicans have been more realistic than the Democrats in seeing that presidential elections are really for control of the courts.)

The independents, too ignorant or inexperienced to recognize these basic facts, are the people most susceptible to lying flattery. They are called the good folk too inner-directed to follow a party line or run with the herd. They are like the idealistic imperialists “with clean hands” in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American—they should wear leper bells to warn people of their vicinity.

The etherialists who are too good to stoop toward the “lesser evil” of politics—as if there were ever anything better than the lesser evil there—naively assume that if they just bring down the current system, or one part of it that has disappointed them, they can build a new and better thing of beauty out of the ruins. Of course they never get the tabula rasa on which to draw their ideal schemes. What they normally do is damage the party closest to their professed ideals. Third parties are run by people who make the best the enemy of their own good and bring down that good. Theodore Roosevelt’s’ Bull Moose variant of his own Republican Party drained enough Republican votes to let the Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, win. (His voters, believing he would not “send our boys to war,” saw the prince become a frog in World War I.) George H. W. Bush rightly believes he was sabotaged by the crypto-Republican Ross Perot, who helped Bill Clinton win. Ralph Nader siphoned crucial votes from Al Gore to give us George W. Bush.

All these brave “independents” say that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties, and claim they can start history over, with candidates suddenly become as good as they are themselves. What they do is give us the worst of evils. If Professor Unger gets his way, and destroys President Obama, he will give us a Romney deeply in political debt to the party he slimily wooed all through the primaries. He will be in a position to turn the Supreme Court from a mainly reactionary body to an almost entirely reactionary one.

I’d add something, but Florence Reese said it best first.

(h/t jayackroyd)

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

266 replies
  1. 1
    taylormattd says:

    Uh oh. Now you’ve done it. You’ve summoned Naderite moron democrat hating trolls like NR.

  2. 2
    taylormattd says:

    This is my favorite line:

    The mistake behind all this is a misguided high-mindedness that boasts, “I vote for the man, not the party.” This momentarily lifts the hot-air balloon of self-esteem by divorcing the speaker from political taintedness and compromise.

    Amen. And fuck you, narcissists.

  3. 3
    Rick Massimo says:

    I’ll be curious to see how Professor Unger responds when America Sux Because We’re Not Running It Fox Nation takes his oh-so-nuanced discourse, rips the guts out of it and blasts “OBAMA’S PROFESSOR: FIRE HIM” on their site for a couple of days.

  4. 4
    Felinious Wench says:

    Gary Wills’ entire quote is a thing of beauty.

    And now, I’m off to pop popcorn in anticipation of the cries of “and a pony,” “Obots,” “Purity Police,” “DFH,” “threw us under the bus,” “sold us out,” “Firebagger,” “Dear Leader,” “Obambi.” In other words, just another day on Balloon Juice.

  5. 5
    Brachiator says:

    All these brave “independents” say that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties, and claim they can start history over, with candidates suddenly become as good as they are themselves. What they do is give us the worst of evils.

    Burn this shit into your memories.

    Recite it every motherfucking day from now until November Election Day.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    All these brave “independents” say that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties

    The vile Naderites. Fuck them. Over and over again.

    The blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are on their hands.

  7. 7
    Valdivia says:

    OMG, thank you thank you thank you. I was going to link to the best ever take down I saw of Unger’s academic work. Have to find that link. The guy is a fucking moron.

  8. 8
    taylormattd says:

    @Felinious Wench: It’s true. One side says Obama is a traitorous, quasi-republican assassinator of American citizens; the other side disagrees: BOTH SIDES DO IT.

  9. 9
    El Tiburon says:

    Gary Wills finds some former professor of Obama’s wanking

    So, let’s get this straight: any negative comments about Obama are now considered ‘wanking’?

    My take is the guy made a lot of sense. Obama is setting a lot of dangerous precedents, codifying many repugnant policies. Obama is indeed doing the progressive/liberal cause a lot of damage.

    Does this mean I support Ron Paul or vote for Romney? No. It means that President Obama, from a progressive POV, has been terrible on so many issues.

    Yeah, a part of me would like to see Obama go down to send a strong message that Dems/Libs/Progs need to really need to figure out what we stand for as a people and a nation.

    Right now all I got is Obama ain’t a Republican. Check that. Obama is a Republican – 30 years ago. That he isn’t a liberal or a progressive doesn’t mean he can’t enact some liberal and progressive policies.

    Oh yeah. Lily Ledbetter.

  10. 10
    David Koch says:

    Amazing News:

    PPP did a poll of Arizona and found a statistical tie btwn Black Metrosexual Abe Lincoln (46) and Mittens (49)

    Among Indepedents, Obama leads by a stunning 51-39.

    The only reason Mittens even has a tiny lead is because the GOP has a 12 point voter advantage.

  11. 11
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    so by his reasoning since FDR did questionable things FDR is no different than Adolf Hitler?

  12. 12
    LTMidnight says:

    “True Progressive” know the root word in progressive is “Progress”. And “progress” is a PROCESS.

    If the country collapse in ruins thanks to republican rule, there won’t be a “moonbat messiah” that with rise up out of the rubble and bring forth a liberal utopia.

    It never cease to fascinate me that with all the so-called religious zealots on the far right, it’s the far left that believe in a liberal savior.

  13. 13
    Citizen Alan says:

    Speaking as someone who has been frustrated and occasionally outraged by some of Obama’s policies, let me say this: Anyone who thinks that unless we can get Eugene Debs elected President, then we should all vote for Herbert Hoover, as Unger apparently does, is a god-damned moron.

  14. 14
    El Tiburon says:

    @Rick Massimo:
    I’ll be curious to see how Professor Unger responds when America Sux Because We’re Not Running It Fox Nation takes his oh-so-nuanced discourse, rips the guts out of it and blasts “OBAMA’S PROFESSOR: FIRE HIM” on their site for a couple of days.
    OH NOES!! Now we have to be afraid of the FOX NEWS! Remember critics: be cautious of what you say or some may use them for nefarious reasons. Better just not to criticize at all.

  15. 15
    Clean Willie says:

    IOZ fuckin’ nailed this one:

    Generally, anyone who points out that the Democratic Party is run by a cabal of megalomaniacal war-loving psychopaths stands accused of sententious holiness on matters of grave, uh, compromise. Usually the accusers are themselves deacons in the church, who perceive in the dissenters an untoward fundamentalism, like Romneys gazing regretfully in the direction of a polygamist compound. They think that the dissenters and dislikers and malcontents and hippies and commies and anarchists and libertarians and minarchists and stoners and survivalists and queer liberationists and reactionaries and crackpots and so on are all too bathed in the flesh blood of the lamb to sully themselves with the dirt of two-party electoral politics. What they can’t appreciate because they are themselves so hopelessly wedded to their faith is that people aren’t troubled by hard choices or bad choices. We’re all obliged to make bad choices all the time, between worse and worst, and to live with them. What people reject is false choice, choice that isn’t choice, heads I win tails you lose choice, life flattened into politics and politics turned into a prisoners dilemma.

    Some people do vote for third parties or start Occupy movements or, like the poor perfesser whose dull YouTube occasioned Wills' Jesuitical snarl, give a quiet voice to principled abstention. Well, how about unprincipled abstention? How about the value of not giving a shit? What about indifference? What if the prerequisite to killing the gods isn't casting down the idols, but simply ceasing to pray?

    http://whoisioz.blogspot.com/2.....-fail.html

  16. 16
    LTMidnight says:

    @taylormattd: Let him come. Maybe he can explain why his far left approaches always fail miserably.

  17. 17
    taylormattd says:

    @El Tiburon: it’s always nice when Naderites just vomit out cherry-picked, decades-old retread “arguments” instead of actually reading a blog post, or the article linked therein.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @taylormattd:

    Didn’t take long for one to show up, did it?

  19. 19
    taylormattd says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But the man being voted for, no matter what he says, dances with the party that brought him, dependent on its support, resources, and clientele. That is why one should always vote on the party, instead of the candidate. The party has some continuity of commitment, no matter how compromised. What you are really voting for is the party’s constituency. That will determine priorities when it comes to appointments, legislative pressure, and things like nominating Supreme Court justices.

  20. 20
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    *eyes glaze over*

  21. 21
    redshirt says:

    Yeah yeah, but I didn’t get [INSERT MAGIC PONY] fast enough! WAH!

  22. 22
    chopper says:

    that was a thing of beauty.

  23. 23
    El Tiburon says:

    @LTMidnight:

    “True Progressive” know the root word in progressive is “Progress”. And “progress” is a PROCESS

    So what is the process we are engaged in?

    Obama pushed for a conservative healthcare agenda.
    Obama is for a Grand Bargain to reduce Social Security benefits
    Obama is using drones in an unprecedented fashion
    Obama continues to pray at the altar of Wall Street
    Obama is enacting more NAFTA like policies
    Obama has deported more undocumented workers than Bush
    Obama has the same financial advisors that fucked us over during Clinton
    Obama’s DOJ is going after whistleblowers in a startling fashion

    What exactly is the fucking process here again?

  24. 24
    taylormattd says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Nope, sure didn’t.

    But it’s hardly surprising. Because that’s what the “progressive” blogosphere is. A bunch of screaming, overly-white, nihilist Naderite half-wits that are far more interested in maintaining victimhood status than in anything else.

  25. 25
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon: There is no “moonbat messiah” waiting in the ether.

  26. 26
    taylormattd says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But the man being voted for, no matter what he says, dances with the party that brought him, dependent on its support, resources, and clientele. That is why one should always vote on the party, instead of the candidate. The party has some continuity of commitment, no matter how compromised. What you are really voting for is the party’s constituency. That will determine priorities when it comes to appointments, legislative pressure, and things like nominating Supreme Court justices.

  27. 27
    Valdivia says:

    Gah. Do people singing the praises about this piece even know who Mangabeira Unger is or do they just care he said terrible things about Obama they agree with?

    The hatred of Obama is enough for people to latch on to this charlatan makes my head explode.

  28. 28
    NR says:

    @El Tiburon: You don’t understand! Obama is doing all those things as part of his super-secret eleventy dimensional chess strategy to turn America into a true progressive paradise!!! You’re a fucking idiot firebagger if you can’t see that!!!!!1111one111

  29. 29
    LTMidnight says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: According to El Tiburon and the emoprogs like him, yes.

  30. 30
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Is there anything that can be said to Unger (and other Progressives who think like him) to convince him to vote for President Obama and the Dems this November? I guess not.

    Hopefully, they don’t outnumber the sensible people on the left who understand that while Obama is not perfect, his re-election will be less harmful to progressive causes than a President Romney administration. President Romney will be so beholden to the Rightwing and to the billionaires who bought his election that he would move this country to the extreme right very quickly — moreso than the Cheney/Rove puppet, George the Younger Bush. I’m not sure why Unger and co. can’t see this.

  31. 31
    NR says:

    @taylormattd: Except that Obama has spent the last three and a half years shitting all over his constituency. With the help of people like you, I might add.

  32. 32
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Clean Willie: What exactly did IOZ “nail” there? It sounds like a lot of verbiage about how nothing really matters. Well, thing is, it fucking well matters.

  33. 33
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    My take is the guy made a lot of sense. Obama is setting a lot of dangerous precedents, codifying many repugnant policies. Obama is indeed doing the progressive/liberal cause a lot of damage.

    The liberal progressive cause is not synonymous with the United States of America. This may be a hard fact to accept, but there it is.

    You got an electable progressive alternative, then let’s saddle up and ride. But if all you have is some vague sense of dissatisfaction and entitlement, then you are wasting everyone’s time.

    If your feverish sense of progressive entitlement is that you must get your progressive pony or else you would rather see Obama be defeated, then you might just as well be a Republican.

    And here is the most biggest thing. Unfortunately for you, we don’t have a parliamentary system. This means that unless you can convince a majority that whatever you think is the progressive cause is the right and true only way, then you are in a bit of a jam.

    You can go along with the majority and try to change things.

    Or you can act as a spoiler and never get even a sliver of what you want.

  34. 34
    Walker says:

    Tell that to Yves Smith.

  35. 35
    MikeJ says:

    If you can’t convince a majority of people who are more or less on your side, how could you ever fashion a majority out of those who more or less agree with you and those who despise you and want you to die?

  36. 36
    General Stuck says:

    This blog is like watching round the clock Dallas re runs in a padded room.

    Blow me Sue Ellen. Blow me JR.

  37. 37
    taylormattd says:

    @NR:

    But the man being voted for, no matter what he says, dances with the party that brought him, dependent on its support, resources, and clientele. That is why one should always vote on the party, instead of the candidate. The party has some continuity of commitment, no matter how compromised. What you are really voting for is the party’s constituency. That will determine priorities when it comes to appointments, legislative pressure, and things like nominating Supreme Court justices.

  38. 38
    El Tiburon says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Hopefully, they don’t outnumber the sensible people on the left who understand that while Obama is not perfect, his re-election will be less harmful to progressive causes than a President Romney administration.

    So, those of us who feel Obama, by continuing so many egregious policies, we are not sensible?

    There is no doubt, and nobody is under any illusion, that Romney will be better on progressive causes. The point trying to be made is that when Obama is done, if he stays on his current trajectory, there will be no “progressive causes” as we know them. NAFTA like trade deals with be accepted and the norm. Drone strikes will be accepted and the norm. Killing US Citizens without judicial process will be accepted and the norm.

    Let’s put it this way: if Bush had killed Anwar Alwaki, this blog would have gone fucking nuclear. That Obama did it? Meh. Whatev.

    So you tell me who is hurting progressive causes? Oh, unless you only vote using your vagina.

  39. 39
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR: Christ almighty. The “left” isn’t Obama’s “constituency.” It’s far from being a majority _of Democrats_. This is like saying Obama “shit all over” Zoroastrians because he hasn’t done things Zoroastrians care a lot about and would like him to do. Well, you know, he hasn’t, but I don’t know why you’d expect him to, because their interests don’t swing a lot of votes.

  40. 40
    chopper says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    i never understood the idea of voting for someone you find repulsive out of spite.

  41. 41
    gbear says:

    @NR: You know that the reason it looks like that to you is that you’ve spent the last three and a half years jumping into every shit-pile that you see?

  42. 42
    redshirt says:

    @El Tiburon: Good luck with Rmoney bubby.

  43. 43
    Yutsano says:

    Beautiful trolling job DougJ. Absolutely masterful.

  44. 44
    El Tiburon says:

    @Brachiator:
    Let me see if I understand you correctly:

    Obama is all we got, so shut the fuck up.
    There ain’t nobody better, so shut the fuck up.
    Be a team player and shut the fuck up.
    And shut the fuck up.

    Is that about right?

  45. 45
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MikeJ:

    If you can’t convince a majority of people who are more or less on your side, how could you ever fashion a majority out of those who more or less agree with you and those who despise you and want you to die?

    This is the problem with the self-positioned “left of Obama” critique. Regardless of the merits of the points at issue, it’s not like when you’re right, you win. You still need more votes than the people who are wrong. And, when you get right down to it, the numbers aren’t there. And I don’t know why that never enters into the discussion.

  46. 46
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon: Thank you for proving my point, kid.

    1) TRANSLATION: “It doesn’t matter if Obamacare helps 30 million Americans with no health insurance, it wasn’t my precious single payer, so I have to reject it.”

    2) Obama “grand bargain” cut benefit for social security providers. you assertion has been debunked millions of times, but we can’t let facts get in the way of a good narrative can we?

    3) It must be nice to live in such a black and white world where a president doesn’t do anything you disagree with.

    4) Explain why Wall Street is in the talk for Romney if Obama is “their guy”

    5) I hate to break it to you, but entering this country illegally is against the law, and Obama’s job as the head of the executive branch of our government is to enforce the law. BTW, he concentrated his deportation on “high risk”
    immigrants.

    But President Moonbat D. Messiah would never do anything you disagree with. Nosiree.

  47. 47
    NR says:

    @FlipYrWhig: If we’re so irrelevant, why the constant histrionics on this blog about what we’re going to do in November?

    You can’t have it both ways.

  48. 48
    taylormattd says:

    @NR: I know, he totally shit all over gay people like me. For example:

    * DADT was repealed. (not ended by executive order, REPEALED)
    * The justice department declined to defend DOMA in court
    * The president announced support for gay marriage
    * The pentagon is celebrating gay pride month
    * He enacted the Affordable Care Act
    * He signed a hate crimes bill
    * He created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    * A $20 billion increase in food stamps
    * increased the amount of Pell Grants
    * $800 billion stimulus package

    :
    But you know, this is A SLAP IN THE FACE. He should have done this all sooner, like in his first term or something. And/or it is was not enough. And Mitt Romney totally would have done all of it.

  49. 49
    BGinCHI says:

    We’re talking about Felix Unger, right?

    Fucking slob.

  50. 50
    Ash Can says:

    Not long ago, one of the emoprogs who shows up here actually, finally answered the question, “if not Obama, then who?” The answer was some Green Party candidate whom no one had ever heard of.

    Oh yeah. These people are political geniuses.

  51. 51
    ArchTeryx says:

    @El Tiburon: You got it in one, Sparky!

  52. 52
    kd bart says:

    “Messiah rising up out of the rubble”

    Isn’t this basically what Charlie Manson thought would happened back in 1969?

  53. 53
    NR says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You still need more votes than the people who are wrong.

    Which we got in 2008. Obama ran on a platform of big change from the Bush years, remember? There was tremendous excitement and energy behind his campaign because of that–excitement and energy which he then betrayed.

  54. 54
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon: How about channeling the energy that goes into complaining about how badly Obama sucks instead into what policies and courses of action would be better and why? It doesn’t seem like it should be that hard to switch from “Obama’s health care plan sucks because he’s a raging corporatist” to “Obama’s health care plan doesn’t go far enough, and a single-payer system would uphold the public interest much better.” Or from “Obama’s drone attacks kill sweet innocent babies and he seems to like it that way” to “Obama’s drone attacks set a precedent for too much power being left in the president’s hands, and we need Congress and the judiciary to rein it in.”

  55. 55
    different-church-lady says:

    @taylormattd: Batlight done been lit. Bats everywhere.

    I get the feeling there’s a whole lot of people here who, when faced with the Marshmallow test, would insist that they be given an ice cream cone or else they’d throw all the marshmallows on the floor. Then they’d write an essay on the internet about how the marshmallows weren’t organic.

  56. 56
    El Tiburon says:

    @LTMidnight:
    Hey, no problem old timer. Don’t forget your pull-ups to keep the shit off your bed.

    Convenient how you only picked a few items I listed to try and debunk. You want to touch drones or whistleblowers or anything else? NO? That’s what I though.

    First, I’ve never seen any debunking on the Grand Bargain. Not anywhere. Ever. At. All. So, please, pony it up.

    And really, your entire response is as stupid as it is naive. So, Obama as executive MUST enforce all the laws, especially those against whistleblowers and Mexicans, but not so much against bankers and Wall Street and so on.

    Do you dream of fondling his manhood or what?

  57. 57
    Ash Can says:

    @BGinCHI: Oscar Madison was the slob. Felix Unger was the anal-retentive perfectionist. Which actually makes your comment all the more apropos.

  58. 58
    LTMidnight says:

    I wonder if NR, El Tiburon, and the rest of the unicorn whiners will ever get it through their thick skulls that before we can have a more progressive/liberal government we have to have a more progressive/liberal population.

    It’s not enough for you just to think you’re right about how the country should be, but you got to be willing to go to a state like Oklahoma or West Virginia and educate the masses out there.

    But that’s wayyyy too much like work. So pissing and moaning about President Obama not becoming Captain Moonbat when he entered office is so much easier.

  59. 59
    eric says:

    @El Tiburon: I wont speak for Brachiator, but here is what irks the living daylights out of me….you write these things as if we are too stupid to see the failings and transgressions of Obama. We are not. We can challenge those decisions in a particular tone that does not give aid and comfort to our political enemies, most of whom have not a shred of honor and will distort and lie to their Straussian ends. we get the civil rights issues. we really do. and we try and express that disappointment in a constructive way. But we also know that we have to work to get that same person elected because the alternative is unthinkable. We are not sheep. We are not stupid. We are pragmatists out of last resort.

  60. 60
    taylormattd says:

    @Yutsano: Now nobody is ever allowed to mention the overly large number of insane people who claim to be “progressive.”

    Because that’s just trolling! In fact, it’s impolite!

  61. 61
    Bmaccnm says:

    @El Tiburon: No. Run somebody more to your liking. Somebody better than Obama. Make sure that person wins. Or shut the fuck up.

  62. 62
    Scott S. says:

    @El Tiburon: So who’s the New Progressive Hero you favor? Who’s the one who will Never Let Us Down? Who’s this Super Awesome Mega Liberal who can both get elected and enact an agenda?

    Names, please.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR: I’ve never tried to have it both ways. I think the blogosphere is full of very loud voices with very little impact. Like libertarians, critics from the left are more commonplace online than IRL, and when I pipe up in discussions like these it is because I think those voices need a dose of perspective. I respect critiques based on principle, although I might want to pick fights with some of those too, but I don’t have a lot of respect for the notion that people in the blogosphere on the left are The Base and are being badly served.

  65. 65
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Let’s put it this way: if Bush had killed Anwar Alwaki, this blog would have gone fucking nuclear. That Obama did it? Meh. Whatev.

    What makes you so damn sure? Anwar Alwaki has stated that he was an enemy of this country.

    You’re confusing “Liberal” with “pacifist”

  66. 66
    taylormattd says:

    @Scott S.: StephanieHersethPaulHackettBrianSchweitzerHowardDeanNedLamontDarcyBurnerElizabethWarrenBernieSandersRussFeingold

  67. 67
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    if Bush had killed Anwar Alwaki, this blog would have gone fucking nuclear.

    Speaking for myself, no.

  68. 68
    NR says:

    @taylormattd: I know, Obama’s been so great! Just look at, for example:

    Extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich
    Offering big cuts to Social Security and Medicare
    Implementing WORSE smog standards than Bush
    Continuing warrantless wiretapping policies
    Continuing indefinite detention policies
    Refusing to prosecute people for torture
    Launched drone strikes on women and children
    Prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other presidents combined
    Authorized the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens

    But you know, none of this stuff actually matters, because Obama is great! And anyway, he didn’t really want to do any of it, but he had to! And all the people who got hurt had it coming! And shut up, because Mitt Romney!

  69. 69
    El Tiburon says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    Why do you get all wadded up when it is brought to your attention, in a discussion about progessive policies and Obama, that the ACA was based on a Heritage Foundation idea?

    How do you want me to channel my energy? Oh, also, I don’t know about you, but I don’t use much energy typing out these comments to all of you yahoos. But how should I channel? Walk to DC on my hands? Set my car on fire?

    I give when I can and vote how I should. Otherwise my energy is spent trying to have mostly rational discussions on matters I find important. Of course that lasts until I’m called an emoprog Naderite or a kid or a fucknozzle or whatever else the glitterati here toss out.

    How’s that for you?

  70. 70
    eric says:

    @taylormattd:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/20.....e-sanders/

    (The Myth of Bernie Sanders) not pure enough, bitches

  71. 71

    Look, the professional Democratic party is a complete and utter mess that needs a lot of work. There’s a lot not to like. A lot to complain about.

    The Republican party, on the other hand, is now completely beholden to lunatics who would love to roll back our government and laws to the late 19th century and let every man fend for himself at the mercy of our wealthy overlords, and that’s not even touching the faction of the GOP that believes the purpose of America is to lead other nations to freedom by bombing the crap out of them where there is no problem anywhere in the world that cannot be solved by US military action.

    So yeah, given the system we got, I’ll keep voting for Democrats.

  72. 72
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LTMidnight: I’ve been writing versions of that comment for at least four solid years, and there are lots of people for whom it never seems to click.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if 2009-10 turns out to be the high-water mark for liberal/progressive achievement for years. Maybe decades. And if you think what happened in that stretch wasn’t enough for your standards, I think that says you’re a cockeyed optimist when it comes to the status of liberalism and progressivism in 21st-century America.

  73. 73
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are on their hands.

    “Is,” not “are.” The subject of that sentence is “blood,” not “Iraqis.”

    /grammar Nazi.

    You will notice me not taking issue with the sentiment expressed in the sentence.

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Is that about right?

    Not at all.

    We’ve been here before and you keep playing the bullshit card.

    I said before and say again, if you have an electable progressive alternative, bring it.

    But you don’t.

    The choice, right now, today and in November is between Obama and Romney. That’s the choice you have.

    So, which do you choose?

    And as for shutting up, you obviously ignored the part where I said that you have to convince people to vote for an alternative. And you have to convince people that whatever you consider to be the progressive cause is the right one for the country. And part of this is electing more progressive politicians.

    But these simple facts seem to elude you. You keep bleating that Obama failed you when he never claimed to be your progressive deliverer.

    You keep prattling about the progressive cause, and the plain hard fact is that the country may lean toward the left when it’s at its best, but it ain’t your progressive Nirvana.

    And the bottom line is that you and others like you seem to prefer nihilism if you can’t have your way.

    And let’s look at some recent world history. The British election ended up in a deadlock. The Liberal Democrats talked a progressive game, but waffled in the end and didn’t win big. But instead of seeking a coalition with their natural allies, Labour, they instead made a deal with the Conservative Party in exchange for a little power.

    The result is that the Conservatives call the shots and the Lib Dems have been shunted to the sidelines. They have since lost tons of support. Down the road, the Conservatives may end up defeated, but they will have caused a huge amount of damage along the way.

    Progressives will have to work longer and harder to rebuild what they have lost. And all because they were too stupid to look beyond ideological purity.

    There is an easy lesson in this.

    So, those of us who feel Obama, by continuing so many egregious policies, we are not sensible?

    You are not sensible. You cherry pick and insist on perfection.

    But of course, this is all a game, perhaps. There is no real issue here, no candidate, no real choice or alternative, simply the fantasy discussion of allegiance to the progressive cause.

  75. 75
    El Tiburon says:

    @LTMidnight:

    What makes you so damn sure? Anwar Alwaki has stated that he was an enemy of this country.

    See. This is exactly what I am talking about.

    It is now hunky dory that an American was killed on the orders of the President. All that shit in the old rag, what’s it called again, The Constitution? Yeah, that shit just don’t matter. Obama has now made it okay to kill US citizens. And it is okay to drop bombs from a robotic plane and have it kill whomever for whatever.

    So yeah, Obama has really done a number. And this Unger guy? What a douche, huh?

  76. 76
    PurpleGirl says:

    Garry Wills began his professional career as a conservative working with William F. Buckley. Over time (during the 1960s and 1970s) he became more and more liberal. (He was named on Nixon’s enemies list.) In 2008 he endorsed then-Senator Obama for president; in 2010 he said he was disappointed with President Obama. It must mean something that he is taking issue with Unger’s comments about President Obama.

    I’m not commenting on whether or not I approve of President Obama’s leadership so far, but I know I can not vote for a Republican and I won’t not vote. I wish that I no longer had to consider voting for the less evil, but it seems that that is the summation of the human political condition. Perfection probably will never exist in a politician.

  77. 77
    Rob says:

    I seem to remember Joe Biden and a whole bunch of other Democratic leaders praising John Roberts to the high heavens. And I don’t remember them putting up much of a fight against Alito. By contrast, the Rethuglicans fight tooth and nail against every single nominee who isn’t an outright corporatist, bible thumping zealot. So, as a compromise, it’s usually a “centrist” (read: right-wing) nominee who gets on the bench.
    Either way, until the Dem leadership gets a backbone and learns how to FIGHT, this issue of having to vote for a Dem president if only because of judicial appointments is a bunch of bullshit.

  78. 78
    eric says:

    @FlipYrWhig: many of the progressive left refuse to believe that they are a true minority of public opinion. that said, I think many of the points are correct and prescriptions warranted and well thought out, BUT they (we) do not control the means of information dissemination, and until they (we) do, progressive ideals will be distorted and marginalized because at its core, at its most fundamental, it is (if not anti-capitalist) anti-excessive-wealth. anti-feudal if you will. and the powers that be and are pro-excessive wealth because in their eyes wealth can never be excessive

  79. 79
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Convenient how you only picked a few items I listed to try and debunk. You want to touch drones or whistleblowers or anything else? NO? That’s what I though.

    Actually I did when I said “it must be nice to live in such a black and white world where the president never does anything you disagree with”.

    And really, your entire response is as stupid as it is naive. So, Obama as executive MUST enforce all the laws, especially those against whistleblowers and Mexicans, but not so much against bankers and Wall Street and so on.

    Oh yeah, in the perfect moonbat world, people go to prison for doing asshole shit you don’t like, even if it wasn’t illegal.

    Do you dream of fondling his manhood or what?

    Projection much, kid?

  80. 80
    BGinCHI says:

    @Ash Can: My chess is dimensional, which I’ve told you before.

    Watch your queen.

  81. 81
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator:

    You keep bleating that Obama failed you when he never claimed to be your progressive deliverer.

    But he used the words “HOPE!” and “CHANGE!” What else were they supposed to think?!?

  82. 82
    LTMidnight says:

    @Scott S.: Yeah, i wanna hear about this “moonbat savior” myself.

  83. 83
    burnspbesq says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I’m not sure why Unger and co. can’t see this.

    None so blind as those that will not see.

    Yes, I’m talking to you, shark-boy.

  84. 84
    David in NY says:

    Garry Wills says everything better than anybody.

    And having read the last 4 comments above, I’m certainly not going to read the whole damn thread.

    Have a good evening everybody.

  85. 85
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator:

    There is no real issue here, no candidate, no real choice or alternative, simply the fantasy discussion of allegiance to the progressive cause fury of a lover scorned.

    I’m all out of new ways of saying “FTFY.” So… FTFY.

  86. 86
    Freddie deBoer says:

    Someday, you will get to Zell Miller with this. You will, Doug. And you’ll be snarking and marginalizing all the way down.

  87. 87
    different-church-lady says:

    @Freddie deBoer: Correct me if I’m wrong, but Leiberman is an independent now, yes?

  88. 88
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    if Bush had killed Anwar Alwaki, this blog would have gone fucking nuclear.

    … When suddenly, from out of the west, came El Tiburon and his army of straw-men. And let me tell you, they wuz open fo’ bidness.

  89. 89
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Why do you get all wadded up when it is brought to your attention, in a discussion about progessive policies and Obama, that the ACA was based on a Heritage Foundation idea?

    If you’re referring to me individually as “you” there, I don’t recall ever having done such a thing. I think both ACA and cap-and-trade are market-friendly sub-optimal solutions to serious problems that nonetheless are quite possibly the farthest left American politicians _even in the nominally more liberal major party_ will abide.

    I don’t see what good it’s supposed to do to view the past four years through the prism of how badly Obama, by being a traitor to liberal principle, has fucked everything up, as compared to how much better it could have been if Obama and Democrats had embraced Progressive Ideas X, Y, and Z. Conservatives, as despicable as they are, do a much better job of working out the ideas and slogans they all should share, then holding their politicians to them. I think that’s still missing on the left, even though there are institutions like the Center for American Progress and such, and I think the people who itch for a better and more progressive politics (and a Democratic party who carries the torch for them) would be less frustrated if they detached their critiques from vote-counting and aimed instead at public persuasion. Make more people who want the things you want, _then_ leverage that into politicians who’ll do them. Because for the moment there aren’t enough politicians who’ll do them, and barking at them isn’t going to make them change their minds.

  90. 90
    Zagloba says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one not taking this nugget all that seriously.

    You’re not voting for a person, numbnuts, you’re voting for a bloc.

  91. 91
    El Tiburon says:

    @Brachiator:

    So, which do you choose?

    Like most good little sheep, I’ll have to go with Obama. It doesn’t change the fact that he is terrible on so many important issues. It doesn’t change the fact that a part of me wants him to lose so that maybe we could be more motivated to get a better candidate.

    And the bottom line is that you and others like you seem to prefer nihilism if you can’t have your way.

    Seriously, what the fuck are you talking about?

    I’ll say this about George W. Bush: he did more to galvanize the progressive/liberal cause than just about anything else I can think of in my lifetime. If it wasn’t for George W. Bush I probably wouldn’t be reading this blog or listened to Air America or know who David Brock is. Without George W. Bush I probably never would have come to hate the Republican party and have an understanding of how shitty the MSM really is.

    It was because of George W. Bush (who I voted for in 2000) that I came to educate myself on what exactly is going on. It is because of George W. Bush, I am sure, that millions of Americans became motivated to vote for the Hope and Change.

    So, yeah, I see that momentum wasted by Obama and so many stupid decisions.

  92. 92
    Scott S. says:

    @LTMidnight: Of course, the Moonbat Savior doesn’t exist. And a lot of the “progressives” are really just Republican trolls.

  93. 93
    different-church-lady says:

    It was because of George W. Bush (who I voted for in 2000)…

    Well… that explains a lot.

  94. 94
    David in NY says:

    The stench of holier than thou is still in the air. Sorry I stopped back.

  95. 95
    different-church-lady says:

    @David in NY: Does it ever really go away?

  96. 96
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon: The Constitution also states that you don’t throw someone in prison for doing despicable asshole shit that was not illegal (i.e.: Wall Street, the bankers).

    This is why people like you and NR are such sad whiny hypocrites. You had no problem with what Bush did whatsoever. Only you had a problem with who he did it for.

  97. 97
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @redshirt:

    Markos has a post up that says exactly that…lol! He ends it with:

    “If only Obama had moved quicker on these issues (and others), perhaps he (and we) would be in better political footing. But hey, better late than never, and if nothing else, it looks like Obama has truly learned his lesson—people respond positively when he leads, not when he sits around and begs recalcitrant Republicans to join him.

    I notice that Markos titled it “Why is it so hard to do the popular thing?”, and not Why is it so hard to do the right thing? Because we all know that the popular thing is always the right thing, right?

    Kids are so damned impatient these days.

    Oh, and send money to Darcy Burner! She needs it to “… bring 50 million people out of the closet.”

  98. 98
    forked tongue says:

    You people don’t understaaaaand. Voting is like composing a poem, or painting a beautiful painting that expresses your deep feelings and unique vision. It’s not helping your polity stumble along without too much disaster, it’s self-expression. And if you can’t do it in a way that lights the beacon of your noble vision and immaculate ideals for all the world to see and admire, it’s just…cheap, somehow. Beneath the dignity of an incorruptible soul like mine.

  99. 99
    El Tiburon says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Because for the moment there aren’t enough politicians who’ll do them, and barking at them isn’t going to make them change their minds.

    Really? If I am not a millionaire or have a TV show or a celebrity, what else do I have besides barking?

  100. 100
    Lev says:

    The Republicans have been more realistic than the Democrats in seeing that presidential elections are really for control of the courts.

    This is why, despite whatever dissatisfaction I’ve had with Obama’s decisions, I’ve never considered deserting him. 12 Circuit Court vacancies, five dozen District Court vancancies, and Tony Kennedy and Ruth Ginsburg aren’t getting any younger. The notion of Republicans filling these seats is terrifying.

  101. 101
    Cluttered Mind says:

    I’ll be blunt here. If I knew for a certainty that Obama was planning to spend his entire second term on vacation in Hawaii if he got re-elected, returning to Washington only for the purposes of nominating judges and filling Supreme Court vacancies, I would still consider that reason enough to vote for him. The Right got to where it is today by recognizing that you can’t just elect a messiah and effect change instantly. What exactly do you think would happen if Obama and the Democrats did try to set up a Scandinavian style welfare state here? The right wing courts all over the country would raise hell and the Supreme Court would end up striking everything down in a series of 5-4 decisions just as they are likely about to do to the ACA. You want to see this country become more liberal? Start with the courts. You want the courts to get better? STFU and vote for Obama, no matter how much his policies might personally disgust you.

  102. 102
    Brachiator says:

    @NR: This is fun. Let’s see, now.

    Extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. You WATB’s wanted this in exchange for an extension in unemployment benefits. You got exactly what you asked for. Don’t try to deny it.

    Offering big cuts to Social Security and Medicare. An offer? You gotta be kidding. This is bullshit. Keep trying to peddle it.

    The rest of your list is similarly fallacious and distorted.

  103. 103
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon:

    It doesn’t change the fact that a part of me wants him to lose so that maybe we could be more motivated to get a better candidate.

    I need you to find your nearest pumpkin patch tonight and wait for the Great Pumpkin to spring up out of the ether. He will show up before your moonbat messiah will.

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon:

    It doesn’t change the fact that a part of me wants him to lose so that maybe we could be more motivated to get a better candidate.

    I guarantee you that the biggest lesson of an Obama loss wouldn’t be to find a candidate further to the left, it would be to find a candidate who hadn’t strayed so far to the left with his Big Spending Ways That Wrecked The Economy that he blew the goodwill of a nation.

    Guaran. Fuckin’ Teed.

    It would poison anything Keynesian for a generation. “Borrow money to put people back to work? You mean like Obama tried, and failed miserably? Pfft.”

    It would be false, but it would be on everyone’s minds for decades. And the next Democratic president would be someone like Cory B00ker.

  105. 105
    TooManyJens says:

    Can we be troubled by the drone program while also acknowledging that Obama has killed orders of magnitude fewer people than Bush? Does that matter at all?

  106. 106
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    what else do I have besides barking?

    Well, there’s your eloquent, constructive, and ingratiating internet rhetoric.

    Wait… never mind.

  107. 107
    El Tiburon says:

    @LTMidnight:

    The Constitution also states that you don’t throw someone in prison for doing despicable asshole shit that was not illegal (i.e.: Wall Street, the bankers).

    Please God, let this bit of stupid assholery go viral and become as famous as “I am aware of all internet Traditions” The stupid is strong in you.

  108. 108
    Valdivia says:

    @forked tongue:

    bravo!

    I raise my glass to that.

  109. 109
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Rob: That must be why Justices Sotomayor and Kagan have sided with the five Republicans on the court in so many decisions since they were put on the court. Wait, what’s that? They haven’t? Looks like you need a new argument.

  110. 110
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Professor Unger, boys, and girls:

    There is no messiah.

    There is only us. We are our only salvation. What do you think we should be accomplishing? Share your vision and maybe I’ll help bring it about.

    Obama is not God. Neither is anyone else.

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon: As the saying goes, don’t mourn, organize. I think you said you do that. Great. I don’t, because I hate dealing with people.

    Anyhow, for what it’s worth, IMHO it’s less that the critique from the left is _wrong_ ideologically than that it tends to digress into psychodrama about what Obama really thinks as deduced from what policies have been enacted on his watch. To me that’s profoundly unhelpful and leads to snippy threads like this one (where I indulge all my worst tendencies too).

  112. 112
    Linnaeus says:

    Wills is right. There is a clear difference between the parties and their presidential candidates. It may not be as much of a difference as someone like myself would like, but I simply cannot see how a Romney presidency would be any better than an Obama presidency and I can see many, many ways in which it would be much worse.

    The work to be done, among other tasks, is to change the culture. That’s going to take years. Get ready.

  113. 113
    El Tiburon says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Guaran. Fuckin’ Teed.

    Well. Perhaps you are correct.

    Again: most if not all prog/libs I read or listen to agree they have no choice but to vote for Obama. I don’t argue with this. I want Obama to win. Trust me, I hate the Romans, I mean Romney as much as anyone.

    And factoring in the Supreme Court, there is really no arguing with an Obama second term. But it still doesnt’ change the fact that he has been terrible. Extremely terrible. We have a lot of work to undo many of his policies.

  114. 114
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Really? If I am not a millionaire or have a TV show or a celebrity, what else do I have besides barking?

    How about….oh I don’t know…..actually putting feet to pavement and actually talking to real people with whom you disagree with ideologically and making your case.

    But again, wayyyyyyy to much like work.

  115. 115
    Clean Willie says:

    The comments here and at Wills’ site are just too much. “I’m gonna pat myself on the goddamn back for being so brave and virtuous as to continue to support the Dear Leader, no matter what kind of sellout of my own principles that requires, and no matter how much damage the surrender of political capital will entail! Join me in the world’s most heedless and deadly circle jerk!”

    If more of us were like Unger, speaking out and taking a principled stand, Obama wouldn’t have found it expedient to bolstere the Patriot Act, allow Big Pharma to write the healthcare bill, extend the Bush tax cut, or escalate the slaughter of civilians throughout the Middle East. Et cetera.

    Talk about asking for a pony all you want. The LGBT and Latino lobbies have acutally held POTUS’s feet to the fire, and they’ve gotten their damn ponies. The rest of us, by applauding his capitulations and attacking his critics, have gotten the usual shit sandwich. Eat it and smile, DougJ.

  116. 116
    different-church-lady says:

    @Linnaeus:

    It may not be as much of a difference as someone like myself would like…

    I believe you just attempted to use a shade of gray in a 1-bit paint program.

  117. 117
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @different-church-lady: I’m 40. In 1996 I wrote in “Ralph Nader, Green Party” because I was exhausted with Bill Clinton’s illiberal administration. It felt good, too. But I think we need to take the long view on things like this. And, taking the long view, I am confident that Obama has been as liberal legislatively as his own party’s right flank has allowed him to be. Executively, yes, there are problems, but in my own idiosyncratic view I think a lot of them arise from wanting to dispense with and work around Congress, rather than because Obama LUVVVS despotic imperial hyperpower.

  118. 118
    magurakurin says:

    @El Tiburon:

    It was because of George W. Bush (who I voted for in 2000) that I came to educate myself on what exactly is going on. It is because of George W. Bush, I am sure, that millions of Americans became motivated to vote for the Hope and Change.

    over and out.

    And you’re lecturing me.

    Christ I saw GW coming three blocks down the street and I knew he was a charlatan who was going to be bad, bad news.

    whatever, boss.

    politics sucks and then you die. get over it.

    If you really actually gave a shit about your “causes” you’d be talking up your pick for 2016…but…

  119. 119
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Hey, count me among the many who were Nader curious for a while there. (Although I never wrote the man’s name down on anything that counted.)

    But if you didn’t see exactly who George W. Bush was before you voted for him… well, there’s just not much I can say.

  120. 120
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Clean Willie:

    If more of us were like Unger

    Well, here’s the thing. Few of “us” are. That’s the problem. There are _millions_ more Latinos, _millions_ more LGBT people, than there are civil libertarians who care a lot about drones, executive power, Bradley Manning and Anwar Awlaki.

  121. 121
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon: It still wasn’t illegal, kid.

    And find it hilarious that anyone who says:

    It doesn’t change the fact that a part of me wants him to lose so that maybe we could be more motivated to get a better candidate.

    has the nerve to call anyone stupid. ;)

  122. 122
    Valdivia says:

    @Clean Willie:

    Mangabeira Unger is not taking any fucking principled stand. I once again have to ask all the people pimping this guy. Did you even know how this guy was before yesterday?
    A has been Brazilian politician who posted a video online to self-promote his beautiful loser politics of purity after running for President in another country and losing twice. Let alone the bulk of his academic work is risible to those who actually have bothered to read it.

  123. 123
    TooManyJens says:

    @magurakurin:

    And you’re lecturing me.

    Seriously. It’s possible that a person who was pro-Bush in 2000 might not be all-knowing yet.

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I’ll say this about George W. Bush: he did more to galvanize the progressive/liberal cause than just about anything else I can think of in my lifetime

    We must be living in different universes. The Dubya I know fucked up the economy and fucked up the nation, throwing millions out of work, condemning others to low wages and permanent insecurity. He unleashed a wave of stupidity on the country, where science was consistently derided. He helped usher in one of the most vicious sustained political attacks on gays, on women, and on other groups that I have seen in my lifetime, relentlessly going on at the state level.

    But what the fuck. You and your buddies got to feel galvanized. And somehow, this magic circle of progressive/liberal galvanization resulted in the election of Barack Obama. Which makes you unhappy.

    So, to sum up, the whole purpose of the universe and the United States of America is to give you a progressive/liberal stiffy, especially when people you don’t care for are elected president.

    So, George W. Bush made you happy.

    Mitt Romney should make you absolutely delirious.

    Because, in the end, it’s all about you.

    Got it.

  125. 125
    forked tongue says:

    @Clean Willie:

    Uh, projecting much? How about:

    “I’m gonna pat myself on the goddamn back for being so brave and virtuous as to consign my country to Romney and the Republicans, for never will I sell out my precious-ass principles which make me so much better than you, and no matter how much damage the surrender of political control will entail! Join me in the world’s most heedless and deadly circle jerk!”

  126. 126
    LTMidnight says:

    And speaking of stupid, holy shit:

    It was because of George W. Bush (who I voted for in 2000) that I came to educate myself on what exactly is going on.

    I’m sorry, I thought I was talking to an actual liberal and not a republican who decided to give liberalism a try and now thinks he is an expert.

  127. 127
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @magurakurin: I think the Bush administration galvanized a lot of people who hadn’t been all that politically engaged into awareness of executive power/civil liberties issues. That’s certainly Glenn Greenwald’s origin story, so maybe it’s El Tib’s too. But IMHO, if you extend the history of liberal politics back a few more years, it’ll become evident that that set of issues is a _small_ part of what makes Democrats Democrats and liberals liberals. It only looms as large as it seems it is for a lot of blogosphere liberals if 2000 is Year Zero.

  128. 128
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Again: most if not all prog/libs I read or listen to agree they have no choice but to vote for Obama. I don’t argue with this. I want Obama to win. Trust me, I hate the Romans, I mean Romney as much as anyone.

    I don’t get it: if you’re not a bat, then why is it every time someone puts the Batlight on you show up and flap around the room like a bat?

  129. 129
    Linnaeus says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I believe you just attempted to use a shade of gray in a 1-bit paint program.

    I do that a lot. Gets me in trouble sometimes.

  130. 130
    taylormattd says:

    @Freddie deBoer: Nobody asked the Naderite imbecile who declared years ago that he would not be voting for Obama.

    Get a fucking clue and step out of your internet (if not your door) every once in a while. If you actually attend your local democratic party meeting, you might figure out what the party is all about.

  131. 131
    LTMidnight says:

    @Clean Willie:

    Talk about asking for a pony all you want. The LGBT and Latino lobbies have acutally held POTUS’s feet to the fire, and they’ve gotten their damn ponies.

    Assuming this is true, ever occur to you they had more influence with the president because they weren’t talking about how they wanted him be defeated this November.

    If some jackass was rooting for my loss, I would listen to them either.

  132. 132
    ruemara says:

    @El Tiburon: May I help you here?

    So what is the process we are engaged in?

    Obama pushed for a conservative healthcare agenda.
    Obama is for a Grand Bargain to reduce Social Security benefits
    Obama is using drones in an unprecedented fashion
    Obama continues to pray at the altar of Wall Street
    Obama is enacting more NAFTA like policies
    Obama has deported more undocumented workers than Bush
    Obama has the same financial advisors that fucked us over during Clinton
    Obama’s DOJ is going after whistleblowers in a startling fashion

    What exactly is the fucking process here again?

    1. You have a start. You did not have that before.
    2. He does not. He has cut redundancies and at no time has he put forth a policy that cuts SS benefits. He has protected them.
    3. Yes, he is. It’s ugly, brutish and sick. It is war. I don’t think it’s changed much from it’s first occurrence.
    4. WTF does that even mean? Do you see how much Wall Street money is aligned against him? Quit posting in bumperstickers.
    5. No, he hasn’t. The trade agreements have boosted US exports, check your facts, not your propaganda.
    6. Yes. More undocumented criminal workers than Bush. He has shifted the legal enforcement to hirers. This is because working without legal paperwork is against the law. That is the law of the land. He has also ended deportation for young immigrants without papers in good standing.
    7. And if their advise had been followed, we wouldn’t be in a double dip recession. Why are you guys never against Robert Reich? He was a Clinton guy too.
    8. Funny that, the whistleblowing is fine line of legal and illegal. OK, so he’s going after whistleblowers. Not an obstacle for voting for him and I’d like to see Mitt Romney’s stance on this, since your viable alternative is him as president.

    There, hope that helps.

  133. 133
    different-church-lady says:

    @LTMidnight:

    …they had more influence with the president because they weren’t talking about how they wanted him be defeated this November.

    I’m pretty sure a search of the archives over at Daily Kos would blow that theory out of the water.

  134. 134
    redshirt says:

    @El Tiburon: “Terrible Obama Administration”? That’s a fact, huh? If that’s how you define facts – IE whatever your opinion happens to be – that explains quite a bit.

  135. 135
    different-church-lady says:

    @ruemara:

    Why are you guys never against Robert Reich? He was a Clinton guy too.

    Treasury Secretary Paul Krugman would’ve had this all cleaned up in a couple of weeks, tops.

  136. 136
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LTMidnight: I always kind of like the alternation between “That fucking guy sucks and I hate him and he ruins everything and he’s bathing in the blood of innocents” and “That fucking guy never listens to me.”

  137. 137
    Sly says:

    @Freddie deBoer:

    Someday, you will get to Zell Miller with this. You will, Doug. And you’ll be snarking and marginalizing all the way down.

    We had Zell Miller before this.

    It only looms as large as it seems it is for a lot of blogosphere liberals if because 2000 is Year Zero.

    FTFY.

    I’m old enough to have witnessed a fiscal conservative and socially moderate governor from Vermont be transformed into a Liberal Messiah. Why? Because George Bush made people crazy.

  138. 138
    ornery_curmudgeon says:

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we lose.

  139. 139
    Jinchi says:

    I realize it’s fun for partisans to bash independents, but the Democrats didn’t lose their majority in 2010 because of fickle independent voters.

    They lost because Democratic turnout fell through the floor and Republican turnout went through the roof. If Obama loses in 2012 it will be for the same reason.

  140. 140
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ruemara: Re: Reich, he got in a snit with the Clintons and quit, so he doesn’t get tarred with the same brush. (Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, Reich worked for Robert Bork in the Ford administration.)

  141. 141
    NR says:

    @Brachiator:

    Extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. You WATB’s wanted this in exchange for an extension in unemployment benefits. You got exactly what you asked for. Don’t try to deny it.

    What the fuck are you smoking?

  142. 142
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jinchi: IIRC Democratic turnout reverted to what it always is in off-year elections (which analysts had been anxious about ever since the Obama campaign targeted young, new, and infrequent voters). But Republican turnout spiked, especially oldsters. So if anyone was responsible for 2010, it would probably be the people who like Obama better than they like their local Democrat.

  143. 143
    taylormattd says:

    @Sly: Honestly, what kind of person points to a conservative former democratic Senator from *Georgia* as evidence that you shouldn’t vote for democrats?

  144. 144
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR: More to the point, Obama said, repeatedly and publicly, that he wanted to have two different votes on the Bush tax cuts, one for the middle-class rates and one for the special upper-income cuts. Everyone in the blogosphere liked that plan. Senate Democrats didn’t, including Feingold and Boxer, who were up for re-election and worried that any kind of tax increase would be used against them. So Democrats, and not just the usual whipping boys, refused to do what both Obama and the blogosphere pushed for. That’s hardly Obama’s fault.

  145. 145
    NR says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Perfection probably will never exist in a politician.

    I’m tired of seeing this straw man. I don’t want perfection. I just want a president who doesn’t throw money at the 1%, doesn’t shill for corporations, and doesn’t kill innocent men, women and children. Apparently that’s too much to ask from the modern Democratic party.

  146. 146
    NR says:

    @FlipYrWhig: But it is Obama’s fault that he signed the extension.

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @taylormattd: I thought FdB’s point was that if you accept the necessity of voting for anyone with a D after his name, you create a situation where you have to vote for Zell Miller. And to that I would only say, Yes, you do, because whatever shitbird the Republican Party of Georgia is putting up against Zell Miller is sure to be MUCH INCREDIBLY WAY MORE WORSE THAN EVEN ZELL MILLER.

  148. 148
    ruemara says:

    @Jinchi: Which is why I’m putting my purity pony in the stable, turning off my normal curmudgeonly hermetic depressed impoverished state and working with OFA to export some CA democratic mojo to battleground states. Because I can see this country losing many, many, many civil rights if Romney and a GOP Congress get into power. DOMA will be enforced. DADT, will come back. All of you guys who’ll say, “No, they wouldn’t take away rights” are naive. Prop 8. These are evil people who would do everything in their power to silence women, gays, minorities and establish a voting class of white conservatives to rule this country. Even liberal states would eventually see that they have to be more conservative just to get Fed funds. I can’t afford to be like our resident progressives. Everything is already gone, I’m already at the bone and cutting back on food. I can’t do 4 years of GOP rule. So, fuck you, fuck your shit, fuck your Manning, your Anwar Al Alaki, your drones and your MJ. Mostly, fuck your public wankfest for the candidate of your dreams. Goddamn people need a fucking break, the more you tell them how awful Obama is, the more they will believe it. Yes, they won’t believe their lying eyes, they do believe the continual stream of misinformation. That is fact.

  149. 149
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR: Only if you really crave the satisfaction of seeing him veto it only to be overridden by his own party. I don’t happen to think that’s worth very much, even as a quote-unquote teachable moment.

  150. 150
    Sly says:

    @NR:
    An extension that dislodged roadblocks for passing extended unemployment, New START, and the repeal of DADT.

    A good trade-off. Spite is no way to run a government, as conservatives repeatedly demonstrate.

  151. 151
    ruemara says:

    @NR: Fuck you, I got to be housed thanks to that extension. Where was all that progressive power amassed to tell Congress to just pass the extension and stop holding the 99ers as hostages over Christmas?

  152. 152
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Everyone in the blogosphere liked that plan.

    Wait… you’re saying there are other people in the world?

  153. 153
    shortstop says:

    Okay, I know this will spark a “If you don’t like it, don’t read it and sure as hell don’t comment” response, which is totally understandable, but I gotta say I really, really don’t understand why so many of you get off on these conversations. We have people here who are clearly addicted to complaining about Obama, and if they haven’t figured out yet that this is their end rather than their means, I have–but on the other hand we have people who seem to fervently believe that the first group can be convinced if they just makeonemorecommentthistimesthecharmnoreally. I’m all for making the case to true fence-sitters who possess a sense of perspective and are making good-faith criticisms of Obama, but I find life too short and energy too precious to spend any trying to convert lost causes. Is it really that much fun the 1,000th time? Tell me why you luv it, please.

  154. 154
    NR says:

    Oh, and by the way, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II ALL prosecuted financial crime more aggressively than Obama.

    But go on thinking Obama’s some kind of hero that every progressive should be proud to vote for!

  155. 155
    NR says:

    @Sly: Yeah, it’s not like $700 billion is a lot of money that could be used to help any number of people, or anything. No, spite is the only possible reason to want to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

    Good god, you people are something else.

  156. 156
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @shortstop: It’s my hobby.

  157. 157
    NR says:

    @FlipYrWhig: If Obama can’t whip enough of his caucus to block a veto override on the most important budgetary issue of our time, he’s the most ineffective president since Andrew Johnson.

  158. 158
    Brachiator says:

    @NR:

    RE: Extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. You WATB’s wanted this in exchange for an extension in unemployment benefits. You got exactly what you asked for. Don’t try to deny it.

    What the fuck are you smoking?

    This is really, really, really simple. I have to track the path of tax legislation into law. It’s my job. I see the bullshit written in the press on this, and even the uninformed commentary here on tax issues.

    The extension of the Bush tax cuts came at a price because other tax extenders, including the extension of unemployment benefits also hung in the balance.

    There was never a chance in any universe you and I live in that the Bush tax cuts would be allowed to expire. If they had, the majority of the middle class would have seen a tax increase.

    This is just the plain, hard fact.

    If you don’t know this, then you really have nothing to say about it. Nothing at all.

    And oh, yeah, a shitload of tax benefits for lower income people and the middle class are set to expire on December 2012. Do some research. Google is your friend.

    And then tell us all what will happen if Romney gets elected. Shit, may still happen if the Democrats lose big in the Congress.

  159. 159
    Lol says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Reality has to intervene here.

    Obama has increased CRIMINAL deportations. Non-deportations have been steadily DECREASING under Obama.

  160. 160
    Lol says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Reality has to intervene here.

    Obama has increased CRIMINAL deportations. Non-criminal deportations have been steadily DECREASING under Obama.

  161. 161
    Yutsano says:

    @Sly: Wow. It’s, like, compromise, and stuff. I thought that whole notion went the way of the passenger pigeon.

  162. 162
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: Something happened in 1999. What was it? What… was it?

  163. 163
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR: The people you need to convince are currently sitting Democratic senators and their staffs. They took another view. It was kind of a dumb and/or cynical and/or scaredy-cat view, but politics, alas, involves persuading the dumb, the cynical, and the scaredy-cat, because they are legion.

  164. 164
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR: Well, so be it. Even liberal lions Feingold and Boxer didn’t want to go along with it and begged him to stop trying or else it would wreck their electoral chances. That’s the reality. Senators have leverage too, and they use it. They probably said, “Hey, we’re already getting knocked around for the nominal ‘Medicare cuts’ in HCR and the stimulus, we’re not going to crawl out on another limb for your agenda until there’s something in it for us. You need us at least as much as we need you.”

  165. 165
    Valdivia says:

    @shortstop: I don’t but in this particular case I can’t stand the hordes of people cheering for Unger’s piece without any idea of who he is and stands for so I feel like correcting that particular record even if none of these people seem to care

  166. 166
    NR says:

    @Brachiator:

    If they had, the majority of the middle class would have seen a tax increase.

    So you let the whole mess expire, then you propose the Obama tax cuts, which cuts taxes for the poor and middle-class only. You dare the Republicans to vote against that heading into an election.

    Ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich was perfectly possible if Obama and the Democrats had wanted to do it. They didn’t.

  167. 167
    NR says:

    @different-church-lady: As previously mentioned, Obama’s prosecution of financial crimes is also lower than George W. Bush’s, who was elected after 1999. But nice try.

  168. 168
    Caz says:

    “[T]he tea party, Southern racists, religious fanatics, and war investors in the military-industrial complex.” Is that how you see the current GOP??

    Let’s see… About 95% of blacks voted for Obama, and his support among blacks is still above 90%. That seems pretty racist for me. There’s no other explanation for such high support among this party other than that they are voting for him based on race.

    Obama has been more of a war monger than Bush, which I didn’t think even possible. Not only has he continued the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns (he says he’s withdrawing from Iraq, but plans to leave tens of thousands of American soldiers there, so draw your own conclusions about whether we are “withdrawing” or not), he has conducted military attacks against Libya, which did not provoke us and posed no threat to the U.S. at all. He assisted in Egypt, is threatening Iran, will likely be conducting military operations in Syria soon, and has been conducting drone strikes in Yemen. He also entered Pakistan to kill bin Laden, which I applaud. The Pentagon’s budget is at an all time high and they are now trying to weasel out of the modest sequestration cuts that were agreed to. Obama IS the military-industrial complex on steroids.

    As for southern racists and religious fanatics, I guess you have me there. Not much religious fanaticism on the left; in fact, it’s the opposite – no regard for religious freedom or the first amendment at all. I already addressed the racism issue – there are more blacks voting for Obama based on race than there are whites voting against him based on race, at least percentage wise, and it’s not even close.

    He’s violated the Constitution so many times I can’t keep track, from forcing people to engage in commerce (personal mandate) to killing American citizens without any regard for due process. He conducts military operations and wars without consulting or going through congress, and uses executive orders and recess appointments to avoide having to deal with that inconvenient rule of law that the nation is based on.

    He’s an expert as pushing class warfare and distracting and misleading the public on our economic woes. Punishing the rich does nothing but quench revenge of the poor who have been stoked by the President’s class warfare agenda. It doesn’t help the poor or middle class to punish and demonize the rich, but it sure makes some people feel better!

    Our national debt is at an all time high, having gone up over 65% since he took office, and he shows no signs of even slowing down with the spending. Spending is up across the board and proposals to increase spending dominate every democratic proposal. Even the R’s want to increase spending, so both parties are delinquent on this issue, although the D’s slightly more so.

    Soon, there will be swarms of drones flying around the nation spying on citizens, and we will be bankrupt from the criminal spending spree that Obama so greatly supports and pushes.

    I don’t see any redeeming qualities about Obama to warrant a second term. He lies all the time, disregards the Constitution and rule of law, and abuses his power as executive. He appoints incompetents to various high level posts, like Holder and Napolitano, and then refuses to fire them when they screw up royally (e.g. fast and furious).

    That’s all I have to say. Oh wait, with regard to fast and furious, did you hear that NBC has mentioned it only once in the last year?? The media is certainly doing its part as the D’s PR department. Perhaps that’s why you and the rest of your balloon juicetards continue to be so grossly misinformed and supportive of the worst president ever.

    The only one worse than Romney for president is Obama – I’m not looking forward to the next four years with either of them, but Obama has a record now and it’s atrocious. How you all don’t see this is beyond me.

    It’s useful idiocy at its best, liberal propaganda working properly, and hopeful ignorance voluntarily assumed by the Obama supporting masses.

    Maybe when we are bankrupt and have no civil rights left will you see how awful such a president as Obama truly is. Until then, try not to watch too much MSNBC, and maybe try reading the Constitution once in a while to see what a good document it used to be when it was adhered to.

    I will check back frequently to see how many nasty, trollist, irrelevant, crass responses I get, because that’s the most fun part of this echo chamber.

  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LTMidnight:

    I’m sorry, I thought I was talking to an actual liberal and not a republican who decided to give liberalism a try and now thinks he is an expert.

    As they say, there’s no one more fanatical than a convert. Apparently us lifelong Democrats who’ve never voted for a Republican in our lives just don’t understand what liberalism is really about, but there sure are plenty of converted Republicans eager to tell us.

  170. 170
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: By how much?

  171. 171
    different-church-lady says:

    @Caz:

    (he says he’s withdrawing from Iraq, but plans to leave tens of thousands of American soldiers there, so draw your own conclusions about whether we are “withdrawing” or not)

    Pop quiz! How many troops do we currently have in Germany?

  172. 172
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    So you let the whole mess expire, then you propose the Obama tax cuts, which cuts taxes for the poor and middle-class only.

    And meanwhile you lose the extension of unemployment benefits and the repeal of DADT. Though I would love to have you try and claim that if that’s the tack the Democrats had taken, you wouldn’t have been here whining about how Obama betrayed the unemployed and the gay community by choosing the tax cuts over them.

    You dare the Republicans to vote against that heading into an election.

    What do you mean, “heading into an election”? The tax cuts expired after the election. Once the House and Senate Democratic leadership decided not to tackle the tax cuts until after the election, we were pretty much hosed. Any decisions made about the tax cuts after November 2010 were damage control.

    So, again, you’ve decided that the Democrats should have thrown the unemployed and gay servicemembers under the bus so the Bush tax cuts would expire. And you think any of us believe you when you claim you would have accepted that trade-off without complaint?

  173. 173
    slightly-peeved says:

    Given that in other developed countries, a lot of the contentious issues in us politics have been resolved (see Health Care, pensions), I don’t think you could find many countries with a clearer diffference between the parties than the USA. And yet, more people in those countries vote. And somehow, they got all the nice stuff that these angry US Leftists want. Maybe the US should try all voting for the lesser of two evils once and see what they get.

  174. 174
    Yutsano says:

    @different-church-lady: OOH! OOH! I KNOW THIS ONE!

    (Hint: it’s more than are in Iraq. And they’ve been there 60+ years. Plus all our soldiers are based at the American embassy, which by international law is American soil.)

  175. 175
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR:

    So you let the whole mess expire, then you propose the Obama tax cuts, which cuts taxes for the poor and middle-class only. You dare the Republicans to vote against that heading into an election.
    __
    Ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich was perfectly possible if Obama and the Democrats had wanted to do it. They didn’t.

    That was specifically what Obama pitched to Senate Democrats. It was a good idea. They balked. Not enough of them wanted to do it that way. They weren’t confident it would work for them; they thought they’d still get dinged as tax-raisers.

    Why you lay that at the feet of an entity called “Obama and the Democrats” is mystifying.

  176. 176
    different-church-lady says:

    @Yutsano: Well, then clearly we never ended the war with Germany.

    I’ll let the rest of you pick apart the other… uh… “points” of Caz’s offering.

  177. 177
    Jinchi says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think you remember it wrong. We were reading about an “enthusiasm gap” months before the 2010 election.

    September 2010:

    WASHINGTON — Voter turnout for Democrats has hit historically low levels in this year’s primary elections, a new American University study shows, which could mean trouble for President Obama’s party this fall. 4 million more Republican voters than Democrats voted this year, the first time that has happened in midterm elections since 1930.

    November 3, 2010:

    Exit polls showed voters ages 18 to 29 made up 11 percent of the electorate, a sharp drop from the 18 percent in 2008 and the lowest percentage in two decades. And those voters, who backed Obama by 34 points in 2008, backed congressional Democrats in 2010 by only 16 points.

    November 4, 2010:

    Polls of registered voters, meanwhile — although there are differences from firm to firm — had generally given Democrats about a 5-point edge in party identification over the past several months, rather than showing the electorate evenly divided, as it was among actual voters. That would point toward an enthusiasm gap – which compares party affiliation to actual turnout – of 5-7 points, which is exactly what the consensus of pollsters thought it would be.

    Even if you believe that the 2010 loss was due to Republicans turning out in record numbers and not due to Democratic turnout dropping, there’s simply no justification for Wills’ attack on independents. If you want to win an election, you have to inspire your voters to get out the door.

  178. 178
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    I just want a president who doesn’t throw money at the 1%, doesn’t shill for corporations, and doesn’t kill innocent men, women and children. Apparently that’s too much to ask from the modern Democratic party.

    It’s too much to ask from any version of the Democratic Party. Clinton repealed many of the banking regulations that prevented banks from screwing us over. Carter financed mass murder in Latin and South America. LBJ killed millions in Vietnam. Truman approved using the nuclear bomb in Japan. FDR imprisoned American citizens for the crime of being of Japanese descent.

    If you’re looking for your perfect Democratic president, he sure ain’t coming from anywhere in American history.

  179. 179
    LTMidnight says:

    @NR: Here’s that “Bully pulpit” bullshit again. People like you care nothing about people or progress (the root word in “progressive”). Only about ideology.

    Since you seem to believe that an extension in unemployment, ratification of the START treaty, and repeal of DADT was not worth extending the bush tax cuts for 2 years, let me ask you a question.

    How did the extension of the Bush tax cuts affect you personally, since you only seem to care about yourself?

  180. 180
    GxB says:

    @eric: Thank you. Course the Moonbatties all ignore the fact that a solid near half the country is outright dead set against anything with a “D” after their name. Like it or not we share a country with a shit-ton of well armed half wits just looking to scratch that itchy trigger finger.

  181. 181
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s just a fundamental unwillingness to game out the likely downside. Sure, IF “the Democrats” all played it this way, AND they won, THEN they would have been vindicated, AND we’d have the benefits of a better tax policy. But if they played it this way, AND LOST ANYWAY, things would be far, far worse, both as policy and as politics. And after that happened, the backseat drivers and political fantasists assuredly would NOT back off and say, “Whoops, sorry, it was the right thing to do but it didn’t pan out, no worries, we’ll try again next time.” There would have been an absolutely volcanic shitstorm of recrimination. FROM THOSE VERY PEOPLE.

    After all, we remember that day when it looked like DADT repeal was going to fail because it was part of the defense bill. Critics did not take that occasion to say, “That’s a shame, it was the right strategy, good try though.” They howled and fumed about how stupid Obama and the stupid Democrats had stupided their way right out of the arena. That was hugely significant to me, because it made clear that the premise has never truly been that “Obama needs to fight, even if he goes down fighting.” It has only ever been “Obama needs to fight and win and whenever he loses it’s because he choked or never really wanted to win in the first place.”

  182. 182
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Shorter what you said: they all act like the political equivalents of callers to sports radio stations.

  183. 183
    LTMidnight says:

    @NR: And this is why no one should listen to moonbats like you. All you want is ideological pie fights that make you feel good about being a moonbat while normal people suffer.

    How did “shaming the republicans” work out for Alan Grayson during the HCR debates?

  184. 184
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jinchi: You have to compare to 2006 and 2002, though, not 2008, because 2008 (in retrospect) looks like a one-time spike, not a new norm. That’s a long-running problem in Democratic politics, and it crops up irrespective of who the presidential candidate is or what he has or hasn’t accomplished.

  185. 185
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Nach Nixon Reagan Bush Romney, uns!

    It’ll work this time, really! Scout’s honor! Just keep the Republicans in power! wink wink nudge nudge

  186. 186
    LTMidnight says:

    @Mnemosyne: Of course that little nose-picker NR would’ve complained about Obama throwing gay soldiers and the unemployed under the bus if Obama did what he suggested.

    Hindsight is 20/20.

  187. 187
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @different-church-lady: True. It’s rare for someone to call in and say, “LeBron needs to stop settling for those outside shots and take it to the hoop,” but then call back if he has a bad night doing that to say, “Well, now that I’ve seen it in practice, I guess that was a bad idea.”

  188. 188
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    And since when did Firebaggery become Moonbattery?

  189. 189
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Why even talk about LeBron when you can just scream for Spoelstra’s head?

  190. 190
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LTMidnight: When you’re hung up on the idea that as long as you’re strong and principled you should win every battle, you start to convince yourself that every loss is necessarily evidence of a lack of strength and principle.

  191. 191
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    momentum wasted by Obama and so many stupid decisions

    Oddly enough, I have never seen you attempt to hold either Congress or the judiciary accountable for their follies and foibles. It’s all Obama, all the time for you.

    Well, with all due respect, your analysis is thoroughly fucked up.

    To cite only one example, take the Guantanamo detainees. It’s not Obama keeping that facility open. It’s Congress that has barred the spending of appropriated funds to move them onshore or try them in civilian courts, and it’s the D.C. Circuit that is making a mockery of habeas corpus.

    Tell me what you’d like Obama to do under the actual, existing circumstances (as opposed to the one you fantasize).

  192. 192
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @different-church-lady: I hope Obama isn’t Spoelstra. I have a running joke about how Spoelstra in interviews rarely says _anything_ about, you know, basketball. It’s all generally applicable platitudes. He’s like a keynote speaker for a motivational seminar roadshow.

  193. 193
    jefft452 says:

    “George H. W. Bush rightly believes he was sabotaged by the crypto-Republican Ross Perot, who helped Bill Clinton win.”

    BULLSHIT
    OK, it’s the only thing I really disagree with in Gary Wills message, so maybe I’m just nit-picking
    But this myth must die

    Bush got LESS than 40% of the vote
    Major party challengers who get 40% or less are so rare that they are remembered as pathetic losers = McGovern, AuH2O, Mondale, and the biggest looser of all time Alf Landon

    Poppy Bush is the only incumbent in history to do that badly, and he only topped Landon’s percentage by a hair

    Incumbents do not do that badly because of 3rd parties

  194. 194
    Jebediah says:

    @Brachiator:

    You got an electable progressive alternative, then let’s saddle up and ride. But if all you have is some vague sense of dissatisfaction and entitlement, then you are wasting everyone’s time.

    This times eleventy.

  195. 195
    Jebediah says:

    @taylormattd:

    He should have done this all sooner, like in his first term or something

    That’s funny! And yeah, there are so many electable alternatives to Obama who would have done all that and MOAR. I recognize I didn’t get all my ponies, and I have some major complaints, but we did get some really nice stuff. Who knows how much more if there were fewer asshats in Congress.

  196. 196
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Caz:

    Did you say something? Nope? OK.

  197. 197
    El Tiburon says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Oddly enough, I have never seen you attempt to hold either Congress or the judiciary accountable for their follies and foibles. It’s all Obama, all the time for you.

    Gee, wonder why that might be. Hmmmm, why oh why might that be…

    Let me give it a shot and see what you think.

    Could it be that when the topic of Congressional or Judiciary assfuckery comes up around here, everyone is pretty much in agreement. I mean, you don’t have a strong contingent here holding that the Blue Dogs are simply misunderstood or that Clarence Thomas is indeed a brilliant jurist.

    You dig?

    It is only when Obama comes up that you Obamabots start your synapses firing and your eyes get all googled up.

    On Obama there can be no deviation from the script. All little girls get in line for some candy. Tastes better with your clothes off.

  198. 198
    Yutsano says:

    @Caz: TL;DR.

  199. 199
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: Let me ask you a question. If Congress has passed a single payer bill, do you think Obama would have signed it?

  200. 200
    El Tiburon says:

    @Lol:
    Here’s your reality:

    The record number of deportations under the Obama administration has left a “wake of devastation in Latino communities across the nation,” Joanne Lin, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. “These record-breaking deportation numbers come at a time when illegal immigration rates have plummeted, the undocumented population has decreased substantially and violent crime rates are at their lowest levels in 40 years. Our country can no longer afford to pay for uncontrolled, unwarranted DHS spending, at the cost to U.S. taxpayers.”

  201. 201
    SFAW says:

    George H. W. Bush rightly believes he was sabotaged by the crypto-Republican Ross Perot, who helped Bill Clinton win

    Well, yeah, except that exit polls showed that Perot drew as many votes from Clinton as he drew from Poppy.

    The above meme has been part of Rethug folklore since 1992, and it’s been as wrong as just about every other one of their “beliefs.”

  202. 202
    Irony Abounds says:

    The whiny liberals are cut in the same cloth as the nutty conservatives who nominate the O’Donnells and Engles of the world and cost Republicans winnable races. Except that the nutty conservatives already control a number of state legislatures and are only a Romney Presidency away from getting control over the Federal government. If depressed liberals sit out this election it is guaranteed that in the next four years:

    1. The filibuster will be eliminated (or at least temporarily put in a closet so that the Democrats can’t use it to stop anything).
    2. The Supreme Court will fall into the hands of evil, and I’m not exaggerating with that word, radical justices who with that power will (a) reverse Roe v. Wade, and (b) remove any restrictions on our corporate overlords from bringing this country far closer to Mexico than we can ever imagine.
    3. With the filibuster and Roe v. Wade out of the way, the Republican Congress will pass legislation, whether in the form of a personhood statute or other restrictions on abortion that will essentially eliminate the right to abortion nationwide.
    4. Medicare and Social Security will be eliminated or made essentially unrecognizable for those under 55.
    5. The US will gets its ass deep in more Middle East wars.
    6. Taxes will be cut on the rich and raised on the lower and middle classes.

    If you think I’m paranoid, just look at what state legislatures are doing around the country. Fearing the demographic changes that imperil the Republican Party, they will take the next two to four years to do anything and everything to shape the country into their vision of what it should be, and those changes will be difficult to reverse, even after an angry electorate throws them out in 2016. Mark my words.

  203. 203
    El Tiburon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Let me ask you a question. If Congress has passed a single payer bill, do you think Obama would have signed it?

    Please. I’m not going to play your silly little game with you.

    Why don’t you just state your point.

  204. 204
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @El Tiburon:

    On Obama there can be no deviation from the script. All little girls get in line for some candy. Tastes better with your clothes off.

    Meanwhile, the Republicans are off to the side, a half-empty bottle of Jack in one hand, the other fumbling with the belt buckle, all the while making hungry eyes. But hey, you’re white and well-off so its not you who’s going to get their hair-tossed onto the bed, so its all good, right?

  205. 205
    SFAW says:

    @Caz: TL;DR.

    Far be it from me to correct you, but shouldn’t that be “TFS; DR”?

  206. 206
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    It is only when Obama comes up that you Obamabots start your synapses firing and your eyes get all googled up.

    I know, it’s so weird that when you start blaming Obama for things he didn’t control, people point out that he didn’t control them.

    Though it is pretty funny to have you admit that you really only do this to get attention. Maybe you need a hobby.

  207. 207
    different-church-lady says:

    Jeez, Caz offers you guys a bunch of low-hanging fruit and you go all macrobiotic on us.

  208. 208
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Please. I’m not going to play your silly little game with you.

    Little late for that, no?

  209. 209
    SFAW says:

    Maybe you need a hobby.

    Pocket pool?

  210. 210
    Jebediah says:

    @Scott S.:

    Who’s this Super Awesome Mega Liberal who can both get elected and enact an agenda?

    Against a recalcitrant Congress and a disastrous Supreme Court, no less.

  211. 211
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Irony Abounds: You’re assuming Firebaggers actually care about other people.

  212. 212
    El Tiburon says:

    @LTMidnight:

    How about….oh I don’t know…..actually putting feet to pavement and actually talking to real people with whom you disagree with ideologically and making your case.

    But again, wayyyyyyy to much like work.

    Do you know me? Do you have any idea what I do or who I do or don’t talk to?

    Trust me – it is a lot of work to try and have conversations with people like you whose head must be so far up his own a-hole.

  213. 213
    Yutsano says:

    @El Tiburon: Did you even read the article you just posted?

  214. 214
    El Tiburon says:

    @Clean Willie:

    Talk about asking for a pony all you want. The LGBT and Latino lobbies have acutally held POTUS’s feet to the fire, and they’ve gotten their damn ponies. The rest of us, by applauding his capitulations and attacking his critics, have gotten the usual shit sandwich. Eat it and smile, DougJ.

    hey Cole, can we give this guy (or girl or transgender) a spot on the front page. The stale bread taking up space now is a bit musty.

  215. 215
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: I think you already got it.

  216. 216
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Do you know me? Do you have any idea what I do or who I do or don’t talk to?

    Do we? Let’s allow you to retort.

  217. 217
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Obama sign a statement to close Gitmo. A crap load of Senate Democrats (including moonbat favorites Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders)vote against the funding to close. Gitmo is still open.

    In your moonbat world it’s all Obama’s fault.

    The House under Nancy Pelosi passes HRC with a public option. People like Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman block it from a vote. SO no public option.

    In your moonbat world it’s all Obama’s fault.

    Both Pelosi and Reid take war crime tribunals off the table when Obama is sworn in, which mean any attempt to try the Bush administration for war crime would receive no support whatsoever.

    In your moonbat world it’s all Obama’s fault.

    You see why you sound disingenuous and completely full of shit when you constantly whine about these things?

  218. 218
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I know, it’s so weird that when you start blaming Obama for things he didn’t control, people point out that he didn’t control them.

    It’s funny coming from an attention whore like yourself.

    Did you even read the comment I was replying to? Or were you too excited with your clever little come on that you wanted to hurry up and type it before you forgot it?

  219. 219
    burnspbesq says:

    @Rob:

    this issue of having to vote for a Dem president if only because of judicial appointments is a bunch of bullshit.

    Wrong-o, Bunky. A Democratic President won’t nominate Janice Rogers Brown to the Supreme Court. She’s a mortal lock to be Romney’s first nomination. And once she is on the Court, you’ll wish for a Court made up of nine Scalias.

  220. 220
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @burnspbesq:

    lol

    And you’re right, blood is singular, not plural.

  221. 221
    different-church-lady says:

    ≈ comment 200: I know you are but what am I?
    ≈ comment 320: if the thread lasts that long the playground kids get bored and drift away, and some new people come in, pick up the wreckage, and make a little collage.

    Like clockwork.

  222. 222
    El Tiburon says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    But hey, you’re white and well-off so its not you who’s going to get their hair-tossed onto the bed, so its all good, right?

    That’s right. I don’t even know why I bother with the dead Muslim babies or Mexicans or all the rest of them really. Me, Bill O’Reilly and Pat Buchanan – white on rice.

    Other than that, if you need to lighten up Francis.

  223. 223
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon: What’s the matter, kid? It’s a simple question. And most importantly, it’s a rhetorical question. You know good and well PBO would sign a single payer bill into if it hit his desk.

    So the question is why isn’t a single payer bill isn’t even close to coming to his desk?

    Again a rhetorical question, but what kind of moonbat would you be if you didn’t simply say it’s all Obama’s fault?

  224. 224
    El Tiburon says:

    @LTMidnight:
    I wonder, are you pulling this shit out of a hat or your ass?

  225. 225
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Irony Abounds:

    The whiny liberals are cut in the same cloth as the nutty conservatives who nominate the O’Donnells and Engles of the world and cost Republicans winnable races.

    Not really, because rightier-than-thou conservatives turn out in big enough numbers to back whackadoo outsider candidates and win Republican primaries, but leftier-than-thou liberals haven’t shown the ability to do that. When they try, and it doesn’t work, they tend to blame The Establishment Democrats for sabotaging them. (Obama backed Lincoln over Halter, the bastard! He backed Lieberman over Lamont, and then Lamont, the double bastard!) No shit, Sherlock, that’s what’s going to happen, so buckle down. If your views are truly representative of The Democratic Base, you should be able to beat them anyway. If you can’t, there’s a fundamental problem with your theorizing crying out to be addressed.

  226. 226
    burnspbesq says:

    @Valdivia:

    Let alone the bulk of his academic work is risible to those who actually have bothered to read it.

    Only if risible has suddenly become a synonym for “every bit as painful as four root canals without drugs.”

  227. 227
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    That was hugely significant to me, because it made clear that the premise has never truly been that “Obama needs to fight, even if he goes down fighting.” It has only ever been “Obama needs to fight and win and whenever he loses it’s because he choked or never really wanted to win in the first place.”

    Yep — that’s when I knew for sure that they were full of shit and didn’t care about anything but WINNING!

  228. 228
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @El Tiburon:

    That’s right. I don’t even know why I bother with the dead Muslim babies or Mexicans or all the rest of them really. Me, Bill O’Reilly and Pat Buchanan – white on rice.

    Women dead of coathanger abortions, people dying because they couldn’t afford healthcare, grandma eating dogfood, hell let’s throw in some dead Iranians while we’re at it. Obama wasn’t pure enough, so fuck ’em. Hurt Fee-Fees Uber Alles!

  229. 229
    LTMidnight says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Do you know me? Do you have any idea what I do or who I do or don’t talk to?

    Well I know you voted for Bush in 2000, which means

    a) you’re not very perceptive

    and

    b) you’re nothing more than a “convert” who is overcompensating.

    In any case, the last person to be lecturing anyone about being a good liberal.

  230. 230
    Cap'n Magic says:

    @El Tiburon: Nailed it in spades, as it were. Now, I can hope that in the event that Obama does win, and at least one house of Congress becomes Democratic, that in the words of Chris Rock, Omaba will go ‘gansta’ against all that is wrong socially and fiscally. But I have my doubts, given what we saw in Dodd-Frank. Also, too:

    Second, a supplemental sample is selected to disproportionately include wealthy families, which hold a relatively large share of such thinly held assets as noncorporate businesses and tax-exempt bonds. Called the “list sample,” this group is drawn from a list of statistical records derived from tax returns. These records are used under strict rules governing confidentiality, the rights of potential respondents to refuse participation in the survey, and the types of information that can be made available. Persons listed by Forbes magazine as being among the wealthiest 400 people in the United States are excluded from sampling.

    You might say that the exclusion of 400 people isn’t significant; after all, it’s just 400 people. How big a difference could that really make? Well, it turns out, as of 2011, that the top 400 people in America own more than the entire bottom 60% of Americans. So this is not a trivial exclusion.

  231. 231
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Oh, I read burnsy’s comment that you were replying to, and I knew that’s why you were pissed. He had you dead to rights.

  232. 232
    LTMidnight says:

    @Cap’n Magic: If Dodd-Frank is too weak for you, you have moonbat favorite Russ Feingold to thank for that.

  233. 233
    Elie says:

    Unger is just seeking a little attention…

    That said, its the same bunch coming out of the woodwork to give an “attaboy” to any negative assessment of Obama and anything he has accomplished.

    I am still optimistic about this upcoming election no matter how many gazillion dollars are poured in by the Republicans and the wealthy, and no matter how much certain left/progressives believe that the alternative somehow magically helps their cause.

    Romney is not only a vapid empty suit, but would represent an unwelcome change to the separation of church and state. I don’t think either of what he represents — the dominion of the wealthy nor the dominion of the christian cultists — will win.

    Unger needs to go wash his hair and get a good foot massage. He and us would be better off if he were paying attention to his more mundane human needs and staying out of anything requiring too much of his brain.

  234. 234
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    All these brave “independents” say that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties, and claim they can start history over, with candidates suddenly become as good as they are themselves. What they do is give us the worst of evils.

    No, there is a difference between the two. Let’s say on a Scale Of Evil, D is at a 10, and R is at a 30. So you say “vote for D so you can avoid the greater evil” and you’re correct – for this choice.

    But because they can depend on you to vote for them, the D position will be to drift up that Scale. So the next choice will be between D at 15 and R at 35 or 40. And the time after that, D will be at 20 and R at 45.

    The Democrats will always be the lesser evil. But because they know people such as yourselves will always hold their noses and vote for them to prevent the Repubs from getting in, that choice of evils gets more and more evil on both sides. And so it goes.

    You’re not going to break out of that cycle using the logic of “lesser evil”. I guess the right question to ask this cycle is – why wasn’t Obama primaried from the Left?

  235. 235
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LTMidnight: I’ve mixed it up with El Tib before, and, not to speak for him, but I think it’s possible to genuinely have a sharp critique of Obama _especially_ if your framework is the shadow of 9/11 and Bush-era abuses of executive power. The thing is, as I said before, I don’t think that framework is particularly key to liberalism or to thinking about the history of liberalism since the 1960s, let alone since the New Deal or the Progressive Era. If you want to call out the failings of liberals and Democrats since 2000-01, you’re going to find yourself on a different track than you would be if you were thinking about the constellation of key liberal issues since longer ago than that. Along similar lines, I think someone who came of age politically when issues like No Nukes were prominent would be appalled by other parts of Democratic policy-making on energy and the environment, and someone invested in labor and class in the ’40s and ’50s would be dumbfounded about the prevalence of “identity politics” in the ’90s.

  236. 236
    LTMidnight says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans:

    I guess the right question to ask this cycle is – why wasn’t Obama primaried from the Left?

    Because the pragmatic left (75%) says Obama is doing a good job. Only the moonbat left (25%) have issues with Obama.

  237. 237
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans:

    I guess the right question to ask this cycle is – why wasn’t Obama primaried from the Left?

    Or why aren’t people looking for the better candidate for 2016? This contest is set; barring some unforeseen tragedy, it will be Obama vs. Romney. One of those two will be inaugurated in January. 2016 is wide open; if there is a good, electable progressive, let’s get that person to the forefront.

  238. 238
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans:

    I guess the right question to ask this cycle is – why wasn’t Obama primaried from the Left?

    Because Obama would win that primary 80-20 or better without breaking a sweat? I’m more surprised that Obama wasn’t primaried from the Right, because the number of registered D’s who think Obama is _too_ liberal is much greater than the number that thinks he’s not liberal enough. I think Obama would beat Manchin more like 65-35, and probably lose a handful of states along the way.

  239. 239
    LTMidnight says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The way I see it, people like El Tib had no problem with what Bush did, only who he did it for.

    I also don’t think people like him care about helping people or making progress in this country. All they care about is their own little ideological world and viewpoints.

  240. 240
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Or why aren’t people looking for the better candidate for 2016?

    It’s too early to tell who the frontrunner will be, so there is not way to know who sold us out yet.

  241. 241
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Baud: Probably that damn disappointing Kirsten Gillibrand. We should have known back when FDL and Kos were against her that she would-will have already in the future sold us and the progressive base down the river.

  242. 242
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    We should have known back when FDL and Kos were against her

    LOL. I was at GOS at the time. Against Gillibrand, For Jon Tester.

    That worked out well.

  243. 243
    GxB says:

    @El Tiburon:
    Well, since these are domestic issues largely I’ll keep the scope there for the moment. For a start, the rest of us want our fucking money back from Wall Street and for the Kochs, Rmoneys and even Buffet to pay their share – heads will fucking roll before that occurs.

    Dude (or Dude-ette) I think we all agree we want shit to head back left, but we’ve got to have a plan. All we’re asking is how do you propose we go about it?

    From what I gather you want strong leftist candidates. Who’s good enough with name recognition? Liz Warren? Bernie?? Kucinich?? Russ??? Do you think a single one can be even competitive in someplace like Ohio or Florida? Kucinich’s recent departure should answer that, but given, how bout the others, or even someone we’re overlooking…

    If you are indeed a member of the Left and can’t acknowledge that we are outnumbered greatly by wingnuts, Gordon Gekko wannabies, sociopathic rubes with Stockholm syndrome, grifters, teabaggers, mushy minded independents, and especially, apathetic common folk who frankly are too damn tired just struggling to survive to give a shit – well then reassess your grasp on reality.

    What do you propose, specifically, we do to shift the country left?

  244. 244
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LTMidnight: Nah, I don’t think that’s fair, I think the concern about abuses of executive power and war powers is genuine, and I don’t think it’s at all out of bounds to raise such concerns. Where I raise my hackles is when those are presented as the quintessential concerns of The Base, or The Real Democrats. America would be a much different place if those were the issues that determined the shape of our politics.

  245. 245
    Susanne says:

    As a regular reader of this blog, I mostly stick to the front page offerings. And yet I sometimes find myself reading the comments. Today I read each and every comment in this post to my amazement and bewilderment.

    Question to the poster, NR who voted for Bush in 2000? Why? Did you get everything you expected from the self professed adult? Were your liberal dreams realized? How did you interpret the SCOTUS deciding an election?

    In reference to the CAZ comment, if any of you need a reason to suck it up and vote for Obama, this is it.

    To DougJ, brilliant job of throwing just enough rope out there to allow people to demonstrate that the loony left exists and is sabotaging their chances of ever getting a modicum of what they want to achieve.

    I’ll go back to lurking now; thanks for enlightening me.

  246. 246
    Yutsano says:

    @Susanne: Your voice is appreciated. Please feel free to speak up more!

    (The insults will come later.)

  247. 247
    Cap'n Magic says:

    @LTMidnight: It’s just more than Russ Feingold. One of the reasons that the massive 1987 crash didn’t take out the worldwide economy was the simple fact that commercial banking and investment banking were firewalled off. It was also the Glass-Stegall firewall that Contintental Illionis’s failure didn’t collapse the commercial banking section. Fast-Forward to the late 1990s, when Glass-Stegall was repealed and the CFMA was passed, come LTCM.

    LTCM was the canary on the coal mine, and it took extraordinary efforts to make sure that its blow-up wouldn’t torch the world economy. LTCM was able to unwind a and make a meager profit. Contrast that to Lehman, Bear, WAMU, et al, and the seizing of the overnight market so badly that trillions of dollars were made available for foreign corporations.

    Now even the Bank of China can buy Treasuries without having to go through a primary dealer.

    And on whose watch did this occur? Clinton, who was so busy fighting off the Lewinsky scandal he threw every bone to the GOP he could in attempting to stave off impeachment and removal for the Presidency-and when the Dems took back power, they were just as eager to dismantle the protected systems that prevented a subsequent failure of the global economy through the late 1990s.

    Bush II just accelerated the time that it would take to cause a catastrophe-instead of 20-30 years, it happened in 8. So, in a twisted way, you can thank Bush for forcing the situation to come to a head.

  248. 248
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Because Obama would win that primary 80-20 or better without breaking a sweat?

    Probably – but the sheer fact of a challenge from the left would have bought little matters such as, I dunno, robot assassins killing people for being in the wrong place to the public arena.

    Now the only discussion is whether or not the 2013 President will need to ask Congress to rubber-stamp his order to kill Iranians.

  249. 249
    smith says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m calling that the 2016 election will be Chris Christie vs. Andrew Cuomo with Scott Walker and Cory Booker as VP mates.

    Back on topic:
    I am not thrilled with Obama but I’d be a fucking moron to vote for Romney. If you think things are bad now, if Romney wins, we’ll be a Third World country in no time. Forget about the middle class existing anymore. Obama is the only sane choice in this election.

    Romney has already said flat-out that one of his first acts would be to bomb Iran and increase militarization in the Middle East. We’ll be knee-deep in wars all over the globe if Romney wins. Wars that his five strapping young buck sons would never have the balls to sign up for.

    This Unger dude, whomever the fuck he is, can go pound sand.

  250. 250
    LTMidnight says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: Why did he needed to be challenged from the left for that topic to come up?

    Please answer that question in a way that doesn’t sound whiny.

  251. 251
    Rick Massimo says:

    @El Tiburon: Sigh. So criticizing someone and demanding that they “must be defeated” are the exact same thing now. Good to know.

    P.S.: I considered making the above statement without the condescending sarcasm, but since you couldn’t be bothered …

  252. 252
    different-church-lady says:

    @GxB:

    Dude (or Dude-ette) I think we all agree we want shit to head back left, but we’ve got to have a plan.

    Here’s the plan:

    1) Whine about Obama on the internets
    2) ???
    3) PROGRESS!

  253. 253
    Liberty60 says:

    Obama is exactly the same as Romney, in the same way that same sex marriage being legal is exactly the same as it not being legal;
    that abortion being legal is exactly the same as it being illegal;
    that being able to join a union is exactly the same as not being able to join;
    that preserving the safety net is exactly the same as vaporizing it.

  254. 254
    DW says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: But if you look at how the conservatives actually gained power, they did it incrementally. When they tried abandoning compromise in 1964, it was a disaster. Not only did Goldwater lose badly, the election led to super-majorities for the Democrats that allowed Johnson to get through the Civil Rights Acts and Medicare/Medicaid. That was the last major liberal policy achievement prior to the Obama administration. From 1968 onward, they chose to advance bit by bit – Reagan and Bush were more conservative than Nixon, Gingrich more than Reagan/Bush, Bush II more than Gingrich. Now former moderate Romney is running to the right of Bush – which may explain how he could manage to be losing.

    Also bear in mind that there was never a glorious liberal past. Democratic majorities in Congress may have been common but liberal majorities were few and far between. Liberal policy successes have come in those brief moments and been defended afterward. The Dixiecrats were the key to most Democratic majorities and they were frankly flat out conservative – they happened to be nominal Democrats by historical accident. And Obama has generally been to the left of the Clinton administration – name one Clinton achievement that shows old Bill was more liberal than Obama. Not really any more conservative than Carter either.

    You’re claiming that voting for the “lesser of two evils” shifts the debate toward the Republicans. I claim letting conservatives win shifts the debate in their direction and they have succeeded precisely by voting their version of the lesser of two evils. They built their power gradually over a couple of generations and if we want to break them, we’ve got to think in the same terms. Give me a real world example of where your strategy works and I’m ready to listen.

    (Incidentally, I noticed that unlike El Tiburon, you’re not going with sexist or homophobic attacks. So you’ve got sanity and decency going for you. )

  255. 255
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @LTMidnight:

    Why did he needed to be challenged from the left for that topic to come up?

    Because otherwise it gets buried in the media as off limits to polite conversation.

    Please answer that question in a way that doesn’t sound whiny.

    Because otherwise it gets buried in the media as off limits to polite conversation, wanker.

  256. 256
    LTMidnight says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans:

    Whining about the media. Nope, try again, kid.

  257. 257
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @LTMidnight:

    Have fun fapping, infant.

  258. 258
    different-church-lady says:

    Y’know, I think I’ve finally figured it out: it’s like fellas like El T. have this sort of computer software flag in their heads named “_OBAMASUCKS”, and the flag can only be set to true or false.

    So it doesn’t make any difference how many times you say, “Hey, Obama rocks at some things but sucks at other things,” because the flag can only be set to one state. And that state must be TRUE. And nobody else’s flag is allowed to be in a different state, or change from state to state, or be replaced by a variable, because when that happens a system error occurs.

  259. 259
    Caz says:

    @different-church-lady: Far too many!! We shouldn’t have any there at all. We shouldn’t have troops in any country at all except our own at this point. The only time we should have troops abroad is for a legit war, which there isn’t one right now.

  260. 260
    Caz says:

    We could probably cut the defense budget by 2/3 and be in fine shape. We need troops stationed in our own country, and only need a military large enough to best the worst enemy out there. And if that enemy is Iran or Al Qaeda, then we don’t need a very big military at all.

    The federal government is out of control and if we don’t cut it back down to size, it will strangle the nation. It’s a shame that such a powerful, wealthy, free nation’s worst enemy is itself. We are killing ourselves from the inside, just like Rome. Although even Rome had to deal with warring nations that attacked their homeland from all sides towards the end. We don’t have to deal with attacks on our nation – we simply need to defend our borders against illegal aliens, drug cartels, terrorists, etc. And we only have two countries bordering us, so it’s an easy task if we really put our mind to it.

    The federal government is a recursive nightmare that might not be rein-in-able at this point. Let’s hope I’m wrong and we, as a nation, wise up before it’s really too late and we turn into Greece.

    Our debt is now 107% of GDP, which is insane!

    The Constitution only sets out 18 things the federal government has the power to do, and they are thousands of things beyond that at this point. All three branches, rather than checking and balancing each other, are collaborating to strangle the nation.

    Romney is definitely not the answer – his recent 4% of the budget for defense plan is ridiculously out of whack. That would increase the defense budget tremendously, which is the main reason Romney scares the hell out of me.

    Obama, likewise, wants to continue to increase the scope and extent of the government’s authority, control, and spending.

    We really need a libertarian leaning person for president. I’d actually settle for a drug dealer over Obama and Romney – at least the drug dealer is in touch with the people, understands the free market and market forces, and would deal with real threats in a real manner.

    Are you all really satisfied with govt being this big, and growing bigger every day?? I don’t see how any of you think this plan of massive, growing government regulating all aspects of society is in any way a good idea.

    Aside from military, I think we probably don’t even need a federal government – state and local governments can handle everything; except military. Think about it. Is there anything state and local governments can’t handle??

  261. 261
    A Humble Lurker says:

    It seems to me a lot of people want to feel like heroes without doing the work of heroes. That’s why they don’t like Obama but they love Feingold and Kucinich.

  262. 262
    El Tiburon says:

    @LTMidnight:
    You are wrong in everything you just wrote. Do you realize this? 100% wrong.

    1. That I voted for bush does not mean I was a Republican nor a conservative. It doesn’t mean I converted to or from anything. What it means is before 2000 I was like millions of Americans and not engaged politically. Bush changed that. So no, I didn’t have a Cole conversion moment.

    2. Since I have never been a Democrat, then I don’t feel a need to protect the team, especially when that team does a piss poor job, at elastin the past few decades.

    3. So, I can freely criticize Obama becausei am free of the constraints you and so many others have. I can also fiercely criticize Obama and declare he has been a failure on a grand scale in so many important areas and understand why some progressives would want him defeated yet, in the end, understand it is probably best for the country for an Obama second term.

    I can do all of these things. I can read FDL and GReenwald and Balloon Juice and see the value in all three.

  263. 263
    SFAW says:

    Ooooh! Poli-cred! So much more valuable than street cred.

  264. 264
    different-church-lady says:

    @Caz:

    We really need a libertarian leaning person for president. I’d actually settle for a drug dealer over Obama and Romney – at least the drug dealer is in touch with the people, understands the free market and market forces, and would deal with real threats in a real manner.

    OK, now I’m pretty sure you’re just dicking with us.

  265. 265
    sparky says:

    late to the party, as is often the case, but still—

    disappointed in Wills–mocking a strawman is not hard work. none of the people i know who are thinking about not voting for Obama would ever vote for Romney or some other gauzy third party notion. it’s a moral question, not a politics question: when does a system become so evil that it is immoral to participate, to ratify it by voting? for some folks, that’s where they are now. to put it another way, the lesser of two evils is still evil, and it is therefore necessary to refuse to ratify that evil.

    It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support.

    Civil Disobedience

  266. 266
    SFAW says:

    when does a system become so evil that it is immoral to participate, to ratify it by voting? for some folks, that’s where they are now. to put it another way, the lesser of two evils is still evil, and it is therefore necessary to refuse to ratify that evil.

    Well, that ain’t the silliest thing I’ve ever read, but it gets an Honorable Mention. “So evil”? Sounds like we’ve dropped into Gilead or some such.

    We’re not talking about how America has devolved into Naziism, Stalinism, Pol-Pot-ism, Great-Leap-Forward-ism, or Pick-Your-Totalitarianism-Mixed-with-Cult-of-Personality-ism here. It’s Batshit-Insane-and-Corporate-Whore Party vs. Slightly-Less-Corporate-Whore-but-Still-Does-Something-Right-Once-in-a-While-but-Should-Stop-Being-Such-Pansies Party. (Maybe I should copyright that?) In the grand scheme of things, it’s frustrating and annoying, but “so evil”? Get real.

    You don’t like how things are going? Then do something about it, other than opting out or whining about how evil both parties are and there ain’t a dime’s worth of difference. Yeah, I know, it wasn’t YOU that’s feeling this way, it’s people you know. Well, tell THEM to fish or cut bait. I’m sure Syria is looking for new blood (in multiple senses), maybe they can try there?

Comments are closed.