(Democratic) Party Like It’s 1936!

Two days now after President Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, and the conventional wisdom among pundits has now pretty much set the narrative: OK, not great, overshadowed by Clinton and Michelle Obama.* [Warning, or perhaps merely, alert: both of those are Sully links.]

One frequent strand of criticism is that in the midst of the predicament that continues to bedevil the United States now in its fourth year or so of too damn many people out of work, Obama went small, talking incremental solutions in times that demand transformative policy.

David Brooks, for one, had a terrible sad immediately after Obama finished despite the obvious howling enthusiasm of those in the hall.** His first reaction, delivered with the kind of grey pallor you get when you’re still trying to grab your senses after being whacked in the gut, was swiftly echoed in the column he posted shortly thereafter:

But what I was mostly looking for were big proposals, big as health care was four years ago…At its base, this is a party with a protective agenda, not a change agenda — dedicated to defending government in all its forms…Worse, the speech was dominated by unexplained goals that were often worthy, but also familiar, modest and incommensurate with the problems at hand….The country that exists is not on the right track. It has a completely dysfunctional political system. What was there in this speech that will make us think the next few years will be any different? America will only be governable again if there is a leader who breaks the mold and reframes the debate. Romney is unlikely to do that, and Obama’s speech didn’t offer much either.

Leave aside the nonsense and the sleight of hand on display here and throughout this particular column.  Brooks has a genuine sense of disappointment because, as in the passage quoted above, he knows that Romney and the current Republican party is hopeless — and he loathes his fantasy of what Democrats actually aim to do (that “protective agenda” and “defending government in all its forms” BS).  In particular, he feels that in these terribly parlous times, we need audacity above all else — and that President Obama’s speech lacked the necessary vision to accompany what he concedes is this President’s impressive character. (Again, leave aside the question of what “audacity” got is into during the previous administraton

Well, all that — the general sense of disappointment at the lack of orgasmic moments in the speech plus Brooks (and others) seizing on the “too small for the times” meme made me think.   Is there any historical reference for what someone in such circumstance might say that would shed light on what Obama was trying — and in my view, successfully — to convey.

Why, yes there is.  Remember how so many speakers termed the Bush collapse and its consequences the most disastrous since the Great Depression?  Well, y’all may recall that we had a President elected to deal with the mess the Republicans had left him back then, and four years later, he had to make the case for re-election in times of economic hardship.  To be clear — Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal (or New Deals) had a major impact on the economy in his first term, during which unemployment fell from 25% to just over 14%.  You may note, however, that as the campaign in 1936 took place, that still represented a load of misery.  So what did he say to the 1936 Democratic National Convention?

This, from the amazing finish to FDR’s speech:

The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody’s business. They granted that the Government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the Government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.

Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.

These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.

The brave and clear platform adopted by this Convention, to which I heartily subscribe, sets forth that Government in a modern civilization has certain inescapable obligations to its citizens, among which are protection of the family and the home, the establishment of a democracy of opportunity, and aid to those overtaken by disaster.

But the resolute enemy within our gates is ever ready to beat down our words unless in greater courage we will fight for them.

For more than three years we have fought for them. This Convention, in every word and deed, has pledged that that fight will go on.

The defeats and victories of these years have given to us as a people a new understanding of our Government and of ourselves. Never since the early days of the New England town meeting have the affairs of Government been so widely discussed and so clearly appreciated. It has been brought home to us that the only effective guide for the safety of this most worldly of worlds, the greatest guide of all, is moral principle.

We do not see faith, hope and charity as unattainable ideals, but we use them as stout supports of a Nation fighting the fight for freedom in a modern civilization.

Faith— in the soundness of democracy in the midst of dictatorships.

Hope—renewed because we know so well the progress we have made.

Charity— in the true spirit of that grand old word. For charity literally translated from the original means love, the love that understands, that does not merely share the wealth of the giver, but in true sympathy and wisdom helps men to help themselves.

We seek not merely to make Government a mechanical implement, but to give it the vibrant personal character that is the very embodiment of human charity.

We are poor indeed if this Nation cannot afford to lift from every recess of American life the dread fear of the unemployed that they are not needed in the world. We cannot afford to accumulate a deficit in the books of human fortitude.

In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a temple out of faith and hope and charity.

It is a sobering thing, my friends, to be a servant of this great cause. We try in our daily work to remember that the cause belongs not to us, but to the people. The standard is not in the hands of you and me alone. It is carried by America. We seek daily to profit from experience, to learn to do better as our task proceeds.

Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales.

Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.

There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.

In this world of ours in other lands, there are some people, who, in times past, have lived and fought for freedom, and seem to have grown too weary to carry on the fight. They have sold their heritage of freedom for the illusion of a living. They have yielded their democracy.

I believe in my heart that only our success can stir their ancient hope. They begin to know that here in America we are waging a great and successful war. It is not alone a war against want and destitution and economic demoralization. It is more than that; it is a war for the survival of democracy. We are fighting to save a great and precious form of government for ourselves and for the world.

I accept the commission you have tendered me. I join with you. I am enlisted for the duration of the war. [full text here]

Altered for changes in idiom, the oratorical style of the speakers, and the fact that the economic royalists that vex us so no longer concede even political freedom to those who have won it so recently and at such cost, and this maps onto to President Barack Obama’ s understanding of the task before us almost eerily perfectly.  Here’s his last few sentences:

If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election.

If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election.

If you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape, that new energy can power our future, that new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers, if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, then I need you to vote this November.

America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place.Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together.

We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind.  We pull each other up.  We draw strength from our victories. And we learn from our mistakes. But we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon knowing that providence is with us and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on earth.

Thank you, God bless you and God bless these United States.

Throughout his address, Roosevelt offered no grander vision than Obama’s, at least in part for the same reason:  he knew what needed to be done because he’d been doing it, even if the job wasn’t finished yet.  He understood, as does President Obama, and President Clinton, and Joe Biden and many, many others, that what’s in play this election is not change, but freedom — the question of whether that much abused word must be construed only in it’s narrowest sense, or in a way that actually enables members of a free society to act freely.  The alternative, as both Roosevelt and Obama warned, is that the opposing forces — those that in both 1936 and 2012 had presided over the disaster it was left to Democratic presidents to repair — get to reverse the unfinished business of creating a society both more just and materially successful?

The question answers itself — or should, and will, if we get the job done between now and November 6.

One last thought:  I usually ascribe to Brooks malign motives.  Here, while the usual writing to a preordained conclusion (Obama is too small for the office), I think this is less a rational act of dishonesty and much more a fundamental inability to hear what was being said.  If I’m right in the parallel I see between FDR and BHO, then there really is a radical claim being made, a demand that the economic oligarchs recognize and act on responsibility to society, and not just shareholders or individual self interest.  That’s the vision.  It’s not about policy; it’s about the template of human relations and obligations from which policy will flow.  And little Brooks — small in mind and emotional range — doesn’t seem able to process that thought.  Which is, in this one instance, more sad than evil.

*Not me, BTW.  Like a lot of folks, I thought the speech started at relatively low volume, and it may be that Obama took a moment to find the music in the words on the page.  But I thought the speech was intricately constructed and that on the night, it built beautifully to an unexpected climax:  that the choice isn’t simply between vampires and competent, if fallible, human beings, but between Hobbesian wolves and citizens, members of common enterprise, what the founders might have called our commonwealth. That is, Obama’s use of the word “citizens” over and over again seemed to me a moral exhortation, a call to do not simply what is necessary or rational or in some limited interest, but what is right for the polis of which he reminded us we are all members, citizens.  Damn fine speech writing and delivery if you ask me, which  you didn’t.  See Fallows for an interesting assessment of the speech, complete w. two reader emails that describe pretty much the speech I saw.

**That last section of the speech really was a grand example of using a sense of dynamics (in the musical  sense) to lead your audience to the emotional conclusion you want them to reach.  A textbook demonstration of applause surfing, as I think someone said on the night.

Images:  Titian, The Marquis of Vasto addressing his troops, 1540-1541.

Hendrik Gerritsz. Pot, The Miser, 1640s

Crossposted at Inverse Square

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218 replies
  1. 1
    WereBear says:

    I agree, I think we saw the same speech. :)

    I think this highlights the essential problems with Republican theories of governance: then, and now.

    It is that they do not subscribe to the philosophies of building, but of wrecking. They are constantly seeing only the problems, and their solution is to destroy things. As now, when our business class seems to have forgotten all about customer service, making a good product, and keeping in touch with the demands of the marketplace; it has simply devolved into “gimme your money.”

    While I did not think President Obama’s speech was about small things at all. It was about how big we can build things; if we try.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The sooner someone accidentally drops a piano on David Brooks, the better.

  3. 3
    BC in Illinois says:

    I listened to the speech with satisfaction and support from the beginning, but noticed–also from the beginning–that it was low-key and not soaring. I assumed that was intentional, an honest response to the challenge of saying that things had been done, but there was a lot left to be done.

    Then he hit the word CITIZENSHIP. And he had me from that moment on. We are citizens–not subjects, but also not owners. I could go for the next two months on that word and what it means, for the kind of government we want and are selecting.

  4. 4
    West of the Cascades says:

    “more sad than evil” — great summary of David Brooks’s article. Perhaps with the caveat that he would always be more sad than evil if he didn’t have the megaphone of the NYT op-ed page.

  5. 5
    Downpuppy says:

    The difference between a plutocracy of selfish, lying white men, and a society of all Americans is absolutely the issue of this election.

    Alas, until Obama kicks Geithner down 3 flights of stairs & out the door, and finally knocks down a bank or 2 for rampant criminality, I’m not sure his heart is really in it.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    But what I was mostly looking for were big proposals, big as health care was four years ago

    This is the same thing Bill Clinton’s critics said about his presidential speeches. Anyone remember the “school uniforms” state of the union speech?

  7. 7
    lamh35 says:

    Obama posts gains again in all three tracking polls. http://reut.rs/RKUihZ
    “Obama increased his lead over Romney in certain favorable characteristics. Asked who was more “eloquent,” 50 percent of the 1,720 registered voters questioned in the poll favored Obama, compared to 25 percent for Romney. Asked about being “smart enough for the job,” 46 percent sided with Obama compared to 37 percent for Romney.

    In fact, Obama led Romney in a dozen such favorable characteristics, such as “represents America” or “has the right values.” The only such category in which Romney had an advantage was being “a man of faith,” as 44 percent picked Romney, who is Mormon, compared to 31 percent for Obama, who is Christian.”

  8. 8
    Brachiator says:

    Thanks very much for this.

    I thought that Obama’s speech was less dazzling than Clinton’s or Mrs Obama’s, but that it had a different purpose and achieved it.

    And set against the context of FDR’s speech, I appreciate what Obama has done even more.

  9. 9

    That is one monster dong on that steampunk hipster Superman up there.

    I think you’re spot on with Brooks just being unable to understand the conceptions in the speech. I’d put it a little differently: both FDR and Obama were defending a particular conception of politics, a bottem-up approach where the mechanisms of government are ultimately driven by grassroots action and are malfunctioning when they are operating with complete disregard for the man in the street and are only concerned with advancing and securing the material prosperity of the elites.

    I think this explains Brooks’ incoherent ramblings about needing “big and bold ideas” to “escape political gridlock”. The only way that makes sense is if you think the only thing preventing the proper functioning of government is petty political disagreements amongst actors who have the same ultimate goals, and you completely ignore the all-out economic war elites have been waging against those below them for the past thirty years.

    Which seems like a good description of Brooks’ mindset.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    Here is Clinton’s 1996 acceptance speech. Bunch of laundry list stuff.

  11. 11
    c u n d gulag says:

    A lot of people heard the speech – too few listened.

    Expecially people like Brooks.

    They want a strong leader, one who can get around the messy barriers of democracy and, through some, for lack of a better term, “Cult of Personality,” bring about giving order to it.

    Mr. Brooks, and others critisizing President Obama’s speech – the people who are willing, and can, do that, are known as Dictators.

    We are CITIZENS of a (once?) great nation, fallen on hard times.

    President Obama’s appeal was to the people who still believe in depresentative democracy, and are willing to put up with the hard work of maintaining that system.

    If people don’t’ like representative democracy, then Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering an alternative – albeit not openly – Plutocracy!*

    THAT, was the message that the President was sending.

    We’ll see how many people got it.

    *”Plutocracy,” has to be capitalized, btw, unlike representative democracy – because the Plutocrats insist on it.
    Get it?

  12. 12
    srv says:

    modern civilization

    Well, there’s your Rupublican problem right there.

    These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power.

    That part of the Democratic Party machine got run over in the 70’s. It isn’t a debate about the 1%’s power, it’s just a matter of how mich.

  13. 13
    jwb says:

    @West of the Cascades: I’ve thought for a long time that Bobo believes little of what he writes but he’s trapped in the role that he is paid to play. He’s a conservative columnist and so must write from a conservative point of view even though he does not believe it is viable. He knows that he can’t convert without losing his position and cash flow; and he’s not smart enough to devise a plausible and defensible conservative alternative now that conservative philosophy is bankrupt about four times over. It’s sad only in the sense that he is a failure of his own making and lacks the courage to own up to it. It’s the tragedy of a little man.

  14. 14
    Brachiator says:

    @Downpuppy:

    Alas, until Obama kicks Geithner down 3 flights of stairs & out the door, and finally knocks down a bank or 2 for rampant criminality, I’m not sure his heart is really in it.

    Don’t agree. FDR made Joseph Kennedy head of the SEC because he recognized that Joe knew how to handle his fellow financial criminals. And the larger point was how to make the system work better and more fairly, not just how to bust heads or settle some grudges.

    On the other hand, I wish that Obama could find his Frances Perkins.

  15. 15
    David Koch says:

    meh

    pundits/shmudits when have the elites ever been right?

    all I know is rank and file Dems where crying during the speech.

    “I AM THE PRESIDENT!”

  16. 16
    wenchacha says:

    If we can’t do it this year, I would like to see Dems, especially progressive ones, sweep clean the House and get to Super-majority in the Senate in 2014. And then kill the filibuster.

  17. 17
    efgoldman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The sooner someone accidentally drops a piano on David Brooks, the better.

    Why does it have to be an accident?

  18. 18
    Redshift says:

    I was lucky enough to be there in person, and I thought the speech was awesome. Perhaps my favorite thing about it was that Obama was talking about what’s wrong with our economy not as the financial crash, or even the Bush Administration, but as something that went wrong over several decades. He was talking about what’s happened from Reagan on, and reversing that. And one of the things that Obama has been very good at, policy-wise, is making changes that help some now, but set in motion changes that will help a lot more in the coming years, so I’m very happy that his focus was on making the economy work for all of us again, long-term.

    It’s almost the Democratic equivalent of conservative dog whistle. Unlike the conservative version, it’s not meant to hide anything; the ideas are perfectly plain, but people like Brooks can’t hear it, because they don’t automatically connect “taking more than a few years to fix what went wrong over decades” with Reagan and movement conservatism in general.

  19. 19
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Minor edit:

    [. . .] he knows that Romney and the current Republican party is are hopeless [. . .].

  20. 20
    General Stuck says:

    Aside from a few freshman fuckups, I have come to mostly watch the Obama political machine weave its course within and without the current state of insane politics in this country. Part of the insanity is due to Obama’s race, but that is only an enhancer of the nuttery we see. The bigger story is the supernova we call the republican party, in a thoroughly predictable tailspin to earth, with final ultimatums of give us brass ring, or it’s all over dear America. What else would have happened from inviting the south to join the team so many years ago? Did they think at some point, the cracker contingent wouldn’t take over?

    I think the Obama administration is acutely aware of this predicament we are all in, and is also navigating the storm of conservative bullshit to accomplish at least a reprieve by winning a second term. Conventional wisdom is mostly a crock of shit these days on Planet America, and the side that finds the erratic pulse of the voter, wins by default, in nothing else.

    Other than being clueless on the outcome myself, at least the shear competence of the Obama/DNC dance, gives me some hope that democratic strategy is likely as good as it gets reading the voter tea leaves . And you won’t find an answer on the 4th estate, that is way too busy admiring itself in a broken mirror.

    My readings of Wingnutterville, USA, is that they are presently in a wonderland of their own design. And are quite insane from knowing shit from applebutter, regardless. All that happens is good news for John McCain, and nothing else. Gawd help us if they win.

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:

    @Downpuppy:

    God, this is tiresome.

    rampant criminality

    What statutes were violated, and what is the evidence?

    kicks Geithner down 3 flights of stairs

    If not Geithner, who? And keep in mind that Prof. Warren would be the first to tell you she’s not qualified for the job.

  22. 22
    lamh35 says:

    I’ve been reading alot of reactions to the DNC speeches and the convention, but this one I found just fascinating.

    Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech Goes Viral in China

    …Video clips of Michelle Obama’s speech made the rounds September 5 on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, garnering over 9,000 retweets and over 1,000 comments…
    Perhaps because they are accustomed to stone-faced leaders engaged in back-room shenanigans, they gave Ms. Obama’s speech a particularly warm reception.

    Many felt Ms. Obama’s speech was “inspiring” and “divine.” @那时的烂漫 from Shandong province felt touched from thousands of miles away: “This is not only moving, but the kind of thing that can cross borders pull heartstrings!” @Paulus_Lee from Guangzhou was equally effusive: “Wow, America’s first lady is too awesome [Chinese slang literally meaning ‘give power,’ or ‘给力’]. A speech this wonderful and sincere is fresh English-language study material and awakens my interest in studying English [again]. Nice.”

    One common conclusion: President Obama is lucky. @aviatorpink from Shanghai wrote in English, “She is damn amazing…Lucky Obama.” @天能渡 from Sichaun province wrote, “Not bad, I feel it’s much better than President Obama’s speeches.” And @Evil摄影师 from Hangzhou commented: “This is the kind of woman a man needs….

  23. 23
    Mino says:

    The new social-ist government of France is fixin to hit the Richie-Riches with a 75% income tax. Unclear if capital gains will be included. European bond holders worry that “reforms” won’t be implemented. Hah! They are terrified it will work!

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Redshift:

    This.

    The rot started in 1981, without question. Clinton, alas, did little to address the rot…he helped it along, with both NAFTA and the criminal action of the repeal of Glass–Steagall.

  25. 25
    Redshift says:

    @General Stuck: The only lesson I hope they learn is to keep the machine running after this year. One of the greatest things Howard Dean did was tell his supporters to go get involved in their local Democratic Party organizations when he left the race. One of my few major complaints with Obama is that at the height of the excitement, after the election, he didn’t do that, and didn’t ask people to commit to voting in every election. I hope they’ve learned that lesson, because I do worry that the extremely effective Obama campaign apparatus will disperse instead of becoming the national Democratic Party after this election.

  26. 26
    Dennis SGMM says:

    In this election the Republicans, either from desperation or stupidity or both, have made it in part about race. Under those circumstances the idea that Obama would come out swinging is absolutely ludicrous. Facing a Congress that was perfectly willing to let the nation default on its debts means that putting forth any big proposals will result in a faceplant.

    Brooks does not seem to understand just how sick some parts of this nation have become.

  27. 27
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @General Stuck:

    And you won’t find an answer on the 4th estate, that is way too busy admiring itself in a broken mirror.

    I am so stealing that.

  28. 28
    Chris says:

    @Mino:

    Yep. And a bunch of angry French businessmen and their paid cronies are whining that they’re going to go Galt now. Sound familiar?

    The French right wing seems to be in the same place the Republican Party was in the seventies, poised to plunge into a far more extreme ideology than what they’ve had so far. But at least there’s a hardcore left wing to offset that. (Not a shot at the Democrats, more a shot at the political constraints they operate in).

  29. 29
    efgoldman says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Brooks does not seem to understand just how sick some parts of this nation have become.

    I think for Bobo and other “sensible conservatives” (hah!), they are either in denial about the nihilistic monster their party has become, or they think the people who created the nihilists can still ride the tiger they created. [Won’t go Godwin, won’t go Godwin…aaarrrgh] Lots of Germans thought like that too.

  30. 30
    Chris says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    The only lesson I hope they learn is to keep the machine running after this year.

    This! This!

    The Democrats need a solid continuous machines that works as well as the Republican one, which is something we haven’t really had since the eighties.

  31. 31
    Ruckus says:

    @Dennis SGMM:
    That is a great line isn’t it?
    A tag for the media could be Broken Mirror. With a h/t to the General for sure.

  32. 32
    lamh35 says:

    ya’ll should totally follow the #DavidGregorysToughQuestions on twitter. It’s pretty darn funny

  33. 33
    David Koch says:

    @burnspbesq: Hey, digya DVR the World Cup? I watched it this morning, it was really great.

    http://twitter.com/WomensSocce.....2042203138

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @burnspbesq:

    What statutes were violated, and what is the evidence?

    The lawyerly obtuseness is so amusing.

    Jon Corzine’s outfit steals a billion bucks from clients to cover their bets, and Jamie Damon’s boys accept the stolen money and refuse to give it back.

    Then you’ve got banks foreclosing on the homes of people who never had mortgages with them, sending in crews to strip the places bare, and no charges are ever brought for grand theft household.

    When these assholes are summarily executed, you’ll be whining about due process.

  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    @lamh35:

    I’ve been reading alot of reactions to the DNC speeches and the convention, but this one I found just fascinating. Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech Goes Viral in China

    Ah, but they’re commies. What do they know?

    More seriously, thanks very much for this. The enthusiasm for Mrs Obama’s speech is fascinating and heart warming.

  36. 36
    efgoldman says:

    @Chris:

    The French right wing seems to be in the same place the Republican Party was in the seventies, poised to plunge into a far more extreme ideology…

    Except the French already have a racist fascist extreme right wing party.

  37. 37
    Downpuppy says:

    @Brachiator: I was thinking of Geithner in terms of HAMP – the pretend program to help keep people in their homes, and the punishment part as a necessary prequel to actually getting the leeches out of the way.

    A little time at Counterpunch is always useful when optimism starts turning dangerous.

  38. 38
    lamh35 says:

    Evens journos are puzzled by Ann Romney being on MTP with Mitt. Some are areally snarky about it too.

    @thegarance
    Has any pres nominee ever taken his wife on the show before? RT @DylanByers Ann Romney to join Mitt on @MeetThePress tomorrow, per NBC

    @AlecMacGillis
    Why’s Ann joining Mitt on MTP tomorrow? Because she is, as her sons say, the “Mitt Stabilizer.” Maybe she can do debates, too?

    ‏@AlecMacGillis
    So, MTP now stands for Meet The Partner?

  39. 39
    Downpuppy says:

    @burnspbesq: As far as rampant criminality – beyond the toxic CDO bundling to the LIBOR faking to several million cases of document fraud, there’s a lot, but since that’s enough to lock ’em all up, no need to go into detail.

  40. 40
    This is a reach says:

    FDR said of the bankers: “I welcome their hatred.” Meanwhile, Obama has let the bankers and the torturers get off scot-free with “Look forward not back.”

    And I love how some of you want David Brooks murdered because you don’t agree with the views he expresses. Maybe you can put him on Obama’s kill list.

    Seriously, Obama is moderate conservative who is far closer to Romney than FDR.

  41. 41
    maya says:

    Why’s Ann appearing with Mitt on MTP?

    Why,for an old fashioned real Merkin Virginia Reel on Dancing Dave’s Republican House Party, silly.

  42. 42
    gogol's wife says:

    @David Koch:

    I cried when he quoted Lincoln. That was such a beautiful quotation, and I’d never heard it before, about falling to his knees because he had nowhere else to go.

    ETA: And Biden had me crying all through, and today I watched Jennifer Granholm and she made me cry too!

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    @efgoldman:

    Except the French already have a racist fascist extreme right wing party.

    I know.

    Unfortunately, it’s going mainstream.

  44. 44
    Petorado says:

    The wisdom of the Obama speech keeps sinking in over time. He didn’t present his opposition with easy targets to come out against. He didn’t give the pundits a predictable speech to unload their canned responses. Instead he laid out some things that will serve him well in chase to election day. His shift in messaging that government is not an external force but something that encompasses us all, referring to taxes as part of our duties as citizens. and by going against the Republican ideas that the problem with America is the Americans that live here all present a great idea of Obama’s vision — not a vision of the future but what he sees with his eyes when he looks out at the nation. There’s no more sharp contrast between the candidates than what they see when they look at the rest of us.

  45. 45
    gogol's wife says:

    @Petorado:

    Well said.

  46. 46
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Devil’s advocate: how exactly does the “howling enthusiasm” of those in the hall matter? The RNC audience was “howlingly enthusiastic” about Clint Eastwood all the way through, but the Romney campaign wisely tried to minimize the perceived impact of that debacle the next day.

  47. 47
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I agree completely, by the way, with the political wisdom of (and for) the Democrats of not laying out positions because it protects them from attack while their incumbent seeks reelection and heads off the tactic of Republicans obstructing and then blaming the President

    My personal problem is that I feel more concern for the United States, and specifically the impact of its economic policy, than I do for the Democratic Party; that the Republicans will burn the store down doesn’t make it wonderful that the Democrats may let it go out of business

    Shades of Nixon’s secret plan to win Vietnam

  48. 48
    Donut says:

    We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind.  We pull each other up.  We draw strength from our victories. And we learn from our mistakes. But we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon knowing that providence is with us and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on earth.

    I feel genuine pity and sorrow for my country-men and women who fail to grasp the true meaning of this statement. And the mirror image of it is that everyone should be included and invested in full citizenship, everyone has the same human and civil rights, no man or woman stands above another.

    Brooks believes none of that. He has no understanding of it. Fuck him and fuck the people he enables with this clap trap sophistry. What a piece of shit that man is.

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    how exactly does the “howling enthusiasm” of those in the hall matter?

    It presents a better image for the viewer. If the hall were stone-cold silent, don’t you think that would reflect negatively on Obama?

    It also suggests that the delegates will be more likely to go back home and spread the enthusiasm to local volunteers.

  50. 50
    👽 Martin says:

    @Redshift:

    The only lesson I hope they learn is to keep the machine running after this year. One of the greatest things Howard Dean did was tell his supporters to go get involved in their local Democratic Party organizations when he left the race.

    Remember that 2008 was a major changing of the guard in the Democratic Party. Hillary was the machine. She inherited everything that Bill had built, everything that was both good and also bad within the party. All political machines inherently gravitate toward self-preservation and self-serving, until they’re overthrown. Within the Democratic party, what Obama did was overthrow the DLC, and then significantly diversified the party to minimize the pace by which it would re-corrupt. What was built was a more progressive and more decentralized machine. In a way, Obama probably wouldn’t have instinctively wanted to keep driving the machine – hoping instead it would drive itself (it’s that community organizing thing – the plan being that the community can care for itself once organized.)

    Whether that keeps running depends ENTIRELY on who we back after this election – and that’s going to be a big fight. Obama built this great operation, but its not an operation that delivers power. OFA isn’t out there shaping which Democrats will be favored for office and be loyal up the org chart. Most politicians aren’t like that – they want to build their little army – and they’ll twist OFA back into something that looks like the DLC.

  51. 51
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    America will only be governable again if there is a leader who breaks the mold and reframes the debate.

    Alternately, we could elect a Democratic majority to Congress.

    You know, just kind of thinking outside the box here…

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @efgoldman:

    I think for Bobo and other “sensible conservatives” (hah!), they are either in denial about the nihilistic monster their party has become, or they think the people who created the nihilists can still ride the tiger they created. [Won’t go Godwin, won’t go Godwin…aaarrrgh] Lots of Germans thought like that too.

    I think “sensible conservatives” also just have different priorities. It’s not that they embrace the sickness necessarily so much as they just don’t care. The idea of women being stripped of their right to control their own bodies and citizens being denied their right to vote doesn’t really fire them up with outrage. But the idea of uppity liberals raising their taxes from their lowest level in eighty years to their previous lowest level in eighty years does. And the idea of uppity liberals forcing our political correctness down their throat does.

    For a lot of the conservatives I know, I can’t really see them being members of the NSDAP, so much as I can see them being useful idiots and fellow travelers. The kind who loved the fact that Germany was great again, who shared the Nazis’ hatred for uppity intellectuals and parliamentarians not appreciating Our Great German Traditions, but who’d get bored or cranky if you bleeding hearts kept talking their ears off about Jews’ and Gypsies’ rights.

  53. 53
    Donut says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Yeah, I sucked in my breath hard when he quoted Lincoln and started crying, too. Powerful quote.

  54. 54
    grandpa john says:

    @BC in Illinois: Citizenship
    Something that lying,mendacious assholes like Brooks will never understand the significance of and meaning of

  55. 55
    👽 Martin says:

    Huh. Who says speeches don’t matter:

    Between Aug. 26-28 and Sept. 5-7, the Gallup economic confidence index rose by 17 points — from -33 to -16 — a remarkable jump in just over a week.

    The GOP tells the country we’re in decline and that life is horrible under the usurper and confidence plummets, and a week later the Dems give positive speeches about the direction of the country and the public’s attitude actually changes as a result.

    Emotional vampires, they are.

  56. 56
    lamh35 says:

    looks like they are teasing some stuff from MTP.

    https://twitter.com/BenjySarlin/status/244549601112240128

    @BenjySarlin
    Well fixedRT @igorbobic: Romney: Paul Ryan made a big mistake in voting for sequester http://nbcnews.to/RxFaQG

  57. 57
    grandpa john says:

    @Baud:
    shorter Brooks, “I was looking for any thing I could use to criticize the speech, since I found nothing, I just made up some shit”

  58. 58
    Suffern Ace says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: I wonder who he has in mind nonelessthess. Probably someone with all the charisma of oatmeal.

  59. 59
    lamh35 says:

    @lamh35:

    @BenjySarlin So Romney now running against Ryan’s own Medicare cuts, own debt ceiling deal — why did he pick him again?

  60. 60
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Donut: Just another one-term-in-Washington, Illinois-state-house hack…

  61. 61

    @wenchacha: As long as the Democrats control the Senate in January, they can kill the filibuster. I’ll believe it when I see it though.

  62. 62
    Suffern Ace says:

    @lamh35: Pot legalization.

  63. 63
    Donut says:

    @efgoldman:

    You don’t have to go Godwin. Pick any other totalitarian regime that restricts property rights and citizenship for all but a select group of well-connected Plutocrats and there chosen lackeys. Doesn’t have to be Germany! lots more to choose from throughout history! Whee!

  64. 64
    grandpa john says:

    @👽 Martin:

    also todays Gallup on favorability has Obama +10 (52-42)
    Even Ras stated that he had a bounce. He is +2 today, 2-3 days ago he was -4 Gallup also has Obama +4 even with their shitty crosstabs, so yes there was a bounce

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Donut says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Black Jimmy Carter! Ga-har-har!

  67. 67

    @burnspbesq: I don’t know the qualifications for TreasSec, but we do know that Obama chose to reappoint Bernanke when someone like Stiglitz was/is plenty qualified for the job.

  68. 68
    grandpa john says:

    @lamh35: evidently a lot of people don’t understand the concept of Faith as it is used in religion do they?

  69. 69
    Chris says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Within the Democratic party, what Obama did was overthrow the DLC, and then significantly diversified the party to minimize the pace by which it would re-corrupt. What was built was a more progressive and more decentralized machine.

    This.

    I see Obama as being kind of our Nixon. Not in the sense of being a criminal asshole, but in the sense of being a transitional figure who doesn’t quite fit with either wing of the party and sort of was a bridge between two eras.

    He still governs as a moderate and defers to the market consensus (though less than Clinton) more than the populists and True Believers would like (not a shot at him, the political landscape is what it is), but his electoral strategy based on women, young people and nonwhite people is pretty different from Clinton’s who was still courting the white male middle-American vote. His coalition (more diverse and decentralized as you said) can, hopefully, keep grabbing and holding onto more power in Washington and gradually implement more liberal changes as it goes (something that’s already started with Obama).

    Long, slow process. From the time Republicans launched the Southern Strategy in the mid-sixties to the time they seized Congress in the mid-nineties, it took three decades. It always takes a while.

  70. 70
    Maude says:

    FDR got in a nice dig at Hoover. He also referred to Hitler’s election as Chancellor in Germany.
    There were less people able to avail themselves of higher education in the 1930s. FDR was not talking down to anyone. He knew that the people of this country understood what he was talking about.
    Obama gave a speech as the current president and the nominee of the Democratic Party. It wasn’t a campaign speech. The people in the hall and all around the country understood him just fine.
    Those like Brooks are part of the 1%. They have it easy. They practically phone it in on a daily basis. They’re used to lazy days of writing superficial crap. Obama is a challenge to that way of media and they resent it.
    I’ve noticed that the use of language has improved greatly over the past year or so.
    Gone it the T word and such infantile phrases that presidents have used and the media has for years and years repeated like parrots.
    Obama has been quieting fixing some of the damage Clinton did to the people of this country. He has managed to keep Clinton from sabotaging during this important election season. Kudos to the president.
    I don’t like it when comments express the thought that citizens in this country are stupid. That was repudiated during WWII. Young men that Brooks and his ilk would call part of the great unwashed went to war. Audie Murphy is a good example of that.
    Ronald Reagan stole our sense of who we are as a nation and we are just now starting to get it back.
    It is Obama who understands what citizens in this country can accomplish.
    Romney uses the words of repeated failure. The rich people and the bankers proved beyond a shadow of doubt that greed destroys. To do the same thing all over again is real insanity.

  71. 71
    lamh35 says:

    So why did he pick him again? And won’t this just lead to question of Ryan about why his running mate hates his votes and then Ryan will have to defend his yes vote?

    ‏@thinkprogress
    Romney rips Paul Ryan: Calls running mate’s vote for defense cuts “a big mistake” http://thinkprogress.org/secur.....g-mistake/

  72. 72
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Donut: Little known fact — back in his Occidental College days, Obama was actually…. a Conscience Whig.

  73. 73

    @Brachiator: And they still threw banksters in jail back then. Read up on it. You also forget something else. Old Man Kennedy wanted one of his sons to be President one day. Everyone thought it would be Joe Jr.(who ended up being killed in WWII). And what better way then to be part of the party that put the country back together again after the Great Depression.

  74. 74
    lamh35 says:

    So why did he pick him again? And won’t this just lead to question of Ryan about why his running mate hates his votes and then Ryan will have to defend his yes vote?

    ‏@thinkprogress
    Romney rips Paul Ryan: Calls running mate’s vote for defense cuts “a big mistake” http://thinkprogress.org/secur.....g-mistake/

  75. 75
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Maude:

    I don’t like it when comments express the thought that citizens in this country are stupid. That was repudiated during WWII. Young men that Brooks and his ilk would call part of the great unwashed went to war. Audie Murphy is a good example of that.

    Bill Mauldin

  76. 76

    @Brachiator: And they still threw banksters in jail back then. Read up on it. You also forget something else. Old Man Kennedy wanted one of his sons to be President one day. Everyone thought it would be Joe Jr.(who ended up being killed in WWII). And what better way then to be part of the party that put the country back together again after the Great Depression.

  77. 77

    @Brachiator: And they still threw banksters in jail back then. Read up on it. You also forget something else. Old Man Kennedy wanted one of his sons to be President one day. Everyone thought it would be Joe Jr.(who ended up being killed in WWII). And what better way then to be part of the party that put the country back together again after the Great Depression.

  78. 78
    Donut says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Reminds me, Lincoln was called the Ape, the Gorrilla… and Spot, which stemmed from his demand to know the spot on US soil where Mexico had shed American blood.

  79. 79
    grandpa john says:

    @Brachiator: This,

    the idiot pundits never give Obama credit for having twice the intelligence they do. To me as I listened, It was obvious that the whole convention was planned and staged to a degree that the GOP could never grasp.
    Every speaker had a specific target audience that they aimed their speeches at, and specific points they were to cover to those groups. Each speaker had certain goals in mind so that all the speeches came together to define what the Democratic party wanted to build, and what the Republicans wanted to destroy.
    Despite the vast egoistic yearnings of The MSM, what they wanted to hear or what they thought didn’t mean shit to Obama, the convention was geared to the wants and aspirations of the 99%

  80. 80

    Meanwhile in my home country this

    Britain must champion the wealth creators, say Tories

    A right wing nut job pushing the “job creators” bullshit and calling for deregulation.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....um=twitter

  81. 81
    Brachiator says:

    @This is a reach:

    FDR said of the bankers: “I welcome their hatred.” Meanwhile, Obama has let the bankers and the torturers get off scot-free with “Look forward not back.”… Seriously, Obama is moderate conservative who is far closer to Romney than FDR.

    Yawn. FDR was a member of the establishment. He may have welcomed their hatred, but it’s not like he had them thrown in the Tower.

    A majority of the people had FDR’s back. A considerable chunk of the American people fear that Obama is a stealth revolutionary who is going to turn the country over to a coalition of commies, Mooslems and space aliens.

    On the other hand, there are many progressives who would wet themselves if Obama really were a fiery radical intent on turning the country into a Black and Tan Fantasy.

    And liberals who think that Obama is just like Romney are not just delusional. Many of them are indulging in a kind of I Got Mine F U pseudo progressive pushback. The most recent purveyor of this nonsense is Naomi Wolf, in an interview in the Guardian to promote a book about the mystical powers of her genitalia.

  82. 82
    efgoldman says:

    @Chris:

    The idea of women being stripped of their right to control their own bodies … doesn’t really fire them up with outrage.

    Well, not the TeaHadis, no. But the (now mythical) “sensible Republicans” have wives and daughters and sisters (or they are wives and daughters and sisters). That’s where the denial comes in.

  83. 83
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @grandpa john:
    It was like listening to Bach’s “Fugue in G Minor.”

  84. 84
    efgoldman says:

    @Donut:

    Doesn’t have to be Germany! lots more to choose from throughout history! Whee!

    I take the easy shot.

  85. 85
    General Stuck says:

    OT

    A well armed society is a polite society, so they say.

    The gun business is booming. The question is, why?

    Indeed, looking at background checks for gun sales (a metric commonly used to gauge general industry performance) 2009 showed a measureable increase that many attributed to Obama’s election.

    Is it the same this year? Some anecdotal evidence tends to bear that out.

    “I should put Obama’s picture on the wall up there,” said one New Jersey gun salesman, asking not to be identified. “I’d name him salesman of the month!”

    America The Beautiful/My country tis’ of thee.

    Now lock and load motherfuckers!!

  86. 86
    EvilleMike says:

    Maybe Bobo’s bit about “defending government in all its forms” should read “standing up for American democracy in its true form”.

    The narrative we get from the poodles in the press is all about maintaining the closeness of the horse race; and trying to move whatever mountain of crap is necessary to keep the GOP from taking the epic beating it’s had coming for at least 20 years now.

    It’s all centrist malarkey designed to placate and to dull the senses and to keep us from shooting each other – so guess what? it’s not working very well any more. In fact the over use of sedation-by-media is having exactly the opposite effect of what was intended.

    (Please – you must not shoot anybody), but we all have to get up on our hind legs and fight this fight.

  87. 87
    dr. luba says:

    Does anyone know about cuts to Tricare/increases in premiums? Wingnut “friend” on FB posted a Faux link, and googling gets me histrionic but not very informative right wing links.

  88. 88
    Narcissus says:

    Is that Sully in the painting? Looks like he femmed himself up a bit for the artist.

  89. 89
    Keith G says:

    I love the long-terms goals outlined in the speech, though I would have appreciated a bit more poetry. In the correct dosage, Americans lap it up and swoon for more. That gets them emotionally ready to be served up policy goals that will move us forward.

    I am worried that there seems to still be a bit of confusion in the “undecideds” about what the next Obama administration would do Jan-June 2013 to help those who are now (and will be for some time)hurting. FDR’s actions to relieve suffering were very clear to all.

  90. 90
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Donut: I’m pretty sure Abe didn’t use a teleprompter, though. On the other hand, I’m not sure about the Railsplitter’s jump-shot.

  91. 91
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Donut:

    You don’t have to go Godwin. Pick any other totalitarian regime that restricts property rights and citizenship for all but a select group of well-connected Plutocrats and there chosen lackeys. Doesn’t have to be Germany! lots more to choose from throughout history! Whee!

    Rome, during the Principate. “Go ahead and vote in one hand and shit in the other. Let us know which hand fills up first.”

  92. 92
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yawn. FDR was a member of the establishment. He may have welcomed their hatred, but it’s not like he had them thrown in the Tower.

    Sometimes I think our progressives idolize FDR to the same degree and in the same way wingnuts idolize Reagan, completely ignoring all the imperfections in the idol.

    @efgoldman:

    Well, not the TeaHadis, no. But the (now mythical) “sensible Republicans” have wives and daughters and sisters (or they are wives and daughters and sisters). That’s where the denial comes in.

    I know at least one pro-choice Republican. She thinks those crazy people are appallingly crazy, but given her wealth and the fact that her dad runs a hospital, she’ll never have a problem getting an abortion if she ever needs it – probably not even if it becomes illegal (if all else fails, take a plane to Canada and come right back). So it doesn’t matter. Her bank account being victimized by those horrid liberals does, though.

  93. 93
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Ah, the Tories. You can set your watch by them. Better than the Swiss railroads, they are.

    They’ve been calling for tax cuts since Charles I was shaking them down for ship-money.

    There’ll always be an England….

  94. 94
    efgoldman says:

    @Maude:

    I don’t like it when comments express the thought that citizens in this country are stupid.

    If you visit Old Sturbridge Village (recreating a MA town of roughly 1820) they will tell you that the literacy and numeracy rates were over 90%.
    I don’t know what it is now (too lazy to look it up) but its damn sure nowhere near that high.
    Not stupider, no. But certainly not as well educated or informed.

  95. 95
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @efgoldman:
    I recall reading similar figures for the nation somewhere in my ramble through History. I was astonished. It wasn’t so much the numbers as it was the fact that people felt that learning was in itself so important.

  96. 96
    grandpa john says:

    @Redshift: yes, the failure to keep pushing Dean’s “50 states” strategy has developed into the giant clusterfuck we are now embroiled in

  97. 97
    Maude says:

    @Phil Perspective:
    67 Earth to Phil. Bernanke could be confirmed. No other nominee would have. Remember the Senate Republicans who have blocked appointments again and again?

    @Dennis SGMM:
    I bookmarked it and had a quick look. Thank you.
    remember how noisy the typewriter keys were? I hit the enter key and thought of that.

  98. 98
    efgoldman says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    It wasn’t so much the numbers as it was the fact that people felt that learning was in itself so important.

    There were good practical reasons: farmers and merchants of the era were all independent entrepreneurs. They had to keep their own books, and know whether or not they were being paid (or paying their bills) properly.

    Later, of course, they hired bookkeepers or accountants (and eventually bought software) to do the work for them.

  99. 99
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Dennis SGMM: A Protestant nation must be a literate nation — scriptura, et sua conscientia doesn’t work if you can’t read the scriptura.

    That 90% figure wasn’t much lower a century earlier, if I remember Bailyn’s work on the pamphlet culture of pre-Revolutionary America correctly.

  100. 100
    Maude says:

    @efgoldman:
    I have indeed been there years ago. You have such a valid point. I should have said formal education like we have today.
    I do wonder what the schools are teaching and what are students learning. Companies need to start training again, but that would mean higher pay for the employees. The crap about mismatch of skills that employers have said they have with those who are unemployed is an excuse not to hire. I call BS.

    Edit, Eff those corporations.

  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    And they still threw banksters in jail back then. Read up on it. You also forget something else. Old Man Kennedy wanted one of his sons to be President one day. Everyone thought it would be Joe Jr.(who ended up being killed in WWII). And what better way then to be part of the party that put the country back together again after the Great Depression.

    I forget nothing. Ferdinand Pecora was chief counsel of the commission that uncovered the crimes of the bankers. He was extremely disappointed not to be named chairman of the new SEC. Joe Kennedy, on the other hand, had lobbied hard for a Cabinet post, especially Treasury. But FDR put Joe in charge of the SEC, leading to the famous quip about why he had tapped such a crook. “Takes one to catch one.”

    And Kennedy’s greatest effectiveness was not in throwing bankers in jail, but in calming investors, letting them know that he understood their interests and in knowing where regulation would be most effective. And that he had ambitions for himself and his children is hardly news.

  102. 102
    Chris says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    A Protestant nation must be a literate nation—scriptura, et sua conscientia doesn’t work if you can’t read the scriptura.

    “My dear friend, I wonder sometimes if the use of Latin in mass isn’t meant to conceal some things from the faithful who don’t know it.”
    “Like magical formulas for charlatans?”
    “You don’t say!”

    (From a French movie I saw as a kid, set around 1900 at the height of the culture wars).

  103. 103
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Maude:
    You’re more than welcome. When I was growing up, as a Navy brat, my parents had more books than they had furniture. One of the books I found was Bill Mauldin’s Up Front in which he cartoons and describes his experiences following the American infantryman in WWII.

    One of his captions “I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages,” came back to me at a particularly difficult time when I was at war. I spoke it aloud and we all cracked up. And we all lived.

  104. 104
    lamh35 says:

    um, okay. What? Are they still pushing the Clinton angle? Does Romney really believe that enough people did not actually see the Clinton speech. He skewered him. And if they didn’t see the speech, wouldn’t this make them wan to see the speech to see how it “elevated” the convention. And what will they see? Clinton eviserating Ryan and Romney? How is this good strategy?

    Romney Embraces Bill Clinton Again

    In a Meet the Press interview to air tomorrow, Mitt Romney praised Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention — despite being full of criticism of Romney — saying it helped “elevate” the Democrats.
    Said Romney: “He did stand out in contrast with the other speakers; I think he really did elevate the Democrat convention in a lot of ways. And, frankly, the contrast may not have been as attractive as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who’d go before him and who’d go after.”

  105. 105
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    I forget nothing. Ferdinand Pecora was chief counsel of the commission that uncovered the crimes of the bankers. He was extremely disappointed not to be named chairman of the new SEC. Joe Kennedy, on the other hand, had lobbied hard for a Cabinet post, especially Treasury. But FDR put Joe in charge of the SEC, leading to the famous quip about why he had tapped such a crook. “Takes one to catch one.”

    The only thing then is to make sure the crook is in fact working for you in catching the other crooks, rather than using his position for their benefit…

  106. 106
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The sooner someone accidentally drops a piano dumps a load of raw sewage on David Brooks, the better.

    Bobo stops at an intersection, a loaded RotoRooter truck pulls up and stops in the lane next to him, the truck tank ruptures and unloads on Bobo…

    it would prove once and for all that God exists and that she has a good sense of humor.

  107. 107
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Chris: My Father’s Castle/My Mother’s Glory? Two of my favorites. Set in the period right around L’Affair Dreyfus, when the Third Republic was secularizing the schools. The father was a schoolteacher, and very secular.

  108. 108
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Thank you for verifying my recollection. My temporal bandwidth isn’t worth shit these days so it’s more than comforting to have my recollections borne out by a second party.

    As for my opinions, well that’s a whole ‘nother song.

  109. 109
    Chris says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    My Father’s Glory/My Mother’s Castle – close enough. I love them too, just didn’t expect anyone to get the reference! And yeah, there’s all that Third Republic subtext that I missed as a kid but pick up on as an adult. The secular father vs. Catholic uncle constant infighting was one of the best parts of the book…

  110. 110
    Valdivia says:

    So late to this great post Tom but you said everything that needed to be said. I hated all the naysayers calling the speech a failure. See Romney now saying on MTP that Clinton won the convention. what the hell does he think he is doing when Clinton spent the whole time smacking him around?

  111. 111
    grandpa john says:

    @This is a reach: You’right , its a hell of a reach

  112. 112
    Ruckus says:

    @EvilleMike:
    This

    In fact the over use of sedation-by-media is having exactly the opposite effect of what was intended.

    The saturation and basically identical news and pundit programing on TV and in newspapers has been a problem for what 30-40 years? I’m surprised it’s taken this long to see lots of people no longer trust them. It is the same as having only one realistic party in government. There are no checks and balances.

  113. 113
    Suffern Ace says:

    @lamh35: It’s weird. I guess they’re trying to…. Be weird?

  114. 114
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @EvilleMike:

    …the poodles in the press…

    Damn. So many great characterizations and so little time.

  115. 115
    grandpa john says:

    @Petorado: Exactly, Obama is looking at the 99%, Mitt only sees the 1% The rest of us are trash as far as he is concerned

  116. 116
    Ann Rynd says:

    this is less a rational act of dishonesty and much more a fundamental inability to hear what was being said.

    This has always been Brooks’ flaw. He somehow learned that if he finds something, anything, that suits his puerile ideology then he can write endless blather to jelly it up and lots of idiots will mistake it for substance. Reading Brooks’ turgid prose sometimes gives me a headache. So, I usually say fuck it and don’t read him. I’d rather not read him here on BJ. But this was a good post.

  117. 117
    binzinerator says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Facing a Congress that was perfectly willing to let the nation default on its debts means that putting forth any big proposals will result in a faceplant

    Was thinking the same, but that Brooks knows this. He’s being more evil than sad, in other words.

  118. 118
    Redshift says:

    @lamh35: It’s bizarre. I’m on a clip service for Virginia politics, and yesterday there were several headlines of McDonnell praising Clinton. He apparently declared that Clinton is great, but Obama is no Clinton, and he actually said that he thought that Clinton didn’t believe his own speech about how no leader could have fixed the economy in four years. “He had to have a real hard time giving that speech” is an actual direct quote.

    I have no idea what they think they’re accomplishing with this stuff. The only people who could possibly find it convincing are hardcore wingnuts, and even for them, they’d probably be better off not calling attention to all their recent Clinton-fluffing.

  119. 119
    Svensker says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    A Protestant nation must be a literate nation—scriptura, et sua conscientia doesn’t work if you can’t read the scriptura.

    A guy wrote book in which he describes staying with my great-grandparents in the 1890s in rural Washington State. They were poor, lived in a cabin they’d built themselves on Homestead land, grandpa was ill so grandma supported the 5 kids by baking bread that she sold to the train that went through the town. The guy describes the evenings where the kids would take turns reading Shakespeare aloud from the set they kept in pride of place on a special shelf.

    Can you imagine?

  120. 120
    👽 Martin says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Literacy in the US for whites, has always been high: 90%+. US immigration was inherently tilted toward literate, hard working individuals on account of the cost and difficulty of getting here. It was expensive to secure passage across the atlantic, and the only people that made that investment were those that were fairly confident they could succeed on the other side, with nothing else going for them. Even the chinese immigrants that came to the US in the mid-19th century to participate in the CA gold rush were largely literate (just not in english). Among the immigrant population, literacy rates were in the 85%-90% rate, which climbed to 95%+ for those born here.

    The illiterate groups were the ones that didn’t need to pay for their passage – the slaves, deckhands, and so on. Lower literacy rates recorded back then were mainly due to that influence. African American literacy rates at the time of the Emancipation was 20%. Those rates didn’t top 90% until Civil Rights. Literacy rates for whites was 98% at that time. It’s now 99% or higher for all groups.

    One reason why the current immigration situation is a bit different than at any previous point in our history is that the natural barrier to immigration to the US is removed. Not only is it cheap and easy for anyone to fly in to the US, it’s even cheaper and easier to walk across the border. The old filtering system doesn’t work any longer. That doesn’t mean that immigrants are necessarily any different now than before, but it does mean that previous immigrants were at least granted slightly more respect for having overcome that hurdle that doesn’t extend to immigrants today.

    A lot of conservatives that point to the wealth disparity in this country as a sign of laziness don’t realize that there was a MASSIVE education gap between whites and blacks up until 2 generations ago which is really only gotten reasonably closed up in the last generation. Anyone my parents age went to school during segregation and would have been hitting college right around the time of Little Rock. That age group is the core of the GOP today. Their memory is one of the other side of segregation, and therefore conveniently overlook the structural issues that led so many minorities to be hitting Social Security and Medicare today with so little savings and other retirement. They blame it all on bad decisions, as if a kid in 1955 Alabama had a choice whether to go to a black school or a white school.

  121. 121
    Chris says:

    @Ann Rynd:

    How the fuck does Brooks stay in business? I mean, we don’t like him, I don’t think the conservatives especially like him either, what’s his market?

    (While I’m at it, I’d like to ask the same question about Comcast. Fuck Comcast).

  122. 122
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Chris: The Third Republic is an old love of mine.

    As a high-schooler, I fell into Tuchman’s The Proud Tower, which has a section on the Dreyfus Affair, and on Jean Jaures, Later, The Collapse of the Third Republic, by William Shirer. After that, it was off to the races.

  123. 123
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @lamh35:

    Are they still pushing the Clinton angle?

    IIRC, they spent both of Clinton’s terms vilifying him freely and investigating everything from Whitewater, to Hillary’s Christmas card list, to Vince Foster, to the old guy getting a honker.

    WTF are they trying to do now? Are they too stupid to realize that there’s no such thing as a charisma transplant?

  124. 124
    Maude says:

    @Dennis SGMM:
    103, any time in a war would be awful. I would have, and I’m not kidding, died of sheer fright like a rabbit, if drafted and sent to war.

  125. 125
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Chris:Brooks stays afloat because the bien-pensant mushy middle is more powerful, and more numerous than you or I could possibly imagine — which is more depressing than I at least can contemplate.

  126. 126
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Svensker: As a twenty-first century high-school teacher, no, I can’t imagine. It’s like the description of an alien planet.

  127. 127
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @👽 Martin:
    Thank you. I read substantial amounts of history, but if it happened after 1100 CE I probably know nothing about it if I didn’t live it myself.

  128. 128
    Redshift says:

    @👽 Martin: Fair points all. My thoughts really addressed two different things. One was the “machine,” on which you make a lot of sense about why keeping it operating for 2010 was not so easy. But the other half, pushing the volunteers to stay involved, didn’t involve a fight with the old guard; it was just a missed opportunity.

    I think there are a lot of people who would be more involved now if Obama had told them to join their local party after the election. I had been peripherally involved with the local Democrats at election time for years, and it never occurred to me that there was something operating year-round that I could just join until Dean encouraged us to do it. Kinda weird in retrospect, but there it is.

  129. 129
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Maude:
    Nope, gotta disagree. You would have done what the rest of us did; rely on each other and bitch about how your buttons were too thick when you were trying to get close to the ground.

  130. 130
    Suffern Ace says:

    @Dennis SGMM: And they hated the Clinton budget compromise. They completely undid it the first chance they got. Both spending and taxes. Completely. And it wasn’t just the war.

  131. 131
    Chris says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    My interest’s a lot more recent, but being half-French by birth I’d read these particular books and seen the movies a long time ago, so it comes back to me when I look at the era.

    The fact that there was actually a culture war that openly targeted not just a few religious abuses but religion itself in France is something I sometimes wish we’d had here in the U.S. I’m no Jacobin, but our clergy is like our other elites – no memory of violent revolution and therefore no fear that they might someday go too far, only a poorly concealed contempt for the smelly masses.

  132. 132
    karen marie says:

    Brooks wants to have had Obama propose “something big” because otherwise he has to engage the bigger argument that Obama made in his speech.

    I’m a little surprised he (and others) didn’t go with “Obama’s engaging in class warfare,” but I suppose then they would have to address what he actually said instead of dismissing it as a whole lot of nothing.

  133. 133
    Lyrebird says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well I’d hesitate to advocate piano-dropping, but if one of my students turned in this column to me, I might well be F-dropping, as it sounds so much like one of those “didn’t watch the speech/read the book/ etc but will toss some BS together and bet the teach won’t figure it out” essays.

    defending government in all its forms

    …about a speech where the Pres hammered home that yes he gets it that the gov’t cannot do everything? where he couldn’t muster an ounce of chipperness when the loyal crowd cheered about his being president, bc he was so weighed down with the human and other losses of the last 4 years?

    These pundits cannot get unemployed fast enough for my liking…

    ETA: @Odie Hugh Manatee, OH YEAH!!!

  134. 134
    karen marie says:

    @Petorado:

    There’s no more sharp contrast between the candidates than what they see when they look at the rest of us.

    Beautifully phrased.

  135. 135
    Maude says:

    Pundits et al:
    This week on As The World Turns, will Clinton be more popular that Obama? Will Obama become jealous of Clinton?
    Or: The white guy is preferable to the black guy.

  136. 136
    👽 Martin says:

    @lamh35:

    Are they still pushing the Clinton angle? Does Romney really believe that enough people did not actually see the Clinton speech. He skewered him. And if they didn’t see the speech, wouldn’t this make them wan to see the speech to see how it “elevated” the convention. And what will they see? Clinton eviserating Ryan and Romney? How is this good strategy?

    They’re threading an interesting needle. Basically, they’re arguing that Democrats are good and reasonable, and they’re happy to listen to and compromise with them, however Obama is the rogue who won’t say anything reasonable and compromise with us.

    It’s interesting, because it’s hard to separate ‘Obama is a big meanie compared to Clinton’ from ‘Obama is much blacker compared to Clinton’. And it doesn’t matter which they actually believe – they’re trying to bait us into casting them into latter camp. They do love being victims. Let’s not reward them for that. Let’s instead point out what fuckheads they were to Clinton, and how Gingrich shut down the government because he had to exit the back of the plane.

  137. 137
    dollared says:

    Tom, I really can’t agree with your post. Obama really is at odds with FDR’s approach.

    1. FDR put banksters in jail.
    2. He used every tool at his disposal – including shutting down foreclosures. Obama could have ended MERS with some serious Treasury and DOJ actions, and could have spent $50B from HAMP funds and changed the whole housing equation – and did nothing.
    3. Almost no recess appointments, and abject attempts to negotiate with Republicans – Roosevelt would have, ah, heightened the contradictions.

    4. Most importantly, (but not finally), you missed the fact that Roosevelt had a platform of programs and structural changes, such as unionization, that would change the power relationship between employer and employee. And Obama has not done one fucking thing to change our disastrous, fire all the Democrats, everyone fucked by 50 private sector employment system. And he wants to delay and cut their Medicare and SS, so that their later years are even worse.

    5. Finally, you completely overlook Roosevelt’s anti-imperialistic foreign policy. Remember when he told Churchill he would never get his colonies back? A slight contrast to Mr. Kill The Brown Ones With Missles.

    Roosevelt was far to the left of Obama in his rhetoric and his policies, and he was far more pragmatic and effective in his implementation. No amout of nice sentiments from Obama can mask that.

  138. 138
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Suffern Ace:

    And they hated the Clinton budget compromise. They completely undid it the first chance they got. Both spending and taxes. Completely. And it wasn’t just the war.

    I think that they may have been fearful of the same kind of Democratic party popularity that followed for years after FDR. That was a particularly stupid move to make because, for years after 1968, the Democratic party was a vitiated shadow of its former self.

  139. 139
    Suffern Ace says:

    @Maude: Hmmm. Maybe they think they can egg mrs. Clinton into bolting onto that Americans Elect label. I mean since they’re gushing over his ability to bring people together in the spirit of bipartisan compromise….

  140. 140
    Maude says:

    @Suffern Ace:
    Good point.

    @dollared:
    Go read the two financial laws Clinton signed in the late 1990’s. Then come back and talk to us. What the bankers did was legal.

  141. 141
    BC says:

    I wish they’d go back to the old Meet the Press format before Tim Russert became NBC’s poster boy. They’d have the NBC host (I’m so old I remember Lawrence Spivak) with two or three reporters from newspapers around the country. If the main topic was politics, it was a reporter from the political beat, but sometimes they’d have a science guy on and the reporters would be from nonpolitics beat. As I recall, there’d be a main topic and each reporter had his (at that time they were all he) questions on that topic to fire at the interviewee. Lawrence Spivak, being the host, would go last and would ask follow up questions if the interviewee didn’t answer fully to the earlier questions. If nothing else, this format would give us more targets for our derision!

  142. 142
    grandpa john says:

    @lamh35: nd, frankly, the contrast may not have been as attractive as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who’d go before him and who’d go after.”
    heh heh, yeah in Romneys dreams . He got roasted and he knows it

  143. 143
    karen marie says:

    Listening to Obama’s acceptance speech again, I think it will, in the long run, be looked upon as one of the great speeches. In it, he walks the roads of America.

  144. 144
    Ruckus says:

    @👽 Martin:
    …as if a kid in 1955 Alabama had a choice whether to go to a black school or a white school.

    A 25 yr old gentleman I worked with as an apprentice when I was 17 was educated only till the 4th grade when he had to drop out to help support his family. So in the early 50s this 9-10 yr old black man from Louisiana had to go to work. He was smart, could read OK, could write somewhat, add subtract, but that was it. Two of us taught him the math he was missing including trig in about 4 months during work. What a waste not allowing this intelligent man to be better educated. What could he have done in the intervening 15-20 yrs? What could he have added to the national stature of this country? If he was the only one and it was just his family that was the issue then maybe OK. But it wasn’t just him and his family.

  145. 145
    piratedan says:

    @karen marie: just love it… he has proposed something big, the continued stimulus to address America’s infrastructure needs, and on following up his health care initiative, wall street reform… christ almighty, isn’t that enough already on the agenda? These fucking pundits, they want something big and obvious so they can either spit on it or declare it a boondoggle and have no freaking connection that sometimes grunt work and laying foundations has to be done. Without that work, the rest is moving deck chairs and window dressing.

  146. 146
    chrome agnomen says:

    brooks should be broken on the wheel.

  147. 147
    Suffern Ace says:

    @piratedan: The public was so impressed with the Gingrich call for moon bases that they rallied around him and made him the nominee f a major party.

  148. 148
    Maude says:

    @chrome agnomen:
    Nope, he’s an invertebrate.

    John is driving home from the airport. I hope the weather is okay.

  149. 149
    karen marie says:

    @lamh35:

    And, frankly, the contrast may not have been as attractive as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who’d go before him and who’d go after.”

    This says so much about Romney, and none of it flattering. What a shallow man.

  150. 150
    Ruckus says:

    @dollared:
    Not to go all burnsy on you but there were laws broken for FDR to have enforced. Those laws/regulations have mostly been thrown out so that the bankers are not technically stealing. Morally they are first class assholes but legally, what do you have? This is similar to people saying Obama should have appointed better people, all the while forgetting that republicans blocked everyone that is not to the right of Attila the Hun.

  151. 151
    Bruce S says:

    I think that Fallows and Jonathan Cohn (in those Sully links) “got it.” (There’s no way, given the quality of some of Obama’s speeches when he wasn’t defending a politically complicated real-world record as POTUS for nearly 4 years, back in ’04, ’07 & ’08, that this acceptance speech could be one of his best speeches ever, in the realm of pure ideas and rhetoric – that would be a preposterous notion.)

    One thing that is clear in the wake of Obama’s speech – Joe Klein and David Brooks are useless idiots (Brooks, of course, is far more toxic and hypocritical than the sad sack concern troll Klein.)

    Oh wait a minute – sorry. That was clear before the President took the stage. They just proved it once again. (And why would we care?)

  152. 152
    lamh35 says:

    HA!

    @samsteinhp
    POTUS, at Florida bar, to kid born in Hawaii: “You were born in Hawaii? You have a birth certificate?” (pool report)

  153. 153
    Anoniminous says:

    @lamh35:

    Trying to split the Democratic Party. There’s a fantasy on the Right the Clinton/DLC faction is ready to bolt.

  154. 154
    sagesource says:

    @burnspbesq: I am utterly sick of faux lefties who aren’t worth her little finger using Warren as a cudgel to beat Obama over the head.

  155. 155
    👽 Martin says:

    @dollared: Christ I hate this.

    5. Finally, you completely overlook Roosevelt’s anti-imperialistic foreign policy. Remember when he told Churchill he would never get his colonies back? A slight contrast to Mr. Kill The Brown Ones With Missles.

    That was an anti-colonial policy, not an anti-imperialistic one. FDR had no problem arming up any ally that needed it, and no problem laying the foundation of the MI complex we have now. He also had no problem putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps. And if we want a headcount of civilians killed under each president, FDR has millions of women and children under his belt. Obama is many orders of magnitude below that. Are we unaware of FDRs authorization of Operation Meetinghouse, which was designed to wipe out huge residential sections of Tokyo – a bombing mission that was specifically designed to create a wind-driven wave of fire that would consume all residential structures for miles, depriving the Japanese industrial sector of workers. Civilians were literally boiled alive when the fled into to river to escape the flames. 100,000 people died in that single raid by Mr. Kill The Yellow Ones With Napalm and Magnesium.

    And FDR refused to support federal anti-lynching legislation out of fear it would lose him support from white southerners. There were no federal prosecutions for lynching until after he died.

    He also threw us back in to a much deeper depression after his deficit reduction plan went into effect. He learned from that, but he also initiated it as it was a campaign promise of his.

    FDR was not liberal Jesus as you want to believe. He was different, but overall no more flawed or progressive than Obama. They were both pragmatic in most areas, and both dogged idealists in others.

  156. 156
    Keith G says:

    @Maude:
    @dollared:

    Robo-signing foreclosure paperwork is a federal crime, but most of the other stuff (CDSs and other hedges) were not illegal. Maybe some of the marketing of collateralized debt was fraudulent even though the use of those assets was legal.

  157. 157
    piratedan says:

    @Suffern Ace: I know, I know…. if only it was OUR country :-)

  158. 158
    Chyron HR says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Firebombings? Internment camps? FDR couldn’t possibly have done those things, because Glenn Greenwald never said anything about it. Case closed.

  159. 159
    Suffern Ace says:

    @Anoniminous: There is a special place For deserting DLC types. I can’t say what it is, but it might involve being stuck in the same tumbrel as Dick Morris. I’m not saying it is…but there’s a good chance being with Dick s part of it. I don’t think they’d really risk it.

  160. 160
    Maude says:

    @Keith G:
    The CDOs and CDSs were and are legal. Crazy, but legal. amazing, no?

    Edit, foreclosures are by state. Calling all lawyers on this.

  161. 161
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Ruckus: A lot of people also forget that FDR came into office three years after the collapse and Hoover’s disastrous policies. The public was fully aware of the depth of the crisis and the responsible party.

    Obama came in a couple of months after the near collapse of the global financial markets; and even then no one fully grasped the depth of the problem, including Paulson, Bernanke, Geithner, Summers, etc. They were being fed data from the BEA saying the economy shrank approximately 3.6% in the fourth quarter of ’08, but we now know it was 9%.

    All the while the assholes that got us into the mess were engaging in an unprecedented level of obstructionism(including filibustering the stimulus, all but guaranteeing it would be insufficient) in hopes of preventing any real recovery.

  162. 162
    👽 Martin says:

    @Ruckus:

    If he was the only one and it was just his family that was the issue then maybe OK. But it wasn’t just him and his family.

    Yep. My first job in college (in the 80s) was as a tutor for the VA (it might have been a new program, even). Guys that were in their 30s, 40s, 50s that served in Korea and Vietnam – some had no reading/math skills, others were elementary school levels at best. Most were minorities. I was hired to teach them math, and get them up to a high-school level. I applied for the job thinking I’d be preparing them for college-level math, but no – oftentimes it was subtraction, or fractions. That was humbling beyond all description. I said out loud to the guy hiring me something like “How the hell do these people function and get jobs?” “Basically, they don’t. Most of them dropped out of school to work, got drafted, got shot at for a few years, and wound up with no way to get a job. That’s what we’re here to fix.”

    I loved that job. The vets really struggled at first – me being 17 didn’t help – but once we got past that, they were really thankful and eager and worked hard. There really wasn’t any other way for them to get that done without the VA. Where does a 40 year old go to learn fractions? How can a just society punish them for those decisions? There were way more vets in need of tutoring than tutors, I can tell you.

  163. 163
    Anoniminous says:

    If Obama is re-elected he won’t have to face opposition from the Blue Dogs. They were pretty well wiped out in 2010. Should these seats return Dem, and it’s highly likely some of them will, the longest lasting effect of the 2010 election may will turn out to be a nail in the coffin of the GOP.

  164. 164
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @dollared: FDR also had 75 seats in the Senate and about 300 seats in the House. He didn’t really have to worry about filibusters. Most of the stuff he could get passed provided it was centrist enough.

    Not to mention that he was in the middle of a Depression and folks would be willing to almost agree with anything as long as it put food on the table, kept the lights on, and allowed people to keep their house.

  165. 165
    Bruce S says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Your comments are precise and accurate, but they won’t matter much. Too many contemporary “progressives” occupy a mythical zone of ideals that don’t correspond to the real world or authentic history or politics. This is why Obama, on the one hand, isn’t good enough – a “disappointment” for many, or conversely is the profound embodiment of all of our liberal dreams for many others. They’re both wrong. And they’re both fundamentally apolitical in effect.

  166. 166
    Anoniminous says:

    @Suffern Ace:

    I don’t think the Blue Dogs will revolt either. For one, if they were going to 2010 was the perfect time. I think it’s Yet Another example of Conservatives’ adversarial relationship with Reality.

  167. 167
    lamh35 says:

    PublicPolicyPolling ‏@ppppolls
    We started 5 state polls- some public, some private- and a national poll last night. What they’re looking like: 2008

    https://twitter.com/ppppolls/status/244459869439131648

  168. 168
    gelfling545 says:

    My nephew moved to Indiana about 6 weeks ago & he has already been called on by canvassers from the Obama campaign asking if he had registered to vote yet. Happy to see that these folks are on top of things in the GOTV area.

  169. 169
    lamh35 says:

    @RichardA
    Oh god. At NASCAR event, fan asks Romney who his favorite driver is. He says: “I’ve got a lot of drivers I like.”
    https://twitter.com/RichardA/status/244586558685065217

  170. 170
    Bruce S says:

    @dollared:

    You realize, of course, that FDR instituted a Social Security program that excluded most women and minorities. This is a completely imaginary FDR you’ve conjured, as “contrast” to Obama.

  171. 171
    sagesource says:

    @Chris: There was a religious collapse in Canada in the half-century after 1960 that didn’t involve a culture war. In the early 1960s, Canada was a more religious place than the US, with over sixty per cent of the population turning up to church every week. Now, that figure is south of twenty per cent. What happened? Some point to the horrible scandals in the Catholic Church, the ones that got the Christian Brothers informally nicknamed the Christian Buggers, and the religious abuse of First Nations children in residential schools. Others suggest that women just got tired of devoting their free time to institutions that disregarded their concerns. But for me, the maybe-coincidence maybe-not is that universal health care was brought in during the decade of the sixties. Was it just that people had less to pray for and less to beg for?

    Here’s a good article by someone who thinks the wimmen done it:http://www.theglobeandmail.com...../?page=all

  172. 172
    Anoniminous says:

    @lamh35:

    Bloody hell!

    If that’s accurate and it carries forward the GOP is going to lose the House.

  173. 173
    some guy says:

    Fixing LIBOR was a felony. Geithner admitted (on page A1 of the NY Times) that he was aware of the illegal fixing as early as 2007. this is what those in the legal profession call accessory after the fact.

    Congressional reaction: ho hum, nothing to see here.

    just the latest in illegal activities Geithner has perpetrated.

  174. 174
    sagesource says:

    @dollared: Ah, FDR. Mr. Put The Ones That Look Like Our Enemies Into Internment Camps For Nothing.

    Don’t argue history when you don’t know anything about it.

  175. 175
    Suffern Ace says:

    @lamh35: Well to be fair I would have said Richard Petty and Mario Andretti. Where are they in the Winston Cup standings these days?

  176. 176
    JPL says:

    @👽 Martin: I must thank you and the others for putting dollared in his/her place. I wonder what name he/she will post under next. Maybe cents…

  177. 177
    Keith G says:

    @Maude: This is a source saying that Robosigning breaks federal law, but is it dependable?

    Most of the cases I have heard about are brought by state attorneys general. Still, I wonder about “wire fraud” laws.

  178. 178
    some guy says:

    The CDOs and CDSs were and are legal.

    true enough, as far as it gores. but CDO’s and CDF’s stuffed with false documentation is fraud. robosigning is fraud. MERS is fraud and tax evasion.

    total prosecutions: zero

  179. 179
    Nellcote says:

    @👽 Martin:

    . And it doesn’t matter which they actually believe – they’re trying to bait us into casting them into latter camp.

    Team Rmoney has actually said they want to spend Sept. goading PBO into making “mistakes”.

  180. 180
    Ruckus says:

    @👽 Martin:
    There were way more vets in need of tutoring than tutors, I can tell you.
    I’ll bet there still are. For a variety of reasons, some of which are probably the reasons they joined in the first place.
    Along with the many who didn’t serve who don’t have that fabled college degree or any practical technical skills to go in its place because we as a nation don’t seem to believe in a real education any more. Maybe test skills (Yea NCLB /snark), but little thinking skills. Of course in TX that may be by design. Alone in that it is not.

    There are so many interlocking reasons why the conservative ideology is bad for everyone that books could be written about them. And I do mean everyone, poor or rich. Long term a country is only as strong as it’s weakest link. When that link is 90% of the population the only way a country keeps going is through brutal slavery. And even then at some point the shit hits the whirlies and it collapses. Why not skip that intermediate step? It’s not like we don’t have history to see what happens if we don’t. Oh wait… that takes a real education to know.

  181. 181
    MikeJ says:

    @lamh35: Not only is Obama moving up, politicalwire says Romeny got a negative bounce from the Republican convention.

    Indeed, it appears that the race shifted towards President Obama by 6-15 EV, or about 1.0% of Popular Vote Meta-Margin

    http://politicalwire.com/archi.....ounce.html

  182. 182
    JPL says:

    @lamh35: He doesn’t like all of them?

  183. 183
    Downpuppy says:

    @Maude: Sorry, but you have Glass-Steagal repeal mixed up with the Power Puff Girls episode where Princess makes crime legal.

    Fraud is not legal.
    Selling instruments you know to be fraudulent is not legal. Bribing public officials & rigging the municipal bond markets is not legal.
    Filing millions of property documents attesting to incorrect data without reading them is not legal. Laundering $250 billion for Iran is not legal.

  184. 184
    lamh35 says:

    @Suffern Ace: @JPL:
    @lamh35: @RichardA
    @lawalazu “all of them” was the actual reply but yes. He couldn’t even remember Danica Patrick or is he so unwilling to offend?

  185. 185
    Anoniminous says:

    @JPL:

    Some NASCAR drivers aren’t the right height.

  186. 186
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Nellcote: And then in October Mitt plans to challenge Obama to a game of HORSE. Winning!

  187. 187
    Nellcote says:

    @Redshift:

    But the other half, pushing the volunteers to stay involved, didn’t involve a fight with the old guard; it was just a missed opportunity.

    PBO has admitted it was a mistake on his part not to continue to campaign on his programs after the election and would be better about it given a second term. I assume this would include keeping a campaign structure, OFA+, in place.

  188. 188
    lamh35 says:

    @RichardA
    Somewhere, a Romney aide: “Danica Patrick, governor. Just say Danica Patrick. Yes they do let them race now.”

  189. 189
    Lyrebird says:

    @lamh35: oooh thanks for that catch!

    @👽 Martin:

    Let’s not reward them for that. Let’s instead point out what fuckheads they were to Clinton, and how Gingrich shut down the government because he had to exit the back of the plane.

    How about, let’s use that to make sure every Republican who avows reasonableness watches Clinton’s speech, perhaps multiple times. We can sweetly say, “well you know, Romney thought highly of Clinton’s remarks; did you watch them?” And then stand back and let the Big Dog do his masterful best.

  190. 190
    JPL says:

    @Anoniminous: By tomorrow they will all be the right height.

  191. 191
    kay says:

    @gelfling545:

    They have a new tool they’re using here. You sign up with an organizer for a shift and you get a reminder call the day before the shift. It’s recorded. They didn’t use that ( here, anyway) in 2008.
    We canvassed a town we didn’t bother with in 2008, because there are so few Democrats. I myself had a bad shift, almost no one was home. It’s the first day of the fair here, so I think that’s where everyone was.

    My husband canvassed too, something he has only done once before, in 2008, on his bike, so I had never heard him talk to voters.

    So I finished one street and turn a corner and I can hear him. He’s talking to a truck driver, an owner operator: “is that your truck? What do you do for health insurance?” I can only hear his side of the conversation, but it was clearly going well.

    Hilarious. Completely off the script but probably
    very effective. I knew he’d ignore the script :)

  192. 192
    General Stuck says:

    @Downpuppy:

    I think this bill signed by Clinton in 2000 was what Maude was talking about and not Glass-Steagal. The CMFA all but legalized anything to do with derivatives trading, and largely exempted from regulation, the credit default swaps and other schemes that caused the 2008 meltdown.

    As far as fraud goes, yes, fraud is fraud. But you have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the banksters knew they were defrauding people with these scams. And knew that they would completely fry the system, under certain conditions that came about.

    That said, whether or not the evidence is present to meet the very high bar required for a fraud conviction, I don’t know, and neither do you. I do think we are going to see an Obama administration unbound from having to worry any more about winning elections after winning this one, and we will just have to wait and see what happens when and if that reality comes about.

  193. 193
    gwangung says:

    @Downpuppy: Try harder. With reading comprehension, this time. Then you won’t get gutted for puerile arguments–you need to prove these things in court.

  194. 194
    👽 Martin says:

    @lamh35: Nice to see Sarah Palin is advising him on how to answer completely predictable questions now. Who the fuck goes to a NASCAR event and doesn’t have an answer to that? Or to their favorite track? Or who they think will win the cup. I barely even fucking watch NASCAR and could answer any of those.

    Tony Stewart, FWIW, because he cracks me up and he’s kind of an asshole.

    Wait, I think those might be the same thing.

  195. 195
    JPL says:

    @kay: What do you think your sec’y of state will do now to block minorities from voting?

  196. 196
    Brachiator says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Literacy in the US for whites, has always been high: 90%+. US immigration was inherently tilted toward literate, hard working individuals on account of the cost and difficulty of getting here. It was expensive to secure passage across the atlantic, and the only people that made that investment were those that were fairly confident they could succeed on the other side, with nothing else going for them. … The illiterate groups were the ones that didn’t need to pay for their passage – the slaves, deckhands, and so on. Lower literacy rates recorded back then were mainly due to that influence. African American literacy rates at the time of the Emancipation was 20%. Those rates didn’t top 90% until Civil Rights. Literacy rates for whites was 98% at that time. It’s now 99% or higher for all groups.

    I largely agree with you here, with some significant reservations. There is some data which suggests that while the literacy rate for white men was high in the early years of the country, the literacy rate for white women was around 60 percent.

    And for black people in this country, there was a huge increase in literacy following Reconstruction and hitting a first peak in the 1940s. The problem, especially in the South, was not just basic literacy, but being able to build on that with other opportunities.

    The National Center for education statistics notes the following, looking at data from 1870 to the present.

    For the later part of this century the illiteracy rates have been relatively low, registering only about 4 percent as early as 1930. However, in the late 19th century and early 20th century, illiteracy was very common. In 1870, 20 percent of the entire adult population was illiterate, and 80 percent of the black population was illiterate. By 1900 the situation had improved somewhat, but still 44 percent of blacks remained illiterate. The statistical data show significant improvements for black and other races in the early portion of the 20th century as the former slaves who had no educational opportunities in their youth were replaced by younger individuals who grew up in the post Civil War period and often had some chance to obtain a basic education. The gap in illiteracy between white and black adults continued to narrow through the 20th century, and in 1979 the rates were about the same.

    http://nces.ed.gov/naal/lit_history.asp

  197. 197
    catclub says:

    @efgoldman: Does Brooks have a small dog? Ever watch A Fish Called Wanda?

  198. 198
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @👽 Martin:
    I love F.D.R. but the idea of him kicking the banksters asses just for drill is silly. While Hitler was openly working on his Jewish problem, our ambassador’s portfolio was reduced to protecting Wall Street’s portfolio of high interest loans they’d made to Adolph. Consider Sam Stoller and Marty Glickmam gettting bumped from the relay team the day before the finals of an event we were favored to win. Hitler had told the banksters they needed a haircut and the banksters went staifht to FDR. Bank contracts are sacred! Surely, the uppity Jesse Owens had already been a needless irritation to their client.

  199. 199
    jl says:

    I think for most of his columns, Brooks just reads the text message, or picks up the fax, whatever they use these days, that give the talking points of the day, goes and arranges his high ROI media appearances, and then starts typing an hour or so before deadline.

    I think Brooks does this more and more, because his forays into trying to write something with substance, a la Kristoff or Krugman, have been such bombs. So he does less of that now.

    I guess I am cynical.

  200. 200
    Lyrebird says:

    @lamh35: You are on fire here!

    And I know I’m late to the game, but thanks so much to all o’ y’all, you’re keeping me sane. There were pitifully few other volunteers at the phone bank thing I briefly attended (making pitifully few calls, mostly getting to say “yes sir/ma’am” after being asked to be on the no-call list). But did y’all notice, MoveOn put out the hat for more canvassers… by the time I clicked on the donate link (less than 12 hrs after the email), their “we gotta raise $60K” goal had been replaced with $250K? Then upped to something in the 300s before I’d gotten my zip code entered right.

    No, Obama’s not perfect. No, FDR wasn’t either. Yes, OUR CHOICE IS STILL CRYSTAL CLEAR.

  201. 201
    Ruckus says:

    @kay:
    Off the script.
    When I sat in the local dem office in 2008 and called for about 3 hrs I was good for the script for about 2 calls. After that I had to wing it or sound like a doofus third grader reading a script. That should be bigger doofus third grader than normal.

  202. 202
    kindness says:

    When Obama first got into office I remember them batting around lots of different figures for a stimulus package. I certainly remember that because of the Blue Dogs and Republicans the package that passed was the absolute biggest thing Obama could ever have hoped for and the only reason he got that was because over 1/3 of it was in tax rebates.

  203. 203
    Nellcote says:

    @some guy:

    So what did you do this summmer???
    ===
    News for August, 2012

    Three Former UBS Executives Convicted for Frauds Involving Contracts Related to the Investment of Municipal Bond Proceeds
    August 31, 2012 | External Link

    FinCEN Reports Mortgage Fraud SARs Increased in 2011 Even as Fourth Quarter Level Decreased
    August 29, 2012 | External Link

    Florida Man Sentenced to 78 Months in Prison for Wire Fraud in Massive Internet-based Ponzi Scheme
    August 29, 2012 | External Link

    Las Vegas Man Pleads Guilty to Foreclosure Rescue Scam and Theft of Government Funds
    August 28, 2012 | External Link

    Virginia Developer and Restaurateur Pleads Guilty to Massive Bank Fraud
    August 24, 2012 | External Link

    California Hedge Fund Manager Found Guilty for Insider Trading
    August 20, 2012 | External Link

    Twelve-Year Federal Fugitive Indicted for Fraud and Identity Theft in Nationwide Foreclosure Rescue Scam
    August 17, 2012 | External Link

    Northern California Real Estate Investor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging at Public Foreclosure Auctions
    August 15, 2012 | External Link

    Former Georgia Nursing Home Operator Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Health Care Fraud & Tax Fraud
    August 13, 2012 | External Link

    Leader of $50 Million Fraud Ring Sentenced in Minnesota to 324 Months in Prison
    August 13, 2012 | External Link

    Three Indicted in New York in $5 Million Fraud Scheme
    August 13, 2012 | External Link

    Operators of Several Loan Modification Scams Plead Guilty in San Diego to Defrauding Homeowners
    August 10, 2012 | External Link

    Former Deloitte Partner Pleads Guilty in Chicago to Illegally Profiting $420,000 from Insider Trading Involving Firm’s Clients
    August 8, 2012 | External Link

    Miami Home Health Care Agency Owner Pleads Guilty in $42 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
    August 2, 2012 | External Link

    Bristol-Myers Squibb Executive Arrested on Insider Trading Charges
    August 2, 2012 | External Link

    News for July, 2012

    Connecticut Woman Who Ran $2 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Investor Fraud
    July 27, 2012 | External Link

    Last of Seven Defendants Sentenced in Amerifirst Securities Fraud Case
    July 27, 2012 | External Link

    Detroit-Area Health Care Clinic Manager Sentenced to Serve 40 Months in Prison for Role in $8.5 Million Diagnostic Testing Fraud Scheme
    July 26, 2012 | External Link

    Owners and Employees of Houston Mental Health Company and Patient Recruiters Charged for Alleged Roles in $97 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
    July 26, 2012 | External Link

    Obama Administration Announces Ground-breaking Public-private Partnership to Prevent Health Care Fraud
    July 26, 2012 | External Link

    Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager Sentenced to 78 Months for Operating a Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme
    July 26, 2012 | External Link

    Oregon-Based Research Consultant Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Insider Trading Charges
    July 25, 2012 | External Link

    Alabama Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Conspiracies to Rig Bids and Commit Mail Fraud for the Purchase of Real Estate at Public Foreclosure Auctions
    July 24, 2012 | External Link

    Former Financial Services Executive Indicted for His Participation in a Far-Reaching Conspiracy and Scheme to Defraud Involving Investment Contracts for the Proceeds of Municipal Bonds
    July 20, 2012 | External Link

    Operators of Mortgage Loan Modification Business Sentenced in California for Conspiracy to Commit Fraud
    July 20, 2012 | External Link

    Former McKinsey Senior Partner Anil Kumar Sentenced in New York for Illegal Insider Trading
    July 19, 2012 | External Link

    Former New York Employee of a Financial Institution Pleads Guilty for His Role in Fraud Conspiracy Involving Municipal Bonds
    July 18, 2012 | External Link

    Owner and Sales Manager of Buy-A-Home Real Estate Brokerage Charged in New York for Participating in $7.5 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme
    July 17, 2012 | External Link

    Hedge Fund Principal Charged in New York Federal Court with Securities Fraud, Investment Adviser Fraud and Wire Fraud
    July 17, 2012 | External Link

    Executives, Borrowers Indicted in Massive Fraud That Led to Collapse of Virginia’s Bank of the Commonwealth
    July 12, 2012 | External Link

    Connecticut Attorney Admits Participating in $10 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme
    July 12, 2012 | External Link

    Former Chairman of Failed Illinois Bank Pleads Guilty to Concealing Personal Interest in Loans from U.S. Regulators
    July 11, 2012 | External Link

    New York Financial Advisor Charged in Ponzi Scheme
    July 9, 2012 | External Link

    CEO of Axius Inc. and Finance Professional Indicted for Alleged Roles in Scheme to Bribe Stock Brokers and Manipulate Stock Prices
    July 5, 2012 | External Link

    GlaxoSmithKline to Plead Guilty and Pay $3 Billion to Resolve Fraud Allegations and Failure to Report Safety Data
    July 2, 2012 | External Link

    News for June, 2012

    Pennsylvania Man Charged with Fraud in Ambulance Scheme
    June 29, 2012 | External Link

    Second Owner of Houston-area Home Health Care Agency Sentenced to 108 Months in Prison for Role in $5.2 Million Medicare FraudJune 29, 2012 | External Link

    Peter Madoff, Former Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Managing Director at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, Pleads Guilty in New York to Securities Fraud and Tax Fraud Conspiracy
    June 29, 2012 | External Link

    Two Alabama Real Estate Investors and Their Company Indicted for Conspiracies to Rig Bids and Commit Mail Fraud for the Purchase of Real Estate at Public Foreclosure Auctions
    June 28, 2012 | External Link

    Barclays Bank PLC Admits Misconduct Related to Submissions for the London Interbank Offered Rate and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate and Agrees to Pay $160 Million Penalty
    June 27, 2012 | External Link

    Fake New Jersey Hedge Fund Manager Indicted for Defrauding Victims in Two Scams
    June 27, 2012 | External Link

    Investment Research Firm President Pleads Guilty in New York to Insider Trading Charge
    June 26, 2012 | External Link

    Twenty-Four Arrested in Eight Countries as Part of International Cyber Crime Takedown
    June 26, 2012 | External Link

    Loan Officer Sentenced to 54 Months in Prison for Role in Mortgage Fraud Scheme That Resulted in More Than $9.2 Million in Losses
    June 25, 2012 | External Link

    Connecticut Father and Daughter Charged with Operating Fraudulent Debt Elimination Scheme
    June 22, 2012 | External Link

    Former Chief Investment Officer of Stanford Financial Group Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice
    June 21, 2012 | External Link

    Three Former Executives Convicted for Roles in $200 Million Fraud Scheme Involving Fair Financial Company Investors
    June 21, 2012 | External Link

    Former Corporate Chairman of Consulting Firm and Board Director Rajat Gupta Found Guilty of Insider Trading in Manhattan Federal Court
    June 15, 2012 | External Link

    Repeat Fraudster Sentenced to Prison, Ordered to Pay More Than $2.6 Million for Scamming Morgan Stanley, Hotel Development Companies in Separate Frauds
    June 13, 2012 | External Link

    Connecticut Contractor Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
    June 7, 2012 | External Link

    Former Community Action Senior Auditor Pleads Guilty to Bribery Involving Federal Funds
    June 6, 2012 | External Link

    Former President of Arkansas Transportation Company Sentenced to 24 Months for Embezzlment of Funds from Employee Pension Plan
    June 5, 2012 | External Link

    Former Employee of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud and Making False Statements
    June 5, 2012 | External Link

    CEO and Head Trader of Bankrupt Sentinel Management Indicted in Chicago in Alleged $500 Million Fraud Scheme Prior to Firm’s 2007 Collapse

    http://www.stopfraud.gov//news-index.html

  204. 204
    Buckygrrl says:

    Y’know, it just occurred to me that, in the long view, Brooks getting the NYT conservative column lo those many years ago was a foreshadowing of the overalll decline of conservative brainpower. Remember who Brooks’s predecessor at the NYT was? William Safire. Agree with him or not, Safire was wicked smart and a great writer. I always looked forward to reading him, and I’ve always thought Brooks paled in comparison.

    I don’t wish to be cruel, but Brooks has never struck me as being that smart. He’s not a very good writer and nothing original ever seems to fall out of his brain into his column. He is a victim, like so many who call themselves conservative (though the world hardly has meaning anymore), of epistemic closure. He functions now primarily in the echo chamber, and the more closed his world the dumber he gets. I don’t read him anymore.

  205. 205
    Anoniminous says:

    @Nellcote:

    Well done.

  206. 206
    jl says:

    @Buckygrrl:

    Brooks is a businessman who produces reliable ‘analysis product’ for teevee and written press. It’s like McDonalds for B King. Originality of individual items of ‘analysis product’ is a bug, not a feature.

  207. 207
    Joel says:

    @lamh35: Hate to say it, but bringing Ann along for what should be a softball session makes Mitt look soft. Doesn’t play well with many voters.

  208. 208
    Joel says:

    @lamh35: Hate to say it, but bringing Ann along for what should be a softball session makes Mitt look soft. Doesn’t play well with many voters.

  209. 209
    karen marie says:

    @some guy: Look over there! Fast and Furious!

  210. 210
    PurpleGirl says:

    @lamh35: Rmoney doesn’t know one driver from another… he knows the team owners, who are good personal friends of his.

  211. 211
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @👽 Martin: There are numbers I often see batted about saying that 15 million or 20 million or 20% or 1 in 7 American adults are “functionally illiterate”. I think people get that by applying a higher standard than basic literacy; it’s the level of practical literacy needed to follow complex instructions or fill out forms. That’s probably what efgoldman was thinking of.

  212. 212
    dww44 says:

    @Anoniminous: me has a sad, because my Congressman was one of those very Blue Dogs and we got instead the chair of the incoming GOP freshman class in 2010, although he denies he’s a Tea Party guy. Yes, and I’m the Queen of England.

    This time around he has NO opposition at all. The Democratic party here in my state is in tatters. There is not a single statewide office held by a Democrat. And that 3 term Blue Dog Congressman was a far sight better than what we’ve got now.

  213. 213
    joeincle says:

    I guess we’re eliding this line from Obama’s glorious speech:

    “I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission.”

    He’s talking about Simpson-fucking-Bowles, which would gut Social Security. Pretty fantastic post here — Obama says he’s willing to gut FDR’s greatest domestic achievement and then is praised by Democrats for his “eerily perfect” mind-meld with FDR.

  214. 214
    mclaren says:

    And if only Barack Obama governed the way he wrote speeches, we’d be in gtreat shape.

    But Obama’s idea of governance is “Welllllllllllllll, if you absolutely insist on extending tax cuts for billionaires and kidnapping and assassinating American citizens and spying on all Americans and continuing our endless unwinnable wars overseas and our endless unwinnable War on Drugs here at home — okay. I’ll sign off on that.”

    Obama is a political point guard in basketball. Fakes left, goes right.

  215. 215
    Ellyn says:

    That was really a great post. I don’t think Obama could mention Dante without the right wing screaming about yourup and Obama being a foreigner.
    I was particularly struck by the mention of faith, hope and charity. I have never been able to understand how the right wing turned Christianity into a religion that has nothing but contempt for faith, hope and charity. Einstein said, “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.” I think Romney is a man of success and President Obama is well on his way to becoming a man of value. I suspect that many teabaggers were really looking something better than greed and power and they got roped into the Koch bros ersatz grassroots movement. I always remember this poem because I had to memorize it when I was a child:
    Abou Ben Adhem

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the Presence in the room he said
    “What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered “The names of those who love the Lord.”
    “And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still, and said “I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
    And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

    I think Obama’s name could be there.

  216. 216
    dollared says:

    @Ruckus: @sagesource: @👽 Martin: @CarolDuhart2: @Bruce S: @sagesource:

    OK gang, I get the depth of your commitment to the narrative.

    But. The only person with any sort of credible argument is Carol. It is true that Obama has not had anywhere near the congressional margin that Roosevelt had.

    1. The bankster violated so many laws it is beyond belief. And I speak as a securities lawyer with 20 years’ experience. And yes, it is hard to win those cases. Somehow we did it, from the 30’s to the 90s. MERS is a slam dunk. Totally. Not one of those mortgage transfers is valid, and that makes every single CDO an act of fraud. And no, repealing Glass Steagall did not repeal the 33 Act or the 34 Act. And finally, even if you lose some cases, you still file them and make some lives miserable. That is exactly what Roosevelt did, which is my point.

    2. Your complaints about the Japanese internments, southern desegregation and Social Security’s sexism are stupid and anachronistic. I see, was Roosevelt supposed to also legalize gay marriage? Can you tell the difference between 1935 and 2012?

    3. No answer on HAMP. Roosevelt would have used every penny.

    4. No answer on recess appointments, much less the massive giveaways in order to try to compromise with Republicans. Because you have no answer. Remember court packing? Obama has pushed exactly zero envelopes.

    5. But back to my main point: Obama may say nice things, but he has no program to fix what’s wrong with our society. He has no tools of implementation. He passed on card check, he passed on the public option, he has grown the military, he has supported cutting government and privatizing/charterizing education. Roosevelt created institutions that changed to fundamental relationship between capital and labor. Where are Obama’s major reforms? Nowhere.

    6. You all need to read some history. Try a biography of William O. Douglas. The truth is that GWB’s team was closer to Roosevelt than Obama is. They created new concepts and laws. They pushed the envelope and created new institutions (faith based programs? No Child Left Behind?). Obama? Aside from privatizing health care, nothing. zip. nada. Brooks is right, that Obama is playing defense.

    Of course I’ll vote for him. But Tom’s comparison to FDR is valid only as to Obama’s rhetoric, and is invalid when you consider the two men’s concrete proposals. that was my point. Show mehow I’m wrong. Show me how Obama will fundamentally change the imbalances in our society. Tom’s argument is only valid if Obama really is making change, not talking about change.

  217. 217
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @lamh35: Sounds like Romney is a pathetic narcissist who was thinking that he wouldn’t want a popular expresident getting so much buzz at HIS convention.

    Hm, that could really explain why he is such a chitty campaigner. Having an incurable psychiatric disorder that gives you a very, er, minority theory of mind plus firing all the experts, thanks to said disorder.

    It’s Mitt’s turn says Stckholm Syndrome Ann. Hahahaha.

  218. 218

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