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Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.
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Friday, August 5, 2011
As we’ve learned with the all of the hope that accompanied the election of Barack Obama and the massive betrayal and letdown that followed, nothing is worse that the disappointment ones feel immediately after allowing oneself a moment of misguided optimism. Here’s how my [political] week went…
On Monday, I hear an NPR story about the Debt Ceiling “Deal.” Craig Fahle had a pretty interesting take on the new debt commission. With the huge budget triggers looming over both Defense and Medicare if something else isn’t done, neither party is going to want THOSE negotiations to deadlock. And since (1) It’s a 6-Democrat, 6-Republican Committee and (2) Congress will not be able to amend, or filibuster, their proposal – merely give it and up or down vote – you have taken away two of the key advantages the Republicans have had lately: Their ability to organize a filibuster in the Senate and their Majority in the House. And while I’m still furious that the Republicans pulled this shit (and Obama and the Democrats LET THEM, and LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT) I had to admit: It’s was an interesting point. Of course, it would depend greatly on who was APPOINTED to the panel, but still: If there was one way to get the Right to budge on taxes? This seemed to be it.
It wasn’t much, but given what unmitigated failure as a Progressive Obama has proven to be so far, I’ll take what I can get.
Then on Wednesday, I hear NPR talking about the 2012 election and I hear something that, by itself, could have ruined my whole week/month/administration term:
“In doing what he has, President Obama has positioned himself in the CENTER of American Politics.”
OK first of all…
THE CENTER HAS BEEN GETTING PULLED TO THE RIGTH FOR THRITY YEARS NOW AND AMERICA HAS SUFFERED AND WITHERED AND DWINDELD AS A DIRECT RESULT OF IT!!! WE ELECETD A QUOTE-UNOTE “LIBERAL” SPECIFICALLY TO STOP THAT!!! TO CHANGE IT!!! REMEBER?! Not to give the Right everything they want so that he can run as a CENTRIST!!!
Second of all…
As Harry Truman said: Given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, they’ll pick the Republican every time. And we now live in a world where Barry Fucking Goldwater would be called a RINO! (That’s how you say “centrist” in conserva-speak.) There is no virtue in being a “centrist” when the “right” is represented by the Sociopathic, Religious Funny-Mentalist, Absolute Money-Grubbing Corporate WHORES that the Modern American Right is. When the National Discourse is between Paul Krugman and Rush Limbaugh, between Robert Reich and Glenn Beck, between Robert Kuttner and Sean Hannity, between John Stewart and Bill O’Reilly, between Eric Boehlert and Ann Coulter, no remotely sane, minimally educated person can conclude that there is merely a difference of opinion going on here! Or that both sides represent position of remotely equal merit, validity and dignity! Watching the political discourse for the last 20 years in this country is like watching physicists debate quantum string theory with rodeo clowns!
Being a Centrist? Being able to broker a compromise? Is only a valid, admirable position when BOTH SIDES' positions has some merit! ANY merit! When the other side represents something reprehensible that, on a purely objective level, devoid of any emotion or hyperbole, can be described as evil? Then it is not to your credit to do anything but put a boot to their necks and choke the last bit of life out of them!
In the previous comments section, JLarue referred to Obama as an American Neville Chamberlain. I like that. I think it’s very apt. BUt their IS a problem with it... Chamberlain catches a lot of shit that he doesn’t really deserve. Seriously. You have to remember: Adolph Hilter wasn’t really “Hilter” until after the war started. And he wasn’t really “HITLER” until after the War was over and the mass graves of 6 Million Jews started turning up. Hindsight is always 20/20 and Chamberlain can hardly be blamed for his failure to realize that the man he was talking to was a Psycopthatic Villain of previously unimaginable, historic, demonic and near-comic book proportions. I mean… Who really could have reasonably imagined that, before it actualy happened?
Obama does not have the luxury of that defesne. In the 1930’s, Hitler made a great effort to try and sell his position, and to NOT look like a madman. The Republicans (who, of course, are not Hitler!) have made no effort to hide their profoundly un-American agenda; Their agenda of Bigorty, of Religious Fundamentalism, of Xenophobia, and of orchestrated Economic Collapse so that they can take power and set about systematically dismantling the Government’s ability to protect any of our rights against the Corporations who would usurp them. And if you don’t believe me, if you think I’m just blowing smoke, Mitch McConnell himself said that his party’s TOP PRIORITY was making Barack Obama a one-term president! With all the problems we faced, DEFEATING OBAMA –not jobs, not the deficit, not the economy, not the environment, not health care, not terrorism, not immigration, not national security, not anything else - was his STATED “top priority.”
And THESE are the UTTER BASTARDS this GOD-DAMNED FOOL we elected is NEGOTIONG WITH! Shit, “NEGOTIATING?!” That’s WAY too generous. More like CAVING, CAPITULATING and PANDERING TO!
Now, I’m not saying that Republicans are Nazi’s. That’s just moronic. And only an idiot would conclude that this is the point I'm trying to make. My point is just that if Adolph Hilter had looked Neville Chamberlain in the eye and said “My top priority is the domination of the whole of Europe and eventually the World,” there’s no way Chamberlain would have compromised or negotiated with him. If Hitler had been as transparent about his intentions with Chamblerain as the Republicans have been with Obama, there’s simply no way that Chamberlain would have given him the time of day.
So Obama is worse than Chamberlain.
Obama? Is HENRY CLAY.
History is pretty kind to Clay, actually. But Henry Clay is my [Glenn Beck’s Woodrow Wilson.] Because Clay was known as the great compromiser. That's his legacy: His great, historically important skill was his ability to broker a compromise. And his compromises are credited with avoiding Civil War for decades. And seeing as how the Civil War was the bloodiest in our history, any efforts to avoid it should seem worthwhile, no? Well, back in high school, I certainly thought so. I actually ADMIRED Clay for this skill! But, just as Neville Chamberlain’s detractors will tell you, NO, his ability to broker a compromise in this case were NOT to his great credit. Because who was Clay compromising with? What great cause was being maintained while he helped us avoid what was basically an inevitable conflict?
Slavery! I don’t know whether Clay was more pro-Slavery or Anti-War, but he was compromising with the Slave-States of the South! The very States that would eventually secede and start the Civil Way ANYWAY! And it’s not like MAINTING THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY was some kind of secret agenda for Southern States! It was their ENTIRE AGENDA! Very little else separated North from South (or Republican from Democrat) in those days! Neither really opposed to genocide of the Native Americas. Neither really differed in any great way on foreign policy. Neither the Progressive Republicans, nor the Conservative Democrats (what a world, huh?) had enough party unity on tariffs or national banking or civil service to draw any other great distinctions. I’m not saying they didn’t differ, only that any differences on any other issues were orders of magnitude less in importance, and priority than SLAVERY.
The Conservative (and Democratic) South saw Slavery as a necessity to their economic and social survival.
The Progressive (and Republican) North saw slavery as EVIL. (And fine, yes, I realize that it was far from ALL of the North, but work with me here!)
And, as usual, The Conservatives were wrong in their judgment and the Progressives were right. (You can look at any chapter in History and see this BTW. After all – Chamberlain himself was a Conservative! They Right always seems to forget that fact!) And thus of Henry Clay’s great powers of compromise were put to work to MAINTAINING an EVIL INSTITUTION just to avoid an INEVITABLE UNPLEASANTRY.
So, IMHO, Obama is HENRY CLAY.
Finally, back to the original point of there being no merit, no credit to Obama for “positioning himself in the center,” does ANYONE (other than Obama) really think that story will be told? Does anyone (other than Obama) think that any part of the Conservative Electorate (let alone the Conservative media) is going to stop thinking about him as anything but a Marxist, Socialist, Communist, Fascist (WTF?!), Secret Islamist, Outsider who’s here to destroy everything that makes their country great? (And I say “their country” because they one they perceive in there puny little minds and “our country” – the one we all share, in this place called REALITY – are two different things.) Puh-lease. Nothing he’s done has forced any part of Fox or Talk Radio or the Right Wing Fringe or Conservative Blogs to even change their LIES! They’re STILL harping about “Government takeovers of health care,” (never happened, never even on the table,) “taxes going up,” (never happened, never even on the table, the OPPOSITE in fact) “Socialist-this” and “Communist-that” and “birth certificates” and “secret Muslim,” etc… It seems completely lost on Obama, and yes, I guess on some of the staff at NPR as well, that what Obama has done IN REALITY isn’t important because his relentless opposition DOESN’T LIVE THERE! He has stabbed PROGRESSIVES in the back in an effort to court people who will only, ever, STAB HIM IN THE BACK!!!
Which brings me to Thursday and Friday:
And NPR’s and the Detroit Free Press’s new headlines:
WORST DAY ON WALL STREEY SINCE 2008!
ALL 2011 MARKET GAINS WIPED OUT!
ARE WE HEADING FOR A SECOND RECESSION?
And the story on MSN managed to capture the entire couse of this in one simple line:
“The market rout was prompted in part by concerns that the Federal Reserve won't try to boost the economy again and the prospects of little -- if any -- help on the way from the federal government.”
Well done, Republicans. You finally managed to sink the economy. Again. You finally managed to bring about the orcastrated financial ruin of this country, just to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Because this isn’t about austerity folks, and this isn’t about deficits. I don’t want to sidetrack this post again, but I have written several pieces already showing just how absurd the idea that Republican give a tadpole’s turd about fiscal Responsibility.
No. There’s a reason that they never talk about Austerity when there’s a Republican in the White House. Because Austerity at a Federal level can only, possibly, bring about disaster. They know this. There is no historical precedent that shows otherwise. Nor is there any historical precedent for blaming anyone but the PRESIDENT for a bad economy. Indeed, even as NPR and the Free Press and MSN point out the POLICIES that contributed to this, not one of them points out the it is the REPUBLICANS who are championing these or that they are, in fact, CONSERVATIVE policies by their very nature and philosophy. Those two words are conspicuously absent from there stories! Behold: Your LIBERAL MEDIA!
And when he is inevitably blamed for what now looks like an inevitable recession, does anyone here believe, for even a minute that it will noted that the polices he followed were ones of fiscal austerity? Were, in fact, grounded in CONSERVTIASM?! Yeah, right. No, he’ll be blamed and the story that will be told will be one that blames his failure on all the “liberal policies” that he supposedly championed. Solely by the virtue of his being a Democrat, LIBERALISM will be blamed for the economic failure brought about by REPUBLICAN OBSTRUCTION and CONSERVATIVE FISCAL AUSTERITY.
Well done, Obama. You’ve now fucked over this country for generations to come. It would have been easier to undo the damage done by Republicans if McCain had won. If we’re lucky, President Bachman will over-reach early in her term and spend for years being stymied by a Democratic Congress lead by the NEXT President, who might FINALLY get us back on the path of reason again.
So, for letting them do this – for HELPING them do it – congratulations Barack Obama: In addition to Neville Chamberlain and Henry Clay you now have a third epithet:
I hope you’re happy, you fat, pussy, toad!
(see my next post, for an explanation of that last epithet.)