Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reply to Conchobhar's vanden Heuvel article

When I first read this I hard time separating vanden Heuvel's points and opinions from Chait's. I'm blaming that on the NyQuil, so hopefully I can keep them strait this time around. And I really only want to explore one aspect of the article - the idea of party loyalty, group-think, hero-worship and unconditional support. I'm not going to defend Obama's record, but I'd feel more than a little silly bashing it at this point, seeing as how this was in reposes to a post in which I honored a website dedicated to listing out his accomplishments. (But I probably will anyway.) My opinion on Obama is fairly simple: I supported him in the primary, happily voted for him (esp. w/ Sarah Palin in the #2 spot on the other ticket!) and felt very hopeful that we would get a strong, popular, MODERATELY LIBERAL candidate... which, after eight years of living with the hard-right, seeing our civil liberties eroded away and the Supreme Court pulled solidly to the Right, SHOULD have seemed like a breath of fresh air, and a step in the right (not Right) direction. Of course, I'm as disappointed and disgusted as anyone, and Obama's judgment as a failure over all is well earned, even if the Right-leaning voters haven't the slightest clue as to WHY. Done. I will say no more about it.

BUT... I've certainly leaned pretty heavily over the years on the trope that the Republicans band together whilst the Democrats mostly bicker amongst themselves. That the Right votes (and thinks) in lockstep whilst the diversity of opinion on the Left - while idealistic and admirable - often times sabotages their ability to govern. And that's BEFORE you get someone who's as allergic to hard negotiation as Obama is.

And this article really challenges that trope. I mean, sure, me and a few of my fellow bloggers might criticize Obama (and/or Clinton) but I'm an engineer - a man of SCIENCE. Can this really be quantified? What does it say about this that idea that there are many historic examples of the OPPOSITE being true: that the Right is all disjointed and the Left are the ones that close ranks?
Well... I ain't ready to buy that just yet, but some reconciliation is obviously in order.

So I'm going to go through the examples one by one, starting with Reagan. I think that's the best place to start, because any discussion of MODERN Conservatism and Liberalism, or for that matter Democrats and Republicans really can only be traced back as far as Reagan, maybe Carter. You go back much farther and the parties just look too different form what they are today for these comparisons to be relevant. (In Nixon's day, there were still Conservative Democrats - mostly Southerners - and still some Socially Liberal, Libertarian Republicans. And while that all started to change in the 1960's with the Civil Rights Act (Johnson was right about losing the South, but he was being wildly optimistic that it would ONLY be 'for a generation!') it was finally beginning to cement itself during the Reagan Years. I would say the last nail in the coffin was 1994 and the Gingrich-led Congress, but they were certainly polishing the wood for it, so to speak, during the Reagan years.

Now Hoeft mentions how Reagan had his critics. He mentions the hard Right, because Reagan DID raise taxes several times. (Not something that's really associated with his legacy, but true all the same.) He also had his critics all over the map because of what was the first of what would eventually be twelve years of deficits that were insane in any time that wasn't a full blown World War. But in the end, as Dick Cheney so *ahem* eloquently put it: Reagan showed us that deficits don't matter. (Yeah, unless there's a Democrat in the White House, huh, Dick?) And whatever Right-Wing critics he had on tax policy, he pretty much silenced them in 1987, by lowering the top-tier tax rate to 28% - almost as low as what a median income earner was paying just the year before, while leaving the upper-middle class bracket at 33%. That's right - for three years we actually had a REGRESSIVE taxation system, for the only time in the history of the Federal Income Tax. And given Reagan's historic landslide in 1984, I would hardly say that these critics of the now iconic Republican were really all that significant. Or critical.

And besides... While Reagan might not have always enjoyed the full support of his party (though I question how often this really translated into "No" Votes) he was the one who STARTED the trend. What was his greatest legacy?

"Do not speak ill of your fellow Republican."

Party loyalty was the at very heart of the man's philosophy and is perhaps his most significant and lasting legacy. If the Right learned ANYTHING form the Reagan years (and given the Bush'43 years, I have my doubts) it was this.

So... Fast forward to 1992, and the Republican Primary and incumbent President George H.W. Bush (whom I consider to be the best or 2nd best Republican since Teddy Roosevelt) facing the music from the likes of Pat Buchanan and the Christian Coalition. Look... I don't mean to dismiss the destructive influence that this combination of bigotry and fanaticism has had on the Republican Party. Starting with Jerry Fallwell, then Pat Robertson and now James Dobson (and others) the Christian Right has been destroy the Republican Party for DECADES now. But if you are going to look at George H.W. Bush's loss in 1992, and try to figure out what happened, the elephant in the room can be summed up in two simple lines:

"It's the economy, stupid!" ~Bill Clinton

"Read my lips: No new taxes!" ~George H.W. Bush

That's it. That's all you need to know. George Bush was an INCUMBENT. Any nonsense from the likes of Buchanan or any others are inconsequential next to those two, simple lines. There was a recession. And while it's kind of stupid to blame a recession solely on the President, it's not as dumb if he just raised taxes (after basically saying he wouldn't.) As for the "read my lips" quote? Well, at least the Right is consistent, I'll give them that. Juts like Al Gore never claimed to have invented the Internet* Bush'41 never said he wouldn't RAISE taxes. He just wouldn't create any NEW ONES. Well... I can certainly see how that could have been misinterpreted. Al Gore's statement... not so much.*

*it's off-topic, but read the end comment.

And at the end of the day, it's not like the Christian Coalition went and voted Democrat, nor did Buchanan really represent a serious primary challenge: Bush trounced him by over three to one in the popular voter and won every single State. Buchanan represented no more than a symbolic (and possibly egotistic) challenge. So... I'm sorry. It's pure and utter bullshit to say that a lack of PARTY LOYALTY cost Bush the '92 election. He went back on a "Read my lips" pledge, and was in a recession, running against a charismatic candidate who constantly reminded people of it.

Dan Quayle didn't help matters much either.

OK, now... Fast forward again to Bill Clinton, 1998.

After six years of compiling a largely Republican record: NAFTA, DADT, DOMA, '96 Telecom Monopoly Bill, Repeal of Glass-Steagal, and a 38.6% top-tier tax rate (remember, from 1982 to 1986, under Reagan no less, it was 50%!); one could certainly make the case that Liberals were fed up with him and his "new Democrat" paradigm. Aside from Bryer and Ginsberg? I can't think of a single, bona fide Liberal thing the man did. Of course, that's not why I hated him then. I was a Conservative then, and still at a "William" level of Right Wing brainwashing, thanks in equal parts to Rush Limbaugh and growing up in the family I did and the times that I did. What can I say? As a CHILD? Reagan was my hero. (I sent him a get-well card when he got shot. He sent me back a letter. That was a pretty deal to a then seven-year old!) (Even though I know he didn't actually write it himself!) But... I'm grown up now, and so I know better. Now? I hate Clinton for the right (not the Right's) reasons.

So how does one explain how we all "rallied" around Clinton during the impeachment proceedings? Where were all his Liberal Critics then? Why didn't we join with Newt Gingrich, in the hunt for justice... Sorry... I can't even type that with a strait face. Rallying around Bill Clinton during his impeachment had NOTHING to do with Bill Clinton, and EVERYTHING to do with NEWT GINGRICH! I mean, come on... So the guy was bullshit President. That doesn't mean we're going to sit back while some Right-Wing, jack-booted, cocksucker like Newt Gingrich REMOVES A POPULARLY ELECTED PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE over something as inconsequential as a blow-job from an intern! (And before any doofuses out there tell me it was about lying about it, let me ask you something: How do you feel about the fact that Gingrich him self was having an affair at the time? And did you feel the same about incoming speaker Bob Livingston? Who that mean old Larry Flynt at Hustler magazine "forced" to resign as incoming Speaker over HIS affair? It was a bullshit impeachment, and you know it, so don't waste our time!) What was on display in 1998 was not support for Bill Clinton so much as a backlash against Gingrich and his hyper-partisan, Republican-led witch hunt of Clinton. It wasn't a defense of the DEMOCRATS so much as it was a defense of DEMOCRACY. The Republicans couldn't win fairly in '96, so they were going to ruin him.

Funny how history repeats itself, huh? You'd think Barry would have known the types of people he was dealing before he took the job. Shame that.

So fast forward again (over eight years of a President who WAS NOT popularly elected, and who the press - that's ALL of the press - cheer-led for as he exploded the deficits, startled illegal, unnecessary and unfunded wars and happily chipped away at our civil liberties) to our "savior" (the Right's words, not ours) Barack Obama. So... HOW do I explain why so many Liberals (including your's truly, for longer than most) stuck with him for SO long? Thought a health care bill that resembled Gingrich's c.1993 before the Republicans even took first crack at it. Through a stimulus bill that was trimmed down to a size that would satisfy the very people who's leader stated as his 'top ptriority' making [Obama] a one-term President. Through replacing two reliable Liberal votes on the Supreme Court with two moderates - thus moving the Court farther to the Right. WHY have we stuck with him? Why are there so many still do?

Well, I see two things, really. In the early days, say... early 2009 though about mid 2010? I think there was a lot of... confusion. Obama suddenly didn't sound a whole lot like the guy we had all voted for. That's not normally surprising, most candidates don't live up their rhetoric, but Obama was elected on a large part BECAUSE of that rhetoric! And give HUGE majorities! In BOTH HOUSES! And, pretty much just like Clinton, he took that Liberal mandate and ran right to the Center with, quite possibly overshooting the mark. And... well.. I figure a lot of people didn't even notice at first. And once they did, couldn't figure out what to make of it. And Obama had MUCH larger majorities than Clinton had. (And also squandered.)

And then there was the Right. See... I also think that a lot of the image people had of Obama as this extremely Liberal guy came from the Right. I pretty much knew I was voting for a moderate because I recognized the Right's blathering as pure horseshit and listened to what Obama had to say. The quintessential example of this was when Obama said, [PP] "If we have actionable intelligence that Osama Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, I would consider military incursions into Pakistan in order to capture him." Within a day this very rational position became "Obama wants to OVERTHROW Musharraf!" (That was our "great ally" Musharraf, BTW, who's country Bin laden WAS actually hiding in the entire time!) And within a day of THAT, I'm getting emails from my Conservative friends saying how Obama wants to NUKE Pakistan! Seriously! And they BELIEVED this! And even after PROVED to them that this was an idiotically absurd interpretation of the man's words, they're response was STILL be best summed up by my friend, Mike, who said, "Yeah, OK, but still... Strange dude."

*face palm*
*shakes head*

Now... What role does all this play? Well... Consider the average American voter. They get inspired by his lofty rhetoric, and here the Right demonize him with every epithet they can muster. He comes into office, seems to capitulate to the Right on just about every key issue, and they... KEEP ON demonizing him with every epithet they can muster. So let's go back to that relatively mild-mannered voter, and now woefully misinformed voter. Sure... there are those on the Left who say he's going too far to the Right, but... If that were true why does the Right seem madder than ever at him?

Well... simple answer: They're bat shit fucking insane, that's why!

And that's really been the trend since at least the Clinton years: As the Republicans have pulled farther and farther to the Right, the Democrats have responded by moving to the right. And as the Democrats have compromised by moving to the Right, the Republicans have responded by moving EVEN FARTHER to the Right!

And at this point? Any real Liberal who's still supporting Obama as a Candidate or the Democrats as a Party are doing so for any of the following reasons: Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, John Beohner, Mitch McConnel, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Donald Trump... The list goes on, but I think the point is clear. It not so much as the lesser of two evils, so much as voting for the person or party who would compromise with the evil and voting for the actual evil. At this point the Republicans are so far gone, that NEWT GINGRICH, one of the least popular Speakers of the House in American History, is their LEADING CANDIDATE!
And no, I DO NOT hope he gets the nom, because as much as I believe he would getter utterly TROUNCED in the general, I remember 2000 and the Rehnquist Court appointing our next President, and I will not chance that.

I hope Romney gets the nom. He's the only who's not completely insane, completely moronic or both.
And I hope there is a Primary Challenger to Obama, even if it's just a symbolic one, like Pat Buchanan in '92. If there is? They already have my vote, right now, just to send Barry a message. But I'll still vote for Obama in '12 in the general and, if he loses, I will personally kick the ass of every Liberal who stayed home. Our next President will likely named Ginsburg's successor, and possibly (remote, but still...) Scalia's or Kennedy's. Do you really want that job to be done by Newt Gingrich?!
And THAT'S why I don;t think you can measure our "loyalty" in votes. Because the alternative REALLY IS that much worse.

Anyway, for what it's worth, that my take on the whole thing. And I'm keeping my stance that the Dem's remain the Big-Tent and the Pub's the group-thinkers.

-------------------------------------------

*OK... Al Gore. The Internet. Here's EXACTLY what he said, in his interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer:
During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
Couple of things...

First of all, Blitzer didn't challenge him on the point. At all. He didn't seem to think this claim was all that remarkable at the time. Liberal Bias? Hardly. More like: IT WAS ACTUALLY TRUE. How did Gore do this? Well, for a start, there was the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, commonly known as the "Gore Bill." This laid the legislative groundwork for the the National Information Infrastructure, which serves as the foundation of what we now know as the Internet.

Was his statement even misleading or an exaggeration? Well, I think Snopes gives the best take on that question:
If President Eisenhower had said in the mid 1960's that he, while President, "created" the Interstate Highway system, we would not have seen dozens of editorial lampooning him for claiming that he "invented" the concept of highways, or implying the he personally went out and dug ditches across the country to help build the roadway. Everyone would have understood that Ike meant he was a driving force behind the legislation that created the highway system, and this was the very same concept that Al Gore was expressing about himself with his Internet statement.
If you believe he said it, or doubt the veracity of what was actually said, then you simply do not have a basic understanding of the facts. Because all of the guys that YOU THINK "invented" the Internet? Like pioneers Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn? Note that, "as far back as the 1970s, Congressman Gore promoted the idea of high speed telecommunications as an engine for both economic growth and the improvement of our educational system. He was the first elected official to grasp the potential of computer communications to have a broader impact than just improving the conduct of science and scholarship [...] the Internet, as we know it today, was not deployed until 1983. When the Internet was still in the early stages of its deployment, Congressman Gore provided intellectual leadership by helping create the vision of the potential benefits of high speed computing and communication."

And making Al Gore's ACCURATE CLAIM into a joke? Makes you sound about as stupid as drawing a picture of Ike with a hard-hat and a shovel - and meaning it as mockery - would do. If you're reading this? You and I both owe a lot of that that to AL GORE. To believe anything else is to swallow the lies that Fox news, and Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter told you because they KNEW that Bush would be trounced if the public ever came to grips with just how much Gore had accomplished - the FUCKING INTERNET for fuck's sake!!! - versus how little Bush had. (Trading Sammy Sosa for Harold Baines and Fred Marique?! What an idiot!!!) So clearly a different narrative had to be told. They're paid propagandists, who preach to the greedy and the gullible. Nothing more.

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for the headline, Eddie. It's not actually my article, but who am I to refuse block letters?
    I won't waste your time by agreeing with all your points, but allow me to repeat some advice I gave at MMFA (with spectacular lack of effect) in the months before the 2010 elections.

    DON'T SIT THIS ONE OUT!!!

    I got out of the Army on June 20, 1968, and watched with horror the police riots, led by Mayor Richard Daly, at the Democratic Convention. I was so horrified that, for the first and only time in my life, I didn't vote in November. (It was my second presdential election.) Now, I'm not so egomaniacal that I think my one vote gave the election to Tricky Dick, but I'm wondering how many Democrats sat it out, because Humphrey wasn't the preferred candidate. I've always felt the sting of that defeat, especially given the moves toward the imperial presidency started by Nixon and achieved, with the help of Nixon leftovers, by Bush.

    Now you, and KVH and CL are right that Obama has been a major disappointment. I'm old enough to expect that in a politician. I've long held that the type of ego and ambition that make a person run for the Presidency are character flaws that make it dangerous for him to achieve that power. Only a few Presidents that I know of, Washington and Lincoln leading the list, would I exempt from that judgment.

    But, as you say, what is coming from the right is unacceptable. They clearly, as one can see from their attempts all over the country to restrict the franchise, don't believe in participatory democracy, and intend to copper fasten our present plutocracy. I don't know if Obama and the Democrats will be able, or even if they intend, to stop them, but they seem to be the only hope we have, however faint. Perhaps OWS can light a fire under them. The right seems to fear that, which is why they're trying to destroy them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "[T]he type of ego and ambition that make a person run for the Presidency are character flaws that make it dangerous for him to achieve that power."

    I'm so stealing this!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Conchobhar, first- thank you for your service to our country. And, happy (belated) Veterans Day.

    Then, I agree that the president we have now is a major disappointment. However, those of us from the right DO have other choices. While you from the left are stuck with your one choice. I am a staunch believer that we need (desperately) a 3rd party candidate to help keep the others more honest. However the system as it is will never allow that to happen. So we are stuck (as you have said) choosing the lesser of two evils. Personally, I don't care who you vote for, but whoever you vote for (IMHO) must be worthy, or you wouldn't vote for him. I think if you vote for an unworthy candidate just to keep "the other side" from winning then you are doing more harm than good. But that's just the way some people choose vote: left or right no matter what their qualifications (or lack of) are.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No need to steal it, Eddie, I give it freely. If you ever run for office I don't want you accused of plagiarism on my account.

    As Oscar Wilde once wrote, "The truth is rarely pure, and NEVER simple." Check this out:

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2011/12/06/breast-cancer-patient-i-want-to-apologize-to-president-obama/

    ReplyDelete
  5. The reality of the present political system is that if you don't punish those who do wrong--even if that punishes the country--they have no motivation to do anything except what they're doing. If you want to stop the constant drift further and further to the right, you have to stop making (and acting on) these "lesser of two evils" arguments. Legions of liberals will sit out 2012, and that's not a thing for which anyone has any right to look down upon them; the Obama White House has made it VERY plain, right from the beginning, that it isn't interested in the votes of liberals, and is constantly running them down in public. The "enthusiasm gap" was the deciding factor in the 2010 congressional races, and Obama and the Democrats have it entirely within their power to remedy that. They've had that power from the moment they were sworn in. They've chosen not to do so. So to hell with them. I'd no more vote for Obama than I would for Sarah Palin.

    There is no need for a 3rd party. There is a desperate need for a 2nd one. And a 10th and 20th one. And we MUST stop insulating what people do at the polls from the people themselves. If people want to elect goddamn Republicans who push austerity measures, they need to feel the pain of austerity measures, instead of just having their officials stalemate efforts by everyone else to do anything productive. Instead of a modest tax on the wealthy supported by nearly everyone, Republicans wanted to pay for the continuation of the payroll tax holiday be eliminating 200,000 jobs.

    Let them.

    See them try to elect a dogcatcher after that kicks in.

    Companies are, at present, given tax incentives to close up shop in the U.S., and the government even helps pay for the move. Republicans lockstepped against 2010 Democratic efforts to change this--filibustered it to death. How popular do you think that would be if anyone bothered to tell people about it? Obama let that bill die without more than a few words about it in public. It's the sort of thing he should have been championing from day one. How about the Too Big To Fail bill, introduced into the Senate after the financial crisis? If a business is too big to fail, it's too big to exist, and the bill would have used anti-trust law to break up such companies. Again, another home-run with the public. Again, another effort on which the Obama took a total pass and let die in the face of lockstep Repub opposition.

    There are probably a dozen other similar examples in the last 3 years. No one would support the unanimous Republican position. The problem is that there isn't anyone on the other side who will raise any sort of hell about it, either.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Legions of liberals will sit out 2012, and that's not a thing for which anyone has any right to look down upon them"

    Maybe not a "right" to look down upon them, but certainly earned. The liberal voter is the most un-motivated voter around. They (as in their need for government subsidies) feel their vote is expected to count and simply don't feel they have to do anything to actually get it counted. Then they are outraged when someone else wins the election. That's what happened for Bush (both times).

    "and Obama and the Democrats have it entirely within their power to remedy that. They've had that power from the moment they were sworn in. They've chosen not to do so."

    Well, that flies in the face of everything that's been said about the failures of this administration for the past 3 years. All we've heard up until now is that the ONLY reason nothing is getting done is because of republican blockage. It's good to hear a liberal admit failure, but no one is actually going to believe you. All the liberals are cursing you (under their breath) for mentioning such blasphemy, and righties are all thinking you are talking out of two sides of your mouth. It's too late to take such a stance (if you're a liberal) you've already made too many claims of just the opposite that it would be hard to believe anything said (by a liberal) along the lines of admitting Obama/democratic failure. Righties have been saying that for the past 6 years, and EVERY defense has been that the republicans are blocking all the democrat ideas and plans to save our nation. WHY would anyone believe you now?
    Your claims of not voting for Obama again? Nobody will fall for that one either. Nobody else will promise to give you free things.

    "There are probably a dozen other similar examples in the last 3 years. No one would support the unanimous Republican position."

    Hmm, interesting position to take. You say "no" to voting for Obama, you infer you'd never vote for a republican and you say we don't need a 3rd party. Well, that's the closed-minded liberal attitude for you. So much for Eddie saying liberals are "idealistic and admirable". No wonder democrats can't win an election without promising to pay-off the voters if elected. Which re-inforces the perceived fact that liberals won't vote for you unless you are promised something of monetary value. And to think liberals usually claim the righties are the ones who treat money as a god. At the same time the liberal won't vote for you unless you promise them free housing/food/transportation/money.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Well, that flies in the face of everything that's been said about the failures of this administration for the past 3 years."

    Meanwhile, in the real world, I and others have been writing about it since the Obama was sworn in.

    "All we've heard up until now is that the ONLY reason nothing is getting done is because of republican blockage."

    That is the reason nothing was getting done.

    FACT: More than 400 bills passed by the House in Obama's 1st two years were strangled by Senate Republicans.

    FACT: Senate Republicans used the filibuster against almost literally everything.

    FACT: This use of the filibuster has no precedent in history. Look up the numbers.

    Obama and the Democrats had the power to change that, though. They came into office with an overwhelming mandate, while Republicans were in disarray and as out-of-favor as they'd ever been. Obama and the Demos could have campaigned for good policies and gone over the Republicans' heads by taking their case to the public, and, when things were blocked, making a scandal of it. They chose not to do so. Instead, they either gutted their policy proposals in a vain effort to attract Republican votes (coming up with what KVH, in the article we're discussing, called "precompromised" proposals), or they just let one after another of their proposals die entirely.

    "It's good to hear a liberal admit failure, but no one is actually going to believe you. All the liberals are cursing you (under their breath) for mentioning such blasphemy, and righties are all thinking you are talking out of two sides of your mouth. It's too late to take such a stance (if you're a liberal) you've already made too many claims of just the opposite that it would be hard to believe anything said (by a liberal) along the lines of admitting Obama/democratic failure. Righties have been saying that for the past 6 years, and EVERY defense has been that the republicans are blocking all the democrat ideas and plans to save our nation. WHY would anyone believe you now? Your claims of not voting for Obama again? Nobody will fall for that one either. Nobody else will promise to give you free things."

    You're just embarrassing yourself with this ranting (if you have a sufficient sense of decency to feel shame, that is). My analysis of the Obama was accurate, and hasn't changed in 3 years. It's fairly common for less-than-sharp righties to pretend to address an actual liberal while dueling with phantom stereotypes in the way you have, here--certainly much easier than having it out with me. I reduce righty pigs to pork-rinds on a regular basis, clown. If you want to shoot it out with me, as opposed to playing games with caricatures, I'm right here, but I'll tell you up front that if you go that route, you will lose, and that you would actually spew the nonsense I just quoted tells me you probably already know that. Those who go into an intellectual gunfight unarmed rarely do well.

    "Hmm, interesting position to take. You say 'no' to voting for Obama, you infer you'd never vote for a republican"

    (No, I'll flat-out say I'd never vote for ANY of the current Republican candidates, nor would any American worthy of the title)

    "and you say we don't need a 3rd party. Well, that's the closed-minded liberal attitude for you."

    Now the only question is, are you under the impression that those reading these words can't just zip right up the page and see what I actually wrote on that subject? Are you really just this stupid?

    ReplyDelete
  8. How can you have it both ways? You say Obama and the democrats "have chosen not to do so" and "Republicans lockstepped against 2010 Democratic efforts ... "
    Which is it? Obama and the democrats had the power to change things but chose not to? Or, Obama and the democrats had the power to change things but republicans wouldn't let them? Both ways democrats look like impotent little creatures who didn't do anything to help our nations woes then blame others because of their unwillingness to do anything after making promises of hope and change.

    3rd party? Well, I figured you lied the sentence before that one, so I figured you lied for that sentence too.
    sentence one:
    "I'd no more vote for Obama than I would for Sarah Palin."
    next sentence:
    "There is no need for a 3rd party. There is a desperate need for a 2nd one. And a 10th and 20th one."
    Is that your way of word parsing to avoid having to actually address the question? No problem, you don't need to do any more. Yes, everyone can zip right up and see exactly what was said.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hereby accept the abject surrender you're obviously far too stupid to realize you just offered. A pity you're not sharp enough to learn anything from it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well, when all you offer are lies, what am I supposed to do?

    How do you say Obama/democrats had it completely within their power since the day they were elected but chose not to do so, then defend it by saying the republicans blocked all attempts by Obama/democrats? Yeah, you should definitely stop discussing this subject, you are way to lost to even know what you are saying.

    Oh, yeah, a liar beat me in a discussion on politics. Like I didn't see your last statement coming from a mile away. Isn't that how all liberals admit defeat?, by claiming victory without actually discussing the issues being discussed?

    ReplyDelete
  11. William, there is nothing wrong with holding both of these things as true: one side shoots itself in the foot and the other blocks anything they actually do try to accomplish. They don't cancel each other out! You don't have to "pick one" when they are both true. The problem is that most elected Democrats are or listen to neo-liberals like Bill Clinton who believe in the magic tooth fairy called "the independent voter" who somehow has no real opinions until the election and reside in only 1 state at a time, and if we can be milquetoast enough then they will vote for us. What real liberals have been arguing for over two decades is that if Democrats actually tried to respond to the Right by actually BEING the Left, which they were elected to be in 2008, 2009 would have been completely different. So it was clearly in their power to change the course.

    AND at the same time, Republicans DID block everything and ANYthing that came near them in a truly unprecedented manor. If Democrats had played the situation better, outcomes would be different. BUT, that doesn't change the fact that Republicans vilified what were essentially Republican proposals gift-wrapped and hand-delivered to their doorstep. Again, despite overwhelming support for an actual liberal plan.

    The main reason Dems got trounced in 2010, putting the actual law-making aside for a minute, is that they got trapped by the Republicans in an either/or scenario, much like the one you are trying to impose. They could either champion the volume of legislation that WAS passed (which was impressive, actually) or make the obstructionist claim. But Republicans could hold these two things in tandem without choosing between them: they could see the prodigious output from 2009-10 AND that Republicans needed even MORE help in blocking it, creating the 60% majority norm.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Eddie, good overview of the last two decades! Spot on.

    I would point out, however, that even though I suspected Obama's brain was centrist, his heart is clearly liberal. I saw him in East Lansing and his description of what we needed to do over the next four years was to the Left of FDR. I knew what he was likely to do and what he wanted to do and I was confident that he would balance the two. Unfortunately, he surrounded himself with Clinton people (which was predictable) and they pushed him from doing anything really bold.

    In other words, I don't buy the conventional criticism of him because I think he really wants to be both. He's just too pragmatic.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Drew Downs+,

    Welcome. Always nice to heard from a new reader. And well-stated on your response to William. Couldn't have said it better.

    As for Obama? Yeah, I hear you. But there is pragmatism in being a tough negotiator too. There is pragmatism in not giving away every concession before negotioans even BEGIN. There is pragmatism (a TON of it) in not believing in the Rigth's better judgement or nature. For all his pragmatism - and I'm not disputing that there's been some, and that some was actually needed - he's shown an incredible naivete in his stategizing. And his refusal to call out the Republicans EACH-AND-EVERY-TIME (and for a while there ANY time!) only served to embolden them. "Yes, we can!" becames "Yes! Weak hand!" by June of 2008.

    Also... While I know what you mean, I'm not sure I'd call it the "conventional criticism" of him. That's what I call the mostly nonsensical bedwtting from the Right, as the balther about what a radical idealogue he is, and yet how the Liberals all worship him. I STILL HEAR THAT! I STILL READ THAT! It's unbeliebvable. I get asked by Conservtaives if I like Obama, and when I say "no" they assume I'm Conservtaive! (That's in person, not in the contect of this blog, of course.) And It amazes me how many self proclaimed centrists I talk to that STILL don't get it! The press is STARTING to tell the story, but IMHO, this is still only "Convention" here amongst us girls. Outside of the Liberal Blogs, and the occasional Liberal comentator? This is only just beginning to become the Convention Criticism, from what I've seen.

    Thanks so much for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "one side shoots itself in the foot and the other blocks anything they actually do try to accomplish. They don't cancel each other out! You don't have to "pick one" when they are both true."

    Drewdowns, I just don't believe that. There is a group who claims ability to accomplish much. There is a group who wants to stop them (you can't forget that happens no matter who is in control). Sure, they 'could' be intertwined, but it is more likely the first group simply doesn't have what it takes to get it done and they are using the other group as an excuse for their failure. They had the power to get anything done they wanted. Bush, Clinton, Bush got things done (for better or worse) because they wanted them done. This group of democrats? They promised to get it done. Then ... what? ... they got bored with actually having to do the work? So, now, they claim they couldn't get anything done (except the "impressive" parts) because the other group wouldn't let them. Well, apparently, they were able to get enough done for you to consider it impressive, but they are still whining that republicans stopped them from actually saving our nation. Our nation is in worse condition now than before they promised to fix it. Yet, the blame goes everywhere except to who was (is) in power. I say that is a typical liberal tactic and they play that card expertly. The blame for the woes of this country fall solely on who is in control, not who they blame for their impotence. They had the power to succeed, they chose not to exercise that power. They can't blame those who were going against them as the excuse for failure when they made the choice to fail. If they had actually tried to succeed, then your statement would be true. However, that did not happen.

    It's like the muscle-man on the beach being afraid to kick sand in the 98-lb weaklings face because ... because of what? Because the 98-lb weakling may respond? But he blames the 98-lb weakling for stopping him from kicking the sand.
    We have the democrats in power, but afraid to exercise the power they have for whatever reason and blame the republicans for stopping them and all their brilliant ideas. Lame ... pretty lame. Even worse is they get their followers to fall for that tactic and get re-elected if they promise to do it all over again.

    ReplyDelete
  15. William, way to double-down on belligerence. I imagine you won't get any arguments from us about the wimpyness of Senate Democrats and the Prez. But seriously, these two things are both true. In 2009-10, Democrats passed the most legislation in a generation. And at the same time there was a record number of filibusters cast BY DOUBLE! These both happened! What I spoke to was the problem Democrats had (expertly maneuvered by Mitch McConnell) which was to either claim their accomplishments or call out Republicans for their unprecedented obstruction. They chose the latter which made it difficult to argue the former.

    The reason classic liberals are pissed off about this is that Obama started from a moderate-right position on the big issues and allowed Republicans to stake their claim to a far-right position as "principled". That's BS and a miscalculation by the Prez.

    Lastly, the problem of the arrangement is this simple:
    Dems' primary position is to fix the economy and create jobs. Their secondary position is get SOMETHING done.
    The GOP's primary position is to deregulate and hope that businesses will create jobs. Their secondary position is to get NOTHING done so as to blame the president.
    What the media can't seem to figure out is that in every pole, > 70% want something to be done, but the GOP actually doesn't. If they can't have it their way in the minority or split government, btw then they don't want anything to get done.

    Please recognize that Obama passed a bunch of stuff BEFORE January 2011 pretty much ONLY because of big majorities; he has not only bent over backward, but contorted himself and broken a few limbs trying to accommodate to Republicans; and it is in the GOP's interest to bankrupt and FUBAR the government.

    And Dude, come on, you know there is never only one in control. Our government never works in lockstep. I blame the Democrats for not forcing the Republicans to actually filibuster, rather than just claim they'll do it.

    ReplyDelete