Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Will Obama Sleep Through His Remaining Three Years?

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I don't know much about Martha Coakley. I doubt she's any more crappy than the rest of our nation's embarrassingly horrible political class-- although she did seem to want to break the world-record for conceding defeat last night. (Boneheaded? Sure, though not nearly as boneheaded as Virginia ConservaDem Jim Webb's declaration that there should be no votes in the Senate until Brown is seated, a bizarre approach considering that the other 99 senators were also elected by citizens of this country.) I don't want to blame Coakley for what happened, although I'm sure 52-47% vote could have been turned around with a better candidate. I thought Rep. Mike Capuano was a way better candidate, but Democrats in Massachusetts lightly attended primary picked Coakley and she... promptly went on a vacation and gave the Republicans all the time they needed to define Scott Brown and to define her. And that was that.

The media had their narrative in the can and ready to break out: "Democrats are too liberal." And you get a couple of bad faith reactionaries like Evan Bayh and Holy Joe Lieberman to repeat it on TV a couple of times and a chorus of other Republican-like Democrats to do the same and the Village will have it playing from every jukebox in the joint.

I know this sounds crass and worse but Obama's place in the history books is already assured. Aside from having been elected president-- almost always a big deal-- he's the first Black president. The "Hope and Change" thing was like a slogan, not a program and by the time he announced appointments like Rahm Emanuel and Lawrence Summers and his appendage Tim G, only the hopelessly naive could still persuade themselves that there was any hope for change. I hate to say "I told you so"-- worse is telling myself I told me so-- but Obama's Senate voting record (kind of an unattractive cross between his ConservaDem colleagues Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus) predicted it all. Agent of change? Well... symbolic change. And that's a biggie. But beyond that? Don't count on it. If you see Rahm move off to his destiny as heir to the legacy of Richard J. Daley, the next Capo di tutti capi of the Chicago Democratic Machine, maybe Obama is deciding to reach for the sky. But that's really unlikely. Turning the health care travesty into a straight-out expansion of Medicare-- the nightmare of the predatory, bribe-dispensing Insurance Industry and Medical-Industrial Complex-- is as unlikely as Obama actually turning on his-- and the political class'-- financiers on Wall Street or ending Bush's War, now his own, against Afghanistan. Last night Andy Stern, president of the SEIU said, "The reason Ted Kennedy's seat is no longer controlled by a Democrat is clear: Washington's inability to deliver the change voters demanded in November 2008. Make no mistake, political paralysis resulted in electoral failure."

What a hassle that would be for Obama to try to deliver! And who knows if he could accomplish anything! Doing nothing much... well, like I said, his place in history is set. Last night Peter Daou, a longtime respected blogger and former Hillary Clinton advisor, pointed out on HuffPo that liberal bloggers had indeed told Obama so. He points out that Obama "hasn't been true enough to fundamental Democratic principles, has embraced some of Bush's worst excesses on civil liberties, and has ditched popular ideas (like the public option) in favor of watered down centrist policies, thus looking weak and ineffectual."
[W]hen you fail to govern based on a morally sound, well-articulated, solidly-grounded set of ideals, you look weak. All the legislative wins in the world won't change that. People gravitate to people who exude moral authority. The vast majority of voters lack the detailed policy knowledge that would enable them to make an accurate assessment of policy differences, but they do have a visceral sense of when a candidate or an elected official believes in something and fights for it. It's why campaigns are laden with moral arguments; politicians ask to be elected because they'll "do the right thing." The right thing in the current administration's case was to be the anti-Bush, nothing more, nothing less. The ethical antidote to a radical administration. It was both politically smart and morally right. And it worked wonders for Democrats as the entire subtext of the 2008 campaign.

The problem was that immediately after the election, like one nano-second after, Obama and his centrist, defensive team Democrats began "undermining themselves with faux-bipartisanship and tepid policies."



Is there a message here? Sure-- Better Democrats, that's the message Democrats, the Village and the whole political class will understand... if we can deliver it. Wanna help? Hit that link on "Better Democrats."

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15 Comments:

At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Susie from Philly said...

Amen! Given the choice between a real Republican and a fake one, the voters will pick the real one every time.

 
At 7:49 AM, Anonymous me said...

"she did seem to want to break the world-record for conceding defeat"

It'll be tough to beat John Kerry's record.

I think the repubs' threat to beat Kerry next is very real. Kerry has been pretty damned worthless overall.

Donald Duck could have beaten Bush in 2004. But not John Kerry! He took out the best candidate we had (Howard Dean) and replaced him with his own miserable self. And proceeded to hand the election to Bush on a silver platter.

And then - instantly after the polls closed, despite having promised to "fight for every vote" after the stolen election in 2000 - Kerry conceded and decamped for a two-month vacation in Europe.

Kerry spent 30 years in the Senate, and still most Americans had never heard of him. WTF kind of leader is that??

Kerry is going down.

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best thing for America is if we have a lame duck for 3 years.

 
At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

Donald Duck could have beaten Bush in 2004. But not John Kerry! He took out the best candidate we had (Howard Dean) and replaced him with his own miserable self.

Exactly! I've repeated called Kerry the Lord of Sleep, and it's what he does best. He ran the usual gentlemanly campaign, and would have won if the election was given to the most sportsmanlike. Hell, that would have been Obama's award too, Me, as you and I both know, if he hadn't gotten one of the most powerful things in American politics on his side at the last minute: the economy. And he's preceded to prod tentatively at it in a way that wins him no support from progressives, while gathering ridicule and hatred from the Republicans he's attempting to conciliate.

Who are after him again even now, with his barely-there-tax for the big bailout group.

I can't say I'm disappointed in Obama, as I never had any hopes for him. But hey, he could at least have shown a capacity for learning from experience. Most of us know that if you have your leg bitten off by a rabid dog, you don't sit down to give it a hug. Not Obama.

 
At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

No disagreement here, me.

Kerry's my turn was just as bad as Bob Dole's and John McCain.

Perfect music selection as usual Howie, THANKS.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger Paul Hogue said...

This may be my new favorite blog. You're quite entertaining though I imagine you think you're being insightful.

 
At 9:02 AM, Anonymous me said...

"I can't say I'm disappointed in Obama, as I never had any hopes for him."

I can. I mean, he was not my preference by any means, but of the choices available, he was the least bad. I hoped that his HUGE mandate would embolden him to do what we wanted him to do.

But no dice (so far). What we needed was a combination of Franklin Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson. Instead, we got Casper Milquetoast.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous me said...

Dear Paul Hogue,

You'll feel more at home at Sarah Palin's web site. Or perhaps Hannity's, or Limbaugh's, or Beck's, or Coulter's, or Savage's. Or even Pat Robertson's.

Please pick a couple of those and go there. And don't come back.

Me

 
At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown should buy a bigger truck for all the bull shit he is carrying around. A real man not a girl going to Washington. And who better to save us from the bogeyman? Martha Moxley didn't get beaten to death with a six iron this time she got murdered by a curling iron up her butt. It's so good to have a real man around the house. Let's hope it doesn't take 15 years to so solve this crime against humanity. As Vonnegut said, "so it goes."

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous mikbee42 said...

obama came to office with his pajamas on! not only has he crapped all over progressives but the disappiontment in the black community is massive. not being able to say anything against obama
while having to watch him sell the middle class down the road. sellout sellout sellout! its so obvious.whats left of hope?,
a lame duck, single term backstabber.
idiot party!

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Paul Hogue said...

Dear Paul Hogue,

You'll feel more at home at Sarah Palin's web site. Or perhaps Hannity's, or Limbaugh's, or Beck's, or Coulter's, or Savage's. Or even Pat Robertson's.

Please pick a couple of those and go there. And don't come back.

Me


Oh but I like it here. You've been bookmarked; when I need a good laugh I'll be sure to pop in.

 
At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Me, be nice,

I LIKE the diversity of thought and non-group think, EVEN by people who may be not as right as us.

After all, some of us on this site, at least one of the owners, were in bed (OH JOHNNY!) big with John Edwards...

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

And that certainly includes ME me.

I can't believe he was cheating on ME too!

Oh JOHNNY! Say it aint so?!!!

 
At 2:26 PM, Anonymous me said...

"I LIKE the diversity of thought and non-group think"

Same here. But conservatives don't think - they merely parrot what they hear on the corporate media.

You certainly can't say that about non-corporate liberals, who own no major media.

 
At 9:05 PM, Blogger john galt said...

this is a funny web site it is certainty funnier than letterman when did progressive change it's meaning to marxism and i think for myself that's makes this very funny

 

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