Monday, September 03, 2012

But He's Better Than Romney... No, Really; I--I--I Swear


I've had several offers to go Charlotte for the Democratic convention-- invitations to parties, invitations to enter contests, invitations to apply for press credentials, reminders I'm on the host committee for events down there, and so on. I'm not a fan of conventions to begin with, but one to nominate Barack Obama as the Democratic Party candidate for president? I avoided the one 4 years ago, even when there was still some glimmer of hope that the whole Hope and Change thing might possibly be, on a good day, more than a cute campaign slogan. Now there are no glimmers of hope... none whatsoever, not for anyone who's been paying attention. Instead there's a threat that Pete Peterson and his minions' nonstop lobbying for a toxic Grand Bargain that will destroy the Democratic Party brand is exactly what Obama intends to do after he's reelected. Except reading what's he's been saying about his willingness-- if no eagerness-- to compromise with the adamantly Austerian Republicans, I'd say there's a lot bigger chance of a horrid Grand Bargain after November 6 than there ever was that Hope and Change would lead to anything aside from the requisite election results last cycle.

So, yes, if you read DWT you know with which utter contempt I hold Republicans and conservatives and corporate whores and you know I agree with all that horrifying stuff Nick Kristof claimed about the Republican war against women in his NY Times column yesterday. Would it be catastrophic if Obama were to lose and Romney win in November? Yes. And if I lived in Ohio or Florida or Colorado or Wisconsin or any other swing state, I might even hold my nose and vote for Obama. But I live in California and I care barely wait to go to the polls and not vote for him.

I never read the NY Daily News when I was growing up in New York and I still don't. But I did note Jamelle Bouie's piece yesterday, Yes, We Must, in that paper. His point is that the demoralized Democrats who handed control of Congress over to the GOP in 2010 by boycotting the polls "need to snap out of it... They need to realize that Obama has been a very successful President, and the Republican alternative is as stark and dangerous as anything offered by President George W. Bush." And, he reminds us that the Republicans are awful and that they have a chance to win because of all the demoralized Democrats who are disappointed in Obama. "According to the latest Gallup poll, 53% of registered voters say they are enthusiastic about voting this year, compared to just 46% of Democrats." Imagine that! I understand why Democrats aren't enthusiastic about Obama-- he's turned out to be, at best, a mediocre hack-- but it's shocking that even Republicans could be enthused about a supreme nothing like Romney.
While the President is supported by the vast majority of Democrats and benefits from high intensity of support, it’s not hard to find those who are disappointed with Obama and the pace of change.

“I want to be happy with him,” said Democrat Kristine Vaughan, a 45-year-old school psychologist from Canton, Oh., in an interview with CBS News.

“But I am finding that he has succumbed to the corporate influence as much as everyone else. I think he has so much potential to break out of that, but overall he has been a disappointment.”

...Obama isn’t perfect. Democratic voters have some reason for disappointment or fatigue. But the simple fact is that for the vast majority of Americans, there’s nothing to gain from punishing the President.

Romney and Ryan are existential threats to everything exceptional about America. Is Obama? Is he less a corporate pawn? If he's reelected will his "Nixon's-China-Moment" be leading the Democrats into a crappy Austerity deal with the GOP and Mugwumpery? And this despite the utter failure of the Austerity agenda in Europe. Even conservative British businessmen have come to realize that it's all be a rather disastrous mistake.
Business support for the government’s austerity plan started to fracture on Thursday after one group called for a small stimulus funded through extra public borrowing.

The British Chambers of Commerce, which represents more than 100,000 businesses, said the UK had enough “wiggle room” to use a “moderate fiscal stimulus” to help lift the stagnant economy. ...With the economy in a double-dip recession and the budget deficit rising, pressure is building on the coalition government to do more to support growth.

However, Mr Osborne, the chancellor, has rejected calls to borrow more to stimulate demand.

George (formerly Gideon) Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Second Lord of the Treasury, a baronet and a crook, could be any of Obama's economic policy advisors, although none of them were members of the Bullingdon Club at Oxford. [This morning, Paul Krugman referred to him as a toned down Paul Ryan-sans-Ayn-Rand character.] I can't believe I get to run my favorite political song of the Age of Austerity again. I'm over the moon... even if it makes me cry (literally) to apply it to Barack Obama.

Oh, by the way, supporting and electing progressive proponents of growth and Prosperity Economics (like these men and women) is the way to counter whatever nightmares either presidential candidate is conjuring up for... well, the common people.

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At 2:27 PM, Anonymous rootless_e said...

What's funny about you Eeyore Democrats is that Barack Obama has made Social Security taxes more progressive and presided over a major growth in Medicare and yet you continue to make the same doom laden projections based on God know what drivel from Cable TV. Actual living human beings are getting preventive health care, being protected from insurance company abuses, and going to government funded health clinics, and you guys want to whine on about your pet schemes being ignored.


At 3:22 PM, Blogger John said...

Yes, I believe Obama IS ready to humanly, warmly, compassionately and credibly "make compromises" with the forces of resurgent American fascism.

No robot factor for BHO !!!

John Puma

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Dennis Jernberg said...

Me, I'm going to help the Gang Of Plunderers along to its grave by voting Democratic down-ticket. Since I live in liberal Washington state, I have the luxury of voting third-party at the top, so I probably will, just as I did so faithfully until 2000. I just have to find the right third-party ticket to vote for. Obama has pretty much already won my state, so I don't need to case my vote for him merely because he's the lesser evil. My focus is down-ticket.

As for the Repugs: the rule change they forced through at their convention, designed to prevent any populist insurgencies like those of Paul, Reagan, Goldwater, and (further back and more liberal) LaFollette, is their message that they're the Soviet Communist Party of the Radical Right, belonging to corporate socialist oligarchs and a shrinking theocratic base. I'm more confident than ever they'll go the way of the Whigs.

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Barry B said...

What's funny is the number of people whose only response to criticism of Obama is the kneejerk fear button (Scary!GOP!). Bring up a horde of things Obama has done, and they just tune it out and view you as demonic.

Jill Stein will get my vote for president. Beyond that, I'll be evaluating each candidate according to their record, and voting either Dem or third party.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only voters that matter to either legacy party are in a few counties in a few swing states.

So, if you don't live in Henrico, VA (say) vote for an emergent party like the Greens, or even write in ("Mike Check for President!)

At 7:09 PM, Anonymous root_e said...

But of course this complaint doesn't bring up a single thing President Obama has done.

Nothing. Just "I have a feeling".

At 2:09 PM, Blogger steve simels said...

Rootless old horse--you still humping Obama's leg over at the People's

Kudos and huzzahs, and enjoy the Social Security sellout in the 2nd term!!!

At 2:37 PM, Blogger MarkGisleson said...

Speaking as someone who can post freely under his own name, I'm not really sure I need advice from an anonymous commenter, but if rootless_e needs reasons for not voting for Obama in states where Romney can't win, here are a few:

Assassinating Americans on foreign soil
Continuing the war in Afghanistan
Trying to compromise with scorched earth extremists
Bending over for Wall Street
Refusing to investigate, let alone charge, Bush-Cheney officials with any of their myriad illegal acts

That took about five seconds. Now to yield the floor so I can take flack from some gutless anonymous commenter who's willing to pragmatically flush the Constitution down the toilet if it means making Wall Street safe for Democrats.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger gcwall said...

The fact is President Obama has taken many incremental steps to improve the lives of the middle class and poor. It is all that he has been allowed to do. All of us including the president are surrounded by plutocratic and fascist propagandists. They can make or break public servants and other government officials. They appear to hold consensus over many important issues regardless of the fact that many of their arguments are ideologically based.

President Obama's healthcare initiative resulted in a barrage of attacks against his character and it wasn't even universal/single payer healthcare. Progressives did not make as much noise in support of the healthcare act, so in a sense he was out on a limb alone.

Although a resurrgence of idealists is needed, today we must be realists and a realist knows that a Romney/Ryan win will be an insult to every man, woman and child in this country.

At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Barack Obama has made Social Security taxes more progressive"

he supported a temporary suspension of part of the payroll tax - which ultimately has the effect of underfunding social security making it ripe for 'reform'. & oh btw, that temp suspension is about to expire.

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous root_e said...

Kudos and huzzahs, and enjoy the Social Security sellout in the 2nd term!!!"

But you predicted a sellout in the first term and medicaid was expanded instead of cut. What happened? It's almost as if you are just some crank yelling "we're so fucked" over and over.

Bully for you.Others might be embarrassed to post such drivel under their own name.

"Assassinating Americans on foreign soil"

Ha ha. Keep weeping over superstitionist misogynist Al-Alwaqi. Some of us think that when President Lincoln ordered Americans shot on even American soil it was legal and ethical.
There is no constitutional right to wage war on America or to have a trial when you are in arms.

"Continuing the war in Afghanistan"

Dude. In America we have elections. Complain to your fellow citizen that they are not accepting your enlightened leadership.

"Trying to compromise with scorched earth extremists"

Haah. Yes, should have ruled by decree.

"Bending over for Wall Street"

Always with the weird sexual metaphors for you tough guys.

"Refusing to investigate, let alone charge, Bush-Cheney officials with any of their myriad illegal acts"

it's a tragedy, because in your dreams he promised that.

At 7:38 AM, Anonymous rootless_e said...

he supported a temporary suspension of part of the payroll tax

Which made SS funding less regressive, as I said.

- which ultimately has the effect of underfunding social security
No. Funding levels remained the same.

making it ripe for 'reform'.

Because the regressive nature of SS funding is somehow protective in planet progressive? You imagine Paul Ryan saying, "no we can't cut SS because it's funded by payroll tax"?

& oh btw, that temp suspension is about to expire.

Yes,and so? The sum total of what President Obama has done to SS over his first term is make its funding less regressive over that term. Let us weep and gnash teeth and join Simels in chanting his mantra "we are so fucked". The Revolutionary People's Eeyore Party is in the house.


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