• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    katiebird on Serial: I think I figured it…
    katiebird on Serial: I think I figured it…
    katiebird on Serial: I think I figured it…
    strangelybrown on Serial: I think I figured it…
    riverdaughter on Serial: I think I figured it…
    elliesmom on Serial: I think I figured it…
    katiebird on All Roads Lead to Jay
    riverdaughter on All Roads Lead to Jay
    katiebird on All Roads Lead to Jay
    katiebird on All Roads Lead to Jay
    katiebird on Getting a jump on Serial,
    riverdaughter on Getting a jump on Serial,
    katiebird on Getting a jump on Serial,
    katiebird on Getting a jump on Serial,
    riverdaughter on Getting a jump on Serial,
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama big pharma Bill Clinton Chris Christie cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean Joe Biden John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Keith Olbermann Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare occupy wall street OccupyWallStreet Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    November 2014
    S M T W T F S
    « Oct    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    30  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • A word on Abenomics, QE and doing Stimulus right
      Quantitative Easing, to put it simply, no matter what form you do it in, is only marginally effective. Most of the money goes to the rich, you may or may not get a technical win in GDP, and in many cases the money may flow out of the country. If you want to improve the [...]
  • Top Posts

Cynically Sussing the Paul Ryan Choice for Romney

“Braaaaains”

On the surface, Romney’s choice of zombie eyed granny starver Paul Ryan as his VP running mate shouldn’t make any sense.  This is the guy who is determined that everyone who isn’t wealthy or well-connected take a severe haircut in services, that we pay for, by the way, so that the wealthy and well-connected never have to pay us back for all the money we let them have in the past 30 years.  If Romney was up against the *old* Democratic party, it would be a piece of cake to shoot this down.

But the fact that Romney even made this choice in the first place indicates something entirely different.  For one thing, the Republicans have been saving their ammunition, and they must have a ton of it, while Obama has been burning through campaign money like a wildfire trying to cripple Romney and he hasn’t gotten much traction.  Obama even threw the tax return issue out there, probably because he felt he had to.  Romney can stonewall that from now until doomsday but the best time to have brought it up would have been just before the election.  What do the Democrats have left?

There must be an advantage to Romney picking Ryan or he wouldn’t have done it. Republicans play to win. I’m going to guess that the deficit hawkery is really important to the GOP to ensure its wealthy base pays nothing in taxes.  But it doesn’t want to necessarily kill the donor as long as there are still organs to harvest.  You don’t want full scale insurrection on your hands. So, choosing Ryan might have been a safer choice. Let’s try to reason this out:

1.) By getting Ryan out of the House, the pressure is off the GOP to actually go through with any severely drastic cut his plan would have provoked the Tea Party lunatics to demand.  The Tea Party won’t be happy until no one gets anything they PREPAID.  It’s a power thing, not a rational objective.  They’ll push the envelope because they can, not because it’s wise or good for the party.  But with Ryan out of their hair, the GOP leadership can claim they now have a power vacuum and who is going to take his place for pushing and whipping like he did?  They will look in vain for a replacement but all of the up-and-comers will fall short of Ryan’s brilliant political skills.  Maybe they won’t be able to get all the way through Atlas Shrugged or they have a nugget of compassion that hasn’t been bred out of them.  Who knows, but for some reason, they’ll be more self-effacing and compliant than Ryan.

2.) By getting Ryan in the VP spot for the election season, the GOP has a twofer: It can run on the deficit issue, which means that it will be all deficits, all the time on TV and in the papers from now until November, AND it can deep six Ryan in the VP position after the election where we will never hear from him again.  The VP spot is where politicians go to die, er, not literally but functionally.  Think about it, how many VPs have gone on to become president after running a successful campaign instead of after some catastrophic event?  I can only think of one in the recent past- George Bush Sr.  So, what Ryan stands for is important to the GOP message machine, but Paul Ryan himself is not so important or they would have left him where he was.

3.) It will force the Democrats to either out deficit hawk the Republicans, driving the election season narrative to the right, or it will give Democrats an opening to defend the American people from additional demands for sacrifice and economy killing cuts in government spending.  Ehhhh, I’m going to guess that the GOP knows Obama really well and anticipates that he will continue to go right.  It’s what he was hired to do.  The bankers want him to get rid of all entitlements so they won’t feel obligated (do they even have feelings of obligation and responsibility?) to discipline themselves and not gorge on more than they can swallow.  If Obama hadn’t come down so hard on the Occupy movement on the bankers’ behalf, he might have something to hide behind- a moral message about how wrong it is to hurt the 99% of us who work hard and play by the rules.  But he did and now he can’t.

All in all, I’d say this was a win for the GOP.  They know their message and propaganda machine is more than adequate to skew the Democrats’ counterpunch in their direction.  Obama has done a lousy job and he can’t run on the things that are really important to the 99%.  If unemployment were not an issue, the deficit problem wouldn’t be a problem, would it?  If more of us were back at work, we wouldn’t be collecting unemployment benefits, we’d be paying our taxes.  But because unemployment was NOT the focus of Obama’s four years in office, he’s not only allowed the little Depression to impoverish people, he’s added to the deficit because revenue has fallen off. Sure, running up a big deficit during a recession/depression is not a bad thing, but you’ve got to have a plan to replace the money you spent someday while jump starting an economic recovery and this is not an argument that Obama has chosen to make.

Krugman, Stiglitz, Romer, and some other economists have tried to convince him to do it in order to put people back to work, but he only wanted to listen to his banker friends and now he’s stuck.  In order to turn this around, he’s got to grow a unibrow and become a FDR style Democrat on steroids.  Cewl, swave and deboner will not cut it, especially when there’s more desperation than commitment behind the nasal stopped Chicago accented delivery.  He had four years, two of them with his party in majority in BOTH houses of Congress, and he wasted them, falling right into the trap the GOP laid and the rest of us anticipated. Republicans wanted to make life so difficult that the only way to make it better would be to apply New Deal strategies, which they would try to oppose.  A skillful politician would have gone bold and big.  Alas, we got Obama.

For a guy who has so many political gifts {{cough, cough}} and plays a mean game of 11-dimensional chess, he should have seen it coming.

************************************

One other thing that should be glaringly obvious: the *presumptive* lineup for both parties will contain…

four men

You know, this is the 21st century and it’s almost like the 20th never even happened when it comes to women.  All of the other countries in the world are at least struggling with their females in government problem.  Here, we act like there is no problem.

Even Pakistan has had a female head of state.  Pakistan.  But here?  Not even on the radar.

I’ve always wondered why women stay in abusive religions where they’re not considered the equal of men.  What’s in it for them?  And why don’t women ask that question of their parties?

Just curious.

************************************

And here’s a blast from the past.  This goes out to Paul Ryan and his buds:

Attention New Jersey Voters- Rocky Anderson will be on the ballot

Anderson/Rodriguez ballot positions

Democrats in Exile who want to vote for a candidate who more closely represents their point of view and values, should check out Rocky Anderson’s page.  He has a map that shows where he is now on the ballot for the fall election.  He will be on the ballot in New Jersey, probably in a dark, obscure corner in 9pt font.  You will need to be determined to find him but at least you will have an option.

You won’t need to vote for the crazy party with the whip kissing authoritarian, mean spirited, hard hearted judgmental, religious nutcases who worship greed and ignorance and crave for someone to beat them, beat them *hhhharder*.

Nor will you be forced to sign on to your own severe haircut courtesy of your former party who doesn’t have the guts to impose one on the banking industry that bought their candidate.  (Anyone who still thinks Hillary wouldn’t have been different isn’t seeing the whole picture yet.  There’s no chance in Hell the bankers were going to let a potential New New Dealer get anywhere near the mechanisms of government.  You’ve been HAD, guys.  Deal with it.)

The ability to exercise a choice is what separates free people from unfree people.  It separates democracies from single party governments and authoritarian regimes.  Right now, the major parties *think* they have you cornered.  You either vote for ugly or son of ugly.  And the son of ugly party isn’t going to offer you a better choice because son of ugly is firmly in the grips of the people who now own both parties.  As long as the Democrats do their financiers’ bidding, they’re going to keep offering you son of ugly candidates.  And if that’s the route they’re going to go, they’re going to make themselves irrelevant because no matter how you vote, you’re going to end up with the same thing: rule by rich, powerful MEN.

The Democrats think this strategy is working for them.  As long as they’re in power, they won’t challenge their masters.  If it looks like they’re going to lose, maybe they will.

Whatever.

I can almost hear the Democratic loyalists screaming, “Don’t throw your vote away!  If you do, the Republicans will win and the world will end and bad things will happen, you stupid, racist, low information voter!”

Let’s see, I’m a single divorced mother in the little Depression and I’ve lost my job in an industry that is deserting the US at an accelerated pace and is never coming back and I’m paying over $900/month for COBRA.  AND I live in New Jersey where the cost of living is ridiculous.  How can it get any worse??  Obama has been a disaster for me and my two daughters.  If the Democrats are really worried that they will lose the White House in November because some of us can’t stomach the thought of signing on to four more years of the party’s demands for self-evisceration, then they should seriously consider asking their candidate to step aside, just as they asked Jon Corzine to step aside in NJ in 2009 before he lost to Chris Christie.  In the meantime, I have to think about the future and make my decisions based on what will constitute my own future happiness and without any reference to the happiness of politicians indentured to the bonus class.  I don’t feel obligated to sacrifice any more to a party who treats me like a child and keeps telling me I must eat my beets before I can have broccolli.

When the Democratic party gets serious again about representing its base, they will let me know in a significant way.  Having Bill Clinton speak at the convention isn’t going to cut it.  It’s going to have to be a MUCH bigger signal than that.  After all, Obama, the *presumptive* nominee, would still be on the ballot and I don’t trust anything that comes out of Obama’s mouth.  After four years, there’s no reason to trust him. And if his plans to cut the deficit are true, I’d have to be a pretty gullible sucker to vote for him.  With either party, I’m going to be forced to sacrifice very deeply, painfully and to my ultimate detriment.  Why should I sign on to that?  If the Democrats want me to vote for them again, they’re going to have to reestablish my trust.  They aren’t making any moves in that direction.

So, why shouldn’t I put my efforts in to changing the system, starting now, even if it takes a long time?  I’ve got decades until retirement. I might as well look after my own interests from now on, not some major party’s.

I’m not interested in playing games or jumping to the financiers’ tune.  I’m interested in putting the country back to work, holding people accountable for their actions, ending the wars that are sucking us dry, and equality for all people regardless of sex or sexual orientation.  And now, I have a choice just like all the other voters in NJ, and Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and FLORIDA!  If you’re in Minnesota, Idaho, Vermont and Rhode Island, the campaign is looking for volunteers to get petitions to get on the ballot.  In some of the other states, like NY and PA, your write in vote will count.  But there are still some big states out there, like California and Texas, where the state still needs petitions signed to allow Anderson’s vote to be counted as a write in.

Think about it.  Ugly, son of ugly or something completely different.  Don’t let anyone tell you that unless you vote for one of the major parties that your vote doesn’t matter.  Now, you have two viable alternatives: Anderson or Jill Stein.

*********************

And while the Obama campaign is burning through money like there’s no tomorrow, throwing everything it can at Mitt Romney, it’s barely moving the needle in the polls.

New results from surveys over the past week in Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin, combined with surveys last week in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, show that Mr. Romney so far appears to be holding his own with that group, but running no stronger than Senator John McCain did four years ago.

Similarly, Mr. Romney is trying to peel off as many female voters as possible from Mr. Obama’s electoral coalition, hoping to offset the president’s advantages among single and nonwhite women by appealing to married and white women with a message about economic security and pocketbook issues.

But while the poll suggests that Mr. Romney is making inroads among women in Colorado, where he is also showing strength against Mr. Obama by several other measures, support for Mr. Obama among women has otherwise held up in the battleground states. As a result, Mr. Obama has so far been able to stave off bigger losses in the most hotly contested states, in particular among independents, who are divided in Colorado and Wisconsin and supporting Mr. Romney in Virginia, and white men, who are supporting Mr. Romney by double digits over the president in all three states.

Take a look at that sentence in bold.  That right there is the nugget that keeps getting buried by all of the Democratic loyalists who make it sounds like he’s on track for term two.  Obama is not going to battle to victory.  He’s spending obscene gobs of cash and he *still* can’t keep from sliding in the polls.  He’s just not sliding as badly.  His campaign has Jon Corzine written all over it.  Far from ensuring a Democratic victory in November, the Democrats are making a Republican one more likely by running with a guy we can’t trust who is without a shadow of a doubt in the pocket of the very same assholes who created the mess in the first place.

Sure, it may be tricky to change horses mid stream but not when you have a much stronger candidate available.

*********************

How to stand up to intense pressure and ridiculous arguments from the aristocratic rich with dignity, courtesy of Jane Austen:

If you are saying that the only choice…

…is either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, then you’re working with the enemy.

It’s evil to buy into the idea that we can only pick one of these two completely unacceptable politicians.  Neither one of them has the desire or the capacity to change the course that America is presently on.

A half a decade ago, I would have agreed that there was a difference between the parties.  Now, the difference is so subtle that the results would be inconsequential.  The difference between Romney and Clinton or Gore? HUGE.  The difference between Romney and Obama?  Barely noticeable.

I’m not into self-delusion.  I want power as much as the next person.  Anyone who thinks they are going to get even a minute smidgeon of influence by voting for Obama is out of his or her effing mind.  You can only get power by joining with others and refusing to go along with the intentional destruction of your rights.

I’m surprised that the blogosphere has *still* not gotten the courage to fight back.  So, are we supposed to lapse into the dog days of summer, waiting for the inevitable, while Obama and Rahm and the other Chicago style Dems hold the liberals hostage? If you weren’t appalled by Rahm’s authoritarian attack on free speech in the Chik-fil-A debacle, you weren’t paying attention to all of the violent crackdowns on Occupy and the inability of citizens to express their grievances in a public place.

You’ll get more of that if you continue to elect this version of Democrats.  There ARE other options but if you don’t want to discuss them, then yeah, I guess you’ll have to choose one of the two bad guys.  The rest of us will turn our backs and walk away just like the party walked away from us and our trivial no jobs/no money problems.

I am not going to vote for another enabler of the financial industry.  I want someone who is going to put these assholes in rehab so we can get our jobs back and save for old age again.  If you think for one minute that Barack Obama is your guy, you’re delusional.

Re Mitt: No one cares

You left blogospherians who got your marching orders from the DNC to Gore Mitt are wasting your time.  You could be blogging more productively about what Obama has or has not planned for his second term, presuming he gets one.

The more the Democrats get their knickers in a twist over Mitt’s latest ridiculous spewing of nonsense, the angrier I get.  The whole country is falling apart, people are not making money, they’re losing their jobs-still, the economy is growing at a paltry 1.7% and all the Democrats can think of is Mitt’s stupid Olympic comments?  Really?  This is the best the Democrats can do?  Relentless attacks on your opponent only work for the first term.  They are not substitutes for planning or policy.  Does the DNC think we aren’t paying attention?

This is not a game of who can out ridicule.  It’s not a game period. I don’t think that crap is going to work this year.  When I go to the polls my vote is going to the person who pisses me off the least.  Right now, the Democrats and Obama are making my blood boil.

Repeat after me: All the voters want to hear about is how Obama is going to get us back to work and when he is going to arrest the bankers.

I will vote for the candidate who has a plan to move my 401K to a defined benefit pension plan and promises to not touch Social Security.

Short of that, the Mitt Shit is BORING.  Nothing is going to make me vote for him anyway but the longer this nonsense goes on, the more attractive Jill Stein is looking to me and I never thought I’d say that.

Keep it up and I’m going Green.

Politicizing gun control? Are you kidding me??

This is more dangerous and political than….

Update: Here’s a new article in the NYTimes about the candidates’ reluctance to talk about gun control.  What I get from this is that both candidates think they have more to lose from pissing off the gun nuts than half of the voters in this country.

It’s the biggest slap in the face to women who have been bumped down to second class status by the relentless discussion of personal reproductive matters, as well as dismissive of anyone who cares about unregulated access to guns and ammunition.  Do voters have ANY say at all in this country anymore about what is important to them?

I caught up with the Daily Show this morning and did you know that if we want to discuss regulating access to guns, even just sloooooooowing the process down so that murderous paranoid psychotics can’t get their hands on them without raising suspicion, that we are “politicizing” gun control?

Yep, not only that but it’s an “unpopular” position for a candidate to take.  Really? And how do we know it’s unpopular if no one is allowed to discuss it publicly?  Can we take a vote on that?

The New York Times is a master of understatement on the issue:

Responding to the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo., Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York,called on the presidential nominees Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to come up with a comprehensive gun control policy.

That might require political courage. Despite feelings of outrage over the horrific loss of life from shootings like the one on Friday, support for gun control has declined. Can a politician, particularly a presidential candidate, buck conventional wisdom and show leadership by calling for an assault weapons ban, even if it might not be popular?

Ok, let me put it this way.  The President is supposed to be a leader.  Leaders lead.  That means they persuade people to do things they might not otherwise do. So, if the presidential candidates do not want to talk about how families’ lives and finances have been ruined as a result of free access to guns no matter how crazy the buyer is, because it *might* make them unpopular, then maybe they should find another profession.  They could become accountants or ceramic artists where leadership on public matters is not a desired characteristic.

But wait!  There’s more.

While it is completely unacceptable for us to discuss gun control because congress is exhausted by the subject and the issue is now “settled”, it is perfectly fine to discuss and find ways to regulate lady parts because that is NOT settled, even after 50 years when we all thought it was.

So, to recap: Gun control- unpopular, exhausting subject that is so five minutes ago.

Your Reproductive Organs- perpetually pleasing topic of conversation, politically popular, never goes out of style, DESPERATELY IN NEED OF IMMEDIATE REGULATION!

this. These are not at all dangerous or political.

Guns- kill human beings with jobs, responsibilities, lovers, children, parents and friends.

Your Reproductive Organ- May contain human beings that might develop all the characteristics of a gun victim.  Or it may not.  Or may be waiting for a player to be named later.  The people that potential human touches is limited to one- the bearer.

I don’t know about you but I think we could all stand to hear a lot less about the latter and a whole lot more on the former.  Gun control needs to get as much attention as possible.  You can call it politicizing if you like, like I give a f^&*.

I call it self-preservation, maturity and common sense.

We’ve got our priorities all wrong if it is so outre to talk about how gun access has changed people’s lives permanently and destroyed their futures but have verbal diarrhea every damn day about whether or not some coed should have unfettered access to Lo-Ovral.   There’s something very wrong, tribal and unmodern with American society today if we think that somehow it’s OK to treat half the population as cattle that needs to be herded but the wannabee warriors in the crowd are allowed to be as violent as possible and no one is supposed to talk about these inconsistencies.

It’s sick.

Will someone please tell me where the women’s orgs are?  Why they f^&* are we putting up with this s^&* during election season and letting the candidates get away with it?  This is outrageous.  No piece of legislation on reproductive rights should go to the floor of any legislative body without a companion piece of legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of crazy people.

Let’s make a deal: We’ll stop politicizing gun control when politicians stop politicizing our vaginas.

******************************

Tana French, the only mystery/thriller writer I read, has a new book featuring more of her characters from her Dublin murder squad.  The new title is Broken Harbor.  I love the way French writes.  Her characters are vivid and deep, the dialogue snappy and sharp.  It’s hard not to like some of these people, even the flawed ones.

Three days until my Audible credits renew.  I can barely stand it.  If you’re looking for a good beach read that is not brainless chick lit and interested in diving into mystery a la French, start with In the Woods.

******************************

Totally off topic, this is Jack Van Impe and his dotty wife Rexella talking about The Rapture.  These two are very clever.  It feels like Van Impe uses rapid fire scripture citations to invoke some kind of trance state.  There are people out there who think he has this stuff in instant access memory.  I think he’s either reading it from the teleprompter or listening to the bluetooth in his ear.  Or maybe he does have it all memorized because he’s done this schtick for so long.  But to me, I hear “Oh, we got trouble, right here in River City” playing music in the background.

So, here’s Trouble in River City.  Compare and contrast:

Ignoring the polls

Gosh, if you’ve been reading Digby, Paul Krugman or Charles Pierce (among many, many others) you’d think that Mitt Romney was Thurston Howell III born with a silver horse in his mouth.  He’s out of touch, insensitive and politically tone deaf.  And rich.  And his rich friends are arrogant, condescending, name dropping uber contributors of the 1% who think they are more equal than the rest of us.

There’s nothing to like about this guy.  Seriously.  He is very unlikeable.  Plus, he’s a Mormon.  Those damn Mormons.  I think they have some weird eugenics program where they only breed good looking ones that have outwardly perfect families and where the mother has a homemaking blog and does interior design in her DIY tiny house that she built herself while caring for 4 small children under the age of 3.  Don’t ask me how she does it but women like her make other women feel inadequate.

Mormons and scientologists.  I’m always disappointed when I run across a blogger or celebrity who is a believer of either religion.  I feel like they’ve let me down.  Like Elizabeth Moss who plays Peggy Olsen on Mad Men?  Every time I see her on TV, it’s like she’s got “SCIENTOLOGIST” stamped in spacey ultraviolet across her forehead.  I can’t get past it.  She might be the best damn ad copywriter in Manhattan but she still thinks she’s full of engrams and that’s where the careful constructed illusion of the brilliant writers falls apart for me.  I *almost* buy into her character and then, boom, there I am, thinking about Sea Org instead of her Heinz bean pitch.

Who in their right mind believes that humans who pass all their earthly tests may get their own planet someday, or are the re-embodied spirit enemies of an intergalactic overlord named Xinu?  Who really believes that stuff?  It’s like fairy tales and horror stories and the made up religion of a con man.  But whatever.  There are some mainstream people who believe in trees with magical fruit and talking snakes, so, you know, Mormons aren’t so far out there when you think about it.  Still, if you’re going to start a religion in the modern age, why wouldn’t you create a story that’s a bit more believable, unless religions have to be unbelievable to be believed in one of those weird manifestations of human psychology.  Maybe Joseph Smith would have been the first guy to think up the Nigerian bank scam email if he were alive today.  I think that’s why I get so disappointed when I find out a blogger is a Mormon.    I understand (sort of) why the Judeo-Christian religions took root.  They’re too old to have had a conman starting them.  They’re the aggregation of myths and histories and traditions over thousands of years. Sure, it’s time to retire them for an updated God v2.0 but I can understand why it’s harder to resist religions that are so entrenched.  But Mormonism and Dianetics? People should know better.

I wandered significantly off topic there.

Ok, so the topic wasn’t really Mormonism (or Thetans).  The topic is that despite the non-Mormon related glaring faults of the Republican candidate, and all of his lackeys, he is still in a statistical dead heat with Barack Obama.  Yep, you’d think with all that Obama supposedly has going with him, he’d be kicking Mitt’s ass all over Utah.  But that’s not what’s happening.

And if you look at the numbers, it’s not like the Republicans love their candidate.  They don’t.  It’s just that he is their instrument to score one against the Democrats.  It’s up to the political scientists to tell us why this is but my opinion, for what it’s worth, is that Barack Obama doesn’t really stand for anything except persistant failure over the past four years.  It is because he is running on his “achievements” and his “achievements” were not transformative that he is having trouble.  If he’d done something earth shaking in the Democratic tradition, voters would have a more defined opinion of him.  They’d either love him or hate him. A Republican Town Hall meeting might end up going something like this:

But the healthcare reform act didn’t actually do much.  A lot of the ACA isn’t going to go into effect until 2014 so there’s no way to say whether it is a success yet.  And the ACA doesn’t really make any bold transformative changes anyway.  It’s not like the WPA or Social Security or Medicare that had a lot of popular support.  There won’t be enough personal testimonies before election day.  Instead, there is persistent unemployment and an unending drag on the economy as our jobs, wages and standard of living are eroded away.

Sure, the Republicans are standing in the way of progress.  But this president didn’t bother to differentiate himself.  When The Village repeatedly urged him to compromise bipartisanly against our better judgement, he did.  Well, Ok then.  Now that we’ve run that experiment and have shown conclusively that it does not appear to work with this group of Republicans, the White House should have grown a unibrow and gotten tough, not doubled down on a wimpy losing strategy.

I love how Paul Krugman keeps yelling at the Tom Friedman types to stop pining for a centrist because they already have one in Obama.  But in these poll numbers, that’s part of the problem.  The public doesn’t see Obama as the centrist that he is.  They see him as a liberal Democrat, which he most certainly is not.  If he were a liberal Democrat, promoting liberal Democratic things and rallying the Democrats in Congress with purpose to help homeowners and working people, he wouldn’t be tied in the polls with a clueless, wealthy Mormon.  He’d be eating the Mormon’s decaffeinated lunch.  I don’t think Americans think Obama cares all that much about them.  A lot of that has to do with the right wing noise machine.  But let’s remember that the noise machine and Congressional opposition was just as strong against Bill Clinton and he wasn’t tied with Bob Dole at this point in 1996.

You can blame racism on the tie but politicos who do that are only making it worse for Obama.  To blame the voters ignores the real, lasting effects of this prolonged recession on our society.  Everyone knows someone who doesn’t have a job or is losing their house or can’t afford their student loans.  There’s a lot of anger.  There’s a lot of confusion by the right wing about what the solution should be to fix these problems.  And there’s also a candidate who will be held responsible for not putting more effort into doing his job.

No matter how unlikeable you make his opponent, this election was always going to be a referendum on Obama.  That’s what the polls are saying and what we have been saying all along.

Recap

You could have had a V8.

Update: I don’t agree with Digby’s latest post that it’s all the Republicans fault that we’re stuck at 8.2% unemployment.  Yes, all of the things she lists the Republicans definitely did.  They’re bastards and they have a vested interest in seeing that Obama is a one term president.

The problem with her argument is that in the first two years of the crisis, it was Democrats who had the power to ram through any damn thing they wanted to.  They could have played hardball and stuck together and presented a united front.  I’m even betting that Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman could have been leaned on to get their asses into line.  But there was no political push to do this.  It was an emergency and yet, the incoming Obama administration had no plans when it came into office.  It didn’t do its homework.  There has been plenty of evidence that Obama and Geithner totally blew it in the first two years and that’s why we’re stuck.

But the worst thing is that they seem to have just thrown up their hands and are are like, “Well, what do you want us to do about it now??  This shit is getting old.”  Let me just remind you that this is the same campaign tactic that Jon Corzine took and it didn’t work for him.

Let’s face it, the Democrats did this to the country when they decided to put a complete novice, bought by Wall Street, who had almost no legislative experience, in charge of the most important nation in the world in the midst of the worst economic downturn in 80 years.  There is no getting around it.  Obama’s lack of legislative progress reminds me of JFK’s and that was primarily self-inflicted because the Kennedy crew refused to use LBJ to muscle arm people into line.

Obama wasn’t dealing with a 100% hostile Congress in 2009.  He had almost a mandate and he could have used his political capital at that time to demand just about anything.  Instead, he spent an awful lot of time preening for the camera during the first two years and I know this because his face was on TV in the company cafeteria every fricking day during lunch.

I don’t know what is wrong with this batch of Democrats but I don’t trust them.  They’re too friendly to bankers, too dismissive of working people and they don’t do their homework.  Obama and his crew did not come to Washington with a plan to save homeowners and preserve jobs.  They just didn’t, Digby.  There is no evidence that they even made those items a priority and plenty of evidence that they bent over backwards to save the financiers from the consequences of their bad behavior.  You can blame the other side all you want but the lack of plans is very telling and you can’t blame that on Republicans.  No one should get blamed for the lack of planning but Obama and the Democrats.  They let us all down and this particular batch does not deserve four more years.

As long as the Democrats refuse to change their lineup, that leaves us with Mitt, who we also don’t want.  I’d like to think there was a difference between the parties but I’m looking at a party of almost criminal incompetence vs a party of insanity.  As far as choices go, this is as bad as it gets.  We can’t do anything to change the crazy Republicans and as long as Obama is on the ticket, we will have to expect more of the same lassitude for four more years.  It is only by changing out the top of the ticket do we push the election into a new energy state and have a hint of a possibility of recapturing a mandate.  At this point, working people on both sides need something to look forward to.  There’s only one person who could potentially pull this off.

Otherwise, we continue on in our lost decade, the rich get stronger, the voters continue to be disenfranchised and any hope that we will regain our footing will be lost for a long, long time.

*************************************

Let’s recap where we are leading up to this election, shall we:

The economy added a lousy 80,000 jobs last month.  The unemployment rate is stubbornly stuck at 8.2%.  Expect the assholes who are sitting on the money to stay sat until they get what they want, whatever that is.  In Ron Suskind’s book, Confidence Men, he describes a proposal by Christina Romer, chairwoman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, that $100 billion would go a long way to putting many unemployed people back to work.  There were still Democratic majorities in Congress at the time. Obama passed on it.

Frankly, I’m finding this election to be really boring.  I don’t care how many frogs Mitt Romney blew up when he was a child or that Ann likes dressage.  I. Don’t. Care. Please don’t waste my time telling me how awful Republicans are, as if I didn’t already know.

Tell me why the Democrats aren’t just as awful from the standpoint of the unemployed.  You know what?  You can’t.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is on a marathon trip around the world putting out multiple fires, likely without much help from the National Security advisors who seem to like putting her in tight spots and then hanging her our to dry all by herself on the world stage.  Nice way to support the State department.  Way to go, Obama administration. Oh, and we haven’t gone to war with Iran yet, which all of the anti-Hillary Democrats were *convinced* she was going to do.

So, you know, there’s that.

Plus more people are losing their homes, yada-yada-yada…

There’s still time.  If the impending catastrophe in November is starting to look like the end of the world as we know it, and more voter suppression and internet censorship will surely follow, NOW would be the time to register your concern with your local Democratic party apparatus.

It ain’t over until the balloons drop in Charlotte.

Trust me, Democrats, you do not want to bore your voters.  And right now, there are a lot of us out here who are less likely to vote for your candidate with each new revelation about his administration.  The peer pressure tactics may not work nearly as well this year.  What makes me furious with the Democratic party is their insistence on ignoring voters and acting all parental about what candidates we are allowed to choose from.  Then comes the pressure tactics where you’re made to feel guilty if you don’t choose one of these horrible people.  You know, f^*( that sh^&.  It’s not up to me to make this right for the Democrats.  It’s up to the Democrats to make this right for me.  I’m sick of voting for the lesser evil, especially because I can’t tell anymore who that person is.  Don’t roll your eyes at me.  It’s not obvious to those of us who are losing our standards of living, watching Obama stand by while Rome burns.  He doesn’t take any pains to disguise his ennui for people losing their houses and everything else they worked so hard for.  And his crowd suppression tactics of the Occupy movement tells me all I need to know about whether he intends to do anything about our grievances.

So, shove it, D’s.  Get him the f&(* out of there or YOU will be responsible for what happens next.  The authoritarian strain is strong in this one and I refuse to participate in the destruction of the Democratic party any longer.

***************************

Here is the current Obama attitude as interpreted by Lilly Von Shtupp:

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 471 other followers