• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    riverdaughter on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Propertius on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Monster from the Id on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Sweet Sue on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    katiebird on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Mr Mike on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Mr Mike on The Politics of Personality…
    Sweet Sue on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    godtisx on The Narcissism Epidemic
    Propertius on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    abc on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    bellecat on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Kali on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    gwoman on The Politics of Personality…
    redscott on The Employment Index: Wish me…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama big pharma Bill Clinton Chris Christie cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos debate 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 Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    September 2014
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    282930  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Looks like Scottish Independence is a “No”
      The calls are coming in. Assuming they are correct, I think this vote is a mistake, and I note that having been given a clean vote to leave and a chance to live their own values, but having given in to fear; for me, at least, Scottish complaints about privatization of the NHS and other [...]
  • Top Posts

Wednesday: Two things

A bit busy today.  Have to bop over to the library and look up some new papers.  So this will be brief.  (Ha-ha, it never is, right?)

Thing One: It looks like Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee.  How can we tell so early in the primaries, you ask?  Well, unlike the byzantine and UN-democratic Democratic primary system, which can be reconfigured on the spur of the moment to suit the intended outcome of the party uberclass (and its Wall Street backers), the Republican primaries are winner take all.  So, in just a few states, the frontrunner can put a sizeable distance between himself and the next tier.

What is interesting to me is the positioning of Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum.  It signals to me that the people of New Hampshire want more of a “moderate” Republican and cooled to the religious nutcases.  In fact, knowing my own religious nutcases, they might have thought Santorum’s thoughts on birth control extreme.  For one thing, they’re not against birth control, as long as it’s only for married couples.  But Santorum didn’t sound like he was discriminating between FORNICATORS and married men and women doing whatever unspeakable things they want to do in the dark.  And THAT probably made them focus on another aspect of Santorum’s person- he’s a papist.  Yup, and he’s not the John Kennedy “this is the 60’s, we’re enlightened Catholics and don’t take orders from the pope” kind of papist.  Santorum is the Torquemada kind or the kind that would have made Galileo renounce the heliocentric theory.  He’s the baaaaaad kind of papist who probably gets email messages with orders straight from the Vatican itself every morning.  He’s the kind who we suspect scourges himself right after he has sex with his wife.  The one thing the evangelical fundy distrusts slightly less than an atheist and a muslim is a papist.

Santorum got all giddy and is now going to suffer from the “Oh, shit, did I say that out loud?” gaffe.  The evangelical fundy crowd is still going to need a religious type to balance out Romney the Mormon.  Maybe Santorum will get VP.  Who knows.  But Romney is going to bring the nomination in for a landing.  And if it’s Romney, Obama is going to have some problems because to the rest of us, the only difference between the two of them is that Obama didn’t run a private equity firm first.

Thing Two: Does anyone remember when Michelle Obama in 2008 made that crack on an ABCNews interview about how she was going to be paying close attention to Hillary’s tone?  Ahhh, here it is.  (H/T Delphyne):

I don’t know about taking the country in a new direction but he most certainly did take the Democratic party in one, specifically wayyyyy to the right.  But I digress.

I remember thinking that Hillary wasn’t running against Michelle but this was a diabolical move by Obama’s campaign staff to set up a Crystal Carrington- Alexis Carrington “cat fight in the pool” scene.  I appreciated how Hillary refused to take the bait.

Then Michelle moved into the White House and played the role of suburban stay-at-home  wife that is all too common around here in central NJ when hubby’s income reaches the level to which they intend to become accustomed.  It doesn’t matter how long she took to get her law degree or masters in public administration or MBA, she quits and stays home to tend the garden.  You won’t hear another controversial or opinionated statement out of her mouth ever again.  She will become as boring as lemon jello.  Having a life outside the home is no longer her role.  Her role is to maintain relationships with the other couples in the neighborhood.  It’s strictly social.  Work?  That’s for women who are married to losers or who aren’t married at all.  Ladies do not work.

Then Michelle docilely travelled the world in her awkwardly tailored, but modest and boring A-line skirts and twin sets, assuming the role of the tall but silent second class sidekick.  Well, of course, it was all perfectly arranged by his advisors so as to look like she wasn’t interfering in his work, that she knew her place and that was to be invisible, or as invisible as a beautiful, statuesque amazon was supposed to be.  Her brains were of no interest to them.  The less known about the internal workings of Michelle’s brain, the better.   The Washington press corps and their little Village does not understand women who think for themselves and it was much better for Michelle to know her place than push the envelope and stir Sally Quinn and her hive into a frenzied, relentless pursuit of trivialities and rumormongering.  And besides, the first lady doesn’t really have any official capacity, and lord help us, we don’t want her to develop any policies that might prove to be crucial 15 years later, unless she’s secretly lobbying for some hospital association but strictly on the QT.

Michelle bought into this.  In fact, she bought into it so thoroughly that she had to have her mother move in and take over some of her duties so that any perceived power was even further diluted.  And what the heck was going on with Desiree Rogers who got her ass canned for dressing too nicely and unintentionally letting the riff raff in to a “members only” soiree at the White House?  Well, anyway, the role of woman in the White House is to 1.) look ornamental 2.) keep her mouth shut  3.) keep The Village quiet and 4.) not make policy.  This applies not only to the first lady but also to the women who had to work for her husband, like Christine Romer, Sheila Bair, Elizabeth Warren, people like that.  One might have thought that Michelle would have spoken up for them but she did not.

She *could* have taken a different route.  She could have been more of a Rosalyn Carter or a Hillary Clinton.  But then, we would have been complaining about her “tone” and Michelle has shown by her own example, that she would prefer to take a backseat and be a model of the flavorless surburban privileged woman and not a courageous leader who bucks the trend and tries to break new boundaries for American women.

I don’t mind that she wanted a nice family life.  I don’t begrudge that of anyone who lives in the White House, including Anne Romney who is living with MS.  If she thinks that being a good mother means staying at home to tend to two tweens who are at school for most of the day, who am I to judge?  And if she wants her husband to take her to a night out to NYC for a play, I’m all for it.  No, seriously.  Life in the White House is grueling no matter how cul-de-sac you arrange your life to be.  Anyone who lives in that environment needs a little privacy and normalcy.

But if  you signed up for Betty Crocker and the long suffering Griselda, if you turned your back on millions of working women with brains, both in the White House conference rooms and out in the civilian working world, don’t start looking for sympathy later.  Don’t complain about your husband’s advisors who strapped you into this role and from whom you accepted the harness voluntarily.  We don’t care, Michelle.  By your example, you set the rest of us back by four decades.  You abandoned us and let us fend for ourselves in the west wing and the laboratories and factories and the conference rooms and the universities and the sports fields and the abortion clinics.  You’ve spent three years in absence after your husband cheated a more worthy person out of a nomination.  You did not pick up the standard that she had to leave behind.  Challenging the status quo wouldn’t have made you an “Angry black woman”.  It would have made you a person in your own right.   The fact that you have to defend yourself to say that you played no role in your husband’s administration is not a good thing, Michelle.   If you’re not going to assert yourself, it would be better for you to now remain silent.

Don’t make it worse for us.

Choices, clarified

The Hillary2012 robocalls have spread to swing states and while we’re not really sure who is doing them or for what purpose (it could be that they just want Hillary in 2012), there’s something that the Obama contingent should keep in mind.

We have heard over and over again that Hillary has no plans to run in 2012.  Plans can change but we’ll take her at her word, for now.  However, just because the person most likely to succeed in capturing the White House for the Democrats is staying out of the race (for now), that doesn’t automatically mean that we have to vote for Obama.  All it means is that the Democratic party persists in offering me a lousy choice of a presidential candidate who does not meet my standards of executive leadership, performance or ethics.  That’s all it means.  My position has not changed.

If Bill Clinton wants to lower his standards and vote for Obama, that’s his choice.  He is a loyal Democrat and his opinion is still of value to the Democratic party.  But I don’t have to follow his advice.  My vote is my own and I am no longer a member of the Democratic party.  After 2008, I feel no sense of obligation or loyalty to the party.  The party hasn’t scored any points with me and I’m fairly moderate in my liberalism.  I’m not a tree hugging, vegan, anti-nuke, anti-genetically modified corn crunchy granola type.  That doesn’t make me an independent by choice.  I only mean to say that I don’t accept a lot of left dogma as part of my tribal identity.  I find Chris Hedges types to be pompous, pseudosincere, impractical bores who I would not want to chat with at a cocktail party.  I might want to sit in a dark corner and watch him do his thing but I’m not going to submissively approach and touch him like he’s the alpha male chimp of my unit group.

Here’s the bottom line, if Hillary jumps in the race, I’ll vote for her.  I’m not so pure that I blame her single vote out of 99 for the Iraq War Resolution (because that would be stupid, illogical and hypocritical especially if I had planned to vote for John Edwards in 2008 before he dropped out).  I also don’t blame her for the fact that the wars didn’t end on January 20, 2009.  That was never going to happen even if Gandhi had been elected because the Bushies intentionally destabilized central asia before they left.  I also don’t think she is the only person in the world who has accepted money from lobbyists but I do give her credit for not allowing that money to cloud her judgment or mess with her principles.  So, yeah, I’d vote for her if she got in.

I’d also vote for other Democrats should they decide to run.  Like Sherrod Brown.  Or Ed Rendell.  Or even Al Franken, though most Americans don’t understand how serious and committed he is and he’d have an uphill battle there.  But still, if he decided to run, I’d vote for him and campaign for him and walk the streets for him- gladly and with much enthusiasm.  Same with Bernie Sanders.

But if the DNC thinks I will just fall into line behind Obama after his poor performance, then they can kiss my ass.  Putting him out there for a second run is easy for the Democrats but I’m not accepting easy from them this year and neither should anyone else. If Obama had run for president on some obscure party ticket and ended up on the ballot in 2008, no one would have voted for him. Go on and do a thought experiment on this.  Imagine Barack Obama running for president as the nominee of the Green party in 2008.  The Green party has had African American candidates before.  Some of them might have been pretty good candidates.  But have you ever seen the media go nuts over a Green party candidate?  Of course not.  If Hillary ran for the Green party in 2008, that would be news. Obama running as a Green in 2008?  Snore. The Green party hasn’t reached the threshold of electoral numbers and victories that would give it the proper gravitas.  Neither has any other obscure established party.   It was only the fact that Obama scored the Democratic party nomination that made him seem like a legitimate and serious candidate.

Come to think of it, the “third party test” will now become a part of my criteria for evaluating major party candidates for office during the primaries and general election.  I will now ask myself, if this candidate was running for office on an obscure third party instead of a major party, would I still vote for him or her based on their level of experience, positions on issues and voting record?  If more people had asked themselves this question back in 2008, Hillary would be president right now.  For incumbents, I might apply the Jack Welch “rank and yank” criteria.  On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being best, how does this incumbent stack up against the past 5 presidents?  If he scores a 2 or below, he’s outta there.

So, next year, I expect Democrats to raise their standards and work hard to win me back.  Obama ain’t going to cut it for me because I already know that commodity and his attitude towards hard working middle class STEM workers (he believes the garbage that the executives tell him) and women (he doesn’t seem to think they have quite the moral authority of men) and I’m just not interested.  But if they offer me someone else, I might take a good hard look.  Otherwise, I might as well take a chance on some third party candidate.  Those third parties can’t be offering anything *worse* than Barack Obama or the Republican nominee, and there’s a good possibility that they have someone who is better, or at least able to do his or her own thinking.

I expect the Democrats will come back screaming about how we’re slitting our own throats but what they are really objecting to is the loss of their own power.  From where I sit, I don’t benefit by giving my vote to either one of the current major parties at the presidential level.  I *might* benefit if I give my vote to another party.  I have nothing to lose, but possibly everything to gain.  I feel no sense of obligation to help Democrats retain power if they have no sense of obligation to help me keep my job, health care or my house.  This is not a game.

So, while I don’t know what the robocallers are up to, I encourage Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats to make a little mischief.  Color outside the lines.  Push the envelope.  Subvert the dominant paradigm.  If you don’t want Obama either, do us all a favor and pick someone who isn’t on the ballot yet.  Occupy the primaries.  You know what to do.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 460 other followers