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Katiebird asks “how did we get here?”

Update from GregT from the comments:

The Democratic Party has been the victim of a corporate takeover. It happened gradually at first, then completely in 2008. Instead of taking the direction wanted and needed by the public, the top-down infiltration of the party reached its climax in the spring of 2008 and steered clear of a corrective course. Barack Obama was a candidate not ready for prime time. No experience, no real knowledge of policy issues and no real interest in governing. But he was the quintessential yes man and Wall Street knew he would go easy on them. So the Street identified him as their preferred candidate . They used their money and their expertise in marketing to sell him to the voters. They probably got crossover help from the GOP that cycle. The Street knew Obama had potential as a ” pitch guy ” and so they played that up. Hillary Clinton was in the way, so she was vanquished to make room for the Great Savior. And even then,despite all that was done for him, he needed help to win the D primary and he needed the fall of Lehman to secure the presidency.

Those who voted for him in 08 have been used. Rather than admit it, too many have continued to support him long past the expiration date. The debate just proved it. He brought a knife to a gunfight because a knife is all he has. He wouldn’t be in his current job if he knew how to wield a gun.

That’s what happened.

And here is Quixote’s take from a different thread:

Dump your best candidate: get someone second rate. Deal with downstream consequences forever.

It reminds me of Krugman’s point that the reason the USA keeps veering away from single payer health care, starting in the late 1940s, is that there are too many white people who can’t stand the thought of black people getting some benefit from the program. Racism is the reason the country has this health care boat anchor around its economy, dragging the whole country down.

Well, in 2008 we had one more instance of too many people who couldn’t stand the thought of listening to a woman. The fact that she was the best person for the job didn’t enter into it. Sexism has always been a supertanker boat anchor dragging the country down, but 2008 was a critical time to go and necklace ourselves with it.

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

No, she is not referencing Talking Heads.

She’s asking how it could be that in 2008 we were desperate to elect a Democrat to roll back the conservative excesses of the Bush years and what we ended up with is a plan endorsed by BOTH candidates to screw anyone under the age of 60 out of their PRE-PAID Social Security and Medicare funds.  I think we can see from Wednesday night’s debate why it is that Obama has been so ineffective as president.  Maybe what we saw is the way he always is in negotiations with his opposition.  Scary thought, eh?  Now, he is a national joke after Wednesday’s performance.  Oh, he’ll look better next time but we can’t unsee what we’ve seen.  If he’s like this with the insurance industry, and Wall Street and the Tea Party conservatives, we are all well and truly fucked.

Basically, in 2008 we had a choice between rehab and co-dependency when it came to the financiers, who knew the crash was coming.  And the financiers chose the enabler and funded him.  It wouldn’t have worked except there is a peculiar tendency of Americans that the financiers and Obama’s campaign milked for all it was worth.  It worked.

How did they do it?  Here is the video that shows a big reason why we’re here.  Don’t misread this video.  It’s not a celebration or glorification of anyone.  It is a condemnation of the way Americans, and specifically a certain segment of Democrats, took leave of their senses and brought us to this point.  This kind of treatment went beyond anything Al Gore or John Kerry ever faced and should never happen to any candidate ever again.:

The choice was between the person who kept on going after the media and opposition told her to ditch all of her help and quit vs the guy who had a LOT of assistance from the media, the party and Wall Street and who was lifted and carried across the finish line.

We underestimated one candidate and overestimated the other.  And That, ladies and gentlemen, is why we are here.

The War on Women: More shots to our hearts

Here’s the other video from 2008 from youtubers Shut the Freud Up.  This one covered a different controversy and highlights two very prominent Democrats:

Ahhh, yes, you can’t make this stuff up, folks.  That was the week where Donna Brazile called us the “old coalition” and made it sound like we couldn’t speak without drooling all over ourselves.  Memories.

Don’t let the Democrats rewrite history.  They’ve got to make amends before they even attempt to claim the moral high ground in the “war on women”.  Otherwise, they’re just cynical bastards playing the political equivalent of a professional wrestling match.  They don’t mean a word they’re saying.

The Democratic party was destroyed in 2008 and women were the losers in that battle.  The party only looked united because the financial crisis in September of that year made voting for a Republican completely out of the question for many people, even the ones who didn’t give a damn what happened to Barack Obama and his party.  But the rift started to show up in 2010.  And now, the Democrats are trying to figure out how to get independent women back.  Let me remind them that some of those independent women were true blue, pro-choice, liberal Democrats before the Democrats cut us loose in 2008 and we are not happy about being tossed aside by the Democrats like some unclean things in 2008 only to be attacked in 2012 by the maniacs on the right.  We know what the Democrats are trying to do and they are going to have to Try. Harder.

We’d be insane if we accepted anything less than an apology and more vigorous pushback.  No more Chellie Pingree incidences.  That’s just to start.  And if your candidate can’t be bothered to pursue women’s rights as aggressively as he pursued the White House, replace him.  This summer is going to get really ugly for all of us because the Republicans are determined to get control.  If Obama’s schtick fails to work this year, tell him to step aside.

One final thing: The Republicans aren’t done yet with women.  There’s one big thing they can still hit before the end.  It’s the Family Leave Act.  Listen up all you pregnant working women.  Ask yourself how the Democrats are going to react when the Republicans go after this piece of legislation.  You might very well be told that you should go home to have your baby and not come back to work.  These are tough economic times.  Employers need to have the flexibility to hire workers when they need them.  This regulation is killing their bottom line and preventing them from hiring new workers. They can’t afford to have an open position for 6 months.  And there are a lot of men out there who are unemployed and need work.  That’s a burden on the state.  Folks, we are paying women to have their babies and stay home for six months eating bon-bons while some family man waits for his unemployment check.  Why don’t these women want to stay with their children and take care of them?  Why have children at all if you’re just going to turn them over to the care of strangers? <Insert metaphor comparing working mothers with some disgusting animal that gives birth and either abandons or eats its young and then goes on to have a lot more sex.>

Sick?  Crazy?  Au contraire.  The Republicans know their target audience all too well.

Maybe the Republicans won’t go that far.  But if they do, the truth won’t matter.  They’ll make it sound like a 6 month paid vacation instead of a guarantee of a job after months without pay.

And what will Obama do when confronted with the choice between employing guys and protecting the jobs of millions of women?  I don’t even want to think about it.  Remember, Michelle Obama decided to court stay-at-home moms when she became first lady.  She took a very low profile position, gardened and played June Cleaver when her two children were already in school full time.  She wanted to send a message and she has.  Working women are not important to the White House.  That was the message I heard loud and clear and the impression was reinforced with Ron Suskind’s book, Confidence Men, and every time women’s reproductive rights were sacrificed for Obama’s legislative “accomplishments”.

The Democrats and the Obama administration made all of these choices and may be very shocked when they come back to bite them in the ass.  They either weren’t thinking or they were thinking with very male brains.

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

The New York Times asks a very good question: Where is the next Gloria Steinem of the women’s movement?

And then buries it in the Fashion and Style section.

{{facepalm}}

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

Paul Krugman is worried about the state of employer based benefits since the beginning of the Lesser Depression.  The graph is ugly:

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Paul.  My industry is busily shedding jobs as quickly as it can and hiring back some workers as independent contractors or at CROs where they do not have to provide benefits.  That’s for the employee to work out with the contracting firm.  The health insurance is expensive.  Many people try to do without.  And this is only going to get worse with the Affordable Care Act because when the mandate kicks in, there will be absolutely no reason why employers should hire in-house at all.  By the way, did you know that contractors who are self employed are also not entitled to any kind of employment protections?  Yep, the employer can discriminate against you and you have the right to walk away from the job.  That’s the extent of your labor protections.  So, to recap: laying off and hiring workers back as contractors is a very, very sweet deal for employers and they will take advantage of the ACA to do more laying off.  Do not expect them to pass the savings on to you.

If the last four years could have been worse for working people, I can’t imagine how.

For more information on your new work environment and compensation plan, check out the Freelancer’s Union.

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

Anyway, I’ve got a lot to do today so my comments may be sparse.

For those of you who missed the first video from Shutthefreudup from 2008, here it is:

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