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Obama wants to screw us out of our Social Insurance accounts. Also, water is wet.

No shit, Digby.

Do you remember how you spent the last year of your life making a big f^&*ing deal about Mitt Romney’s hijinks in prep school?  How about how mean he was to the family dog?

And what did you do to make Obama feel uncomfortable?  Nothing.  That’s right.  You did nothing.  No, that’s not quite right.  You did WORSE than nothing because you wouldn’t even entertain challenging the party hierarchy.

So, now you’re mad that the dude is in the White House and he’s ready to cut the net out from under you after all those decades of Social Security, Medicare and surplus payments all we tail end babyboomers made “because we are too menny”.  NOW, you’re livid.

I hope you finally understand what has been pissing ME off since 2008 when it was perfectly clear that the Democrats were electing an MBA Bonus Class Corporate Ladder Climbing Stooge as a president.

There was no talking to you people but now, now that the actuality is upon you, now, you’re mad.  Not only are you mad but you actually seem surprised that they are using the sequester as an excuse to cut our social insurance policies.  It’s like they LIED to you and you didn’t even realize it.

Really, Digby?  Did you really not see this coming? At all??  I find that hard to believe but maybe it’s because I’ve actually worked in a ruthless, cutthroat corporate environment and I’ve seen that there’s nothing they won’t do to enhance shareholder value at your expense.  They’ll ruin their own brand and productivity just to make sure they have no obligation to you.  Obama reeks of that environment.

You carried his water and now he’s going to screw you and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it unless you get on the horn with your congressperson (count yourself lucky if you don’t live in a gerrymandered district like I do) and complain.  It’s got to be loud and vociferous and constant until he/she gets the point.

Then, you need to get the band back together on the left and stop looking down your noses at those of us who saw this coming five years ago.  There needs to be a solid voting bloc to push back against this either in Tea Party format or as a separate entity.

You can get mad or you can get even.

I’d get even.

Democrats in La-La Land

Update: For all you balletomanes, Anaheim Ballet is currently hosting the Anaheim International Dance Festival.  AIDF attracts some of ballet’s leading dancers, including dancers from ABT and San Francsisco Ballet.  In about an hour, Anaheim Ballet will start livestreaming some of their workshops.  You can catch the workshops here.

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

The opening paragraphs of this NYTimes piece on the Democrats possible response to Romney’s choice of Ryan as his running mate are priceless:

The selection of Representative Paul D. Ryan as the Republican vice-presidential candidate provides President Obama with something he has been eagerly looking for — a bigger target.

A race that has revolved, at least in part, around each month’s mediocre jobs report and Mr. Obama’s persistent failure to move unemployment below 8 percent will now allow Democrats new lines of attack — starting with the assertion that Republicans are intent on dismantling Medicare — while setting off a larger debate about the role of government in the economy and society.

For Mr. Obama, that seems more promising territory, a chance to press the offensive against his challengers rather than just defend his record. Instead of a referendum on his own performance, the president has an opening to turn the election into a referendum on the vision that Mr. Ryan has advanced and Mitt Romney has adopted.

The sentence in bold is the funniest thing I’ve read all year. Obama wouldn’t be in this predicament if he’d actually made life better for the people who were screwed by the bankers’ gambling addiction.  Successful presidents defend successful records successfully.  Or, put it another way, “Luck favors the prepared mind”.  Or “If you study consistently, you won’t have to cram”.  Or “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”.

Second term elections are always a referendum on the president’s record.  It’s like a performance evaluation.  This year, Obama’s record will get even more scrutiny. So, what the media is suggesting is that by defining himself as the champion of the social safety net, Obama can cover up his dismal performance in creating the necessary policies to help put people back to work. That’s like assuming that you can use your verbal gifts on your section of the evaluation form and fool your boss into ignoring the fact that your major project is 48 months behind schedule and needs a complete overhaul.  If it were *slightly* behind and you hadn’t lost your major project contributors through poor planning, maybe you could squeak by in the middle of the pack.  But when your project is the one that was expected to keep the company going for a couple of decades, and everyone can read the progress reports, “baffling with bullshit” looks like a losing proposition.

In any case, if changing the subject is what the Times is recommending, that’s a little like falling right into the trap that the Republicans have set for Obama. By defending the extra spending that has pushed up the deficit, Obama will be calling attention to the fact that so many people are out of work.  Rather than obfuscating his shitty performance, he’s going to be shining a big spotlight on it.

Not only that but he’s perfectly OK with slashing that social safety net.  Slashing is easy; presidentin’ is hard. If he plunges into haggling over what to slash and we’re subjected to two months of mindnumbing details about COLA calculations, he could keep the spotlight off of his record.  It could be like two long months of debates over kerning and san serif fonts.  But in the end, it will still be Ugly and Son of Ugly slashing the deficit, imposing austerity on innocent bystanders and in way that will result in a more depressed economy, which will throw more people out of work, and so on and so on.  So, you know, there’s that.

But wait! There’s more:

That strategy may put Mr. Obama, a self-declared agent of hope and change four years ago, in the awkward position of seeming to be the defender of a status quo that is not working, or at least not working well enough. He risks having Republicans seize the mantle of reform that he used so skillfully in 2008 by contrasting his stay-the-course incumbent’s message with the youthful Mr. Ryan’s energetic willingness to tear up the old order and reinvent it for troubled times.

What??  I think the talking points from the political operatives have mutated themselves into insensibility.  I have no idea what that paragraph is supposed to mean.  It’s like that famous sentence by Noam Chomsky, “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously”.  Grammatically, it’s correct and even descriptive but it’s still a collection of words in a sentence with no meaning.  Is he trying to say that Mr. Cool’s “hope and Change!™” defense of the status quo is going to have to go head to head with “ADHD” Ryan’s youthful offensive for pro-old rich white guys’ wet dreams?  You’d almost think that there are no actual people or voters with any vested interest in the outcome.

Hokay, it must be tough to be a reporter these days.

Anyway, I’ve got better things to do with my time today.  It’s going to be a nice day.  Why bother trying to sort through all of the silly political kabuki this year?  It’s hard to hide a f^*( up of these proportions.  Everyone at this point knows what’s going on and who’s zoomin’ who.  I’d rather be gardening.

Here’s a video I found accidentally last night that makes me wish I had taken up nature photography as a profession.  It’s from the BBC program Planet Earth.  I’ll bet it will look really good in Google Glasses:

Wednesday: Foxhole Liberals

My mom called me the other day.  She was visiting my brother in AZ over Easter and as the conversation wrapped up, she told me cheerily, “I’m going to one of those tea party thingies!”  Knowing my mom’s susceptibility to Republican messaging, I warned her, “You know, those thingies are mostly about anti-tax stuff.  You have to be really careful.”  I’m relieved to discover that there is quite a bit of anger directed at the financial industry at them as well but, still, I worry.

My mom bought into the whole uber pro-life, pro-war, anti-liberal message of the Bush era.  For eight long years, we could barely be in one another’s presence without wanting to kill each other.  In the past couple years, she kind of came out of the trance.  Last year, I got her to vote for Hillary.

Now, the reason I mention this is because my mom is a Democrat who has traditionally voted for Republicans over social issues.  It’s her religious background that lures her into their camp every single time.  And she mostly goes along with their program except that when I made her do her political compass a couple of years ago, it turned out that she was more liberal than I was.  She didn’t believe it at first until I pointed out to her but she likes a lot of liberal ideas, social justice and social security and medicare and all that.  She’d claw your eyes out before she’d let you take her VA benefits away.

I suspect that there are a lot more people out there who in the next couple of years are going to discover their inner liberal.  After all, it’s one thing to rail about deadbeats on unemployment when times are good.  It’s quite another thing to be ON the unemployment line, realizing you haven’t done anything wrong but that the wealthy shareholders of your company preferred a juicier dividend to your wage slavery.  And SCHIP shouldn’t be given to people who have jobs, except when those jobs suddenly no longer cover the costs of living.  And social security privatization can probably be postponed until the next century or at least until after my generation dies.

There is nothing that will concentrate the mind so keenly as poverty.  The Great Depression featured many such conversion stories.  The farmers of the dust bowl who were sometimes reduced to eating nettles and saw their children melt away due to malutrition didn’t all start out as fans of FDR.  But they started to see the sense of his WPA programs and his soil conservation projects.  The perpetually poor of the Tennessee Valley weren’t all pinko commies, but after the TVA brought power and light to Appalachia, Democrats were able to capture their hearts.  We might not all like the byzantine rules and restrictions of a union shop, but really, how many of us want to go back to the days when we were paid third world wages, had our children working with us and had no benefits?  That wasn’t so long ago.  My own grandfather, who was born in 1912, was forced to leave school in eighth grade so he could earn his keep.  12 years old and he was already doing a man’s work. Do we really want to chuck all of that because a few unions have overreached?

The powers that be have spent close to a generation spreading a message of begrudgery.  They’ve directed our attention down onto the person below us.  If we weren’t getting a bigger piece of the pie, it’s because of the welfare queen or the quota system or the uneducated lazy poor.  But now there are two classes in America, the wealthy, well connected who control the money, and everyone else.  Now, the rich are looking down at that everyone else and complaining that they have to share their hard earned wealth with us in the form of taxes.  WE are the new welfare queens to them.  The ‘everyone else’ category contain a lot of people, both educated and uneducated, union and professional, Democrat and Republican.  That everyone else is the new working class and it contains all of the people who do not pull down million dollar bonuses each year or have their wealth socked away in offshore bank accounts.  That everyone else are all equally vulnerable to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and we are starting to figure it out and cast our attention up instead of down in the food chain.

That social safety net doesn’t look so bad now that we’re all sitting in the same foxhole, does it?  There’s nothing wrong with getting rich with your own efforts but gambling away someone else’s money suddenly isn’t so virtuous anymore, is it?  Maybe we should have elected more women because countries that have more women in office tend to have fewer social problems.  And really, are the proscriptions against gay marriage that important when we’re all struggling to keep our heads above water?

Keep it in mind as you watch the tea party phenomenon develop.  There is an opportunity out there to turn this country on its head for the persons who seize it.  And it won’t be long before Americans all over the country demand more of their government to do something.  Liberalism may become the next new religion for Republicans too.


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