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    • Could Obama have fixed the economy?
      I want to revisit this. Obama was the last person who had a real chance to change and fix things. A crisis is an opportunity. FDR used the Great Depression to change America. Reagan used stagflation to change America. Bush used 9/11 to change America. Obama could have used the financial crisis to change America. […]
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One More – Patti Page

It’s not a Christmas song, but Mom used to sing it.

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Brenda Lee

For the old fogies.

Sir Elton

Step Into Christmas

Not that I care.

Bing, Rosemary, Danny & Vera

This is from one of the movies I hate to watch every year.

Sometimes I hate to watch it several times.

Elvis

I hate Christmas.  Really!

I don’t know why I post this stuff.

Telltale signs of buyer’s remorse

Yesterday, Glenn Greenwald, who *used* to be one of my favorite bloggers, posted a piece that was beneath him.  In How New Is Obama’s New Politics?, Glenn attempts to rationalize why Obama can get away with “triangulation” even though Obama’s whole shtick during the primaries, and the single most important thing that set him apart from Hillary Clinton (or so he said), is that he is not a triangulator.

Triangulation was THE selling point.  Obama was above negotiating with lobbyists.  Obama would not have negotiated on the Iraq War Resolution.  Obama was not going to compromise on “don’t ask, don’t tell”.  Triangulation was old and nasty.  Obama was NEW and fresh!

Well, we now know that Obama is not new and fresh.  He smells just like the old gym socks but he’s never done anything but sit on the bench while everyone else played.

Not to worry, says Glenn:

Ultimately, the reason politics is unavoidably “divisive” is because people have really divergent and irreconcilable views on passion-provoking controversies.  That’s what politics is.  It’s what it always has been.  At some point, Obama either will or won’t repeal DOMA and don’t-ask-don’t-tell; he either will or won’t rescind Bush’s anti-abortion regulations and appoint new Supreme Court Justices likely to re-affirm Roe; he either will or won’t close Gitmo; he either will or won’t withdraw from Iraq; he either will or won’t investigate Bush war crimes; he either will or won’t deliver on his promises to unions, etc.  People feel very strongly — and very differently — about those issues.

Someone is going to be angered and feel alienated by what decision he makes, by the outcome, and symbolic paeans to inclusion are unlikely to soothe that.  Those who are eager to escape confrontation, divisions, and angry disputes can probably do so only by renouncing any actual political principles, and are probably best advised to avoid politics altogether.  Because of the very nature of politics — to say nothing of the nature of the contemporary American Right — politics is highly unlikely to exist without angry, often ugly, conflicts of that sort.

Reasonable arguments can certainly be advanced in defense of the virtues of Obama’s post-partisan theory of politics.  But it’s simply unreasonable to depict any of it as new.  It’s exactly what Democrats have been clinging to, desperately and mostly with futility, for two decades at least.  Trans-partisan harmony comes only when Democrats agree to sacrifice what they claim their beliefs are and to show contempt for the “Left,” and even then, the “harmony” is fleeting, insatiably greedy and inch-deep.  It’s certainly possible things will be different this time around, but in the absence of actual evidence, it’s really hard to understand why so many people have become so intractably convinced that it will be.

But Glenn is wrong.  Obama’s supporters and even those of us who think he is exactly the corrupt, “country club” Republican, ultra-rich contributor loving politician that we have always said he is, have every reason to expect that Obama will do everything he said he will do- and more.  Why is that?  It’s because he has solid majorities in both houses of Congress.  With Al Franken on the cusp of winning in MN, he has nearly a filibuster proof majority.  And due to the historic economic period we are going through, the public is going to demand that he take quick and decisive measures to turn things around.  In short, he has a perfect window of time to apply a Democratic version of “shock and awe” measures to turn the country around.  If Republicans get in his way, the public is much more likely to side with the Democrat.

It isn’t like the 90’s when Bill Clinton, who Glenn uses as an excuse for Obama to triangulate at will, was president.  Bill Clinton never had a mandate and quickly lost his edge with Congress in 1994 when Newt Gingrich and his “Contract with America” swept the Movement Conservatives into power.  Glenn and others blame Clinton for  supporting the Defense of Marriage Act and welfare reform bills and every other nasty piece of legislation the conservatives passed.  But with a less savvy politician than Clinton, it could have been MUCH worse.  We have to remember that Gicngrich didn’t want DOMA.  He wanted a federal amendment that would enshrine inequality in the Constitution.  And there was a fairly good chance that he would have gotten it and a zillion other heartless, unfair and stingy things but for Bill Clinton.

But leave it to Glenn Greenwald and other idealistic liberals to blame Bill for getting saddled with a bunch of ruthless Republicans and still pulling off 8 years of peace and prosperity, leaving office with a surplus.  With Glenn and his ilk, no good deed goes unpunished.  Bill was a charlatan and a collaborator to Glenn.  So, if triangulating was good enough for Bill, it must be good enough for Obama.

How else would one rationalize and come to terms with what now seems like an incredibly stupid choice?  Obama promised change.  He voted for the FISA bill (Jeez, Glenn, if that didn’t slap you awake, what would?).  He campaigned with Donnie McClurkin.  Prop 8 passes in CA.  He scares young women into voting for him but makes sure that abortion is scrubbed from most Democratic candidates websites.  Now, he says he will “modify” rather than rescind the grossly unjust and offensive Bush Conscience Rule.  And he helped promote the Paulsen Bailout Bill which makes the Treasury virtually unaccountable to taxpayers while he deep sixed Hillary’s HOLC proposal,which Elizabeth Warren, head of the Congressional Oversight Committee of the bill, says is essential to putting the economy back on an even footing.

The thing that has *finally* gotten the stupid Obot attention is the invitation of Rick Warren to speak at the inaugural, though many of us are already incensed that the sexist frat boy pig, Jon Favreau, will be writing the inspirational speech of Hope and Change!  Obama is deliberately provoking you, you stupid Obamaphiles.  He is giving you your Sistah Souljah moment.  He is telling The Villagers that he doesn’t take orders from the lefties that supported him and that they can be comfortable that he is not going to disrupt their status quo.  Because it is The Villagers, who represent the well-connected, who could make his life a living Hell if he rocks their boat, raises their taxes, implements real change or otherwise attempts to make their lives even a smidgeon uncomfortable.  That’s what’s going on here.

Face it, Obots.  Obama is the biggest triangulator we have ever had.  We know this because he has already won the election but he acts like he’s scared of his own shadow.  He has plenty of backup in Congress and an angry constituency that is ready to tar and feather any Republican that gets in his way.  What is stopping him from promising to rescind “don’t ask, don’t tell”, the Conscience Rule and Gitmo?  What is stopping him from loudly demanding that the Treasury account for every penny right this minute?  What is stopping him from getting ahead of the game on HOLC?  He’s not in office yet but there is no downside to adjusting his rhetoric so that he can ask and demand anything he wants.  He ran like Genghis Khan but if he wants to be a real Messaiah now, there is nothing Hillary or Bush or Rove or the outgoing Republicans can do about it.  He is *not* operating in the same environment as Bill Clinton.  In fact, everything has changed.  Everything but Obama’s approach to politics.

HE seems to be stuck in the triangulating past.

Why is that Glenn?  I’ll tell you why.  It’s because Obama has been bought and paid for.  And not by you.

Can you hear us now???

If you are a health care worker, please do take advantage of President Bush’s “conscience protection” rule

(h/t to the discussion on the thread here)

President Bush’s newest regulations “protect[] the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience.”

If your conscience commits you to opposition to birth control, please refuse to discuss vasectomy with men who do not wish to father children, and certainly do not participate in any way with providing vasectomies – if you are a pharmacist who opposes the use of birth control, do not even fulfill prescriptions for post-operative anti-infection medications.

If your conscience commits you to the Freudian view that sexual sublimation and delayed gratification lead people to be productive in areas other than biological reproduction, please refuse to advise about, prescribe, or fulfill prescriptions for Viagra and Cialis.

If your conscience commits you to the view that nature must take its course when it comes matters reproductive please refuse to advise men about infertility treatments, such as these or these.

If your conscience commits you to the view that transracial adoptions are bad for children or bad for a particular racial group, under no circumstances should you counsel a couple of one race to adopt a child of another.

If your conscience commits you to the view that people have an overriding moral obligation to procreate then feel entitled to refuse them chemotherapy or to participate in administering chemotherapy to cancer patients, since one of its common side affects is infertility.

If your conscience commits you to the view that homosexuality is evil, refuse to treat gay people with AIDS. No doctoring or nursing for them from you.

By all means put your conscience ahead of your patient’s needs or desires. After all, the patient is just a therapeutic subject that allows you to make a living. What matters the most is that you never have to disturb your conscience to aid a person who comes to you and pays you for care. What a ridiculous view of medical care THAT would be.

Now health care workers, like Presidents and Presidents-elect can put their “worldviews” ahead of the people they serve, whenever they want. One can only hope that when it comes to Presidents, the Legislature remains independent enough from the Executive branch (regardless of which Party is in control of Congress and which the Executive) to play its Constitutional role: to check and balance what the Executive does.

Thank you to Riverdaughter and the other people who post here for inviting me to join their ranks. It is an honor I will always cherish; an opportunity I will not squander; and another step toward working with others to rebuild a genuinely liberal community, where individual dignity matters more than state power and truth and justice are available to all.

[an earlier version of this piece  was crossposted  at Heidi Li’s Potpourri]