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Can you stand just a little more Nobel Peace Prize talk?

Deserving Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Deserving Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Matt Taibbi has a great post up about Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.

It’s hard to believe, but there have been sillier moments in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize than this recent fiasco involving Barack Obama — it’s just so hard to remember them when you’re rolling around on the ground and spitting up greenish foam in a state of shock, as most of us were this past weekend as the news of Obama’s amazing award rolled over the airwaves.

The Nobel Peace Prize long ago ceased to be an award given to people who really spend their whole careers agitating for peace. Like most awards the Prize has evolved into a kind of maraschino cherry for hardcore careerists to place atop their resumes, a reward not for dissidence but on the contrary for gamely upholding the values of Western society as it perceives itself, for putting a good face on things (in Obama’s place, literally so).

“Putting a good face on things.” Could there be a better description of what Obama is all about? Basically, he was put in the White House to carry on George W. Bush’s policies, but make it seem like they aren’t as bad as when Bush was pushing them.

With Obama, it’s all about looking good–reality is irrelevant. All that matters is surface appearance. Congress spends months debating “health care reform,” and comes up with a bill that doesn’t reform health care in the slightest and instead promises to further enrich the health insurance companies.

Truthfully, no one really knows what will be in the bill, but it has been presented as “reform,” along with all kinds of promises about what it will do. The fact that it won’t really do any of those things doesn’t matter. Obama has created the *appearance* of health care reform, and many Americans who haven’t been paying close attention have the *impression* that we are going to get health care “reform.” By the time they find out that they’re really getting royally screwed, Obama will be well into his second term and approaching lame duck status. Continue reading

Booman Writes a Stupid Post

He waves his tiny fists and wails.  Like we care.

If you supported Obama during the primaries, you know who you are and this does not necessarily apply to you. For the rest of you, you spent the primaries either shilling for Clinton and telling us our guy was all talk and no show, or you spent them bitching that David Plouffe wouldn’t respond to and obey your emailed wisdom. As soon as he won the presidency, you started bitching about his appointments. As soon as he became president, you started bitching about his messaging, his framing, his agenda, and his lack of deference to your opinion. I want to know where the point was in this process when Obama was supposed to conclude that you were his allies and that you were responsible for his victory. When was he supposed to conclude that he owed you something, or that you had any respect for him, or that you credited his good intentions, or that you understood the myriad responsibilities of the job might mean that your pet issues might have to wait six months, a year, or two years to get to the top of his agenda.

You call him a warmonger, but he gets the Nobel Peace Prize. He ends torture and allows his Attorney General to investigate it, and you call him a torturer. He tries to enact health care reform with a robust public option and you accuse him of seeking every opportunity to sell-out to the insurance industry. He bails out the cratering financial services industry and prevents a second Great Depression, and you accuse him of selling his soul to corporate CEO’s. I’m not saying that all of these criticisms lack validity. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t advocate for the things they care about passionately. I just want to know where you get the fucking idea that an anonymous White House staffer who gets asked about all this criticism would feel obligated to show you deference and respect.

Gosh, it’s hard to know where to start.  How about defining who we are, because clearly, as Clinton shills, Booman is addressing his temper tantrum to us. Let me clear up some misconceptions for him.  We are not Tea Partiers.  We are not Birthers.  We are not Republicans.  And despite what the people who are closest to us politically continue to think, we are not racists.  That word continues to be flung around by people who should know better.  We know our own hearts and shouldn’t have to keep defending ourselves.  But whatever.  The evidence should speak for itself.  As a scientist, I don’t believe in hiding data and evidence.  I haven’t changed a word of what I have written on this site.  So, I challenge anyone who doubts my honesty on the issue of race to comb through our archives and find the smoking gun.  You won’t find one.

Ok, now that we’ve cleared that up, what are we?  Well, we are Democrats and former Democrats.  We are liberal to moderate (check our credo).  We supported Clinton because as we so accurately pointed out last year (again, check our archives), Obama was not ready for the big leagues.  We thought he would be a weak president.  We thought that whoever was backing him would like him that way- vulnerable and dependent.  We thought that government would be so broken after Bush left that it would take a person who had intimate knowledge of how the White House and government was run to hold things together.  We thought Hillary Clinton fit the bill.

Now, the $#%^ is hitting the fan for Obama, who by the way, did not come to the White House without leaving a trail of destruction in his own party in his wake, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  Over and over again in the past month, I have heard the following excuse offered by his defenders: “He inherited all of these problems from his predecessor.”  No $#@%, Sherlock.  That’s why we wanted the other Democratic candidate for President.  But you guys were so intent on having your little hissy fit and throwing your macho act around that you completely lost your minds and weren’t paying attention to the signs that you had picked the wrong horse.  So, instead of getting a break after eight long excruciating years of George W Bush, you saddled us with a guy who is so over his head that the best he can do is continue the Bush-Cheney agenda.  In everthing.  You name it: Finance, health care, the wars.  He’s there.  And the reason he’s there is because he was a product who got to the top by shmoozing and NOT by believing in core Democratic principles.  He isn’t for equality or saving the middle class or not screwing the poor or anything like that.  He is for Obama.  I’m not saying he’s a bad guy or a good guy.  I’m saying he’s an amoral guy.  It’s all about him.

So, that’s where we are.  Did Obama deserve a Nobel Prize for having good intentions?  No, I think the Swedes were very wise to step away from the Peace Prize and leave it in the hands of some smelly lutefisk eaters in Norway who think they are doing America a favor by giving us another teachable moment on race while completely ignoring the fact that this guy never has to actually do anything before accolades and prizes and the office of the most powerful person on the face of the earth is awarded to him.  But I digress.

My point, and I do have one, is that Booman is completely clueless about the nature of the president’s power.  The President derives it from the people who vote for him.  If he doesn’t have enough votes, he has to vacate his office.  So, now his henchmen are complaining that the left isn’t onboard with his agenda.  We aren’t supporting him.  We aren’t sufficiently cheerful.  According to them, we sit around in our pajamas all day and blog.  No, actually most of us have real jobs in the real world.  Or we have no jobs in the real world.  Or we are about to lose our jobs in the real world.  We are scientists and psychologists, economists and clowns.  We are overeducated, working class and both at the same time.  We are creative class and laborers and stay at home moms.

And *OBAMA* is supposed to be the president for *ALL*  of us.  Not his select few.  Not his Whole Foods Nation pep rally support crew.  Everyone.  Unfortunately, it is people like Booman who failed to make that clear to Obama last year when they allowed him to get away with political murder in the primaries.  He threw group after group under the bus.  People who were lifelong Democrats suddenly found their votes either taken for granted or unneeded.  Those voters were sometimes explicitly disenfranchised by the machinations of the party itself.  In all that time, Obama did not protest, did not protect those voters’ rights, did not show them any respect.  We’re not going to get over that anytime soon.  We are watching him and if he doesn’t deliver, he will not get our votes in any future elections.

This is the point that Booman fails to get.  It is OUR right to withhold our support from Obama until he starts addressing our concerns.  If the president doesn’t like how the electoral dynamics are playing out, it is up to him to change his behavior.

It’s called discipline and we are enforcing it.

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