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Message to Democrats: Don’t mess with us

I’m not sure that Democrats are getting the message.  They still think there is no place for us to go.  It’s either them or Republicans and we know that the Republicans are morally bankrupt.  Lately, we’ve seen that moral bankruptcy extends to the other party as well.  Two recent communiques stand out for me in this respect.

First, take this post, Does the Obama Administration Even Want to Win in November? , from Simon Johnson as proof that the Democrats just don’t give a f^&*.  Simon says:

There’s no story in the culture about what the big banks did and why. There is no attempt from the top to push through the key message for the day — financial reform — and to explain what this can do and how. The administration, in effect, is not even trying.

The inner team apparently thinks that 2012 will go just fine — as long as unemployment is down around 6 percent. And, they reason, the people who lose their seats this November won’t be around to complain.


If the administration fights hard and loses in November, that is one thing. If it fights on clear issues — forcing the other side to support Too Big To Fail structures — they may still lose, but such a loss will clearly communicate that the political strength of the big banks is now out of control. That is an issue to run on — and win big – -in 2012.

And if the administration doesn’t even care and hardly tries now, who will come out for them (or send a check) in two years?

The Obama team — both political and economic wings — seems to feel that their base has nowhere else to go, and all they need to do is drift towards the right in a moderately confused fashion to assure re-election for the president.

In short, the Obama administration is betting that you will be too desperate to salvage what little safety net is left after the GOP retakes control of Congress in 2010 that you will vote for Obama in 2012.  That’s what they’re betting on.  You will be so strapped, penniless and depleted of your retirement savings that you will automatically vote for Obama as a defense mechanism.  Who knows?  Maybe in September of 2012, we can expect the stock market to take another dizzying plunge, just to rattle everyones’ cages a bit.  Won’t that be fun?

Is that the Hope and Change that Obots voted for or does that sound like the machinations the oligarchy of some third world nation?

The second message is more disturbing considering its source.  I love Al Franken.  Everyone knows I do.  And I would walk over hot coals to vote for him if I were a Minnesotan.  But I really did not like the email I got from him on the Health Care Reform bill.  He is urging us to put pressure on House members to vote for the Senate bill with reassurances that it will be fixed later in reconciliation.  Al, there’s only one thing that Reagan ever said that I took to heart: “Trust, but verify”.  Any smart progressive or liberal would have to be nuts to believe that there will be a successful reconciliation *AFTER* the Senate bill passes in its present form.  I don’t want to know about secret deals or 11 dimensional chess or any other supposed secret plan to scuttle the Republicans.  I want you guys to act like Democrats.  If the House members vote for the Senate bill as is, they’re signing their political death warrants with the base.  The Senate bill violates core Democratic principles and so does many elements of the House for that matter.

So, let me deliver a message from the base to the Democrats.  Here are the things we want to see you guys get your asses in gear to do before November 2010.  And remember, there are just enough of us marginal voters out there to really harsh your electoral mellow going forward.  Just keep Corzine and Martha Coakley in mind.  We don’t have to vote.  If you want to stay in power, you need to start kissing up to us and fast.  And just forget about our support for Obama in 2012.  Nothing could make us vote for him now that he’s proven to be the empty suit, opportunist that we predicted he’d be.  If you don’t want a Republican in the White House, you’d better start working on the Obama problem now.

Here’s the CHANGE we want in very simple, straightfoward terms:

  • NO MANDATES WITHOUT REAL COMPETITION in the health care insurance market.  For EVERYONE.  That means strengthening antitrust legislation and allowing everyone who has a policy to go shopping for a better one with a standard benefits package. We’ll know it when we see it.  So far, we haven’t seen it.  Don’t expect support until this requirement is met.  You may have to piss off Max Baucus.  That is fine with us.
  • We want you to SOAK THE RICH.  This is what you were elected to do.  You may have thought you were just riding the coattails of the first black president phenomenon but that’s not true.  The CHANGE we wanted was protection of the middle class against the rape and pillagers who had Bush’s ear for 8 years.  Go back to the Clinton tax levels for everyone.  Claim a national emergency.  Put in a sunset provision for 2020. Dump the excise tax or pay for it with your seats.
  • We want you to SOAK THE RICH when it comes to the financial industry.  Get the bonus money back.
  • We want you to SUPPORT GENDER EQUALITY.  No more deals with Stupak.  Draw a line in the sand with him and then dare him to cross it.  Don’t give him money to run in November.  Make HIM the poster child of bad behavior.  If you don’t, your party can never again use protecting reproductive rights as an incentive for any woman to vote for you.  Your credibility will be permanently shot.  No, this is not negotiable.  No one will ever believe you again.  It’s up to you.  There are a lot of American female voters out there.  You gotta ask yourself, “Do I feel lucky today?”
  • We want you to SAVE AMERICAN JOBS.  Figure out a way to keep the TARP money from going overseas to speculate in emerging markets.  That’s our money and we shouldn’t be betting against ourselves.
  • DON’T TOUCH SOCIAL SECURITY.  Some of us have been paying the extra payroll tax all of our working lives.  That’s our insurance policy, we’ve paid for it and we have every expectation that it will be paid to us as advertised.  No, don’t even go there.  We aren’t buying it.  You depleted the trust fund?  You figure out how to get that money back.  See SOAK THE RICH above.

If you don’t start playing the game by our rules, you’ll be out on your asses before you know what hit you.  This is the age of mass communications and viral memes and social networking.  Your ability to fool enough of the people most of the time is going to lose it’s mojo pretty soon.  Cable news audiences are going away.  More and more people are looking at the wreckage of their middle class lives and they’re not buying the propaganda you’re catapulting anymore.  They’re starting to trust their lying eyes.  All you need is one good movement to catch fire.  It ain’t the Tea Party movement.

You will be surprised what people can do from the comfort of their own homes.  A protest doesn’t require hordes of people marching in the streets carrying banners and shouting slogans.  Self organizing is remarkably easy to do without the sting of tear gas or police batons.  It can be quick and painless.  Just because it’s quiet out there now doesn’t mean that the atmosphere isn’t charged.  Depending on the energy behind the movement, the pendulum may swing a lot farther than you anticipate.

If you have any sense of political self-preservation, you won’t test us.

131 Responses

  1. awsome post RD i dont think i could have said it better.

  2. rd, nice post hope you are doing well. Yeah I’m pretty simpatico… I’m looking for just fairness and anti-decline (better word somewhere) out of these cave-in bunch.

    Baseball is almost here 🙂

  3. RE: your list RD

    yes YES YESSSS!!!!

  4. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5660N620090707

    Qliance has been growing since its inception years ago. As long as whatever they come up with in HCR does NOT include those MANDATES for private insurance, the people can still find their own solutions.

    Al Franken is still learning….it appears he wants to learn the hard way.

  5. Gawd…if only. Can I please add: stop DIVERTING social security tax deductions!

    • The articles on the jobs bill say that the SS Fund will be reimbursed, but when? and how? and if so, why not just take the money from some other source?

      • Dipping into social security and expecting it to trickle down from businesses. Reagan, Reagan. Our economy today is a very different animal from that under Reagan imo.

  6. This is what Democrats plan to do to women with their Obama care. They plan to tax women, then they call the tax money “Government money”, then they will give you some “government money” (your money) and tell you you can purchase ANY health insurance BUT you can not purchase any insurance with “government money” that covers abortion and probably “abortificant” birth control is out along with any “plan B” drugs. Meanwhile the employer funded health insurance will completely go away. Since the government approved plans are the dominant plans reproductive health services will go away because they will be starved of cash. At some point women Obama dolts will figure this out, but I think it will be after the whole mess of a bill is passed.

    • Will employer funded health insurance go away or will the cost just be passed on to employees.

      • It will most likely go away however if it even touches “Government money” then all of the reproductive rights restrictions will apply. The goal is to get people insurance that they own and can take with them anywhere they go. That is a good goal. But the Dems are happy as hell to use this as an excuse to destroy Reproductive rights. I just hope they have the self insured health accounts exemption because no way will I be participating in this backdoor dishonest move to take my rights away while raising my tax burden.

  7. Zowie! Riverdaughter throws down on that pusillanimous lot!

    BTW, did anyone see Bill Moyers last night? I was on the phone so I couldn’t pay close attention, but HCR was the subject and (former health insurance executive) Wendell Potter and Dr. Marcia Angell were his guests.

    Angell was rather vehement in her opposition to the bill, as nearly as I could tell, while Potter found a few positive things in it.

    Oh yeah–and Moyers is hanging it up in the near future. Can’t help thinking of Cronkite’s retirement in 1981. Moyers OTOH managed to last through 8 years of Dubya…

    • moyers sadly relinquished his reputation when he fell in with the “in crowd” at NPR and lied about Obama / allowed dlies about Obama to go unchallenged on his show.

  8. http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/03/06/36-states-aim-to-preempt-federal-health-care-plan/

    I brought this up from down stairs.
    As for the dems it is very simple Stop being an Over and Out party.( we talk you do not listen) Listen to the people, they are the reason you are there.Your main job is to make laws the better the country and help your citizens.
    It is not a bad thing to create an environment where business thrives and jobs are created. But do it in this country not give the business the money and they create jobs in another country.
    It is not a bad thing to have health care, but make it health care that really helps the sick and creates wellness programs that people can afford, not just a bigger profit for insurance corporations
    Stay the Hell out of people’s bedrooms. That is NONE of your business.
    Read and live up to the Constitution. It has done a pretty good job of guiding this country for over 200 years.
    Stop underfunding departments that check for the safety of food and products.
    Remember to dance with the one that brung ya



    • I don’t think the bars from state legislatures to stop the federal government will fly helenk. A better legal battle seems like it would be challenging the legal authority of the fed to require individuals to purchase a privately produced product.

    • Well said!

  9. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_03/022737.php

    An article proving that stupak is wrong. If his facts are wrong why are the dems following him down a deadend road?



    • I guess elections, helen. I’ve given up thinking Dems in Congress are capable of making decisions based on right or wrong.

  10. Tell it like it is, RD.
    And I honestly don’t see how Obama expects the party bosses to back him and raise money for him in 2012 if he plans on throwing congressional Dems under the bus in 2010, come hell or high water. There are only so many times you can kick a dog before it bites back.

    • I hope you are right but I do not see women Dems (other than Dems in exile) acting in their own best interest. I think the party will back Obama because that is what they have done and that is what they are doing. Clearly no one is thinking, if they were they would disassemble this Obama care bill and pass 6 of the highlights independently to make life better for The People NOW.

  11. I thought it was a great post, except for the tea party dig at the end. Why? What is it that you can point to specifically that bothers you about the tea party (at least you didn’t call them tea baggers)?

    I ask because I love The Confluence, though I don’t always agree with what’s posted here. It doesn’t bother me that we disagree sometimes; I consider that a good thing.

    At the end of the day, I genuinely believe that we’re all Americans, and that it’s going to take the work of all regular Americans to defeat the power structure in place now. Furthermore, I do not believe in the artificial division of conservative/liberal Americans (elected officials and corporate sponsors of such officials, certainly). I don’t think one party is better or worse than the other (anymore), and don’t think it’s wise to try to reform one party without reforming the other. What good is that? It still sows division. What’s needed is more rhetoric that persuades regular people of all stripes to come together.

    It seems to me that the tea party has more in common with disaffected Democrats than anyone else. So everyone doesn’t agree on everything. Is that a requirement for political conversations to take place? I just keep asking myself what would have happened if liberals and progressive opposed to the health insurance bail out had decided to work with the tea party rather than ridicule them. Could it have been possible to say: “We don’t agree on these issues, but we’ll work together to defeat this current atrocity.” And what would have been the impact of that.

    It also seems to me that digging at the tea party is just playing the corporate media game of disempowerment through denigration, something readers of this blog should be acutely aware of.

    That said, let me return to my opening comment that I agree with everything else in this post. Democrats could win on this agenda, because it’s a great people-oriented agenda. Anybody could get elected if they had the support of the power structure. Unfortunately, that power structure (our corporate warlords) wants something else, and that’s why we’re not getting this excellent list of priorities.

    Full disclosure: I am not a tea party member, but my husband is.

    • Speaking for me only, the TEA Party has more in common with Obagandizing for America than real “disaffected Democrats.”

      I don’t think it’s wise to throw one’s lot in with any “grassroots movement” primarily funded and seeded by a faction of one party with its own underlying agenda. No matter how many “real Americans” join up, it’s still primarily a recruiting arm for a power-seeking faction.


    • Dear love, we are not now nor ever have been supporters of the Tea Party movement. It has been funded by Republicans from its inception. I personally find its message to be repulsive. I have no respect for Glenn Beck. The movement is designed to take working class frustration and encourage voters to vote against their economic best interests. They do this by demonizing some of the most vulnerable and powerless people in our society. Unemployed people who have been brought down by this economy are not parasites.
      The biggest mistake that Tea Partiers make is to blame their problems on the people on the next rung down. This is what is making the superrich so phenomenally successful in getting what they want. They force the rest of us to fight each other for a piece of the shrinking pie. That pie is shrinking for the rest of us because the superrich are taking more than their share.
      We don’t want to make fun of Tea Partiers and we’re not denigrating them. But we have little patience for people who persist in being mislead election cycle after election cycle. If they want to come here to read our stuff, fine. But we will not tolerate spreading Tea Party memes and won’t do it even out of courtesy. People who want to discuss the merits of the Tea Party movement, whatever they may be, should feel free to discuss it elsewhere. The internet is a big place and Tea Partiers may feel more welcome somewhere else. Tea Partiers who insist on highjacking our threads will be dealt with in the same manner as the Obama trolls were treated during the 2008 primaries and general election. We are not giving other movements a platform to broadcast their propaganda on our blog, no matter what side of the aisle they’re from. We have excellent bullshit detectors and they will be shown the door.
      I hope I have made myself clear.
      For more information about the true nature of the Tea Partiers, go to:

      • I think I’ll just going to huddle in my own little corner of the world.

      • Whoa. Loud and, I’d say. I didn’t really take it well when my boss told me I had to STFU either, especially when I just asked a reasonable question. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

        • Love, we would never tell you to shut up. We’re just telling you that Tea Party memes are not welcome here because we now how pernicious they are. Feel free to speak all you want.
          Somewhere else.

          • riverdaughter,

            With all due respect for you and your site, it seems like you are painting the entire Tea Party movement with the same brush.

            I remember very well how the obots attacked and labelled those of us who supported Hillary as bitter, old women and worse, and attacked us relentlessly for standing up for Hillary. I was there in Denver videotaping their total disrespect fto those of us who were there demanding a Roll Call and calling out the sexism being spewed at Hillary and her supporters.

            Have you attended one of these tea party gatherings? I have, along with my video camera and everyone I interviewed said they were there on their own, had paid their own way, many were independents and libertarians, some democrats and yes, republicans, but everyone I spoke with said they were not there as a member of a party, but as an American speaking out against the out of control spending and a tone deaf congress that doesn’t care or listen to the people.

            Every movement has issues with being co-opted, but that doesn’t mean that everyone in the movement is some kind of republican operative. I don’t think it’s fair to paint them all as a bunch of right wing republicans.

            We definitely should not treat them the same way the obot supporters treated us and still do because we don’t think obama walks on water. None of us here wants an America where everyone thinks alike and I respect every Americans right to stand up for what they believe in, whether I agree with them or not.

          • False equivalency. Nobody said that everybody in the TEA Party is a Republican party operative. Many of those who are not, are being duped by them, however. Just like many Democrats were snookered into service, out of their money, and onto Obamanizing For America’s mailing list. No matter who attends these functions, they’re right wing conservative funded AstroTurf-seeded recruitment operations designed to help Armey’s Army move the Republican party, and the country, further right.

          • Kathleen, thank you for acknowledging that this is our site and that we do not have any obligation to give the Tea Party movement legitimacy by acting like they are a movement worthy of our consideration and respect.
            I understand the frustration of some of the people caught up in the Tea Party movement. They feel like neither party is meeting their needs. That doesn’t mean I am going to make them feel better for hanging out with the wrong crowd.
            For those of you still convinced that it is OK to sympathize with the Tea Partiers I will repeat: The Tea Party Movement is the product of Republicans. It is funded by movement conservative Republicans. It derives its ideas from Republican think tanks. It thrives on over-the-top anger fueled craziness from the likes of Glenn Beck. It could very well be racist as it seems to attract a lot of people who are convinced that Obama wasn’t born in America and that he is a secret Muslim.
            If you are a disaffected Dem and you hang out with the Tea Party, you should know what you’re getting into. You are signing on to an insidious and deceptive movement whose primary goal is to channel your frustration and anger away from the superrich and well connected and towards the powerless and vulnerable. You could very well be one of those people in the near future and then the Tea Party would be on YOUR case.
            We are not going to even entertain the Tea Party memes here at The Confluence. We don’t mock tea partiers. We just tell it like it is without sugar coating. If that’s too hard to swallow, start your own blog.

          • I despise birtherism as much as trutherism, but is birtherism technically about racism. If some wacko were to challenge Arnold on his citizenship bonafides, would that necessarily be racist. There are undoubtedly some birthers, tea partiers, truthers, progressives, etc who are racist or bigoted. Is it possible to parse the proportions without overgeneralizing. Maybe. Not trying to ruffle.

          • I’m going to guess that questions about Obama’s birth come in part from racism. So does the thing about him being muslim. But there is a very fine line here. For example, if Obama really were muslim, I wouldn’t have a problem with him. People are entitled to worship whoever they want. It’s none of our business. As long as he’s a good citizen, doesn’t force his beliefs on other and treats everyone equally, why should we care? (In fact, his Christianity poses more of a problem to me that his supposed islamic sympathies, but I digress). So, I have no problem using terms like jihadis to describe his fanbase because it’s simply a metaphor for forced conversions under duress.
            However, when people who truly despise Obama say he’s a secret muslim, what I hear them really saying is that he’s secretly in league with a terrorist organization, like Al Qaeda, and he’s trying to subvert the country from within. I don’t think they would think that about any other candidate from 2008. In fact, they *didn’t* think that about the others. Only Obama. And to me that feels like racial profiling. After all, John McCain was born in Panama while his dad was stationed there but we never heard anyone accuse McCain with siding with central american socialist/communist groups.
            The whole birther thing also strikes me as having a slightly racist bent. There’s all the speculation about his father and how many wives he actually had and whether his parents were really married. It creeps me out. It feels like a miscegenation argument mixed with an urban black narrative mixed with am African “coming to America” cultural imperialism thingy. It does feel slightly racist. And I’m sure the people who are obsessed with the subject don’t feel like they’re being discriminatory but they may have a propensity to believe this stuff anyway because of something unsavory lurking waaaaay down deep. And no amount of evidence or logic satisfies them. That’s what makes it feel racist when it comes right down to it. It’s irrational. It’s irrational hatred of someone because of what they think he is and where he might have come from and who his people are. That’s discrimination. And when it is directed at an African-American, it’s hard to see it as anything but racist.
            That’s one of the reasons why I’ve never tolerated the muslim crap and birtherism here at The Confluence. I suspect that’s why the other co-bloggers do the same. We’re about the least racist people on the planet. We oppose Obama for very good reason and they’re rational. It has absolutely nothing to do with his background, which frankly, he has exploited for financial gain. He has used racism against liberals and made them feel guilty. I prefer to hold Obama to some pretty high and rigorous standards, not because he’s African American but because he asked for the job. Clinton was the last best Democratic president we had. Obama should be expected to meet the Clinton standard. So far, he’s failing miserably.

          • Its the combination of how Barack Obama overtook Hillary Clinton, through back door dealmaking, media attacks against Hillary Clinton, the rush to see him president before he was known on a national level, the fact he did so little in congress, the fact that he did so little before being in congress, that galls people.

            It galls people who see how Barack Obama was always gaming the system by demanding everybody else follow the rules exactly, that petition signatures must be perfectly legible and written neatly or be invalidated, or exposing sealed court documents, whatever it took for Barack Obama to win, but then when it came disclosing SOMETHING, anything about his past, Barack Obama can’t be bothered and people are suddenly racist for wanting to know.

            I still want to know if Barack Obama ignored his dying mother in Hawaii so he could instead finish writing his book in Bali, specifically because he mentioned his mother’s suffering to curry votes during the primaries. These are potentially horrible flaws that need to be discussed and either corroborated or proven false, but not ignored.

          • I’m going with what the Big Dawg said about Obama’s running for president. He said that Obama met the eligibility requirements. It was both a clever diss and a clue. I don’t think for one minute that the Clintons didn’t look in to the birth certificate issue. Do you think they wouldn’t have used that to get rid of Obama if there was a possibility that Obama wasn’t born here? Heck no.
            Yeah, Obama’s a prick when it comes to getting rid of his opponents. He’s never really won an election so much as gotten there by default. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like him. But the birthers aren’t concentrating on this. They’re driven nuts by the fact that he might be hiding something. I’d drop it if I were a birther. At this point, the Obama adminis political arm has figured out that they can use this irrationality against the birthers themselves. There’s nothing to hide but you will never see any resolution of the birth certificate issue because it is useful for Obama to keep it a mystery. The birthers are not helping themselves by pursuing it.

    • All I see is a nation in pain, polarized and paralyzed. Because bipartisanship has such a bad reputation in government, activists on the left and right remain busy and motivated spitting at each other but accomplishing little. I agree with you when you say that we are all genuinely American. It should be the people versus government, the have nots versus the haves. Instead we have elected officials running the government/business establishment only distinguishable from one another on flammable wedge issues but acting as one on issues of wealth and power. They like that the citizens, activists and media are highly polarized and expending their energies fighting each other, because if they ever got together, they might actually represent a force big enough to be worth listening to.

      • I second my comment.

      • i am more then happy to third your comment.

        Remember the words from a long time ago?

        A House Divided Can Not Stand.

        As long as the current owners of the government keep the people divided, the people will get nothing. It is up to the people to find common ground and take the country back. Both democrats and republicans are losing in today’s country.



        • I would add the 4th to that comment. It’s too true and no one is doing the uniting at this point. It’s too easy to point fingers and call names. Hopefully we’ll get over that phase at some point.

      • I have no problem having the Tea Partiers join us. The other way around is a non-starter.

      • We don’t know how to get radical without getting politically partisan. We listen too much to false leaders in the mainstream media who get their energy and paychecks from spouting extreme partisan rhetoric. Economic survival for the vast majority of the nation’s citizens is not a partisan issue.

    • I agree with your post but it is an ingrained Democrat habit to require ideological purity otherwise you get mocked and must be evil and stupid. The fact that Dems hold most of America in profound contempt is a large part of why they can’t govern. I am an independent I am for anyone who is for The People.

      • I see the requirements for ideological purity to be much stronger on the part of the Republicans. If that were true for Dems, they’d have never let Rahm and Dean do the 50 party state thing and we wouldn’t see the huge number of blue dawgs around, or Tim Kaine in charge of the DNC, or for that matter folks like Stupak . Your opinion is just not born out by the facts. There’s far more ideological diversity in the Dem party than Repub and that’s probably why they do such a lousy job of governing at times. They try to make too many people happy and go for these huge bills that have WAY too much stuff in them.

        • I think that’s partly a matter of legacy though. After the ’68 election, the Democratic party on the national level became largely a collection of special interest groups all shouting identity politics slogans at each other. The general welfare was almost forgotten, except for some rhetoric, which left them out of the white house for a long time. If Nixon hadn’t imploded, Clinton might have been the first Dem president after Johnson.

          • I tend to agree, except that my “special interest group” is women and we are simply the majority and equality for gay people is simply the only moral position.
            As a straight male you have no experience of watching generation of your people being shut out of power, influence, the ability to achieve to the top of your qualifications and abilities, with little hope of ever seeing such a thing as a president who looks like you.

          • Funny but I don’t think of women as a special interest group at all. You are talking to the wrong male for that nonsense.

        • Rahm is not and has never been a proponent of the 50 state strategy. He is simply for republicans running as democrats in blue states and red states.

      • This is not a matter of purity. Tea Party ideas are simply not good for working class Americans, of whom I claim a membership.
        If we’re going to go forward together, the Tea Party people have to abandon the Tea Party.
        Sorry, that’s the only way we don’t slip further into being a third world nation. I am not joining up with any entity that spouts conservative movement think tank ideas disguised as a populist movement.
        Your mileage may vary but I’m not promoting such an idea here. The stuff I bolded in purple is anathema to the people who run the Tea Party. Go ahead and ask their leaders. If a reader here agrees with the purple statements, then they need to check their Tea Party credentials.

        • The basic message of the Tea Party seems to be a flawed one. We may be taxed a lot but I don’t object to that. My objection is to what those taxes are used for, such as useless wars and bailing out too big to fail enterprises.

          If our taxes were going toward the general welfare or universal health care, that’s a whole other story. I would imagine a lot of the tea partiers could agree.

          • Oddly enough, the tax thing is very misunderstood. For example, take some of my colleague expats from France. They are just as angry with the taxes they pay here in America. Now, why would that be, given that they’re from France where presumably they’re taxed out the wazoo?
            Here’s the problem: in France, health care is excellent and no one goes bankrupt. In France, unemployment benefits are generous. In France, maternity is reasonable and promotes families. In France, your tuition at a great university is probably less than the student union fees at an American university.
            They get sooooo much more for their taxes. Here, they still pay a ridiculous amount of money in taxes and then on top of it, they have to pay for everything else that they would have gotten in France as a birthright.

          • I had German and Dutch business partners in my last life, so I know exactly what you mean. 🙂

          • Don’t they still have to file French tax returns credited for US taxes paid. If so they are essentially paying French taxes for US services. I’d be pissed too.

        • RD, I’m so glad to hear you say this with your usual unambiguous style. On a couple of occasions I have been called an intellectual elitist snob for being critical of the tea party and their adherence to the tenets of Glenbeckistan. At the core of the tea party is nothing but an unfocused anger — I’m glad they can find an outlet elsewhere.

        • I do think the Republicans have further to move than the Democrats as far as economic populism is concerned. The tea partiers who are moved by Ron Paul are motivated by his stand behind people and not government. But Ron Paul does not have a clear, viable and actionable economic prescription for the nation beyond the feel good theoretical libertarian talking points. We need an economic policy that begins with people more than institutions, and again I regret that Hillary is not there to define that. And unfortunately the Democratic Congress is not defining and mapping that vision. Obama is incapable of defining that vision, and Progressives who are still waiting for Obama do a disservice to that collective movement behind economic populism that would put pressure on government and big business. The big multinationals in every sector are running the country today, and unfortunately they are still busy trimming jobs.

  12. Sandy Levin from Detroit is taking over from Rangel as Chair of House Ways and Means (tax writing). He is Carl Levin’s older brother and till now has been Chair of the Way and Means Subcomittee on Trade which covers customs and tariffs on import/export and presumably works with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk (former mayor of Dallas, more recently lobbyist for Big Energy until selected by Obama for this role). Kirk is a strong supporter of NAFTA. The rest of the Trade Subcomittee is made up of reps from mostly big blue industrial states, not so many southern states.

    Don’t know where things stand on raising marginal taxes on the rich and super rich. All we seem to hear about are proposals on different forms of middle class tax increases. Maybe Sandy Levin will make a difference, maybe not (he is 78). Being from Michigan and having led the tariff subcommittee, he could also bring some leadership on industrial fair trade policies, or not. Although it seems unlikely he’ll get much support from Ron Kirk.

    This is one of those areas where the Potus has to show leadership and drive the agenda. What is our national jobs policy as it relates to our multinationals, international trade, outsourcing, taxing overseas profits. But it hasn’t been on the radar as far as I can see. In addition to Potus, we need a strong and globally respected Trade Representative to look at GATT and NAFTA. We haven’t had a real Dem TR since Robert Strauss under Carter. Not sure Ron Kirk is that man. Again, his last job was lobbying for an Energy Futures company based in Texas with ties to Goldman Sachs.

    No FDR Dems in sight. Someday people will realize our best chance for FDR leadership on the economy was with Hillary. The Progressives, on the web at least, are clueless imho.

    • It’s a competitive world and we must be economically competitive as a nation. We might at least be able to come together as a nation behind that concept in the best interest of all Americans, or at least the vast majority of Americans who don’t represent the wealthy getting wealthier.

      • It’s so obvious that you would think we could come together behind that concept. I’m sure we could with some leadership.

  13. I love Al Franken. Everyone knows I do. –

    I pledged some money for his re-election and Franken has his ActBlue Account up and running:

  14. At No Quarter , Rev Amy has an awesome post titled
    Why Do They Hate Us?
    It is painful to read but everyone should read it.



  15. This is an awesome post and I agree with every word of it. We’ve been left by both parties to twist in the wind.

  16. Riverdaughter, I love you. Keep it up. Perfect in every respect, absolutely right-on.

  17. Great post at JohnWSmart
    “She’s in the Attic”

  18. Re: Your article: Last paragraph
    It’s the Butterfly Effect!

  19. RD: You are right on the target—-the Obots don’t care and they think we have no alternative. And why shouldn’t they live in that illusion? After all, so many of those 18,000,000 voters who lost their votes and their dreams on May 31, 2008 drifted to voting for 0 for exactly those reasons. We who held out are in reality a pretty small fraction of that 18,000,000.

    What they do not seem to be calculating is that those who made what they thought was the best of it and drifted to 0 and are now disillusioned are most likely to do what they did in Va, Ma, NJ—just not show up. We all have that option.

    • Well said! I’m not motivated to get out and vote for either of these pathetic parties. Since May 2008 I just don’t see any difference and if you vote they may take it and give it to someone else anyway!

  20. Awesome post; this is the kinda grassroots demand we should start making of ALL our so-called “representatives”. Either you’re on the people’s side or the corporatist’s side. All of us Progressives should work on developing a test for each and every candidate; if they don’t pass we don’t vote them in, regardless. That’s the REAL issue today; it’s not conversative/liberal, right/left, GOP/DEM any more. The issue is are you for the PEOPLE or the CORPORATIONS (who are NOT by the way SCOTUS…..people).

  21. Axelrod sounding defensive.

    In a lengthy interview in his office on Wednesday, Mr. Axelrod was often defiant, saying he did not give a “flying” expletive “about what the peanut gallery thinks” and did not live for the approval “of the political community.” He denounced the “rampant lack of responsibility” of people in Washington who refuse to solve problems, and cited the difficulty of trying to communicate through what he calls “the dirty filter” of a city suffused with the “every day is Election Day sort of mentality.”

    When asked how he would assess his performance, Mr. Axelrod shrugged. “I’m not going to judge myself on that score,” he said. But then he shot back: “Have I succeeded in reversing a 30-year trend of skepticism and cynicism about government? I confess that I have not. Maybe next year.”

    • Axelrove finally gets something right. And he can forget, maybe next year. They do not get it; it is over. There is no reset. 0 has lost it. He was the fireworks spectacular—lots of light, color and sound and now nothing buy those big empty black holes.

    • “I confess that I have not. Maybe next year.”

      Maybe next year pigs will take wing and soar over the frozen plains of Hell. 😛

    • Um…is it Backwards Day?

      OMG–he killed Irony!

  22. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_best_politician_is_a_nervous_politician_20100304/

    I like this theory. Lets keep them a comfortable as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Works for me.



  23. @felixsalmon: “Aggregate 2009 fiscal stimulus in the US, adjusted for declining fiscal expenditure in the states, was close to zero”: http://bit.ly/9OGkaB

    • I am happy to hear someone ran these numbers and the result does not surprise me at all. Add to that reality that a big chunk of that fiscal stimulus was going to states for “shovel ready projects” and for education support via the ARRA component. Those components are finished. So now what happens? Something tells me the states are not expanding their fiscal expenditures.

  24. I come here for the education..love this site

  25. The deceit in Franken letter – beyond the obvious – is that they won’t even have a reconciliation. If the House passes their bill, they’ll just take the two for signature. Period.
    The other thing is the vendettas Obama is exacting – which all amount now to an unnecessary aura of scandal. I noticed today that the newspapers with the Paterson headline tend not to sell anymore. People are sick and tired – and that’s way beyond us PUMAs.
    There’s a lot of anger against the teacher firings, and the mandates are not even clear to people just yet. They will, eventually – and then Obama’s name will have a connotation uglier than Bush and Cheney put together.

    • I think the real deal going on is to privatize everything from schools, medicare to social security….and Obama is getting the process started for the republicans…..we shall see….but my instinct tells me that the middle class better be ready to get screwed.

  26. Teacher firings: I saw a news clip on what was happening at the school where the Board basically gave the teacher unions 3 options because the school has a long, long history of student failure (only 7% graduation rate, which is pretty miserable)—and if none of the options, the teachers get fired. Obama was quick to jump in and support firing the teachers.

    Why is 0 so quick to jump into local matters and events about which he is not well informed? HRC would never do such a thing.

    I do not think that teachers are blameless when students fail. But I also do not think that if there is a history of student failure then ipso, facto teachers are to blame. Is it the fault of American workers that GM and Chrysler failed? Is it the fault of Toyota workers that Toyota is in a free fall of failure and can not seem to find the right rip cord for the parachute?

    I guess everyone wants an easy target to hit. One thing the politicians and corporates agree to is a mutual CYA pact.

    • Obama jumped into the firings because he, like Arne Duncan have a special feeling about privatizing public education. Charter schools, baby!

      • Edge: charter schools are public schools; they are not private.

      • I just went over to your site, BigotB, and am amazed at the forbearance and yes, civility, of Riverdaughter in allowing you to post here and even more so at Daikinikat’s replying to your comment in the post below. “Stupidpumas” is a sickening hate filled place.

        • Notice how the failbot pounces on the charter mistake, but doesn’t address the major failing of Obama, the firings. Classic. If you can’t face the failure of Obama, then throw shit. Maybe no one will notice.

        • Yes, the things that were said about them on that site should not be legal. Horrible awful things. Maybe he’s here to apologize.

        • lurker here. bigot was one of the most relentless of the group, and even started his own blog when the stupidpumas called it quits. I believe it’s call bigotbasher. He’s a Brit. I am a Canadian. I do not comment on your politics often, but when I do, I identify myself. He does not. Perhaps I’m being silly, however, I have no business in your country’s politics, other than offering sympathy or possible comparisons to other countries. Bigotbasher apparently took his name from his rather rabid support of the current President during the primaries, and no misogynistic slur about Senator Clinton was left out of his diatribes. He’s just another wannabe that needs people to read him, to exalt him, to give him recognition that he doesn’t get otherwise. Hate is his business.
          Sorry, but as a lurker, I’ve read enough of his mysognistic bile, that I could not, in all conscience, fail to warn you good folks. He’s part of the OFA.

          • Yeah, I can’t help thinking he takes a slightly colonialist approach in these matters. 😉 Between hypocritical and clueless lectures/demands, bizarre conspiracy theories and flat-out obsessiveness, he’s got it all.

        • I’ve never been to “Stupidpumas” but I have visited BigotB’s site several times from the links he puts up here. Besides the five people who visit his site, the only other visitors he gets are the people from The Confluence who are curious at what his site looks like. He comes here because no one else cares about his site or reads it. He craves any attention he can get.

      • Charter schools are working rather well down here in New Orleans because they’ve taken the schools away from a corrupt school board and administration and put the power back in the hands of the parents and the teachers. I’ve been pleasantly surprised. However, some of the best ones are actually run by the universities here because they’re partnerships between teacher’s colleges and the schools. UNO has some, as an example. The New Orleans Public schools were really suffering from cronyism. The old super had has father on the payroll as a janitor for close to 90,000. Millions just disappeared that no one has ever found. Dead people were collecting paychecks and many of the school board were caught taking bribes from suppliers of uniforms, etc. Most of the teachers were rehired, although the union was essentially busted in the process.

  27. I can think of nothing else to say but that I agree with every word in this post.

  28. Great post, Riverdaughter. Thank you!

  29. The list is oh so clear!

    And time is running out!

  30. It looks like well over 90% of the people in Finland are hanging out their windows right now and hollering at the top of their lungs, “We’re Angry… and We’re Not Taking It Anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”


  31. Michael Moore sees the same things RD sees, but he writes in a..err…more marketable way

    • MM is partly responsible. Until he and others like him deal with that, I assume they’ll continue to follow exactly the wrong people at ever turn. Which begs the question, why are they in the media pushing opinions? They’re part of destroying this country.

      MM, if you’re too stupid to tell the difference between an experienced candidate who has a healthcare plan you even agree with and an inexperienced, empty suit, goldman sachs owned chicago thug who campaigns against universal healthcare, then please just STFU.

  32. Fricken excellent post RD!!!! I agree 100%!

  33. yea RD i agree with you on the tea party 100 %

  34. Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) will resign his seat on Monday..


    I wonder if Pelosi pushed him to quit…The Dem leadership is playing hardball so Obama can be “historic”…and as a consequence the ’10 elections will be historic.

    • The timing sure is convenient.

    • I’m not quite sure I understand. The Democrats had an historic supermajority, coupled with a President who was supposed to be a Democrat. How will going from that to a major loss be considered historic good……oh right, it will be a historic loss – and that is good for the people why?
      I know it won’t be good for the people, but those corporations are salivating at the prospect of even more inactivity in curbing their excesses.

      • BO cares about himself more than he cares about the people. If passing the health insurance industry bailout bill hurts Dems in 2010, he’s good with that…so long as the loss helps him in 2012. As you say HT, industry will ultimately win at the expense of the people. But Bigotbasher’s candidate will be happy.

        • I overheard a discussion today and nobody understands why Congresspeople are falling on their swords for Barack. Granted it may be too late to save themselves, but at least make an attempt by running as far and as fast away from him as their little legs will go.

          • It is some kind of ritual political suicide. There is no way out except doffing oneself. The Democratic Party reminds me of a gang or a organized crime operation. Step out of line and they will slap you hard. The fact that fewer and fewer support them doesn’t scare them because they will just scare the crap out of everyone to get them back in line. I do not think the Chicago Way works in most of the country and playing chicken with the electorate shows unbelievable hubris. President Obama thinks he can win a gang war with the Republicans with the public as hostages.

          • You think it is a case of congresspeople falling on their swords for Barack, or might it be Barack is pushing them onto a sword? Without knowing whether these people were given a deal too good to pass up, or too ugly to ignore, it’s hard for me to decide what is behind all the D’s leaving.

          • Send your congressman a sword and and tell him we need more seppuku.

    • do they think they are being honorable by stepping down? Because they are doing just the opposite. I guess quitting is easier than seeing a defeat for Obama… for them at least.

  35. Thanks for this post RD. I’ve been uncomfortable with the Tea Party thing from the start. I’m a natural skeptic, but I also cringed when I got some Tea Party emails from the right wingers in my family. Ugh. Never know what I’m going to find when I open up their forwarded emails. I doubt the Tea Party was ever a truly populist movement, but I imagine some people jumped on the bandwagon because they saw it as one. Maybe it is seen as a populist thing by the anti-tax, anti-government, anti-choice people? So many manipulators out there nowadays. Best to know exactly where one stands and why. I want what’s best for all citizens, not just a chosen few. I want all work to be honored and fairly compensated. I want to live in a place where there’s liberty and justice for all. I don’t want to be part of a “superpower” but I do want to be a good player in the world. And, damn it, I want our public servants to work for the majority of the people and not mainly for the super rich and powerful.

  36. Ok, I’ve finally talked to some mainstream media. Seems like everyone knew about the Edwards affair back in 2007. Guess Obama really was selected. God I am so naïve.

    • It was in the National Enquirer in 2007, but the MSM didn’t touch it.

      • Yes, it was reported in 2007- by the *National Enquirer*!
        I always think of the National Enquirer as a tabloid that prints unattributed inside stories about celebrities from a “close friend”. How much credibility can you give to stories from the National Enquirer?
        One thing is absolutely clear though: We have just proven conclusively that Hillary would NOT do anything to win.

        • I agree, but unfortunately the National Enquirer is now up for a Pulitzer.

          • It’s one of those, “I never thought I’d live to see the day” things.
            Now, if it had been Time or Newsweek or the New York Times that had investigated the Edwards affair, Hillary might be president right now.
            OR, maybe Hillary *wanted* Edwards in Iowa. Obama’s fanbase was too close for comfort. Having Edwards there may have siphoned enough mojo from Obama to prevent the Iowa caucuses from looking like a blowout. That would have been a ballsy move. Clean up in New Hampshire where the fanbase was less likely to be shmoozed by Obama and where Edwards was weak. Clever.
            Just a theory.

          • I never really understood why the NYTimes flipped so hard and so fast on Hillary after having officially endorsed her early. Not that I care much now.

          • Mainly I remember how Edwards attacked Hillary at the debates.

          • Oooo, Edwards was so smarmy and disingenuous. I was an Edwards supporter until I actually saw him in person. Then I saw that he was really just a PT Barnum type. He’s a fricking motivational speaker. He can get people to their feet. He knows how to tap into their psyches. He plays with their anger. It’s too bad Edwards decided to go into politics. He would have made a great Glenn Beck type, making people all pissed off and sputtering with rage against the corporations. I have no idea if Edwards believed any of it. Maybe he did to some extent. But what I saw in Chicago was a guy who gets off on controlling a crowd playing them like a huge sweaty instrument. It thrills him when he can say the right combination of words to elicit the right response. It’s like seduction. I’m going to guess he’s had a lot of success with women. I’ll betcha Rielle is just one of many.
            In the debates, he carefully gauged his audience. In Philadelphia, he knew that NBC wanted a bait ball frenzy on Hillary so he gleefully joined in. In SC, he sensed that he couldn’t join in the carnage between Obama and Hillary so he took the soothing voice of reason tactic.
            I hate the guy. He’s disgusting. I can’t believe so many of us fell for him. He would have been a lot worse than Obama and that’s saying something.

  37. I agree Edwards is a snake. When I first saw him in 04′ I thought he was good, but when the debates happened that was it for me. The man has NO morals.

  38. Thanks, RD – you’ve done it again – you got both the words and the melody in this one –

    I really think folks are just beaten to a pulp by our political parties and are just not sure what to do at this point.

    They’re tired, scared, angry, confused and just don’t know what to do. They’ve written, called, emailed and tried meeting with their elected officials and none of them have listened.

    They further know that waiting to vote them out of office allows their reps to continue to plunder and destroy their beloved country.

    Some have indeed turned to the tea partiers because of their emotional confusion, even though it is no better an alternative than what we have.

    Yes, we need a leader – but none seems to stand before us.

  39. Yes, we don’t believe in either party anymore as they are both corrupt, but I don’t get is the folks that were screaming the loudest one and half years ago have gone back to the republicans. I just don’t see that! What I just don’t know is what the average citizen can do about all this corruption? Do we just replace Obama with the ordinary run of the mil republican, because I can guarantee you this is what they are going to do. I have Mitch Romney on TV many time this week, once he even said ugly statements about Hillary….if it wasn’t for Hillary right now our country would be being ran by a totally radical organization…..she is a true american….he could have said that….but politics are just part of his blood…he doesn’t not care about the little people….I remember him talking to a guy in a w/c, he did not have time for this guy!

  40. RD, that is a spot-on post!

    I’m printing it out and sending it to all my CongressCritters. And I’ll send it in reply to any of those please-contribute-and-support-the-Dem-party-or-the-Rs-will-win mailings I get. They need to act like Dems. Otherwise no money, no volunteering, and no vote.

  41. Failure is not a bug. It’s a feature.

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