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Oh. My. God. We are so screwed.

Get up out of that bathtub, Democrats

Paul Krugman and Anglachel have two important posts up.  After you read them, you’ll get a sickening feeling that things are about to get worse.  If anyone expected Barack Obama to use his veto pen to stop the Republican Horde from wrecking havoc, they might want to rethink that notion.  As Paul says in Freezing Out Hope:

It’s hard to escape the impression that Republicans have taken Mr. Obama’s measure — that they’re calling his bluff in the belief that he can be counted on to fold. And it’s also hard to escape the impression that they’re right.

The real question is what Mr. Obama and his inner circle are thinking. Do they really believe, after all this time, that gestures of appeasement to the G.O.P. will elicit a good-faith response?

What’s even more puzzling is the apparent indifference of the Obama team to the effect of such gestures on their supporters. One would have expected a candidate who rode the enthusiasm of activists to an upset victory in the Democratic primary to realize that this enthusiasm was an important asset. Instead, however, Mr. Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake.

Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.

Hoodwinked?  Bamboozled?  Is Obama making fun of the Obots?  Or did Anglachel accurately assess Obama’s political compass?  From Season’s Greetings, she writes:

Obama is not a Reaganite, no matter how much he enjoys fellating the corpse of the Gipper. If he really were a Reaganite, he’d know how to preserve and expand power.

I’ve written before that Obama lacks any sense of or taste for politics, and think I have his political philosophy identified, namely a very patrician Hoover-ish progressivism, but something Krugman wrote today made me have a very bad thought


What it looks like to me is Obama methodically reversing the desires of the people who voted for him, inverting every virtue and intention they projected on to him. If someone was trying to deconstruct the Democratic Party from the inside – betray its hopes, derail its changes, destroy its legacy – you couldn’t ask for a better example.

Almost like an act of revenge.

I said in Primary Objective that Obama was not mortally unpopular with the base, but I’m having to rethink that claim much more quickly than I imagined given the way he has increased his pissing on the Democrats since the mid-term losses. If he has no loyalty to any part of the party and is eager to walk around with a big “Kick me” sign taped front and back, then it makes no sense for the party to follow him off the cliff. Krugman closes by saying, “It would be much easier, of course, for Democrats to draw a line if Mr. Obama would do his part. But all indications are that the party will have to look elsewhere for the leadership it needs.”

Anglachel urges a primary.  Well, that’s to be expected.  She’s one of the “shrieking band of paranoid holdouts”.  But Krugman writes for a large megaphone.  Oh, sure, who listens to Krugman?  Obots came –>this<– close to calling him a racist for not kissing Obama’s, er, whatever, when he took office.

But for the good of the country, Obama must be primaried, regardless of the perceived incivility and the probability that the entire op/ed page of the Washington Post will get the vapors.  I think even Atrios is coming around:

One thing that’s been true since I’ve been paying attention is that everything The Left does is wrong. By The Left I mean everyone to the left of the basic governing power. Third Parties are bad, sitting out elections are bad, putting pressure on elected reps is bad, protesting is bad, primary campaigns are bad, media criticism might hurt their feefees and is bad, saying mean things about Rush Limbaugh is bad, actually discussing your views honestly is bad, etc. Obviously the failure of The Left to take control and run the country does suggest that it is doing something wrong, but no one ever really offers much constructive advice other than…please STFU.

Is the base going to STFU and graciously commit sepukka in order for politeness to flourish?  “Let good table manners reign!”

Update: Ian Welsh pounds the drum for primarying Obama too.  He goes even further than we do and says Obama is a bad man.  Amoral or Immoral?  Does it matter?

If the party base and the hung over Obots really have a political philosophy and if they really want the democratic values of the Democratic party to triumph, they’d better join us toot sweet.  Because, like it or not, there is only one person *at the present time* who can take on Obama and win.  Even if you are still suffering from CDS psychosis, I urge Obots for the sake of UNITY to join with us and push back.  Because until you give Obama a serious threat to his political career, he is going to take the party and the country down with him.  We have always said that our objection to Obama had nothing to do with his skin color.  It has everything to do with his lack of political convictions, his inexperience, his unpreparedness, and his contempt for the voters.

Howard Dean may be the alternate candidate for Whole Foods Nation but Obama knows that Dean poses no legitimate threat to him.  He has absolutely zero appeal to the working class.  Democrats cannot win in 2012 without the working class.  And the reason Obama is not going to push back at the Republicans is because he thinks the working class has abandoned the Democrats to join the Tea Party.  This is partially correct.  The working class would be more than happy to get behind a Democrat who supports the FDR style programs they love and who shows leadership qualities in the face of adversity.

As long as the Obots won’t even entertain the notion of supporting someone like that for president, Obama will continue to drown Hope in the Potomac.  Once you start to roll the idea of a popular primary challenger around in your heads and let Obama know you’re seriously thinking about it, you will start to get the Change! you voted for.  Don’t believe me?  Go ahead and try it.  Start making some noises that you’ve changed your minds and now “she who must not be named” is looking pretty good right about now.  Make it sound convincing.  Praise her statesmanship, her presence on a world stage, her calm and steely resolve.  See what happens.

He doesn’t fear you, Obots.  That’s why he’s giving you the finger and brushing your dirt off his shoulders.

127 Responses

  1. “What it looks like to me is Obama methodically reversing the desires of the people who voted for him, inverting every virtue and intention they projected on to him.”

    This statement by Anglachel is brilliantly accurate. There is an almost sadistic quality to Obama’s behavior–which is no surprise to any student of Obama and his supporters.

    • The question remains, though. *WHY* is he doing it? He could say he is rejecting leftish values for the good of the nation and if he could come up with any proof, people might understand. But it almost seems like a gratuitous assault on the left for no other reason than kicking people when they’re down is fun.
      And I want to know WHY he’s doing it. If it’s because everyone else is doing it and he wants to look cool and because it’s perfectly acceptable in his milieu to treat poor people and the middle class as pathetic suckers, then he has to go. The sooner the better. This is what I think Anglachel is suggesting when she refers to a “a very patrician Hoover-ish progressivism”. He treats us with contempt because we aren’t in his social stratum.

      • Definitely, on the creative class elitism. Plus as always, he is thinking about campaigning and re-election. Governing is barely on his radar. Alot of Republicans and Independents voted for him in 2008, and he needs them again in 2012. There are no primaries for him in 2012, so he has no reason to sell to the left. He takes their votes for granted, and he will probably get them.

        It really is the Obama loving progressive left who are the ones being screwed most. They love him, so they won’t pressure him. He abuses that status in his relationship with them by always facing right, playing with bankers, and indulging Republicans. Working class progressives and liberals are not on his mind. This is beyond triangulation. For Obama, it’s where he wants to be, being Reagan.

        • Obama says one thing and does another, he’s a clutter fug.

          No way in hell will he come back with a nice and neat record – not in regards to what’s he has done, nor his spending. That’s all people will remember in 2012.

        • Oh my god. “creative class” are the suckers and they’re under the bus too by now. This is patrician multimillionaire class.

      • He just got bored with pretending. Staying power – not exactly his quality. It’s his “who cares what you think?” moment.

        • Most likely explanation.

          Looking at his biography one did wonder two years ago whether he could stick out four years.

      • Obama is ‘caving’ to conservatives because that’s what he IS. To steal from Lambert, you are what you are what you repeately do. The only time there’s a spark of fight in him is when he’s serving his corporate sponsors or pushing Republican talking points.

        He started talking about cutting Soc Sec back in 2007, and in 2010, we have the Catfood Commision. I think it was myiq a few weeks back who raised the point that the problem with obots wasn’t that they believed himwhen he lied, but that they didn’t believe him when he told the truth. They bought the marketing, ignored what was right in front of their faces because it made them feel so hopeful (and superior), and scr*wed the rest of us. Now they are steeped in brand loyalty and it’s keeping them from noticing that all he’s delivered is the opposite of what they thought he was selling.

        Even Krugman is making the mistake of thinking that Obama and his admin are still well-intentioned, merely incompetent. He’s not. He’s badly-intentioned. (of course, he can still be incompetent).

        • Honk! Honk!

          He never WAS who they thought he was.

          • They just glanced at him, and voted.

          • You mean WE were not the ones we were waiting for? Gag me with a golden spoon. That was the royal we when read by Obama ( drivel from Jon Le-leacherous the speechwriter?)

            I’m still waiting for Godot.

      • Why? because he’s been paid to do it by his real base — ze riche.
        Quid pro effing quo.

        Lord Farquaad Obama to Americans: “Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.”

        • I read this morning that Arizona is stopping transplants for poor people. Somebody is gonna die.

          I like to see these decision makers living on $200
          dollars a week, and then come to the table and talk
          about sacrifce.

          • Read your post and thought maybe you were exaggerating. OMG, both Arizona and Oregon have instituted these policies. The citizens of this country need to wake up and retrieve their humanity. I think as a society we’ve got insane.

      • I am not into conspiracies but the more I think about it, the more I believe there might be many skeletons in Obama’s closet. Could the Larry Sinclair stories be true??? All one needs is a photo or a recording and Obama will do and say anything to protect his family and his reputation. I was not an Obama fan but I would have never thought he would be this despicable. Truly bizarre and baffling to me.

        • I don’t believe for a second that he’s a good enough actor or liar to pull this off. He’s pretty transparent when he speaks off the cuff. So I doubt blackmail. I suspect that he’s just a plant and has been from the beginning.

      • In my opinion, Obama is brilliantly doing what he was hired to do. (Hint: He wasn’t truly hired by us the voters. We were just allowed to play along.)

      • When Obama froze the wages of federal employees, what did he get for it?

        Nothing – an empty gesture that got him absolutely zero.

        It’s absolute incompetence. Or some valiant attempt to look “cool” or…

        I have no idea what he is doing or why.

      • Beyond that it’s what he was hired to do?

      • He has been led by the nose into every single place of distinction and honor with promises of more and better things to come. Give just ONE example of when this man was positioned into a place others have to work so hard to achieve where he lifted more than his middle finger to earn it.

        His handlers are being paid for driving his chariot into the land of audacity for him.

      • RD, I can supply with the answer but you will not like it. before I do, let me introduce myself. I was a HRC supporter. That’s how I discovered The Confluence. I read you everyday but rarely posted a comment.

        I early on knew Obama would disappoint because politically he is conservative. He is also black (at least in this country instead of bi-racial) like me. Unless you are a person of color it is impossible to understand the extent self-hatred can arise from a racist society.

        This is where you will probably stop listening to my answer but this background provides Obama’s emotional context and is essential in understanding the truth. I know this because I am a Black man. Subconsciously, you know this too. That’s why you continue to link TC to the Black Agenda Report. BAR was never fooled by Obama.

        Years ago he correctly understood that a Black Republican could never become President of the USA but a Black Democrat could. Becoming a progressive was a career decision.

        Some people resent the thing or person that made them. Obama never had a choice in being black or a Democrat and he cannot change his racial identity but he can dismantle the Democratic Party.

        Strange but true.

        • I understand and respect what you have to say here, and I don’t mean to sound callous, but I don’t really care WHY he’s doing it. I’m just furious that he IS doing it.

        • Thomas, I agree with you in part. Yes, it absolutely was a career decision, one that was probably put into his head by Frank Marshall Davis to fulfill Obama’s dream of being president. But, I would add that there is something deeply nefarious about Obama.

          He has a contempt and hatred of the poor and working class like I’ve never seen before in any president (in my lifetime), or even read about. Even as paranoid as Nixon was, he did not share such contempt for the working class. Reagan just really believed the supply-side theories and used racism to supplement those beliefs. But Obama has supposedly studied these people, and knows of the detriments of these policies. He supposedly majored in Poli Sci at Columbia. He just doesn’t care about implementing the lessons he learned.

          BTW, haven’t I seen you post at Cinie’s blog?

          • I miss Cinie. Have you seen her? I hope she’s happy.

            Back to Obama. I will pay anyone a $1,000 who can show me one Obama speech where he mentions “helping the poor and disadvantage”. He equates poor and black, It was odd watching him at Ted Kennedy’s memorial service; all the Kennedy’s discussed their life work helping the poor while Obama discussed helping the middle class. His inaction is turning this country’s middle class into the poor.

    • His father left him and then he perceived that his mother abandoned him when he was sent to live with his grandparents. He has been handed a lot he didn’t deserve. There might be an unconscious resentment and a sense that he’s been bamboozling utter fools way too easily. Was hoping hard work in the White House wouldn’t make his Nobel Peace Prize a joke, and that he’d get the experience that one term in the Senate spent working hard would have gained him. His scant record in the Illinois legislator was the work of other lawmakers forced to hand over to him by Emil Jones so he could make himself a senator, and policy bored him and he loved the rock star adulation of his historic keynote address–we are not red states, we are not blue states, we are the United States, etc. pablum.

      When everyone around is so gullible, why not believe in your own magical powers?

    • Personally, I think he feels he has the Obots in the bag – so f*ck them – where are they going to go?… and so far he’s right – they are in denial about a better candidate (Hillary would have been the same) – their ego will never let them admit they made a mistake ***AND*** they ignored the right answer staring them in the face (funny how they will admit to one, but not both).

      I think he has been trying to get the right to look at him from the start (to be more historic – like Raygun) – but the right is blinded by Right-Wing-Media rants about ‘socialist’ and ‘left-wing-radical’ that they have not jumped on the Obama bandwagon – it’s done him little good.

      I’ve resigned myself to the idea that his fanboys will never leave him (lest their egos be bruised) the right will not run a strong candidate (they’re all bad aren’t they) and Hillary will never betray her Party loyalty to Primary him.

      … once I’ve staked out my version of reality… then I sit back and DREAM of what we could have had, and what we might be able to get if all the things I just said weren’t true to me… sometimes I just cry… sometimes it’s just a way to ‘get away’ from the reality – a fantasy between sh*t if you will.

      • HONK

      • Oh, but over in Fanboyville you can see them falling away every day. LOTS have admitted they were wrong. Lots are very, very angry.

        • I don’t see it yet – I see them admitting they were wrong about Obama, but not wrong about Hillary. Or I see them mad, but not ready to admit Hillary would be better.

          They’ll admit one of the mistakes, but not the other -it’s like any good 12-step program to recovery, only they can’t get past the first step.

  2. On the STFU point RD, I’m okay with telling the juvenile self-righteous fauxgressive boys to STFU for awhile still. Though I’m personally thinking more about classism these days, I’m not anywhere near getting over the sexism and race-baiting from the boys during the past four years.

    • You’re missing the point. Right now, it doesn’t matter what the Obots are saying or how loudly. Obama is going to ignore them because he knows they are politically impotent. The two halves of the party will only have force if they join together behind the one person who is a legitimate threat to him.
      At that point, we *want* the Obots to be loud and obnoxious. That will get Obama’s attention. It’s only surprising that the Obots haven’t figured it out yet. They’re not as smart as they think they are.

      • The time for Obots to be loud and obnoxious and push back against Obama was before the midterms imo when there was more legislative business. Now he’s in full campaign mode for 2012. The Obots might get more promises from him if they pushed back hard now, but how much is that worth.

      • In some karmic way it makes sense. The fauxgressives deserve to be slapped upside the head for their stupidity and arrogance, and as it turns out Obama is the one doing the slapping. But guess who’s not being slapped or in any real pain these days…rich creative class fauxgressives. Those kids and grown ups are doing just fine.

        • That should be remembered.

        • What I can say about the fauxgressives is that all the bad policy obama has pushed for… they aren’t impacted AT ALL. I’m not talking about the basement dweller obot army, this is the professional frat-boys club creative class, whole foods nation.

          The creative class was libertarian leaning (but NOT TeaParty because… well, look who is the most popular speaker for all things Tea Party.) and they really only cared about the wars because the wars gave them the fun of “mission accomplished” jokes and a stick to beat Hillary with. Oh, and they cost a lot of MONEY.

          “Has obama gotten us into any *new* wars?” Oh, by *new* I only mean those wars I heard about on MSNBC…

          These guys really don’t give a damn about FISA, DOMA, DADT, torture, healthcare, and I wonder if they realize what is happening with SS or how obama is promising to play nice with Republicans.

          They were NEVER liberals – I’m not sure if they *know* what progressive is supposed to mean – I sure don’t.

          • Honk!

          • As originally conceived, I believe being progressive was supposed to mean fighting for the have nots in society…not creative class values, and strictly speaking not even middle class prosperity. In many ways, it was the original working class movement when it began in the early 20th century. But when I point this out to the elite fauxgressives on their blogs and threads, they are like…duh, who knew, we thought it was about social enlightenment.

          • When I think of what “progressive” is supposed to mean, I think Democratic-Farmer-Labor, I think of Fighting Bob LaFollette. I think of 3 men I middle-named my boys after — Clarence Darrow, Big Bill Haywood, Cesar Chavez. YMMV of course!

      • The Obots will be screaming until Axlerod pays them a bit of cash. That will shut them up.

      • He’s going where the adoration and votes can be found….he couldn’t figure out what the bots wanted from him (or he didn’t listen), so they are now going to have to join the rest of us under the bus. His speech to the Republicans was clear….he’s joining them since the d’s ended their celebration of his greatness.

  3. I remember during the 2004 primaries, a few freepers on DU – that were posing as deaniacs attacking Clark chose a certain moment to reveal themselves and go “Boo! You’ve been royally had “. They seemed to derive a lot of pleasure from it, and somehow I imagine Obama doing the same these days.
    My Morning Sneeze is feeding into the same self-revelation – and how his base is no longer even a target audience to his propaganda

  4. This tax fiasco really must end the pretense that Obama is a change agent for the greater good. My lawd, did you ever think the Democrats would walk away from Clinton-era taxes? These Democrats are hardly recognizable anymore. I mean, I have people cheering on Chuck Schumer for his *brilliant* plan to only raise taxes after the first 1 million in income. Are you kidding me?

    • Must be a rough place to find oneself. Here these long-standing Democrats finally have a D President and they are compelled to show loyalty to the party while knowing full well they are rejecting the voters with nearly every bill they pass. I hope we see some of the congressional Ds muster up enough courage to shake the party back into its own agenda and reject this president.

  5. I have to laugh when those disillusioned Obots start talking primary challenge and bring up like 100 names, none of them starting with Hillary or ending with Clinton. Who are they fooling? She’s the only one with the following to beat him.

    • We must continue to emphasize to them that none of the other names on their list have a ice crystal’s chance in hell of surviving a primary or general election.
      Whether they like it or not, there is only ONE person who has the kind of support, and even grudging respect, to take on Obama.
      They need to take a close look at what it is that is driving their CDS because it is pernicious and damaging to the causes they say they support.

      • Yeah. They like to say she’ll be just the same. At this point, it’s hard to argue she wouldn’t reinstate her husband’s own tax policy for which she was so proud.

        • Oh, yeah, she would have been the same as Obama. She wouldn’t have put up a vigorous defense of her core beliefs even if it meant losing political capital:


          • It’s ridiculous. As is their new talking point, Obama is just like Bill Clinton. Yeah, sure, without the competence and the principles, I guess.

  6. Obama simply has no wisdom, no set of beliefs, and no leadership skills. People keep wondering “why “he is doing this, but it’s like, doing what?? He’s doing exactly what one would expect from somebody like him. That was kind of the whole point of opposing him in the primaries. He’s performing exactly like many of us thought he would.

    • Yep. Butcha know what? I don’t think it matters what he is anymore. What he is NOT is a Democrat that you can rely to protect the interests of the vast majority of Americans who are not rich and well connected. Therefore, he has to go.
      That’s really the only talking point you need. He isn’t going to do it for you, Democrats. Never was.
      Get behind she-who-must-not-be-named and even if she decides not to run, the very thought of a serious primary challenger with broad national support will give the party powers-that-be the willies.

      • RD — I agree. It doesn’t matter what he is, it’s what he’s not. And dime store psychology need not apply because then that only gets people in huge defensive mode. But,

        I’m still having a huge difficulty convincing my Obot friends that Obama is NOT even a democrat. They just keep using the “well he’s better than a republican.” Unless they see a R next to his name, they just don’t get it.

        [seriously banging head against the wall]

  7. Today’s tabloids also underscore how he is working with the Rs against the Ds(and us)

  8. What I don’t understand are the Hillary supporters who have gone all out conservative and actually buy into the Obama as socialist meme. Suddenly, they hate the lazy folks needing unemployment benefits, environmental policy and public health insurance. All things anyone with any knowledge of Hillary Clinton would acknowledge she supports. And, they think have a new found respect for Republicans they claim are standing on principle. What’s up with those people?

    • 1.) They are really, REALLY angry at the Democratic party for bad mouthing them in 2008 and cheating them out of the person they thought could most help them with their economic problems.
      2.) They are confused. There are operatives in the media that are intent on perpetuating that confusion. They want voters to not know what to think. In the absence of strong leadership, this is easy to do. Obama doesn’t really have a flare for or desire to promote a coherent vision for the direction he wants to go in. In the absence of a clear beacon, the fog of deliberate confusion sets in. Loud, reactionary blowhards step into the vacuum because they are unafraid to tap into that anger for their own benefit. Based on my extended working class family’s view of things, most of them want to retain the FDR New Deal programs and expand on them.
      3.) Have you seen what the NYTimes has done to the portrayal of the long term unemployed? Check this out: https://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/what-kind-of-evil-game-is-the-nytimes-playing/
      I know a lot of unemployed people. I live at ground zero where thousands and thousands of scientists are getting laid off every year. And NONE of the long term unemployed I know look anything like the people portrayed on the pages of the NYTimes. The people I know are all ages, all genders, well educated, slim, plump or average but none of them fat, no one I know has bleached hair or poor hygeine. So, why the propaganda by the times to make all of these people look like big, fat, lazy losers?? It’s not just Glenn Beck pushing this meme.

      • Well, thanks, that’s it I guess. But it’s sad to see. My extended family is working class as well, but they haven’t become conservatives yet, thank goodness. Alot of the long term unemployed actually are older and less educated, which makes sense given the major collapse in certain sectors of the economy, ie manufacturing and home building. Indeed, whites without a college degree have a 20% unemployment rate today, while their counterparts with a college degree have a 5% unemployment rate. If all of those people were educated we wouldn’t see higher employment, the jobs are not there. We would just see higher unemployment numbers in the educated pop. Anyway, many economists realized over a decade ago that we were headed toward long term unemployment for elderly, less educated. When Robert Rubin was still at the WH he wanted to establish some sort of long term insurance program for these people, particularly those displaced by global trade. My hard working uncle is one of those whose benefits are on the chopping block. I don’t understand the lack of sympathy.

        • I’ve got news for you. Based on what I’ve witnessed with my own eyes, a college education, even a PhD in a natural science, is no barricade against unemployment. College educated people are getting laid off in astonishing numbers. We are losing our scientific infrastructure. No exaggeration.
          It is very serious and when it’s gone, it’s likely gone for good. Yesterday’s steelworkers are today’s chemists.

          • I hear what you are saying, but statistically college educated whites have a 5% unemployment rate right now.

            Per Robert Reich:

            Joblessness among the white working class is far higher than the 9.6 percent average for the nation. While the unemployment rate among college grads (most of whom are professionals or managers) is around 5 percent, the average unemployment rate for people with only a high school degree or less (blue-collar, pink-collar, clerical) is almost 20 percent.


            For the record, my parents both have PhD’s and my mother works in the same field you do. I have an advanced degree as does my sister. I’m not arguing job security is not poor for educated people as well, but it’s not where it is for the working class yet. Indeed, many people have had to take jobs less than their education would warrant because of the economy, but that means there is one less job for the less educated.

          • Also, you sort of make my point. If all those uneducated unemployed were suddenly educated, they still would not have jobs because there are not enough jobs.

            By the way, unemployment is up for November:


          • Fuck Robert Reich. I am LIVING this. The R&D industry has lost over 100,000 people in the last year alone and the layoffs just keep on coming. There is no end in sight.
            In some sectors, it’s not just a 5% blip. It is a wholesale massacre. Please stop trying to make this look less bad than it is because you can’t.
            There is a Depression in R&D. Can the world live without 5% fewer of the rest of the college educated? I don’t know. But the United States can hardly let go of 50% of its chemists without feeling it down the road.
            No, don’t even try to argue with me about this. You are not here. You have no idea.

          • BTW, I think you are missing the point about college educated unemployed.
            WE *ARE* THE WORKING CLASS!!!
            Wake up and smell the acetone.

          • What I don’t get is what are people supposed to DO? How do you translate a successful career into a totally different occupation? I mean this for all the unemployed at whatever level.

            For decades politicians talk about re-training (like we’re dogs) but where ARE the professions now? Are there expanding professions that need workers at a variety of levels?

            And now the Pres is freezing wages & jobs at the Federal level.. It’s scary.

          • katiebird, the people are supposed to be afraid and therefore keep their heads down, don’t rock the boat, work hard and don’t ask for stuff like raises or humane working conditions.
            High unemployment is a feature; they WANT it because it keeps them empowered to keep looting and grabbing.
            I know this because it’s exactly like this in the country I immigrated from. Corruption, crony capitalism, police-state, lots of poor people and a tiny handful of rich powerful people. You know, we had a dictator too, but he was finally ousted after people from the left and the right, commies and nuns, united in opposition.
            But as long as the opposition to corruption and cronyism in America is splintered into left, center, green, libertarian, tea party, then the oligarchy is secure.

          • Katiebird,

            What’s more, I’m in grad school for upwards of five years to get where I’m going. Once I get out, if the economy won’t support my employment in my field, what I am I supposed to do? Just eat my student loans and go back to school AGAIN for ANOTHER five years on the chance that I might be able to get a job in a different field? Retraining my ASS. Retraining to what? A millionaire international playboy? Because I don’t think they Interview for those positions.

          • We need to get smart like India and create universities or trade schools that graduate students who can assume the high-tech jobs in Silicon Valley that execs now ask our Congress to reserve for H1B visa workers since they say that Americans workers cannot be found. Ask for the same salary and accept the indentured tenur at a sponsoring company to be on tge same level. After six years when salaries might be on target to afford a starter home of half a million, or upon reaching the age of 40 and time to go out to pasture,
            retrain and send to a less developed country to help them build sewer systems and basic infrastructure that has been neglected because of a brain drain of coders to work in high-tech in the U.S.

          • CB – I have worked in tech. Those H1B’s are decent ENTRY LEVEL coders. Hiring them is not about “not being able to find talent in the US” it is all about driving wages for tech workers into the ground and pretending the H1Bs are more qualified.

            The H1B workers function like hiring people from VOLT or other temp-tech and they do cost less than that – BUT – they are also similar quality to fresh out of college entry level programmer and the H1B workers (for the most part) cost a little more than entry level programmers.

            If you worked on a blended project with US workers, H1Bs and offshore – we have to compensate for the lacking talent and productivity by working insane extra hours to fix the work they do. Sometimes the onshore H1Bs can fix the stuff coming from offshore. And sometimes the H1Bs are good and get things done… but most often (in my experience) they are young and inexperienced and over-sold on what they know and what they can do.

            Nobody who makes decisions looks at what you actually GET because they don’t care – it is just a stick to beat a dog.

          • Very helpful perspective jjm. Thx.

          • Speaking of H1Bs, there should be a freeze on new tech H1B applications. Process the ones already in queue but thats it.
            Companies pretend they can’t find trained, qualified employees — then train. With unemployment at an all-time high it’s downright economic terrorism not to.
            And while I am solving the tech unemployment problem, I also want govt to incentivize job creation and penalize offshoring of jobs.
            Vote me for president. Will work for dark chocolate and coffee.

          • Votermom: who benefits from the H1B program? You are right, there are “qualified” workers available and the H1Bs are not augmenting a defective or under-educated workforce.

            Nobody needs a master’s degree to be a DBA – for most DBA work, somebody with a master’s degree would die of boredom. That is how they “justify” the H1B – they can’t find workers in the USA with master’s degrees to kill run-away queries all day and monitor nightly batch scripts…

            This is a feature and if anyone in DC was interested in Americans having jobs – they would have suspended H1B’s two years ago (or more!).

          • They don’t even have to actually penalize the offshoring of jobs. They just have to take away the loophole for deferring the tax on offshore profits. Jobs would come back.

          • Yes, changing the tax structure would force an evaluation of the value they are getting. That is probably key – I don’t think “they” WANT to fix this problem because it is only a problem if you are a worker. The bonus class only reaps the benefits of this situation.

          • My comment was a bit of a snark. I work in high tech and have seen the replacement of older engineers and coders with H1B visa workers. It’s strictly bottom line. Mostly average talent, but hey, the ones who make the money from cheap labor here and abroad, pay for the campaigns of those in Congress who are told that native workers cannot be found. Makes my job more difficult because of the less quality. Maybe one does get what one pays for!

            Can we just have publicly funded elections? Bypass the buying of our so-called representatives?

            Where women were once making headway into decent paying jobs, it’s now back to mostly male, but younger males from a country that is smart about training for tech (with the goal of getting them hired in the U.S.).

            Why encourage students to go into an area in which jobs are given preferentially to imported labor? We are being outsourced from within and without.

          • Sorry CB – I have heard so many managers say the same thing, I didn’t catch the snark in your comment.

            Like you, I have been on the “receiving” end, leading projects with imported resources way too many times to have anything good to say about it.

          • Yes, Riverdaughter. In addition to scientists and engineers who are unemployed, I know quite a few patent attorneys out of work (including me). The patent attorneys have at least 2 degrees (some four) and had to pass at least two bar exams. So are we supposed to re-train as… what?


        • I should say Rubin argued we would see permanent unemployment for these people. And, we may see that yet in the professional sector as well.

        • When you’re petrified for yourself, it’s hard to be sympathetic to people you don’t know. The economy right now has people terrified and confused and insular. Which is, frankly, where the PTB want them.

        • I take real exception to that blanket statement. Less Educated? The dropout rate has been over 30% for nearly 2 decades now. Among the 50-70 year olds that rate was probably less than 5%. A high school education in the 50s and 60s was focused and valuable and taught us how to learn. We took that with us to the workplace, added experience, and have never been labeled negatively as the X & Y generations have been.

          RD is right….this era of job losses is not like anything in the past. It isn’t the result of mergers and acquisitions where competitors and entreprenuers are happy to grab the staff being displaced. Hiring isn’t being done, the number of jobs available to those educations with experience are gone and they might not come back. The lessor jobs use the excuse they are over-qualified so they don’t have to hire. Older people cost more in medical benefits, even if they are the ones least likely to run to the doctor for every sniffle and scratch.

          This round of employment horror is for everyone, absolutely everyone, and it’s impossible to put a stereotype to the long-term unemployed.

          • A stereotype? My lawd, I am reporting actual figures. I am not saying any working stiff is doing great in this economy. But I am just talking actual numbers. This isn’t my personal opinion. It’s just reading readily available figures.

    • Hillary is better off without the “I—m Sucks” and “Van Jones/Obama/Pelosi is a Communist” contingents. They play the same tune as the rabid Obots; just the lyrics are different.

      • There is only one legitimate basis on which anyone could argue that Obama is a socialist, and that is the 6 trillion dollar bailout of companies and the financial industry by the Treasury and Fed. The privatize their gains, socialize their losses, thing. To call him a socialist for that is a stretch. There is nothing else Obama has done, health insurance industry reform included, that remoted resembles anything socialist.

        • Also known as “Lemon Socialism”. That is the only sense in which he is a socialist.

          • Better and more accurately known as “crony capitalism.” Better yet, “feudalism.”

      • I’d agree, except that voters are voters. And the ignorant and uninformed CAN learn and be taught if someone has the patience and resolve to do it. Bill Clinton did to a certain degree and it payed off for him big-time.

        • It’s one thing, and likely to be successful, to educate someone who’s merely misinformed. But with the haters and fanatics–that’s a waste of time better spent elsewhere.

    • Not all of them by far, but a good number. I think they were republicans anyway. I am just sick about all this…we are all so screwed!

  9. Check out Ian Welsh on the subject today:

    Let me put it even more baldly. Obama is, actually, a bad man. He didn’t do the right thing when he had a majority, and now that he has the excuse of a Republican House he’s going to let them do bad thing after bad thing. This isn’t about “compromise”, this is about doing what he wants to do anyway, like slashing social security. The Senate, you remember, voted down the catfood comission. Obama reinstituted it by executive fiat.

    If the left doesn’t stand against Obama and doesn’t primary him, it stands for nothing and for nobody.


    • Good for Ian. I’ve been noticing him more lately.

    • Reading the comments. Guest said this:

      It’s just a racial stereotype held by the left and right that can’t bend their minds around the fact that a black man could somehow not be a leftist and radical. Nevermind that his black heritage is Kenyan not American, and his American heritage is conservative white bankers from freaking Kansas. Nope, he was just a typical poor black kid raised by a single mom .
      Someone at Agoniste thinks if he had admitted being a blue dog 3 years ago, it would have sunk his chances in the primaries. No way! The O’bots were too in love with their own heroic desire to change the world by electing a black man to notice that he chose Joe Lieberman as his mentor in the Senate, or to notice that he kicked off his campaign with a militantly antigay preacher, or his breaking his promise of FISA as soon as he had the nomination locked up, or any of the other myriad warning signs that he was going to stab all liberals in the back at the first opportunity. The ones who didn’t call me a hater and a cynic back then were almost comical in their assurances, “don’t worry, he’s really a liberal” as if I hadn’t noticed the color of his skin.

      I’d extend this stereotype to because he’s black people don’t believe that he could have a contempt for working class or poor minorities.

      sheesh, anyone who read Evelyn Pringle’s piece on the Rezko properties saw Obama IGNORE thousands of complaints by his constituents of the disgusting conditions they were forced to live in. Among them, sewage backing up into their kitchen sinks, and buildings without windows. Mind you this is Chicago, which had some of the worst winters in years. Obama couldn’t be moved to do something to make sure that his constituents had WINDOWS on the buildings they lived in!~!

  10. riverdaughter, on December 3, 2010 at 9:12 am said

    Um, what? I am say statistically one in 5 working class whites has no job. What is your argument? I don’t understand what you are upset about. It’s understood that the entire economy is in crisis. But numbers don’t lie. You are much more likely to have a job today if you are educated. That doesn’t mean everything is coming up roses for the educated. Robert Reich didn’t say it was a great day to be a chemist. Don’t you have sympathy for the sector of the population in which 1 in 5 is without a job? I personally feel for the professionals and the working class. I don’t understand your argument. I’m talking raw numbers here.

    • I think RD is saying Professionals ARE THE WORKING CLASS. I agree completely. In my house there’s one JD and one MA in nursing. Both unemployed or underemployed. We’ve never considered ourselves as part of the elite;maybe that’s because we never moved out of our working class community.

      People with professional degrees who still have jobs think they’re immune. They feel their colleagues who are out of work must have done something wrong; so they’re unsympathetic and buying all the media crap about people foregoing jobs because of unemployment benefits. You’d think these people would know better. Numbers may not lie but they can be misinterpreted.

      • Could argue that some are in worse shape financially than however we’re defining working class these days…school debt, underwater homes, etc.

      • Honestly, I’ve lived in both the poor and rich world. As much as professionals think they’re the “working class” they are — in relative terms — NOT the working class..

        The working class stands in one spot 8 hours a day and packs bullet boxes and makes little over minimum wage doing it.

        Everyone thinks their way of living is the worst. But if you think you have it badly, just go to some small town and take the job and life of a blue collar worker. It will bring things in perspective.

        • I don’t mean to refute what you’re saying, because my husband comes from a real working class family background and I know how lucky I am to have been middle-class. But the fact remains that the middle-class and professionals need to wake up and realize that they have a hell of a lot more in common with the working class than with the elites. For instance, a complete and total lack of security. They may not have it as bad (for instance, they often have BENEFITS), but in several important ways, they really ARE the working class. When you’ve racked up tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of student debt, your real wages pretty closely resemble minimum wage.

        • Your definition of working class is fascinating.

          Working class is hardly limited to a dollar ceiling. You are working class if you are dependent upon someone else to give you a paycheck.

          For over a decade I’ve heard the goal of the Republicans is to eliminate the middle class and just have Ultra Rich and Poor. Guess what your station in life will have to be to achieve getting our of the Poor classification.

      • Come on. That is not what I am saying. I am talking about statistics, not opinion.

    • It’s so geographically diverse that 5% unemployment figure means nothing. In RD’s area, it’s probably higher than 5% while in my own area it’s lower.

      In this particular economy, raw numbers are not usually dispositive.

      • No one is saying professionals are riding easy. That has nothing to do with the fact that whites without a college degree are at 20% unemployment, a staggering number.

        • Understood. I know you’re getting a lot of pushback here, but I don’t think it’s on the actual fact (which is appalling). I think it’s that the facts only feel like they tell a sliver of the story.

  11. Welcome to the New and Improved Democratic Party, republicans without the religious insanity (yet). FDR Democrats are the minority today.

    Obama is their standard bearer and Reagan Democrats the base. They are perfectly happy with Obama, Pelosi and Reid dismantling FDR’s good works. After all they got theirs and the hell with everybody else.

    Don’t look to the Clintons for salvation, they aren’t going to start a fight they can’t win.
    Do you think that Tweety and the Shrieker are going to admit they screwed up backing the Plastic Messiah and going after Hillary? Add the rest of the CDS media (Dowd), conservative talk radio hosts, and the republican party to the mix and Hillary doesn’t stand a chance.

    • Absolutely. The creative class liberal mainstream media has remained with Obama for the most part. If they stray from their commitment, it won’t be because of perceptions about Obama’s performance or ideology. It’ll be because they’re financially pinched by dropping ratings.

  12. Os are starting to notice they’ve been had – well, most of them. Friday’s DUdies

  13. This doesn’t show a lot of insight, but you have to admit, it’s funny

    • Clara Jeffery and Kevin Drum keep calling Obama out on his “bipartisanship.” Since they supported him, they can’t admit to themselves that Obama is a Republican.

  14. What I get from Anglachael’s conclusion

    What it looks like to me is Obama methodically reversing the desires of the people who voted for him, inverting every virtue and intention they projected on to him. If someone was trying to deconstruct the Democratic Party from the inside – betray its hopes, derail its changes, destroy its legacy – you couldn’t ask for a better example.

    Almost like an act of revenge

    is Trojan Horse. And who can argue with that, considering who were the people who first “discovered’, funded and pushed him into power.
    And boy, were the Trojans asleep! (and drunk) at the time of the delivery of the gift! (which came with its own supply of drinks)

  15. This statement by Anglachel is brilliantly accurate. There is an almost sadistic quality to Obama’s behavior–which is no surprise to any student of Obama and his supporters.
    Exactly…..Obama hasn’t changed. during the primary he went out of his way to sh*t on his my sycophantic Obot followers and then (most likely laughing his a** off) watching them rationalize his behavior. It’s the pattern of domestic abuse on a national scale.

  16. my=most

  17. We need more of this. Sanders rocks.

  18. This is provocative from Michael Lind at Salon on jobs. Why we need Big Business and Big Government. This would be the Chinese style state capitalist model. I’d say we’re already heading in that direction, after the 6 trillion dollars invested by the Treasury and Fed. The wealth disparity today in China between the rich and poor is outrageous.

  19. All I know is what I see around me that has been going on for the past 20 years.
    I guy I would drink morning coffee with getting out of industrial tool sales because industry was drying up or relocating.
    The shelf stockers at the local big mart getting grayer and better dressed than the Goth Kids they replaced.
    The people around me that are under/unemployed one paycheck away from disaster.

    Then what I hear on the local talk radio is the gloating over these people losing their unemployment and how the republican congress is going to let some people keep their hard earned wealth instead of it being confiscated for the lazy.

    Obama is one with those talk show hosts and the O-bots can’t see it or secretly agree.

  20. The only problem I have with viewing Obama as a Trojan horse is that it implies that we were deceived by some devious enemy and we’re all victims.

    I think people were deceived by their own selves. I don’t see any elaborate hoax here beyond people sucking down so much hopium they couldn’t see straight. Obama’s actions and behavior are so predictable to anybody that was paying attention in 2008. He was hardly disguised at all. It’s as if the Greeks simply stood their naked army in front of the gate and said, hey let us in and maybe we’ll let you see this really big horse we built!

  21. Guys, I woke up to an email from Hillary.com about retiring her campaign debt. Why NOW? Do you think maybe she’s testing the waters? Trying to do a little bit of quiet feeling around? I suspect so. *goes off to encourage friends to buy Hillary DVD for $50*

  22. I was telling a co-worker today that G.W., Hover and Obama were the three worst Presidents. We both put Obama and Hover tied in second place behind Bush.

    • Boy, that is generous.

      I’m thinking that obama is worse than GWB because at least with GWB you actually KNEW what you were getting – he OWNED his BS – unlike obama who pretends to be a democrat when it is convenient.

  23. Well. Merry Christmas RD & Co.
    Sad news about Hillary above that MIQ has up, RD. Uppity has a good piece up, today on Hillary.

    Maybe he was in it for the book sales, RD. Maybe that was it. Best wishes to all of you guys around here.

  24. I’ve said Obama is the Democratic antichrist. What Anglachel says jibes perfect with this.

    In a way though, this is heaven-sent. What better manifestation of the utter moral bankruptcy of the Money Party?

  25. Argg and arrgggh!

    The Official Dem(olition) party is still in Chicago, where it moved after the election. The current leader of the DNC is Tim Kaine, a poster boy for conservative Dems. All the Obama for America groupies and organization was transfered to the DNC after his election.The DNC rules are still the same as they were in the 2008 election, because they were agreed to right after the election. The caucuses are still the same.

    Rage and anger are but feathers to this castle. Show me the huntress, the knight, or even the mouse, who will be able to get inside by 1012.

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