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Wednesday Fall Out

Update: Female bloggers are speaking up about the shit they encounter online from young male Democrats male commenters.  Check out twitter hashtag #mencallmethings for more.  Most of the assholes’ comments revolve around rape and violence.  The thing that pisses me off is that so many women succumb to this crap and get scared away from blogging.  That’s just what the misogynists want. They want you to shut up and know your place so their male affirmative action program isn’t threatened.  Maybe if you’re 5’2″ and aren’t carrying your taser, you have an excuse for feeling intimidated when you meet one in person.  But there’s no reason to be afraid of a bunch of little black pixels on a display.  The internet is the great equalizer in that your voice can’t be suppressed online.  Whether it will get linked to as a “serious person” by the likes of Greg Sargent is another matter.  We have a lot of work to do there.  (like keeping statistics to who Greg cites and finding out how those other guys got the access to be hired by the “serious” online journals)

Update II: There is yet another post on the idea of substituting Biden with Hillary Clinton for next year’s presidential election.  This crap continues to annoy me and it annoys me right up front in the subtitle:

Putting the current secretary of state on the presidential ticket could be Obama’s best shot at re-election.

Yes, it’s all about HIM.

It’s just like a replay of the 2008 Democratic convention media narrative.  “Why is Hillary going to rain on Obama’s parade?”

Let’s forget what might be good for Hillary or the country.  Let’s just forget the fact that Hillary is an extremely competent SoS while Obama is not even a mediocre president and that by making her VP, the Democrats would finally succeed in burying her political career forever.  Let’s just forget that making a more competent Hillary subordinate to a mediocre Obama does not strike those of us professional women as a very good “compromise”.  It merely reinforces gender stereotypes and suppresses the more able person.  And let’s not forget that Joe Biden might have something to say about this.  Once upon a time, he was a candidate for president himself.  So, what are we saying here?  The VP of the country is expendable?  And women are supposed to flock to that message?

Please, please, please, stop floating this ridiculous idea.  If other developed countries in the world and some third world countries are able to have a female head of state, then let’s elect a female head of state.  You know, one who can actually *lead* the country.  No more stupid symbols.  No more symbolic gestures.  Besides, I don’t like the idea of Obama mocking Hillary in a meeting and having his macho staff cutting her out of the loop.  The country suffered as a result of that idiotic behavior.  Put her in charge and let her hire her own staff and run the White House as she sees fit.  Obama blew his first term and he is not entitled to a second.

When is the Obama contingent going to realize that the middle class is tired of playing these political games?  Biden and Hillary are not swappable like designated hitters on some fantasy baseball team.  Moreover, it isn’t necessarily the case that the voters are swappable.  We Clintonistas supported her because she was better prepared and wasn’t afraid of being called a Democrat.  The real problem is at the top of the ticket.  Hillary isn’t going to help those of us who are not impressed by Obama and have lost our jobs, livelihoods, savings, houses, college funds, etc.  The best way of keeping the White House next year is to get a new nominee.  Have a fricking primary or have Obama resign.

This part of that article is particularly laughable and not in a good way:

Some may object that, despite the attractions of a switch, the choice of vice-presidential candidates doesn’t affect the outcome of presidential elections. But that’s not what the political-science literature on the subject suggests. In a 2010 study inPresidential Studies Quarterly, Bernard Grofman and Reuben Kline find that the choice of the vice president has limited but, as they say, “non-trivial effects” on voters’ choices. At most, they detect a shift of only about 1 percent of the vote (though their model cannot capture voter-turnout effects). Still, several recent presidential elections have been decided by close margins. If Obama wins in 2012, it seems unlikely that he will win in a landslide. An extra 1 percent of the vote—tipping a state like Florida—could be decisive. Ask Al Gore.

So, are Democrats looking at polls that say that the margin of victory could be as small as 1%??  If so, they’ve got to be out of their fricking minds to run again with Obama when a new name at the top of the ticket would be a much stronger candidate.  Indeed, they argue throughout the piece that Hillary has electoral appeal that is unmatched by any candidate.  And the Democrats are going to pass on her becauuuuuse….?  Talk about foolish consistencies and hobgoblins of little minds.  To *me*, untrained political scientist that I am, it looks like the Democrats would prefer to lose to a Republican than put their strongest candidate at the top of the ticket for reasons that are inexplicable.  If they think women aren’t going to wonder what those reasons are when they float the idea of putting her in as VP, they’re not being realistic.  We are going to wonder and we I’m pretty sure we won’t like what we see.


So, there were elections yesterday and it looks like voters made some progress.

In Ohio, the attempt to roll back public union bargaining rights was stopped in its tracks.  In Mississippi, 55% of the voters didn’t think fertilized eggs were persons, which is great because now we don’t have to monitor post ovulatory women for violations.  On the other hand, there’s still an undercurrent of something unpleasant going on in Mississippi since they seem to be pretty insistent that little old ladies without cars (and possibly birth certificates given the possibility that some of them were born at home) go out of their way to get some kind of identification so they can vote.  No, nothing nefarious going on there.  It’s hard to believe that so many voters turned out for the personhood amendment and then voluntarily opted to curtail their own voting rights.  But, whatever.  The good news is that Maine rejected a law that would ban same day voter registration:

In Maine, voters overruled Governor Paul LePage’s repeal of same-day voter registration. For nearly 40 years, Maine had been one of several states to allow voter registration on Election Day – and its turnout has been among the highest in the nation, with minimal cases of voter fraud. After Republicans won the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion last November, they promptly repealed the statute – so progressives put it on the ballot.

High turnout, minimal voter fraud.  Gee, what’s not to love?  Why do Republicans have a problem with this?

Things don’t look so good in Virginia where the Republicans may have complete control of state government.  I give it six months before Virginians pine for a do-over.

Obama is getting out in front of the elections {{snort!}}, seeing as how (most of) the country is turning against big money interests and their lackeys.  His Chief-of-Staff, Bill Daley, is taking a less prominent role.  Obama’s sincerity about understanding the mood of the country might have been more convincing if Daley had been asked to resign but this is Obama modus operandi. Make a big scene about doing something decisive and, er, leave things pretty much as they were.  Did Lily Ledbetter help you achieve equality at work?  Ehhh, not so much.  How long ago did Obama declare military combat missions in Iraq over?  Did his dinner in November 2009 with White House senior women on staff result in the male assholes in the White House taking them seriously?  Doesn’t look like it.  Remember Recovery Summer?  Ahh, those were the days.  So, Daley is moving to a more social function at the White House.  And this is supposed to change perceptions that Obama is out of touch with angry voter sentiment *how*, exactly?

By the way, how did Bill Daley get hired in the first place?

 All accountssuggest Daley performed the mechanics of his job in a catastrophically bad way.

But the interesting legacy of Daley’s tenure is not his mechanical performance. It’s that he conducted an experiment based on the Washington elite view of the Obama presidency. That view, shared by business leaders, centrist pundits, and other elites, holds that Obama’s main problem has been excessive partisanship, liberalism in general, and hostility to business in particular. In December, 2009, Bill Daley wrote a Washington Post op-ed endorsing precisely this analysis. After the midterm elections, Obama – pelted by Daley-esque complaints – appointed Daley chief of staff. “His moderate views and Wall Street credentials make him an unexpected choice for a president who has railed against corporate irresponsibility,”  reported the Post. Republicans like Mitch McConnellKarl Rove, and FedEx CEO Fred Smith raved.*

Daley, pursuing his theory, heavily courted business leaders. He made long-term deficit reduction a top priority, and spent hours with Republican leaders, meeting them three-quarters of the way in hopes of securing a deal that would demonstrate his centrism and bipartisanship. The effort failed completely.

The effort failed because Daley’s analysis — which is also the analysis of David Brooks and Michael Bloomberg — was fatally incorrect. Americans were not itching for Obama to make peace with corporate America. Americans are in an angry, populist mood — distrustful of government, but even more distrustful of business. In the most recent NBC/The Wall Street Journal poll, 60 percent of Americans strongly agreed with the following statement:

“The current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a very small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country.  America needs to reduce the power of major banks and corporations and demand greater accountability and transparency.  The government should not provide financial aid to corporations and should not provide tax breaks to the rich.”

Yes,  that after Obama came into the White House in 2009, after the outrageous TARP bill, after the crappy and inadequate stimulus, after his next to useless healthcare insurance reform bill that will make all of us buy overpriced insurance with no cost controls, after the failure to end the Bush tax cuts, after the catastrophe over the debt ceiling, after allowing the banks to continue to get away with murder, after 9.2% unemployment, house foreclosures and persistent economic lethargy, it is hard to believe that Obama’s White House is just now waking up to the fact that voters might be a tad miffed and that Washington Village People might be severely out of touch.

But note that Daley is still CoS and has not been demoted and I have no reason to doubt this.  Also note who hired him in the first place.  Half measures and Potemkin policy doesn’t cut it anymore.  Oh, and the jobs bill didn’t get anywhere.  And I am still paying full price for COBRA because the subsidy ended in September.

We are watching.  We are not amused.

* Note to Obama: When your Republican enemies “rave” about your choice of a Wall Street insider to be Chief of Staff, this is not a good thing, no matter how much David Brooks tries to convince you otherwise.  In general, it is a bad idea to listen to courtiers whose sole purpose is to remain at court.


14 Responses

  1. I’m in Princeton today and it is an absolutely gorgeous fall day here. Mid 60s, trees at peak color, sunny. I’m in the library reading some papers. Krugman works about two blocks up from here. It’d be cool to run in to him. Probably freak him right out though.

  2. I haven’t even read the post yet – I just wanted to say that using the Fallout picture is all kinds of awesome.

  3. great post.RD.

  4. Great post, too. 🙂

  5. Really great post!

  6. Thank you so much for your post.
    As always great, your are the best.

  7. When you write…I listen! You always seem to get to the core of the matter..and then tear into it. Thanks so much for your insight!

  8. Clinton will no doubt make her own decision about what to do and where/when to do it. As the upper class takes America closer to the Yeltsin Event Horizon, the Presidency becomes ever more obviously a poinsoned chalice. Why would Clinton want it? Why would she even want to be in the same room with it?

    I would not say that Obama blew his first term. If you look at who really owns Obama and who Obama really works for and whose agenda Obama really serves, woundn’t one have to say that Obama’s first term has been highly successful? He has brought the Republicans back to full rehabilitation and full power. He has worked with McConnell to extend the Bush Tax Cuts and he will keep working with McConnell to keep extending them until the Republicans can make them permanent with critical assistance from the Golden Sacks Rubinite Vichy-Democrat collaborationists. He has achieved his so-called “payroll tax holiday” and is conspiring to make that permanent in order to take the next step and make the employer-portion tax holidayed and then permanent as well, in order to defund Social Security going forward in order to destroy it. His Simpson-Obama Catfood Commission has been Trojan Horsed right into the Senate under its new name of Super Catfood Commission. We need to face the reality of what social class Obama really serves and whose class interests Obama’s Presidency has been a spectacular success for, exactly as intended. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism guest-hosted a Matt Stoller post about the “real” Obama Presidency and about how one of its prime directives is “fooling liberals” about the true OverClass Aggressionary nature of the “real” Obama Presidency.

  9. I don’t believe for a second that Obama, Daley or anyone on the Administration’s staff actually “holds that Obama’s main problem has been excessive partisanship, liberalism in general, and hostility to business in particular.”

    They know full well that that that is NOT what most people think is the main problem for the country or the economy. They planned to have Obama use his mad leadership skillz (ha!) to convince the country that partisanship and liberalism were the problems so they could ram through all sorts of anti-populist (anti-99%) bullsh*t like dismantling Social Security.

    And I can’t say I totally blame them for thinking it was possible. After all, Republicans have been doing the same for years, why not them? It seemed to work on the all the deficit-cutting hysteria. And Obama’s hopeychangeyponies had all sorts of people walking around in some sort of political fantasy dreamland where he is a great orator and a great leader. If they could convince (some of!) the voters of that, why not this?

    • I have to agree. If we judge Obama’s first term on the “real” agenda which Obama “really” wants to achieve, it has been very successful.
      He has succeeded in extending the Bush tax cuts and he will conspire with McConnell to extend them again in hopes of making them permanent. He has achieved the “payroll tax holiday” in hopes of making that permanent in order to deprive Social Security of incoming money so as to further engineer a designer-crisis in Social Security to try abolishing Social Security. He has brought the Republicans back to power and respectability, exactly as he intended all along. Following is a link to a Naked Capitalism guest post by Matt Stoller about the real prime directive of the real Obama’s real Presidency.

  10. I gather tweets are ultra short so there is no way to even tweet a whole complete sentence. But if there is, I wonder if there is a just-barely-legal way to tweet back some version of the following:
    “Thanks for the input. I’ll keep a round in the chamber for you in case you ever visit me in person.”

    • No, no, you don’t want to give them any indication that you are packing heat. You want it to come as a complete surprise so they can’t disarm you.
      Tasers would be cool. I’ve always thought that behavior modification of bad boyfriends could be accomplished through negative reinforcement with a couple thousand volts of electricity.

      “No, put seat *down*” Zap,Zap, “Bad boyfriend!

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