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Wednesday: Collateral damage

Even the GOP can't attack the lunch program. Or can they?

The NYTimes reports today that the number of children on the reduced cost school lunch program has spiked recently due to layoffs and homelessness in the family.

That’s just great.

On a related note, Nicolas Kristoff wrote a post last Sunday on how we’re being too hard on Obama.  He’s worried that the recent elections in Spain and other European countries under pressure demonstrate impatience with socialist and other more liberal political parties.  Why that should affect Obama is a mystery.  He doesn’t appear to have a liberal bone in his body.  Then Kristoff goes through the presidential campaign talking points:

In this economic crisis, Obama will face the same headwinds. That should provide a bracing warning to grumbling Democrats: If you don’t like the way things are going right now, just wait.

President Obama came into office with expectations that Superman couldn’t have met. Many on the left believed what the right feared: that Obama was an old-fashioned liberal. But the president’s cautious centrism soured the left without reassuring the right.

Like many, I have disappointments with Obama. He badly underestimated the length of this economic crisis, and for a man with a spectacular gift at public speaking, he has been surprisingly inept at communicating.

But as we approach an election year, it is important to acknowledge the larger context: Obama has done better than many critics on the left or the right give him credit for.

He took office in the worst recession in more than half a century, amid fears of a complete economic implosion. As The Onion, the satirical news organization, described his election at the time: “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.”

The administration helped tug us back from the brink of economic ruin. Obama oversaw an economic stimulus that, while too small, was far larger than the one House Democrats had proposed. He rescued the auto industry and achieved health care reform that presidents have been seeking since the time of Theodore Roosevelt.

{{rolling eyes}}

I noticed that Kristoff was careful to say that Obama signed a fair pay act into law.  That must mean that they have discovered that women are onto the Lilly Ledbetter maneuver.  Raise your hands, ladies, if you feel like your pay with your male colleagues has been equalized.  Don’t worry that you don’t know what their salaries are.  Everything can be quantified.  Compare the cars you have, the houses you live in, working spouse or stay at home, how many kids you have.  Are your male colleagues living your lifestyle?

Then there are things Obama has actually made worse.  Like, setting an example in the White House for the way the Old Boys Network works and then not holding anyone accountable for it.  Don’t think there aren’t guys out there who are now comfortable screwing with their female colleagues’ career in order to get ahead. It happens ALL THE TIME.  Obama is a master of it.  It’s part of the reason why he won the nomination in 2008.  We witnessed it.  Maybe Kristoff doesn’t think this is important.  I notice that he spends a commendable amount of time detailing sex slavery in the developing world.  But what would he find close to home if he started to delve into gender inequality at work?  Nick?  You want to take that on?  Or do you just want to wring your hands in growing panic over Obama’s re-election prospects?  I suppose women are going to hear that their concerns are not that important now that the economy is falling.

Anyway, we’re not that impressed with Obama’s “achievements”.  By the way, Nick, did you know the COBRA subsidy that was to help those of us unemployed afford to cover our health insurance costs expired in September?  Yup.  Do you have any idea how much COBRA costs these days when all you get is unemployment?  Health care reform isn’t going to make those costs disappear, Nick.  There’s no fricking competition from a public option.  Oh, and while he was putting together that pathetic Affordable (you’ve GOT to be kidding) Care Act, he was busy ignoring the recommendation of his economic advisor Christina Romer to dedicate $100 billion to put the unemployed back to work.  Do you know how many scientists in NJ could be put back to work discovering new drugs on even 1% of that money?  And let’s talk about how he handled the termination of the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy.  Oh, that’s right, he *didn’t* terminate them.  And he didn’t help families stay in their homes with HAMP.  And he didn’t arrest the bankers.  He didn’t appoint Elizabeth Warren to the agency that she created.  And he hasn’t helped protect womens’ reproductive rights.  Jeez, the list goes on and on.  Some of these things are fairly simple fixes and would have cost very little political capital.  But he didn’t do them anyway.  Why, Nick?  WHY??

Kristoff goes out of his way to blame the circumstances into which Obama’s presidency was born for his failure to really accomplish anything.  Oh, wait, doesn’t that contradict the rest of this column that lauds Obama’s achievements?  Whatever.  As I recall, Obama wanted this job bad.  He wanted it so badly that he was willing to abandon all scruples to get it.  The DNC put itself out for the money men so it could elect pliant, docile Democrats who would do as they were told.  But it was Obama who with a paltry 142 days on the job in Washington, DC decided that he was supremely qualified to be president in the aftermath of the disastrous Bush years.  And let us not be stupid about this, the collapse of the subprime market started to happen in 2007.  You didn’t have to be a Wall Street banker to know that the crash was going to happen.  You just needed to check the real estate section of the local paper.  There was no way in hell that wages were keeping pace with house prices.

But Obama had to have this job.  It’s not like we didn’t have options.  There was another candidate who was more suited to handle an economic catastrophe.  She got the shaft, along with the voters in the big, reliable Democratic states and Obama took the prize.  The Democrats should not be surprised that working class voters in swing states like Pennsylvania are not enthusiastic about voting for him.  They *had* their champion and she was stabbed in the back.  What did they get in return?  How has Obama improved their lives? He was supposed to be the better candidate, right?  Otherwise the party wouldn’t have nominated him, right?  You can’t really expect those voters to believe that now.

Presumably, Obama’s voters were convinced that he was the creme de la creme.  There wasn’t anyone better.  The Democratic party really pulled out the stops when it nominated Obama.  He is the most Democratic and bestest and excellence personified. It simply can not get better than Obama.  He is the most-ut.  If that’s the way they truly felt, they had an obligation to put as much pressure as they possibly could on him to get him to perform.  After all, they stomped all over Clinton voters and women practically screaming, “Shut up and DIE, you stupid, old, uneducated, working class idiots!”  Those Clinton voters were tossed aside and their concerns were ignored in the wake of Obama’s “historic” victory.  He ought to have paid more attention to them and his supporters should have stopped the funky-chicken-in-the-endzone back in 2008.  (Note to Kristoff google + commenters, one of the biggest problems Obama has to deal with is his own obnoxious supporters.  Drop the sarcastic “magic Hillary” remarks.  They’re in extremely poor taste or haven’t you learned anything yet.)

Giving him a pass and making excuses for his poor performance was not the best strategy for winning friends and influencing people.  Nor was writing the non-Obama voters off.  Or calling them racists, or stupid, or uneducated.  Instead of treating him with kid gloves, his supporters should have been whacking him like a piñata in 2009 to make him conform to Democratic party principles.  They would not and he didn’t.  Now, he can do pretty much anything he pleases and data mine the precincts, tweaking his message to squeak a teeny advantage here and there.  Will it be enough?  Does it matter if he doesn’t resemble the president you thought you voted for the first time?

I guess it’s our fault as voters that we do not appreciate him.  We shouldn’t have gotten ourselves unemployed and foreclosed.  We should have taken better care of his legacy.  But it’s a funny thing that happens when you lose everything.  Suddenly, someone else’s hyperbolic frenzy to retain power just doesn’t seem very important anymore. Maybe Obama should have been paying greater attention to the bottom layer of Maslow’s pyramid.  Oh, well, too late now.

Kristoff closes with:

I’m hoping the European elections will help shock Democrats out of their orneriness so that they accept the reality that we’ll be facing not a referendum, but a choice. For a couple of years, the left has joined the right in making Obama a piñata. That’s fair: it lets off steam, and it’s how we keep politicians in line.

But think back to 2000. Many Democrats and journalists alike, feeling grouchy, were dismissive of Al Gore and magnified his shortcomings. We forgot the context, prided ourselves on our disdainful superiority — and won eight years of George W. Bush.

This time, let’s do a better job of retaining perspective. If we turn Obama out of office a year from now, let’s make sure it is because the Republican nominee is preferable, not just out of grumpiness toward the incumbent during a difficult time.

I completely agree with Kristoff here.  There is a choice.  If the Democrats are starting to worry about their chances in November 2012, they could choose to change their lineup.  That would be the sensible, bold, leaderly thing to do.  We Democrats in Exile do not want four more years of Obama.  That is what those poll numbers are telling you, Democrats.  The party that wins next November is the one that has the most motivated voters.  Right now, the Republicans are chomping at the bit.  They’ll fall into line once they have a nominee.  That’s what Republicans do.  They’re good at following orders.

Democrats?  Ehhhhh, not so much.  Right now, I can’t think of one reason why I would voluntarily go to the polls to cast a vote for a guy who doesn’t take a firm stand for *anything* I believe in.  Do I want the Republicans to win?  Of course not.  But that assumes that the Democrats are not going to offer me a better choice next year.  And that infuriates me.  If they aren’t going to offer me a choice, they deserve to lose.  This is a no-brainer, guys.  The Democrats have to motivate the party and give the public options.  Take Obama out of the game and put in another player.  Obama is not the best you can do.  There are at least three candidates I can think of off the top of my head who would be better.  Choose one and stop the hand wringing.  Otherwise, I’m going to find a third party candidate and vote for that person.  I understand the strategic implications of this decision for the Democrats.  The question is, do the Democrats understand that I and millions of others are serious?  What’s important to them?  Maintaining power at any cost and risking it all if they lose or actually doing what is right?

This is not a game.  I’m getting sick of the psychological manipulation techniques and the guilt trips.  All I can see is the number of people I know who are out of work, including me, in a high technology industry that is being decimated by the same smug bonus class that forced Obama down our throats.  And that school lunch program applicant increase?


52 Responses

  1. That is perfect! Obama is lauded for his achievments and in the next breath they whine that he wasn’t able to do anything because of the times and the GOP. So typical of Obama and his fools who supported him. I can not tolerate that fool or tool of a President and the horse he rode in on and the people who pretended the emperor had clothes on. And worse yet are the ones who don’t have the courage to see reality and extoll the virtue of optimism and giving “him” a chance and then try to excuse what they did by saying they had no choice. Kristoff is a pompous ass. I really believe the NYT, the WAPO are totally run by CIA moles. Judith Miller was just one of many. Who would pay these toads for their opinions unless they were part of a larger plot? Friedman, a world class toad. I could go on but why.

    • I don’t know. I get the feeling from Kristoff’s column that his heart wasn’t really into it. He’s just doing his duty as a loyal Democrat and posting the talking points so he can check it off his list of things a loyal Dem should do. I am not convinced he put together a very winning argument for Obama’s re-election. The “Republicans are going to be soooooo much worse” thing doesn’t really work for me. How much worse is it going to get? Pretty soon, retail companies are going to be breathing down their throats to quit fucking around with middle class incomes. It won’t take long if my visit to the mall this past weekend was any indicator.

    • Alibe, I don’t think Kristoff is a pompous ass. He actually does excellent work on women’s issues in the Third World which no one else was talking about when he began.

      He just got this one very, very wrong.

  2. I think the DNC is confused and thinks that Independents are Independent in name only. …. They don’t realize that once a person self-identifies as an Independent Voter they (as part of that process) really don’t have an affiliation with either party. We might find ourselves most often voting for candidates from one party rather than the other …. but maybe not.

    And I REALLY don’t get the logic of half-heartedly committing to Obama’s re-election. If you’re not happy with him now then stand up and shout it. Insist that the powers behind the throne get us a decent candidate (or two)

  3. I have voted in many presidental elections and in all that time, I have only been enthusiastic about my choice three times. Usually I have voted for the lesser of two evils. After the despicable actions of the Democratic party in 2008, not to speak of the sad performance of Obama in office, I will not be guilted into voting for him again. The only solution for the party now, unless it continues to self distruct, is to get Obama to retire and run a candidate who acts like a Democrat. I, too, can think of others more effective. By the way I am one of those uneducated Hillary supporters with multiple graduate degrees. I like wine and cheese, but I would not pay more to shop at Whole Foods.

  4. Yeah, blame it on everybody and everything but the guy in the White House.

    If he would have at least put up a fight his prospects for re-election might be better but he decided on going to Copenhagen to shill Chicago for the Olympics and line his cronies pockets.

  5. “If they aren’t going to offer me a choice, they deserve to lose.”
    Absolutely, RD, they not only deserve to lose, but, if the Democratic Party is ever going to mean anything again, they must lose, because they (party leaders) are never going to learn a damn thing until they do. And the thing they need to learn is that there are still real, FDR Democrats out there who are not going to vote for any republican-light so-called democrat no matter what.

    • Yeah, I know, but it’s going to be painful. Very painful. I just don’t see any other way to get there from here but to tear it all down and start over.

      • I hope the fools don’t decide they weren’t “centrist” enough and careen rightward even more.

      • But Newt Gingrich is just a bridge too far! He’s Obama’s ticket to a second term and the GOP might just give it to him.

        • Well . . . what if several million Disgruntled Democrats re-registered R just long enough to invade the R primaries and vote for Romney?
          If we could get Romney nominated we wouldn’t have that bridge-too-far problem, and we could treat the election as a referendum on Obama.

          • The Arkanshire has open primaries, so we Arkansawyers don’t need to register as a party member to vote in primaries. A voter here needs only to tell the poll workers which primary s/he wants to vote in this time when s/he goes to vote. Since it seems fairly obvious I will not be allowed to choose a better Democratic presidential candidate than Obummer, I may follow RUR’s suggestion next year.

          • It should be more than apparent by now that GOP primary voters hate Willard. He can’t get over 30% no matter what. You’d be better off voting for Huntsman.

  6. Great post RD. I just shared it on my FB page ’cause suddenly some of my “I love Obama” friends surfaced to tell us about all of his accomplishments.

    Well, not really, they conveniently left off how he was dragged kicking and screaming into anything he “accomplished” – which turned out to be the same proposals Bush might have gotten passed. Oh, and their solution in 2012…HRC should be his VP.


    I’ve bookmarked this post ’cause I think I will need to use it again and again and again in the not too distant future.

    • I can’t think of anything more disingenuous [and desperate] than Obamacrats suggesting that HRC will/would save Obama’s ass in 2012. The woman has said repeatedly she will not step down into the VP role. Why should she? She’s given plenty already, put up with a gazillion insults only to be called in to save the Boy-King. I think not. And what is Joe Biden? Chopped liver. Biden certainly isn’t to blame for Obama’s lack of leadership skills and/or willingness to swing right at the faintest whisper.

      If you’re fending messages like this from your friends without pulling your hair out, you have wa-a-ay more patience than I do. Although I do have a son who can’t quite admit he made a mistake in 2008.

      We just don’t talk politics anymore. It’s safer that way :0).

      • Their message to me is…. but but but if you don’t vote for BO a (gasp) “Republican!” will get in.

        I tell them a Republican is already “in”. And when you vote for the lesser of two evils, you still end up with evil.

        That pretty much ends any political discussion, but I keep leaving these messages on FB for all to see.

      • Perhaps Clinton might agree to run for President and Biden would agree to run as her VP “for the good of the Party”. If that’s what the Democrats decided to offer me I’d give the Democratic ticket one last whirl rather than vote for Romney. Of course it would take a Romney nomination by the Rs to terrify the Ds into making that change of lineup. If indeed anything could terrify them into it.

        (And if Clinton could be bothered to try running in 2012. I again offer my suspicion that she considers the Presidency to be a poisoned chalice at this time).

  7. I’m guessing loyal Dem. You couldn’t pay me enough to write something like that otherwise.

  8. The Obama accomplishment (Obamplishment?) I’m thinking about most today is his successful drive to defund Social security

    The history (sorry for the cut and paste.)

    December 7, 2010Richard (RJ) Eskow (Consultant, Writer, Senior Fellow with The Campaign for America’s Future)-
     Obama’s “Tax Holiday”: A Poison Pill for Social Security• 
    …It’s no accident that the “payroll tax holiday” was first proposed by sworn enemies of retirement benefits on the deficit commission. We should be asking ourselves: When tax breaks can be designed in so many different ways, why did they choose this way? Why single out the only source of Social Security’s funding? Could it be part of a long-term game plan?

    Let’s play out a likely scenario if this deal is enacted:

    The 2% tax holiday expires in 2012, an election year. Meanwhile the government debt will have increased by $120 billion, the amount that will be paid into Social Security to cover the cost of this “holiday.” Bear in mind: Never before in Social Security’s 75-year history has it taken any funds from the overall Treasury.It’s forbidden by law from adding to the deficit. That’s why it has its own trust fund, which currently holds a surplus of $2.6 trillion. That’s money the Federal government has borrowed, and which it’s morally (and legally) obligated to pay back so we can receive our retirement benefits.

    Flash-forward to 2012: The “holiday” is set to end. Republicans aren’t likely to acknowledge that this was a temporary program, any more than they did with the Bush cuts. Any attempt to let the 2% cut expire will be spun as an “Obama tax hike” on the middle class. In order to believe this “holiday” is really temporary, you have to believe that Obama and other Democrats will be willing to take that kind of heat, under enormous pressure in an election year. Any takers?

    Extending this 2% cut would gut Social Security’s finances forever. But whatever happens, look at what Social Security’s enemies will have accomplished:

    The “lockbox” principle between Social Security and the overall budget will have been erased forever. A relatively small infusion of cash into the trust fund will be the poison pill that erases the “trust fund” principle.  Once the program has contributed to the deficit, it’s no longer separately funded.
    The enemies of Social Security will have painted a bull’s eye on its only source of funding. People will see it as a “new tax” — in a year when the economy’s not expected to have fully recovered.
    They’ll be in a position to argue, once again, that “America can’t afford” to provide financial security for middle-class seniors.…
    Last January:
    Ignoring liberal Dems, Obama endorses longer payroll tax holiday through 2012 – TheHill.com
    On Friday, Democratic Reps. Lloyd Doggett (Texas), Ted Deutch (Fla.) and Mark Critz (Pa.) sent a letter to all House Democrats saying the proposed extension “should trouble all who care about preserving” the funding stream for Social Security.

    “Social Security’s popularity comes from the direct contributions of American workers, who pay into the system now and benefit when they retire or become disabled,” the lawmakers wrote. “Unless and until faith in Social Security has been restored to the American people through long-range solvency, short-sighted cuts to the program’s revenue stream must not be part of any debt ceiling or budget deal.”

    Nov 28, 2011
    Obama, Democrats begin push to expand payroll tax holiday
    The vote on the proposed cut — which would slice payroll tax from 6.2% to 3.1% — is expected later this week and comes as a 2% payroll tax holiday enacted last year will expire on Dec. 31. Obama’s plan would also halve the tax paid by employers on the first $5 million of payroll.




    • Yes, that was exactly what I was thinking. They have set it up so that going back to full funding of SS is looking like a “tax increase”.

      • I have read that the Democratic Party plays the kabuki game of allowing different officeholders to vote against one thing or another so they can pretend to their constituents that they really opposed that one thing or another and that they really truly tried to stop it. Oh yes . . they truly did. Really. Truly.

        I wonder if we should consider it “good enough’ for our own officeholder to vote against Obama’s “starve the beast” Norquistian assault on Social Security funding? Or should we vote against every D officeholder now matter how much we may like them if the D officeholders collectively fail to kill the “payroll tax holiday” extension?

        • I plan to vote for women regardless of stripe, I’ll work to inform myself in races where women run against each other.

          The one thing I can do with my vote is attempt to increase women’s voices in DC.

          • That’s a reasonable way to go. I think it’s a very worthwhile goal.

          • Even if they are Christian Fascists like Paylinn and Bachmann?
            (Phyllis Schlafly was a woman and was also the strongest opponent of the ERA in her day. She was satirically referred to by some as the founder of Ladies Against Women.)

    • I just shamelessly cut and pasted this comment on my FB page (with attribution to Rangoon78 and The Confluence). It’s great!

      (If you want me to take it down, please let me know!)

  9. RD,

    One must first have scruples in order to abandon them.

  10. we could sure use a decent candidate (or two) 🙂

  11. As far as third party candidates go, what is Jimmy MacMillan doing? The rent is stil pretty damned high.

  12. Good post, RD. I haven’t seen a lot of leadership on the part of Democrats lately so I’m not sure that I could come up with three good Democratic candidates but I would vote for Senator Sherrod Brown, (D-OH) if Hillary won’t run.

    • Sherrod Brown was one of the three I was thinking of. Hillary is one. The other is Ed Rendell. I have a hunch that those three would have the best shot at winning.

  13. Who can forget the “You didn’t think I was Superman, didja?” It was used to death, and by Obama himself – mostly during the oil kill fiasco. I wonder, is Messiah more or less than Superman? I know some people who might like to sink their teeth into that one.

  14. I figured out way back when I was a kid that anyone who tried to guilt me into something wasn’t doing it for my sake.

    The whole “Ooh! Scary! Republicans!” doesn’t cut much ice when subsidized school lunch use is mushrooming in an election year in a “Democratic” administration.

    And people with Ph.D.s supported Big0 in droves. You’d think on that basis alone a politician would try to do something for them. But no. There’s another group he can’t be bothered to stop driving his bus over even in an election year.

    The only part of the job he seems to want is hobnobbing with the upper crust in private jets. Other than that, all this presidenting is just hard work. He really needs to be helped out and have it taken off his shoulders.

  15. If the Rs are allowed to nominate one of their many Christian Fascist nominee wannabes, then we are faced with a choice. Either we can vote for the One Percenter Front Man or we can vote for a Trojan Horse filled with Christian Fascists, Rapturanians, Dominionists, etc. Faced with that choice, I will vote to place the One Percenter Front Man in charge of the thermonuclear bomb equipped Strategic Bomber Force. That many hydrogen bombs should not fall into the hands of a Rapturanian like Palin, or a Dominionist like Bachmann, or a New Apostolic Reformation front-man like Perry.

    So how can we turn it into a referendum on Obama? By getting the Rs to nominate the least scary least Christian Fascist of their nominee wannabes. That would either be Huntsman or Romney. Since Romney has more R-establishment institutional support, Romney has a better chance of getting more votes than Huntsman. So Disgruntled Democrats could hold the balance of power in their hands if enough of them re-register R just long enough to vote for Romney in the R primaries. Romney is a real One Percent Master whereas Obama is a mere One Percenter Front Man/Wannabe; but other than that what is the real difference? How terrifying would a President Romney be . . really? Scary enough to make you vote for Obama? Or tolerable enough to set you free to make this your own personal referendum on Obama?

  16. Hmmm . . . does this thing work?

    • I left a comment just above this testing-query but that comment did not show up. Is it in moderation or were there mechanical difficulties?
      It did contain the name of a political player whose name triggers moderation, but usually the comment shows up and says “this comment is in moderation”. This time it did not show up.

    • Some time ago the Crawdad Hole ran some truly scurillous material about Obama’s private life. Would the ghost of Richard Nixon consider it wrong to find that material and post it all over the internets on every blog every one of us can reach in hopes that someone can weaponise it and destroy Obama’s future so totally as to force the Ds to perform a candidate transplant?

  17. Now we should feel sorry for Obama for the nation giving the worst job to a black man. This man lied, cheated, and stole the nomination, no sympathy here, nor my support or vote. Plouffle is e-mailing the print media, the NYT for certain, for some pro-Obama columns; Krugman bit. The Mother Jones bozos are all-in. The sympathy card “will not work.”

    I’m counting on Obama and his campaign staff to list the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (2009) as a big boost for women. The act established a fair rule for “filing claims of pay discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, age or disability.” It restores a reasonable time limit for filing pay discrimination claims. Obama did not push for the passage of the “Equal Pay for Women Act.” Please google the two acts and set people straight about the continuation of pay discrimination for women when they list this act alone as an “equal pay act.”

    Obama has to stand up for himself to the appalling, and the worst rating of any president at this stage of his first term in modern political history, 43% job approval rate). He needs to come clean as to why people don’t like his letting the banks off the hook. But he serves the 1%.

    • As I was perusing the 2012 engagement calendars today at B&N, I spied a large one with a huge ugly picture of Obama on the cover. It was a “count-down” calendar to Obama’s ouster.

  18. The NYTimes reports today that the number of children on the reduced cost school lunch program has spiked recently

    [snark]Obviously we need more coal mines where the little freeloaders can earn their keep.[/snark]

    • And Newt Gringrich could play Scrooge!

    • If they’re going to die, they’d better do it quickly and decrease the surplus population.

      • if you get rid of the child labor laws they are no longer surplus, now they can work for peanuts to help the family. I really think we should bring back company towns. At least then families living on next to nothing would have their own shack to live in. Beats living under a bridge.

  19. It’s not a matter of whether the Democrats deserve to lose. It’s a matter of whether the country deserves to have Gingrich or Romney as its president for at least four years. Of course, now, instead of anyone honestly answering that point, I’ll get called an Obamaton or a kool-aid drinker or whatever. I’m quite pissed about many aspects of Obama, but I think realistically. And realistically:

    1) Obama will be the Democratic nominee. Can someone point to any real movement otherwise? Has anyone even voiced the slightest threat to run or interest in running against him? Inside or outside the Democratic party? It’s getting late in the game for anyone else to start a serious effort towards an insurgency or independent/third-party run.

    2) There is a definite path for Gingrich to win the nomination. Nixon spent years in the wilderness before he became president. Ditto Reagan.(I’ll admit neither was quite as odd as Gingrich.)

    End result: choice between either Gingrich or Romney and Obama. If Obama goes down (strong possiblity with Romney, not so strong with Gingrich, but still possible), we have thorough Republican dominance of the government, and not even the slight resistance in place now, Elections in my lifetime have nearly ALWAYS been the lesser of two evils. Are people here so naive as to think that to have such a choice is anything but normal? You don’t have to love your candidate (I was never in love with Obama, but he was defnitely the better of the two viable candidates on the ballot), you just have to decide which one will produce even the slightly better result.

    And please, folks, spare me your self-righteous “I just won’t vote” spiel. You are unbelievably privileged to live in a country where people have fought and died for the right to vote, on a planet where people are fighting and dying every day for the right to vote. You lose your right for your complaints about the results of elections to be taken seriously if you don’t exercise your franchise. I’m not saying don’t advocate for a choice to Obama, I’m saying when it comes right town to it, you will be faced with a choice of Obama or Romney/Gingrich. Make your decision and be prepared to live with the consequences.

    • One realistic argument to consider is to think past 2012. If Obama is Prez for another four years, the anti-Dem feeling will probably guarantee full Repubs (WH, Sen,House) for eight years or more. But, if one of the current crop of Repub clowns gets in, there’s a good chance for a Dem landslide in 2016.

      Given that Obama promotes a Republican agenda, the extra damage done by a Repub in the next four years may be much less than the damage caused by a Republican landslide after 2016.

      So I think even from the standpoint of deciding on the slightly-less-nauseating result, it’s not all clear that O is the choice.

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