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The left continues to disintegrate

Apparently, this drone issue has become pretty serious among the remaining A-list bloggers of the left.  You can get the full PUMA treatment for even suggesting that the use of drones should be discussed.  I suspect that a no-drone stance will become the new black on the left, with good reason.  At least it’s not dogmatic, although if they’re not careful, it could become a dogmatic issue.  The problem is not that drones drop bombs on innocent people.  It’s that people with unlimited, unaccountable power can drop bombs on people they do not like and, because it is not personally expensive to them, the power will be abused.  You can count on it.  Drones with lethal capacity should be banned. You can’t control power like that.  You need to destroy it before it falls into the hands of the people who, meaning to do good, can ultimately not stop themselves from exercising it for their own purposes.  In a sense, this is the same problem we’ve been dealing with since Magna Carta.  One person has too much power and can use it indiscriminately to the point that no one is safe.

But while the no-droners are getting more than a little sympathy because they have incurred the unfair wrath of the party fanatics, they themselves still think it is unserious that the current president used vote suppression tactics to win the nomination in 2008.  For some reason, that doesn’t seem to bother them, although when Republicans try to invalidate whole populations of voters in PA, lefties have a royal fit.  Throwing a fit *is* the correct response, in case there were any doubts. But it’s no different than what the party did to its voters in 2008.  Inconvenient votes were suppressed, transferred or halved so that one person would have an advantage over another.  To me, it’s just as serious an issue as the drone problem.  Maybe more so.  If you can’t vote out the guy who uses drones, you’re pretty much screwed.

Oh, sure, it all happened four years ago and what does that have to do with today?  Isn’t it obvious?  The party locked itself in with Obama.   I still don’t think the Democrats who are feeling betrayed right now understand what they’re dealing with.  Obama used WALL STREET to get the nomination.   You know, those guys who brought the entire planet to the edge of economic oblivion??  They don’t know limits.  They’re like Enron on crack, PCP and bath salts with a chaser of testosterone. Wall Street culture has permeated the party.  That’s why the partisans are so aggressive.  It’s the way they operate.  They’re smart, they’re driven and they don’t think very far ahead.  They want to win, that much is clear.  But to them, governing is not so important.  What is important is staying in charge, looking out for their own interests and politically obliterating anyone that gets in their way.

So the party faithful decided not to primary Obama this year because that sounded crazy.  Now, some Democrats regret that we didn’t primary him.  I think that just having a concerted effort on the left to discuss it seriously would have been enough to get the DNC’s attention. But at the time it was suggested to push for the only viable alternative to Obama that would have had the Obama Democrats peeing their pants, those of us who could see this day coming were called crazy.

I dunno, maybe you have to be a little bit crazy to see outside the box.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  Maybe the left should stop trying to control everything for fear of losing and do something a little crazy every now and then.

Well, whatever, the left will have plenty of time to think about going a bit mad in 2014.  Let’s make the circular firing squad brief this time, shall we?

BTW, I heard that there’s a new NBC poll that put Obama ahead by a lousy 3 points.

Against Mitt Romney.

Obama should be coasting by now.

This ain’t over yet people and Obama’s no longer historic.  He’s no longer a political cypher either. Now we know the limits of his audacity.

The Republicans are sitting on a wad of cash and they will use it in the last couple of weeks to blame Obama for everything that has happened in the last four years.  He’ll get blamed for everything he did and all of the things he didn’t do. These are not ordinary times.  Real people are hurting and they’re angry.  They voted for a Democrat and they didn’t get one.  Political junkies knew that the Republicans would be obstructive pains in the asses.  That was their plan to return to power.  But that’s no excuse for the poor performance of the past four years.  If Obama had acted like a Democrat and used the power that the voters gave him the first two years and failed, he would have a much stronger case against the Republicans this year.  But you have to at least try to do what voters expect you to do before they cut you any slack and all indications are that he did worse than nothing.  He catered to the very people who got us into this mess.

Elections hinge on motivated voters.  Do you feel motivated?

One piece of advice to the new defectors: don’t let the partisans guilt trip you.  They’re going to say that it will be all your fault if Romney wins.  That’s bullshit.  It’s the party’s responsibility to nominate a candidate that represents your values and the platform of your party. You own your vote.  If the party is playing a game of political chicken with you in order to make you feel like you’re trapped into voting for their guy, remember that their job was to court you, not to take you for granted.  You have issues that are important to you and you shouldn’t always have to sit down and shut up while the candidate goes chasing after voters with whom you have little in common.  You don’t owe him anything.  If the polls get too close, he might start sweet talking you.  And if that happens, make him work for your vote.

Yeah, it will suck if Romney and more Republicans win.  I’m planning to vote D down ticket.  But it will suck worse for the guys who highjacked the party because they will be out of power and power is more addicting than anything else.  They’re going to hate that.

Good.

Welcome new Democrats In Exile.  We’re out of our customary initiation packages.  Grab some popcorn and make yourselves comfortable.

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Tim Geithner and the Orient Express

The suspects arranged themselves on both sides of the aisle

Neil Barofsky who wrote the recently released book, Bailout, wrote a short review/impression of Sheila Bair’s new book, Bull By The Horns.  Both books cover roughly the same time period, during the financial meltdown and its immediate aftermath.  As Barofsky notes, he and Bair come from different sides of the aisle and have different experiences as public officials.  But they are united in one thing- their opinion of Tim Geithner.  Says Barofsky:

her observations and interactions with the Geithner-led Treasury Department and her thoroughly captured fellow regulators are strikingly similar to mine.

She too was cursed out by Geithner and subjected to many of the same dirty political tricks.  She also bore the brunt of misleading media attacks. She came to the same realization that I did that large chunks of the government were far more interested in preserving the status quo of the big banks than serving the broader interests of the American people.  And she similarly recognized that Treasury’s mortgage modification program was never really designed to fulfill the administration’s promise to help millions of homeowners.  Bair looked at the same bailout landscape that I did and saw the same favoritism toward Wall Street and betrayal of Main Street.

The day Bair’s book was released a journalist friend emailed me that she thought that Bailout and Bull by the Horns share “the same utterly surreal quality” and that I would “like it a lot.”  She’s right.  It’s always nice to find out that you were not the only sane person in the asylum.

So, add this latest book to the pile, including Confidence Men by Ron Suskind, that paints Tim Geithner as the guy who refused to flip the switch or throw the big bankers off the bridge in order to save the rest of us.

Speaking of trains, the theme of Geithner being a complete bastard deserving of some nasty fate reminds me of the Murder on the Orient Express.  In it, the body is discovered to have been the victim of not one suspect but all of them.  Each one of the aggrieved attempts to murder the victim by stabbing, unaware that someone else had gotten there first.  In Geithner’s case, he has managed to survive so far, like just another one of the vampires that the Democrats foolishly invited into the house four years ago.

But with each volume that recounts that tale from a different perspective, the personalities and actions of the players become clearer and the motives easier to understand.  Tim Geithner is the hand of the financiers, sent to the malware president they installed to make sure that their interests were protected even if that meant turning the country into a broken banana republic with decaying infrastructure, a ruined technology and industrial sector and a permanent underclass.  It remains to be seen which suspect will deliver the fatal stab but there’s no shortage of remaining suspects.

This is pretty bad, people.  The Obama administration has been worse than we anticipated.

The attempts of the Obama campaign to scare working class women into supporting him over Romney should be seen in the light of what he has failed to accomplish for them in the last four years, largely through the machinations of Tim Geithner.   Those Democratic loyalists who have been carrying the campaign’s water, spreading a steady stream of attacks on Romney, portraying him as indifferent to their plight, have been remarkably silent about what Obama has done for them.  Four years ago, they might have said that the jury was still out on Obama’s performance and there was still a good possibility that he would be their Democratic champion.  But in October 2012, the mystery is gone.  It is a bitter triumph if the campaign’s mouthpieces have managed to convince blue collar women to ignore their lying eyes and accept a manufactured reality.  The money must be really good and, you know, the health insurance premiums must be paid.

All of the lamenting about what Obama will do in his second term obscures the fact that these bloggers did absolutely nothing to challenge the party when they had a chance to make a difference.  Instead, they allowed the party to use their blogs as a means of disseminating manipulative propaganda while ignoring all of the administration’s collaboration with the banks to make those women’s lives harder.  It’s all crocodile tears and prostitution.

Ultimately, it is Obama who is responsible for appointing Geithner and allowing homeowners and businesses to get used by the banks.  Now that we have a better picture of what went on in 2009-2010 when Obama had a political full house and many executive branch tools at his disposal, it’s impossible to deny that he served the financiers.

If you serve Obama, you are serving the banks, just like Romney will.

*******************************

And here is Sheila Bair describing what she would have done to Citibank.  If you were a shareholder, it was a fairly terrifying scenario but given how badly Citi was mismanaged ($800 billion?? How is it possible for an entity not a country to rack up that much money in bad assets?), ultimately necessary.  Tim Geithner cut her off at the pass.