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But you already knew that

crocusesMy new house, and some other stuff, has been consuming all of my attention lately.  You really feel the price of gas when you have to make long and/or repetitive trips.  The good news is that work is getting done on the new house.  I was there last Saturday, the birds were a-chirpin’ and the crocuses were a-bloomin’ and from my front porch, I can see for miles and miles almost down to the Allegheny River.


I followed some links from this post at Corrente to a James K. Galbraith piece at a German site that spells it out for the terminally slow (or in this case, the Europeans) out there in case they didn’t pick up on it during the 2008 election.  Galbraith boils down my five years of panic and alarm ringing succinctly:

Obama is no progressive

The debt deal will make things clear. The President is not a progressive – he is not what Americans still call a “liberal.” He is a willful player in an epic drama of faux-politics, an operative for the money power, whose job is to neutralize the left with fear and distraction and then to pivot rightward and deliver a conservative result.

What Barack Obama got from the debt deal was exactly what his sponsors have wanted: a long-term lock-in of domestic spending cuts, and a path toward severe cuts in the core New Deal and Great Society insurance programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And, of course, no tax increases at all.

To see the arc of political strategy, recall that from the beginning Obama handed economic policy to retainers recruited from the stables of Robert Rubin. From the beginning, he touted “fiscal responsibility” and played up the (economically non-existent) “problem” of the budget deficit. From the beginning his team sabotaged economic recovery with optimistic forecasts and inadequate programs – in the clear interest of protecting the banking system from reform.


For European observers, one key to understanding how such things can happen in America is to remember that our presidencies are short. The professors who joined Obama for his opening act have already gone home. The advisers who remain face dreary futures in think-tanks funded by the likes of Michael Milken, our premier financial ex-felon.

Maybe, if they are especially loyal to their true masters, then like the former budget director Peter Orszag they can go to work for a bank. This surely accounts in part for their present actions.

And the President too is a young man. Unlike say Lyndon B. Johnson or Jimmy Carter, when his term ends he won’t be able simply to go home. He’ll need a big house in a gated suburb, with high walls and rich friends. And a good income, too, from book deals and lecture fees. He may be thinking about that now.

The good news is: it won’t save him. For if and when he ventures out, for the rest of his life, the eyes of all those, whose hopes he once raised will follow him. The old, the poor, the jobless, the homeless: their eyes will follow him wherever he goes.

I think that last sentence is true.  Barack Obama will go down in history as the worst president we’ve ever had, a true Sheriff of Nottingham.  Not only that but I fear he has set back the progress that African Americans have made in the past 50 years.  How ironic is that?  He’s certainly done a number on women.  But don’t fret too much for him.  I’m sure his post-presidency money will make up for that.

In the comments of that Corrente post, I found a link to this CounterPunch article that shows how the faux progressive movement works.  Once again, the author has the benefit of five years to finally put the pieces together.  Some minds work faster than others, but because we documented it in real time, people didn’t take us seriously.  Either that or the progressive meme that we were racists scared decent people away- just as it was intended to do.  From the article, The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats, we get this nugget from Patrick Barrett at the University of Wisconsin:

“What gets lost in all this faux movement politics,” said Barrett,  “is any real challenge to the growing imbalance of social, political and economic power. Quite the contrary, the ultimate impact of their actions is to reproduce if not  aggravate that imbalance. What we’ve got here is a deeply symbiotic relationship between a pseudo-movement that derives its raison d’etre and financial vitality from a vilification of the right, which it has helped to create and without which it would have no reason for existence. Indeed, the more extreme the right becomes, the better it is for them, since they live off of fear-mongering. To oppose the right in a meaningful sense would put them out of business. That isn’t to say that there is nothing to be feared in the right or that some of these folks don’t think they’re fighting the good fight, but rather that the two work in tandem, much like a good-cop-bad-cop team. As the right becomes ever more extreme, this Democratic Party cum non-profit industrial complex moves further and further to the right itself, thereby giving the Republicans and their ilk ever greater leash and making it easier to frighten the “progressive” masses.”

Barrett concluded, “Lest anyone think that this is some kind of conspiracy theory, it’s important to emphasize that this is primarily a function of social and economic structures and political institutions that create a market for these sorts of pseudo-movement leaders, who will flourish if the conditions are right. That’s why we need to focus our attention on altering those conditions, something these people have little or no interest in doing.”

If anyone has spent the last five years wondering what happened to DailyKos, Josh Marshall and Digby, there’s your answer right there.  And if you’re wondering what happened to all the liberals in the Democratic party, well, we’re still in exile.

22 Responses

  1. I’ve watched with envy as the Canadians punished their faux liberals at the polls. Having a healthy multi-party system looks pretty good compared to our powerlessness in the face of progressive perfidy here.

  2. I wish I was young and stupid again, then I could be a #1 Obot.

    Anyway, after Joe Cannon’s piece I wrote my Senator Bob Casey Jr. to inform him any future support for him or any other Democrat is predicated on how vocal the fight against Obama’s minions of Wall Street greed. I’m hoping that all of you have done the same, back them into a corner with the facts so they can’t weasel out of doing right by FDR’s legacy.

    I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, the HCR dog and pony show was smoke and mirrors to distract from any investigation of Wall Street because it would implicate several Democrats either actively abetting these crooks or benefiting from their campaign largess. The trading technology has improved since 1929 but the greed is the same.

    If the republican party ever regains its sanity Democrats are in for it as people realize they’ve been sold out by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

    • “If the republican party ever regains its sanity Democrats are in for it..” Oh you’re soooo right, Mike. Dance on their graves at your peril.

    • My two “Democratic” senators have already pronounced themselves “deficit hawks” and announced that they’re for “entitlement reform”.

      No hope there for me.

      • If you were to write to a few Dparty elders and leaders and told them that the only way you would vote/donate/anything for any Democrat in 2014 is if zero changes are permitted in SS/Mcare/Mcaid in the meantime, those Dparty elders/leaders might take it seriously. You could couple this with instructing your Dparty officeholders that you will vote/donate/everything else against them in their next election unless they reverse their position and vote that reversal.
        All it would cost would be some time which could be afforded given the money-stakes involved, and a few stamps . . . which helps buy time for the USPS in its slow death-match with the USGovernment conspiracy to exterminate the USPS.

        • I *am* a Democratic party elder/leader – or at least I was (former county vice-chair, former state executive committee member, former state central committee member). Haven’t served or donated a dime since ’08, either. Individual donations don’t count for shit, R U – that’s the problem. The big dogs in Congressional campaigns are the DCCC and the DSCC and other groups which are specifically linked to national party leadership.

          Primary challenges (at least in *my* state) tend to get crushed by buckets of out of state cash rolling in from the DSCC and DCCC (in violation of both those organizations’ charters – they’re specifically not supposed to involve themselves in primary campaigns).

          The only thing I’ve achieved by berating my elected representatives is to get myself removed from their Christmas card lists (although they’re still quite happy to invite me to their $1500 fundraisers 😉 ).

          I think the Democratic Party is incurably corrupt and irretrievably broken at this point.

          • It’s pretty clear that you have “been there” and “done that” and I have really done neither. You paint an ugly picture. Is there anything cheerier or more hopeful to be said? I am not sure but I hope so. I won’t say “something” just to sound hopeful.
            I would say this: there are Democratic officeholders, mainly Representatives, from districts so poor that they cannot afford to pay and therefor they don’t get to play. Are they incorruptible? I don’t know. Perhaps they could be corrupted with enough money to corrupt them but they come from low money places so the experiment hasn’t been tried. Perhaps they are bitter. Perhaps they hate Pelosi and the other rich corruptogenic bicoastal richie rich DemRepresentatives. Perhaps they would get even if they found an opportunity.
            Here is a TV interview with one of those “no can pay, no get to play” Democratic Representatives from the midwest . . . Toledo Ohio’s Marcy Kaptur in this case. If I clicked the right interview (and shame on me if I didn’t) about two fifths of the way in she discusses and condemns the Pelosicratic enforcement of pay-to-play in the House, and how she has end-runned Pelosi’s obstruction of her vertical rise on committees by pursuing a broad lateral ooze-creep across many committees which can be made to relate to eachother. Perhaps she and others like her lust with a hatred for Obama and Pelosi which burns in their hearts. Perhaps their desire to get revenge can be leveraged and weaponised if enough share it. Anyway, here is the link.

          • Well shit . . . THAT sure wasn’t the link. Let’s try it again.

    • Obama isn’t giving speeches these days, he is busy doing his Wall Street lunches with his base, you know the Greedos. Will the Democrats get it, or will they finally see he is taking the list with him.

  3. So glad you’re back kicking ass and taking names.

  4. How does one account for those who knew better in 2008, but got suckered by the Obama FUD campaign in 2012? I’m thinking of folks like the former Conflucians over at SkyDancing, as well as the ever-entertaining Joe Cannon.

    BB has the vapors over Obama’s “betrayal” on SS and Medicare, as if it weren’t perfectly obvious that this was the plan all along. She actually wants people to call the White House. Maybe if she’d been paying attention to something other than Romney’s dog, she might have seen this coming.

    Joe Cannon is wondering when Democrats will finally decide to go back to the sort of policies that cured the Great Depression, as if they currently have any interest whatsoever in improving the state of the economy.

    These people aren’t stupid, but they’re lost in a fog of their own making. What passes for the Left in this country is so fractured and distracted that it’s incapable of focusing on the larger picture.

    • Well, if the “BBs” among us feel betrayed perhaps they can be encouraged to seek revenge for that betrayal. If their sense of betrayal can be weaponised and targeted against Obama, speCIFically aGAINST Obama’s aGENda . . . then that feeling of betrayal can be useful in protecting our survival benefits against our enemies.

      So if the prize we keep our eyes on is our retirement survival money, and the numbers of the newly betrayed and newly vengeful can make the difference between victory or defeat for the BS Obama Catfood Plan, then those numbers should be welcomed in the terminal extermination deathmatch between ourselves and the Catfood Obamacrats.

      • What sort of “revenge” does one seek against a lame duck who is only interested in securing a comfortable post-Presidential life?

        They gave up the only leverage they had when they voted for the SOB the second time around.

        • One seeks to destroy and defeat his anti-SS agenda. One thinks of the after office payouts he might not make if he cannot achieve the Catfood Plan even as one thinks of the survival money one saves for oneself (and all the other oneselfs) by defeating his Catfood Plan.

          They only gave up leverage against Obama himself. They still have leverage against Dparty officeseeker/holders in general if they wish to see it that way. They still have a tire iron, if they are ready to use it.

      • As for targeting the agenda (presumably through dis-electing those who vote for it):

        1) Pay for play is now institutionalized in both Houses and both parties. Committee assignments and chairmanships aren’t decided by seniority anymore, but rather by fundraising for the Congressional and Senatorial campaign committees. While this was originally developed by Tom DeLay, both Pelosi and Reid have jumped on the bandwagon. Those who do not raise money do not get plum committee assignments and will never have substantial influence. That means kowtowing to the PACs – and it therefore means that the same folks are pulling the strings, no matter what.

        2) It’s too late then. One can have the satisfaction of throwing the bastards out after they’ve robbed you blind, but it won’t prevent the robbery in the first place.

    • Well, I toddled on over to Sky Dancing. I presume BB is “Boston Boomer”? There didn’t seem to be a comments feature that I could see, otherwise I would have offered sympathy and encouraged her to refine her sense of betrayal into burning arc-welder rage. “Let the hatred flow through you. Good! Goooood . . . “

    • BB has the vapors over Obama’s “betrayal” on SS and Medicare, as if it weren’t perfectly obvious that this was the plan all along.

      I knew he was going back on that, because he has protected the rich, not talking about taxes like Clinton, so those least able are going to pay. Arnold Cheater Schwarzenegger did that in California, and Maria Shriver stayed silent.

      Pelosi, Reid and Donna Brazile and others are offering cover for their agenda.

  5. Again,

    1] Until you are able to effectively threaten the Democratic party you are spitting into the wind.

    2] Voting for the Republican who will be completely ineffective is less evil than voting for a VERY EFFECTIVE right wing goon like “Bomber Obama”.

    3] In my state, since “Bomber Obama” was going to win by a landslide, it was pointless to vote for Romney, so I voted for Jill, however, had I thought I could defeat “Bomber Obama” with a vote for Romney, I would have voted that way.

    Again, until real liberals start practicing realpolitik they’re are spitting into the wind.

  6. The Democratic Party represents the leftmost boundary permissable by the current oligarchic system. John Stauber’s article is the best description of the ” progressive ” left I’ve ever read. The two parties are essentially agreed on basic economic policy. The Dems are just as hostile to the New Deal as the GOP, they’re just less vocal about it. They TALK as if they support working people, but they are really just the second leg of plutocracy.

  7. And it will require the public breaking from the cacoon of fear before things truly change. Withdrawal of electoral support is one tactic of many that can be used to accomplish it.

  8. Loves crocus & glad you have them.

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