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    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – April 20, 2019
      This post is by Tony Wikrent I have been looking at the work of Cornell University law professor Robert Hockett, who is serving as an economics adviser to Representative Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. I have been delighted to find that Hockett has been working the same angle I have: applying the classical republicanism that informed the creation of […]
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Romancing the PUMAs

Lambert posted about the Democrat’s growing election dilemma yesterday with some speculation from an EJ Dionne article. PUMAs are back, baby!  Oh Yeah!

Or should I say, the stupid racist menopausal uneducated working class sino-peruvian lesbians are back.  It’s very weird how the Democrats manage to mine the data and come up with this constituency over and over again.  It’s a distortion that kinda-sorta proves the point of the Mad Men post I wrote yesterday.  Computers can be extraordinarily useful but they also tend to be levelers.  There are descriptors that the guys (and they are almost always guys) did not collect before they ran their analysis.  Now, they may have enough information to get enough PUMAs to the polls in November but THIS former PUMA, and I suspect many others, will be a much tougher sell.  But first, let’s try to clarify what we mean by Clinton voter and PUMA.

From my own perspective, the acronym PUMA, Party Unity My Ass, was only useful through the 2008 election season.  I was a New Deal Liberal style Democrat who voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996.  Unlike a lot of younger Democrats, I have a completely different and more realistic understanding of what the Clintons were up to back then.  I’m a late baby boomer who didn’t benefit from the earlier baby boomers’ advantages.  I was a working mother back in 1992 and I strongly identified with Hillary Clinton.  I saw “ending welfare as we know it” as a very good thing because the idea was only part of a strategy to introduce more of a European style welfare state with a national health policy, educational training, child care and housing.  It was all part of a package deal.  Then I saw both the Democratic party and the Republican party pick that package to bits.  The Democrats helped deep six the healthcare initiatives and Newt Gingrich’s Contract On America destroyed welfare.  That’s what happened guys.  You might have been studying and partying.  The rest of us were living in a grown up world.  As for NAFTA, I’m sorry, I think it’s a good idea to remove trade barriers between your two closest neighbors.  I had problems with some of the details but in general, these were Republican insertions, not Clinton’s.

We can talk about Glass-Steagel and Robert Rubin if you like.  In retrospect, deregulation of the banks and derivatives, etc, was a pretty bad thing but it was also an unstoppable phenomenon.  Clinton was NOT the driving force behind these initiatives.  From what I can recall, Phil Gramm was the nasty on the TV all the time ramming this crap down our throats.  Go look it up.  To this day, I avoid Texas just so I don’t have to run into that drawl.

Ok, so that’s my background.  You can read my credo in the tabs to find out what I value, and from the site statistics, someone(s) has become very interested in those values of late.

Now, when I say PUMA was only a 2008 thing, that means that to ME, after the election was over, it lost its meaning as a resistance movement.  The Democratic party lost me.  I officially rescinded my membership in the party in 2008 and only re-registered as a Democrat in PA last year when I applied for a new driver’s license here in PA after my move.  In PA, the primaries are closed so voters are forced to choose a party when they register to vote, unlike NJ where the semi-closed primary means you can choose a party on primary election day.  I think anyone who reads my credo will see that I am a liberal New Deal style Democrat but my party affiliation, in spite of my registration, is very tenuous.  In other words, if a third party came around that represented my views, I’d jump in an instant.  Also note that I’m not a fan of the Greens and don’t particularly care for the crunchy type’s irrational condemnation of GMO crops, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, nuclear energy and corporations.  I find some of the left to be as black and white in their thinking as the right and, frankly, I am losing patience debating the “religious” beliefs of both sides.  I’m also not a selfish short sighted Libertarian.  That’s where the rebels without a cause hang out. And you will never catch me voting for Republican ever again.  My one vote for McCain in 2008 was purely a protest vote against the Democratic party because of its unethical treatment of its own party voters in 2008.  It was not an expression of support for the Republican party or its cavalier, cruel, heartless, greedy, narcissistically malignant, lying, deceptive, destructive platform of “ideas”.

It was very upsetting to pull that lever and I will never forgive the Democratic party for pushing me to make that decision for a couple of important reasons.  First, I was deprived of an identity and second, I was deprived of voting for the first African-American for president.  But in my very important opinion, voting for the first ANYTHING was not a sufficient excuse to overlook or condone the party for rigging the primary and compromising what the party stood for. Some Democrats were able to overcome their moral resistance to what the party was asking them to do.  I could not.  That’s what made me a PUMA and also explains why PUMA lost its utility after the election.  I felt that that what was required to fix what was broken was something bigger, more organized and longer lasting than a slogan.  And then real life intervened and I couldn’t devote any time to it.

But PUMA did survive in another form on other blogs.  I can’t endorse these other PUMA blogs.  I have a sense that they were compromised by Tea Party and Republican operatives.  There was an irrational embrace of birtherism and a weird support for Sarah Palin.  This blog struggled with some of those holdouts for awhile until their presence got to be unbearable.  These are the people that I think EJ Dionne is referring to in his post.  What I think they have in common is their extreme anger at what happened to them in 2008.  They were completely ignored by the Democrats who circular filed their votes and topped it off with a smug, “we’re smarter and know what’s best for you, you ignorant working class ‘gits” attitude.

Oh really?  Those PUMAs who are still fuming on the Tea Party friendly blogs may not have Ivy League degrees or know someone who works in a “creative class” field but when it comes right down to it, the election of Barack Obama has done more to solidify the strangle hold of the oligarchs on the American public than any previous president we have ever had.  We have actually devolved as a progressive nation.  I will go so far as to say that Obama’s presidency has sped up that devolution.  You could argue that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have been different but my intuition (which hasn’t failed me yet in this whole mess) tells me that you would be wrong.  In any case, when it comes right down to it, the “creative class” that got fooled into voting for Obama in 2008 and 2012 is no different from the working class voters it dismissed so senselessly. To the oligarchs, you might as well be living on a rice paddy in Bangladesh.  Your ultimate fate is no different than the bitter gun toting church goers in rural Pennsylvania.  You can be economically ruined and made politically impotent just as easily.  That truth is just now dawning on you as you read The Divide and Piketty’s Capital and the latest study that says you don’t have enough money to make a dent in the lobbying shield wall of the 1%.

As for me, I don’t know if I would support Clinton in 2016.  My sense is that so much has happened to fundamentally change the nature of our country in the past 20 years that there would have to be a personality much bigger and more visionary than Clinton’s to drag us back onto the right track.  Could she do it?  Maybe.  But maybe she also recognizes the political landscape that she would be entering.  I saw her evolve during the primary season.  She was forged by fire and was gaining momentum when the party cut her off.  That was a mistake the party made out of fear but it made it prematurely.  By September of 2008, Elmer Fudd could have gotten elected as the first cartoon Democratic president, the situation was that dire.  In a sense, the election of Barack Obama was not a triumph of identity politics as much as it was one of panic and desperation.  But I have no doubt that under Hillary Clinton, there would have been more rehab and less codependence.

Slightly off topic, I find it interesting that so many people on both the right and the left are ramping up their anti-Hillary rhetoric.  Those Democrats who are still on the fence about her should take a moment to think about what’s going on there. Both parties are pawns of the oligarchs right now.  And someone in the Democratic party has pushing hard on the idea that if we just let Obama have his 2 terms, we could have Hillary in 2016.  That push acknowledges two things: 1.)People want someone to do something already and they’ve decided that the most likely person is Hillary and 2.) if you treat voters like children and make them delay their gratification, you can make them focus on some future uncertain reward while taking their minds off what they can do to help their own desperate situations in the present.  Whatever the left is currently spewing about how bad the Clintons are bears a striking similarity to the right’s mindless invectives against them to me.  And that suggests that there are some very powerful people who do not want Hillary to be the next president.  If she were already in the pockets of these very powerful people, you would expect less vilification, wouldn’t you?  Think about it.

In the meantime, I will leave you with this link to Phillip Zimbardo’s steps for overcoming situational influence.  The Democratic activist base should have read this before they flattered themselves that they were not at all like Kansas and couldn’t be fooled into doing anything against their own best interests.  I only recently discovered these steps but I think I’ve been wise to them since YearlyKos 2007 in Chicago when something just didn’t seem right.

As to the Democrats winning the election in 2014 and 2016, I’m almost getting to the point where it doesn’t feel like it will make a difference which party wins in November.  Having the Democrats in charge only slows down the slide to the right.  It doesn’t stop it.  And as destructive as the slide might be, I see very little evidence that the Democrats are motivated to prevent if from happening.  In fact, the dangerous collapse of the Republicans into crazyville only makes it easier for the oligarchs to get just about anything they want from the Democrats with very little effort.  Like I said before, I would gladly jump to a third party that is more responsive to my values.  At this point, appealing to me as a former PUMA is probably a waste of time because I see what I am to the party- a faceless data point projected onto a latent structure.

When the party starts treating me like an enfranchised citizen again, then we’ll talk.

 

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Rummaging through the archives / Awards Sunday

Newspaper archive

I finally got around to reading Jeffrey Goldberg’s essay about the upcoming war against Iran. I had pretty much the same reaction many people who remember the run up the Iraq war had: “Oh no! One of those who helped pushed the Iraq war with bogus arguments is back with another war. Why should we listen to ANY of those who got it so wrong last time?”

I went beyond the Iraq war and started wondering how badly people have to be wrong about a major event or a major topic before we stop caring about any opinion they utter. Why do we stop taking someone who has produced a giant stinking pile of dung seriously?

The last major even we had in this country was the 2008 political season. I went through my archives and reviewed some stuff some bloggers and pundits have written. It was all so good I decided to award some prizes. See if you agree with me or if you some suggestions.


Best “why-would-anybody-still-care-about-anything-this-pundit-has-to-say-about-anything” column

Who can forget the hagiography written by Andrew Sullivan about how Obama and Obama alone, MUST be President NOW? It was probably THE momentous piece of dreck essay of the political season of 2008.

Goodbye to All That: Why Obama Matters

In politics, timing matters. And the most persuasive case for Obama has less to do with him than with the moment he is meeting. The moment has been a long time coming, and it is the result of a confluence of events, from one traumatizing war in Southeast Asia to another in the most fractious country in the Middle East. The legacy is a cultural climate that stultifies our politics and corrupts our discourse.

Obama’s candidacy in this sense is a potentially transformational one. Unlike any of the other candidates, he could take America—finally—past the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us. So much has happened in America in the past seven years, let alone the past 40, that we can be forgiven for focusing on the present and the immediate future. But it is only when you take several large steps back into the long past that the full logic of an Obama presidency stares directly—and uncomfortably—at you.

At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a war—not so much the war in Iraq, which now has a momentum that will propel the occupation into the next decade—but the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about war—and about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obama—and Obama alone—offers the possibility of a truce.

Wow! Isn’t Andrew Sullivan a sage?


Most prescient post written in the election season of 2008

This column was written on 12/07/06. This blogger’s premonition was stunning. Is this really who we are?

The Serial Killing of Hillary Rodham Clinton: How and Why She Is Doomed in 2008

Hillary will go down in the primary cycle, at the hands of activist Democrats themselves, her people, her base. This the press will read as deep and thrilling Greek tragedy. (You can already see this in the breathless press accounts of the way in which Obama might steal Hillary’s African-American constituency out from under her.)

Do I believe this? Yes. Am I happy about it? No. Because the serial hunting of Hillary is an expression of the worst American impulses, our obsession with personalities and the childish cruelty built into our current journalistic institutions.

[…]

In short, if Hillary flies, we will torture her and pull off her wings. It’s who we still are.

Keep in mind this was written before either Hillary or Obama officially declared their intention to run for POTUS.


Most insightful post of the political season of 2008

On the eve of Ted Kennedy’s official endorsement of Barack Obama, faux-Conservative Jon Swift wrote a thought-provoking, very insightful and witty column about the real reason for the column. (On a sad note, Jon Swift aka Al Weisel passed on early this year, way too soon. May he RIP.)

Why the Kennedys Are Endorsing Obama

Like Kennedy, Obama is young, handsome and inspiring and he represents the passing of the torch to a new generation. But it is not just that Obama reminds them of Kennedy, it is also that the Clintons remind them of Lyndon Johnson. And if there is anything that the Kennedys don’t like, it’s a bunch of hillbillies in the White House, which is being kept in trust until a competent Kennedy can be groomed to take it back for its rightful owners. Until that time Obama will do.

[…]

No one loved the Kennedys and hated Johnson more than liberals and the liberal media and they feel the same way about the Clintons. “Is the right right on the Clintons?” liberal pundit Jonathan Chait asks in an article in the Los Angeles Times. For years conservatives have been saying that the Clintons give politics a bad name. We look back with nostalgia to a time when gentlemanly Democrats like Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey lost elections with grace and dignity. They didn’t go around smearing their opponents and cynically triangulating the way the Clintons do. Now many liberals and members of the liberal media are coming around to thinking we’ve been right all along.

Jon Swift´s sharp witticism will never be matched.


Best damned column of the political season of 2008

This most coveted prize goes to my peeps at BAR. This is one of my favorite columns of all time. You can pick any paragraph and highlight it, which makes it so hard to excerpt. It exposes so much delusion. Just go read it for yourself.

So Long Suckers

The Obama campaign slogan ought to be “Never give a sucker an even break.” It isn’t clear which sight is more painful to watch, the progressives who fell for the hype and are now heart broken or the cynics who knew the game all along and now applaud the campaign’s increasingly rightward shift.

[…]

The endless claims of change were phony and almost everyone knew it. It was never a matter of sounding the alarm to unsuspecting Obamaites, it was a matter of exposing political hucksters who found a new source of unsuspecting marks.

If there were any true political organizing in American politics, the Obama sham would be seen for what it is. Instead corrupt Democratic leaders sell snake oil, and the rank and file go along in confusion or succumb to paralysis out of fear of electing John McCain. Because progressives never fought the good fight amongst themselves, they still don’t know what their agenda ought to be, or worse yet, they don’t even know they should have one. Falling for high flown rhetoric became a substitute for hard headed political decision making.

Damn this column is good. It was written on 07/01/08, right after Obama secured the nomination and it gets better each time I read it.


Best column to keep just for the sake of making fun of its author

This one was probably my easiest pick: The famous “Out with party silos, in with squishy goo-goos” column from Chris Bower about how Obama was remaking the Democratic Party. All of TC front-pagers and regular commenter know this column. I challenge anyone out there to come up with something this guffaw inducing.

Changing Of the Guard

Cultural Shift: Out with Bubbas, up with Creatives: There should be a major cultural shift in the party, where the southern Dems and Liebercrat elite will be largely replaced by rising creative class types. Obama has all the markers of a creative class background, from his community organizing, to his Unitarianism, to being an academic, to living in Hyde Park to shopping at Whole Foods and drinking PBR. These will be the type of people running the Democratic Party now, and it will be a big cultural shift from the white working class focus of earlier decades. Given the demographics of the blogosphere, in all likelihood, this is a socioeconomic and cultural demographic into which you fit. Culturally, the Democratic Party will feel pretty normal to netroots types. It will consistently send out cultural signals designed to appeal primarily to the creative class instead of rich donors and the white working class.

ROFLOL!!!


Vilest op-ed of the political season of 2008

Originally, I designated this op-ed as “assholish”, but then I thought I was taking it too lightly. The column was just vile. A random comment displayed on the side box gives you an idea:

“Last week Hillary Clinton was a monster. Now she’s the Ku Klux Klan? … This is the real fear mongering.”Julia Stewart, St. Louis, MO

The Red Phone in Black and White

I have spent my life studying the pictures and symbols of racism and slavery, and when I saw the Clinton ad’s central image — innocent sleeping children and a mother in the middle of the night at risk of mortal danger — it brought to my mind scenes from the past. I couldn’t help but think of D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society. The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat.

How can anyone of Orlando Patterson’s students take him seriously after that?


As a bonus, I’m getting out of the political season of 2008 to hand another prize: I don’t know if this should some sort of Lifetime Achievement Award.

Best “Why-isn’t-the-author-of-this-insanity-in-an-insane-asylum” column

It was clear to me something written by Peggy Noonan would be a strong contender in such category. In fact I think Peggy has often proven that she’s certifiably insane, yet people still take her seriously. The column she wrote after the FBI removed Elian Gonzalez from him Miami relatives and hand him to his biological father is hard to beat in it’s level of craziness. In it, she actually believed the story about dolphins forming an army and going to war against white sharks and delivering young Elian to fishermen. Or something like that.

Why Did They Do It?

From the beginning it was a story marked by the miraculous. It was a miracle a six-year-old boy survived the storm at sea and floated safely in an inner tube for two days and nights toward shore; a miracle that when he tired and began to slip, the dolphins who surrounded him like a contingent of angels pushed him upward; a miracle that a fisherman saw him bobbing in the shark-infested waters and scooped him aboard on the morning of Nov. 25, 1999, the day celebrated in America,the country his mother died bringing him to, as Thanksgiving.

Here’s Ms Noonan in the same column speculating why Clinton had the gall the let the feds act:

Was Mr. Clinton being blackmailed? The Starr report tells us of what the president said to Monica Lewinsky about their telephone sex: that there was reason to believe that they were monitored by a foreign intelligence service. Naturally the service would have taped the calls, to use in the blackmail of the president. Maybe it was Mr. Castro’s intelligence service,or that of a Castro friend.

This is not really surprising from the woman who thought James Caviezel was actually Jesus and who ran around during the political season of 2008 accusing Hillary Clinton of being the owner of Hillary is 44.


What is in your archive? Who is your award recipient? Feel free to come up with your own prize. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the 2008 election cycle or even politics.

On the Lighter Side…Obama and EV: A Play in One Unrequited Act.

Author’s Note: This play was inspired by the fact that Obama is determined to pursue the unattainable evangelical vote, while alienating so many other ready, willing and able Democratic base groups.

The Irresistible Evangelical Voter
The Irresistible Evangelical Voter

THE SCENE: Outside of a movie theater in Anytown, USA. The marquee reads: “Now Playing: The 2008 Presidential Election.” An attractive, well-dressed woman, EV (meaning “Evangelical Voter” and pronounced “Eve”), is standing outside, waiting for her date, JOHN MCCAIN.

As she looks at her watch, BARACK OBAMA walks by EV, then stops. A “coup de foudre” has occurred. He struts up to her confidently.

OBAMA: Excuse me, miss? (EV turns to OBAMA.)  Hi, I’m Barack Obama. I’m a Democratic Senator from Illinois, and you are just about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

EV (perplexed): Um, hi? Gosh, I’m not used to talking to Democrats. (noticing the way OBAMA is looking at her) In case you’re wondering, I’m not alone. I have a date with John McCain, but he’s a little late.

OBAMA (not listening): Wow. You are just stunning, sweetie. What’s your name?

EV (a little uncomfortably): My full name is Evangelical Voter, but everyone calls me EV for short.

OBAMA: EV, huh? Listen, I’m not gonna play games here. I really, really want you to go to the Presidential Election with me. What can I do to make that happen? You want a kiss?

EV: A kiss? Ewwww. I don’t even know you!

OBAMA (confidently): Well, then, why don’t we get to know each other? My full name is Barack Hussein Obama, and –

EV (interrupting): Oh yeah, I heard about you. (suspiciously) Aren’t you a Muslim? If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior –

OBAMA: Relax, baby. I’m as Christian as you are. Check out this flyer – I’ve used it in the South to get my message to people like you. Amen!

Continue reading

Harry Reid Wants Democrats To Lose Congress AND The White House

Vote For Me, I Have No Idea What To Do!

Vote For Me, I Have No Idea What To Do!

It looks like the horrible economy has boosted Barack Obama’s daily tracking numbers just a bit. Well, we can’t have that, now, can we? Harry Reid to the rescue! He’ll make sure that bounce goes away, further torpedo the chances of downticket Democrats, and reassure Americans that the Democrats ARE completely clueless:

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports from Capitol Hill: Don’t look for any legislation in the near future to address the financial crisis.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asked today what new regulatory actions Congress can take, said, bluntly, “No one knows what to do. We are in new territory here. This is a different game. We’re not here playing soccer, basketball or football, this is a new game and we’re going to have to figure out how to do it.”

Woo-hoo! When big financial problems arise, it’s always good to admit you have no clue how to resolve them. That will build confidence in your party!

Now, the lede of the story is somewhat misleading, since there will be short-term legislation proposed to try to alleviate the damages caused by greed and deregulation. But apparently, any heavy lifting will be passed on to the next President and Congress. Now, THAT’s leadership!

In the short run, Democrats are trying to push through a second stimulus package with funding for infrastructure improvements, renewable energy tax credits and other things. But all agree it will be up to the next President and Congress to do any re-regulation.

And its important to remember that there is no congressional oversight on the string of bailouts by the Federal Reserve of AIG, the nation’s largest insurance company, or the lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Moments after the press conference, on the Senate floor, Reid said he will keep the Senate in pro forma session after the Sept. 30th departure date so that committees can meet and consider the problem.

I ask you, if the Congress will remain in session after September 30, and will be doing something to counteract the effects of these failures right away, then why didn’t Senator Reid say that?

And why in the name of the Giant Green Lizard are we allowing the free-marketeers to get control of the framing of this issue? Why doesn’t it SOUND like the Obamacrats are the Party of the Responsible Economy any more? Is it because they are stupid, or because they are bought and paid for by Corporate America? Or is it a combination of both?

Continue reading

Our Post-Racial Paradise: A Play in One Dreamy Act.

(H/T to Garychapelhill for the title)

THE SCENE: President Barack Obama’s Oval Office. A wall with a computerized panel and a door occupies center stage left, and the office occupies the remainder of the stage.

The decor of the office has totally changed. The drapes around the room are now printed with the Obama faux-presidential seal. Everywhere are pictures of President Obama, looking saintly and generous. There is also a picture of Michelle and the kids, but it is much smaller and less prominently placed. The American Flag has been redesigned; in the center of the field where the stars were is now a picture of Our Dear Leader.

The man himself sits behind the desk in the Oval Office, garbed in spotless white robes. Above his head, a sign reads “President Barack Obama” in large, elegant letters. He is in deep meditation, or perhaps, is sleeping off the effects of too much “holy water” the night before.

BILL BURTON, Barack Obama’s now Chief of Staff, appears at the door. The door speaks in a pleasant, female, robotic voice.

DOOR: Please enter your permanent password.

(BURTON enters a few numbers on the keypad.)

DOOR: Please speak your name.

BURTON: William Burton.

DOOR: Voiceprint authorized. Please state today’s password.

BURTON: Ummmmm…Obama is the greatest president that was, is, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen?

DOOR: Password expired. Please state today’s password.

BURTON: Ummmmm…(pulls out an iPhone, checks it, smiles) All hail Barack Obama, President Extraordinaire and really awesomely cool dude?

DOOR: Password accepted. (BURTON enters the Oval Office. OBAMA opens his eyes calmly.)

OBAMA: Good morning, Bill.

BURTON: Morning, Mr. President!

OBAMA: Please, sit down. (BURTON does so.) Now, what’s on your mind, Bill?

BURTON: Well, it’s this “New Racism Handbook” we published last week. Even though our NBC affiliates are over the moon about it, I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints in the (using air quotes) “blogosphere.”

OBAMA (frowning): Really? I thought those guys loved me.

BURTON: Oh, most of them do, sir! But some of them are saying that 10,000 forbidden words are too hard to remember. Words like “arrogant” and “presumptuous” are easy, but some of the scientists are protesting about changing the term “black hole” to “lightwardly challenged hole.” And making public racism a crime! They are really not on board with that one.

OBAMA (smiling): Oh, that’s okay, Bill. Let me tell you a bit more about my master plan. (getting up and striding commandingly around the room) You see, I wanted to take the troops out of Iraq and transfer them directly to Afghanistan to continue fighting there. But, it turns out, they’re already so exhausted from their fourth and fifth tours, they were useless to us. Our mission in Afghanistan, whatever it is, cannot succeed this way. We need more bodies, but Blackwater keeps raising its prices. It’s a tough situation.

BURTON: Sounds tough, Mr. President!

Continue reading

Barack Obama Meets America: A Play In One Sad Act.

Barack Obama Meets America: A Play In One Sad Act.

A Special Guest Post by madamab
Originally produced at Oooh, nuance!

THE SCENE: Senator Barack Obama and America are seated in a large auditorium. Obama is sitting on the stage in a folding chair. A door in the back is marked “THIS WAY TO HILLARY CLINTON’S PLACE.” Another door reads “VOTE FOR JOHN MCCAIN.”]

AMERICA: Welcome, Senator Obama! We are soooooo ready to elect a Democrat this year, and we loved, loved, LOVED your speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. You are such an eloquent and intelligent guy…and your charisma is amazing! We are looking so forward to getting to know you better!

OBAMA (smiling): That was a wonderful welcome! Thank you, America!

AMERICA: No, thank YOU. We have some great candidates this year, and you’re one of them! So, tell us. Why should we elect you President of the United States?

OBAMA (standing up and pacing): Aren’t you tired of the same old Washington politics? Well, so am I. I’m not really a politician – I’m something new and different! I will unify all Americans so that we can work together to make our country a better place. We will finally get out of this partisan gridlock that has been preventing us from moving forward. Just believe in me and we can make it happen together! Yes, we can!

AMERICA: Oooh! That was really inspirational! [Iowa faints and Obama throws her a water bottle he just happens to have with him.] Okay, so tell us: How are you going to accomplish this?

OBAMA (smiling): Hey, don’t worry about that. All my policy proposals are on my website. You can tell I’m smart, right? I was the editor of the Harvard Law Review! Trust me, I know what I’m doing. I was right about Iraq, wasn’t I? And remember that Hillary voted for the AUMF. The Iraq war wouldn’t have happened without her!

[OBAMA’S CHAIR TURNS INTO A THRONE.]

[AMERICA mutters a bit. New Hampshire gets up and walks toward the CLINTON door.] Continue reading

The Boyz’ New Math and a whole new Magic Number

I agree with Turkana who says It’s Called Democracy:

It was inevitable. More than a million and a quarter people turned out yesterday to vote for Hillary Clinton, she won another large swing state by more than two hundred thousand votes, and those champions of democracy in the shrillosphere are again today begging someone to pull the plug on this race. Stop her before she wins again! Continue reading