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When fooling “enough of the people, most of the time” stops working

There comes a point in every relationship when the oxytocin level starts to decline and the number of verbal inconsistencies increase to the point where the object of your affection is no longer the greatest thing since sliced bread.  When this happens, you can either reject or accept what you’ve got to work with and move on.  But one thing is for sure: the blinders are gone and it’s no use trying to put them back on again.

I reached that point back in the nineties when it comes to the news media.  After awhile, familiarity with its propaganda techniques bred contempt.  I was always an inconsistent student, something I have apparently passed onto my children.  But one thing I’ve always done well is analyze literature.  Add to that the experience that comes from reading tons of scientific papers and asking whether the authors proved their points and for me, the media lost its charm waaaaay too quickly.  It helps that like myiq, I wouldn’t drink the fundie juice and saw through the glazed eyed craziness of the religious right early in life. Anyway, you get the point.  Sadly, the honeymoon was over for me a long time ago.  The Clinton scandals never made much sense, I wasn’t surprised by 9/11 and the Iraq War was stupid at its inception.

That’s why I was a bit dismayed to read Paul Krugman’s piece yesterday about the Teabagger riots at various congressional rep appearances.  I love Paul Krugman.  He ranks right up there with Al Franken for me as one of those little flickering points of light that didn’t go out during the dark ages of the Bush administration.  Paul *mostly* sees what’s going on with the astroturfers and the birther nut jobs (no, don’t even go there.  I don’t care if Obama hasn’t answered all of your questions.  It’s a stupid, pointless, irrelevant distraction)  But he has a huge blind spot when it comes to the reason why the people who should be on Obama’s side are sitting it out.  I’m talking about people like us.  So. once again, I will try to spell it out for him.

We don’t support a man whose surrogates call lifelong advocates for civil rights and equality racists.  We don’t support a man who considers legitimate criticism of him racism.  We don’t appreciate the insinuation that because we don’t support Obama’s ill-conceived health care policy we might be racists.  To us, that doesn’t seem to be a very logical way to gain our support.  In fact, it hasn’t worked since Obama’s campaign rolled it out last year and it is still not working.  Really, Paul, don’t fall into this trap.  Not everyone who dislikes the way the Obama administration has handled things is a racist. Yes, there are plenty of people who are but there is a huge group of us out here who aren’t and never have been.  That peer pressure $#@% doesn’t work on those of us who know our own minds.

We’re not birthers.  Sorry, birthers, we don’t care about the birth certificate.  In fact, the birth certificate issue works brilliantly for both parties.  For the GOP, whipping up a frenzy about it helps them establish a new base of supporters.  For the Obama administration, keeping the issue alive makes its detractors look like irrational nutjobs.  Take this as a warning, former PUMAs: drop the birther thing before you lose all credibility.  You are not going to dislodge Obama with the birth certificate question.  For good or ill, he’s the president for the next four years.  Which brings me to my next point:

There is no divine law that says that Barack Obama is entitled to a second term.  We have had one term presidents before.  The last two were Jimmy Carter and George Bush I.  It can happen again.  And if Obama succeeds in redefining the American experience not forward but backwards to a new era of Robber Barons, I believe we still have just enough power to oust him.  It is up to the Democratic Party if it wants to risk this.  Sarah Palin could siphon away the part of the base that the Democrats left on the table during the 2008 primary season.  Palin could be the Republicans’ stealth weapon, even if she chose to run as an independent.  Keep it up Democrats and Obama will be a one term wonder. Which brings me to why we are different from the birthers and Palin supporters and GOP teabaggers.

We never bought the party unity thing.

Remember party unity?  Harold Ickes Jr. told the RBC hearing that what they were about to do was not in the interest of party unity.  Oh, you could engineer an illusion at the convention that everyone was behind Obama but that left a lot of Democrats deeply dissatisfied and feeling like they had no choice but to go along.  And so many of them did because the only alternative was another Republican president.

The reason that Obama’s health insurance reform policy is going down in flames with no support from his own party is because we don’t trust him.  We watched the way his campaign operated last year and we never bought the product. We saw how he allowed his supporters and the media to trash women.  We see that his wife has had to pretend to embrace a traditional female role to pacify the old white guys and snotty women who run the DC political press corps and punditry.  We saw how he lobbied for the first TARP bill without much concern for hapless homeowners.  We saw how he stuffed a sock into the mouths of single payer advocates during the public debate on the issue.  Even those of us who are open to plans other than single payer think they should have been at the table.

The Obama administration has a lot of nerve complaining about teabaggers now when they’ve eliminated a significant number of voices from the initial debate.  As for cries of “no fair with the astroturf!”, Obama’s team can hardly expect those of us who were bombarded by Axlerod’s campaign astroturf, destructive peer pressure, marketing and psychological manipulation techniques to have any sympathy whatsoever for it now.  It was only a matter of time before the media and GOP started to turn agains the Democrat.  Would that we had a President in the White House who had the character and intestinal fortitude to withstand it.  Karma’s a bitch.

We always said that if the Democrats decided to ditch us, half of its base, for Obama when they had an alternative who was winning in spite of intensely negative media coverage, that it was on its own.  The Obama Era began by squashing and insulting people.  It used unethical and in some cases possibly illegal tactics to get the nomination.  Obama and the Democrats erased everything it stood in order to get power last year and in the process cut out its most vital base. In fact, the Democrats in Congress have wasted a perfectly good opportunity to come out like gangbusters with a revolutionary new health care mandate that covers everyone, lowers costs and encourages real innovation by regulating the middle man.  It blew it.  Royally.

The Democratic party did not elect a leader.  His PR guys can keep saying it but it doesn’t make it true and more and more voters are starting to realize this.  Leadership is not the capacity to fool enough of the people, most of the time.  A leader has vision.  A leader has a philosophy.  A leader has courage to take on his or her opponents.  Obama is not a leader.  We knew this last year but the party forced him on us anyway.  Obama is good at one thing and one thing only: promoting Obama.  He can charm the pants off of people to promote him but he is incompetent in taking on the GOP message machine, the media and the entrenched establishment of neo-feudalists who can never get enough power. Obama made pacts with the devils in these power establishments.  But for what?  What did we, the voters, get for this exchange?  How did the voters benefit from Obama’s election and his subservience and obedience to the powers that got him into office?  There are quite a few bloggers who should be telling us what we got in exchange for this media darling.  I’m waiting.

But don’t blame us for seeing through him and standing back to watch the carnage between the GOP’s astroturf mobs and the Obama campaign’s astroturf mobs.  It is our prerogative to disagree with truly crappy finance industry and health “insurance” reform policies that don’t benefit voters. Without a major media outlet like a cable news station or a major newspaper like the Times, we have to hope that enough people read us and pass our site along as a refuge for rational, liberals whose minds are wide open but not so wide that our brains have fallen out.  When there are enough of us who are in agreement most of the time, then maybe we can turn this country around.

Let this be a lesson to the Democratic party.  If you decide to launch a war against your own side, don’t be surprised later if the refugees don’t regard you as liberators.  When it comes to Obama, we’re not stupid, Republican, birther or racists.  We’re just not that into him.

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