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I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.

But is she crazy enough?

This may be old news to some of you but it turns out that our greatest presidents may have been a little bit “tetched”, if you know what I mean.  In the book, A First-Rate Madness, author Nassir Ghaemi argues that hard and unusual times call for hard and unusual characters, preferably depressive pessimists:

the very qualities that mark those with mood disorders—realism, empathy, resilience, and creativity—also make for the best leaders in times of crisis. By combining astute analysis of the historical evidence with the latest psychiatric research, Ghaemi demonstrates how these qualities have produced brilliant leadership under the toughest circumstances.

Take realism, for instance: study after study has shown that those suffering depression are better than “normal” people at assessing current threats and predicting future outcomes. Looking at Lincoln and Churchill among others, Ghaemi shows how depressive realism helped these men tackle challenges both personal and national. Or consider creativity, a quality psychiatrists have studied extensively in relation to bipolar disorder.
A First-Rate Madness shows how mania inspired General Sherman and Ted Turner to design and execute their most creative—and successful—strategies.

Ghaemi’s thesis is both robust and expansive; he even explains why eminently sane men like Neville Chamberlain and George W. Bush made such poor leaders. Though sane people are better shepherds in good times, sanity can be a severe liability in moments of crisis. A lifetime without the cyclical torment of mood disorders, Ghaemi explains, can leave one ill equipped to endure dire straits.

I suppose that being a  legend in your own mind is not outside the bounds of normal behavior, so Barack Obama is not unhinged enough to rank among the greats. The Nobel committee and the DNC didn’t help the situation by protecting Obama from the stress of actually trying and failing at something.  Obama was spared those character building exercises.  Barack Obama is a bland, uninspiring guy who might have made an OK president back in 1956.  Well, he could hardly screw up the fifties.

But for the present set of circumstances, he’s the wrong guy and we knew that back when the DesMoines Register endorsed Hillary for president in 2008*.  The difficult terrain of the times ahead was the specific reason why DesMoines rejected Obama’s (incredibly) naive (clueless) optimism in 2008.  That doesn’t mean that Hillary is nuts enough to be a great president but her resilience after 15 years of right wing hysteria and persistence after so many people in her own party turned on her does suggest a degree of pessimistic realism and masochism that would have been assets during the struggle with the bats@#$ crazy right wing fanatics and testosterone poisoned finance industry.

In the past week, I’ve been seeing quite a few columnists and former Obama supporters post their mea culpas, saying they were dazzled by the brilliance of Obama’s marketing campaign like magpies drawn to some shiny object.  {{rolling eyes}} OK, I will accept that but I think the fault lies with the magpies and not David Plouffe’s Liberace-esque staging.  Anyway, the latest person to turn and apologize for foolishly rejecting Hillary is Margery Eagan in the Boston Herald today.  There have been others.  The number of people calling for Obama to step down and spend more time with his kids grows with every stomach lurching drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  Yes, the Tea Party Republicans were responsible for setting fire to a fragile economy but Obama lent them the match.  He’s a disaster of boutique governance, first appeasing one group of electoral voters, then another, making it up as he goes along, reactively tailoring policy to the interest group du jour.  It’s driving the rest of us crazy.

Speaking of crazy, *we’re* the ones that keep getting described as “delusional” because we still think the most logical thing the Democratic party could do right now is have Hillary Clinton primary Obama.   I still have no idea why this idea is delusional but I feel honored to be wearing that label since 2008.  Can I do pessimistic realism or what??  Obama is wrecking the party.  He’s a poor president.  The man refuses to learn his job.  He can’t negotiate with a bunch of nutcases in the Republican House and he’s helping to kill the middle class.  He doesn’t even realize how many of us who used to have really good, high paying, technical jobs are now out of work and living on subsistence wages and our savings.  He is utterly unsuited to his task.  I knew he was going to be bad but not even my pessimistic realism could fathom just how incredibly bad he turned out to be.  And now the party loyalists say we must suffer through another four years of this nonsense because he’s the incumbent?  And *I’m* the delusional one?

The latest party propaganda on the subject comes from Joan Walsh at Salon.  Joan acknowledges that the party may have made a mistake in 2008 but you won’t hear Joan upset the weenie tray at the cocktail party.  No, indeed.  Joan is ready to commit the country to another four years of Obama just so she doesn’t get associated with the delusional Hillary diehards.  And you know who Joan has been swilling margaritas with by the content of her posts.  By their memes ye shall know them.  These posts have become so predictable that even I could write one.  Does the meaningless word “triangulating” show up?  Check.  Does she mention race as the primary reason why (stressed and panicky unemployed) voters are rejecting Obama? Check.  Is Sarah Palin’s name invoked to frighten the backslider?  And why are Obama’s defenders always comparing him to Sarah Palin anyway?  But whatever.  Does a standard Republican boogieman make an appearance?  Check.  So, the reasons we must vote for Obama, who exemplifies everything that makes the modern Democratic party is that he doesn’t know how to do politics, is African American and therefore above criticism and that a Republican would be sooooo much worse.  How does this take Hillary Clinton out of the running?  I don’t get it.  Joan probably saw all of this coming but she isn’t crazy enough to actually say it out loud, which is why we refer to her stuff as “conventional wisdom”.

No, Joan, what we really need is a taste of the unpredictable.  We need to get a little crazy.  We need to take the system up to a new energy level from the local minimum rut it’s in now.  The system needs to be perturbed.  I’m not sure that even Hillary is crazy enough but the idea that she could unseat an incumbent would be so unprecedented that it just might work to energize the voters.  Yes, I think she would have been a better president and still could be.  We saw her develop as a candidate in the last months of the campaign and if the Obots weren’t so blinded by the reflected light of Barry O, they would have been amazed and inspired at the woman who would “keep going” no matter what.  If the fires of adversity shape the unbalanced to become great leaders, we might just have one in Hillary.

Poor Obama just keeps on melting.

* That DesMoines Register of Hillary is oddly missing from the record books.  You might be able to find references to it and what looks like an edited version of it but you won’t find it at the Register’s site.  It’s almost as if someone was trying to bury this little piece of prophetic history.  “D’OH!  We can’t leave that out there or they’ll think that someone knew in advance that Obama would be a f%&*up.”

Crash this party, Hillary

Griswold and Roe are dead, Joan

I just read Joan Walsh’s flimsy excuse for passing the health care reform bill as is.  Put me among the “fix it now, not later” camp.  Health care reform is vitally important for millions of families.  But why everyone has to be held hostage to unchecked insurance companies when good and thorough regulation that is found in other civilized nations could have spared all of us from profit and rent seeking monopolies is a mystery.  The Democrats had a chance to lock up their status as national heros for a generation and they’ve thrown it away by getting an F in negotiation skills.

But what is even more troubling is how they have allowed a few conservative members of their caucus to completely run over the rights of women.

Actually, women have no rights.

What this bill has exposed once and for all is that Griswold and Roe were fatally flawed decisions that were substitutions for women’s equality.  Almost as soon as Roe was decided, the move to pass the Equal Rights Amendment ground to a halt.  It finally died for good in 1982.  I guess we decided that it was enough that biology was no longer destiny.  A flimsy “right to privacy” was sufficient for equality.

We didn’t count on other people’s consciences eventually trumping our own.  It should have been obvious that this is what the fundamentalists were after.  They wanted some way to put women back in their place in their universe.  I don’t know why they need this.  It has never made any sense to me.  I suspect it doesn’t really make any sense to them either.  They don’t stop to think about the implications and the miracles of modern biology from birth control to DNA testing.  It’s just tradition.  It is written.  The fundamentalist conservatives are lagging indicators.

What this bill shows is that you can not have equality based on a right to privacy.  You can have all the private conversations you want with your health care providers.  But if their religious beliefs tell them that they can’t deliver your health care needs, you are SOL.  You are entitled to privacy but not your own conscience.  If you aren’t entitled to your own conscience and liberty, you are not equal and never will be.

And so, Joan, you may think it’s vitally important for the Democrats to insure millions of people and who can argue with that?  But they also have an obligation, after screaming at us for months on end about Roe! Roe! Roe! to not allow women to become the sacrificial lambs of the health care reform bill.  They owe young women that, especially the young stupid women they terrified and herded like cattle who threw away the one candidate that never would have sold them down the river for health care reform no matter what.

But if the Democrats do dump those women and Roe and Griswold die because Bob Casey, Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson’s consciences have more weight than more than half of all of the citizens of this country, maybe it’s the best thing really.  Women will see themselves as the party sees them- easily manipulated, lesser beings whose rights and needs will always take a backseat to everyone elses. It will pay lip service to Roe and then do whatever the hell it wants.  In fact, why even bother with the lip service?

And if it can’t take the time to stare Ben Nelson down, then it no longer deserves our support as a party.  Well, we’ve had that attitude since the RBC meeting of May 31, 2008.  We were ahead of the curve back then.  We warned you party loyalists that if you accepted the RBC hearing’s decisions without sticking up for the rights of the voters that the party would ignore your wishes in the future.  The result of the Obama camp victory was predictable.  And if the Joan Walsh’s of the world accept this bill as is without insisting on substantive changes before the Senate votes on the bill, then don’t be surprised at what comes after.

Here’s what’s going to happen:  Somewhere across the nation, some woman with an urgent need for reproductive healthcare will have a private conversation with her provider and that provider is going to tell her “No” and there won’t be a damn thing she can do about it.

If it can happen in Omaha, it can happen anywhere.

Roosting chickens, party unity and all that stuff, Joan.

Joan Walsh is having a Kool-aid flashback

kool-aidFrom Salon:

Barack Obama’s Labor Day speech to an AFL-CIO picnic in Cincinnati on Monday was strangely heartbreaking to me, both thrilling and painful. Painful because it felt so much like a fall 2008 campaign rally, back when this charismatic political superstar with an inspiring but untested trans-partisan appeal began to close the deal, pulling ahead of John McCain thanks to the economic meltdown and his tough-minded ideas about how to fix it. But a year later, Obama seems sadly mired in troubles he inherited, as well as those of his own making.

Yet it was thrilling because there was a glimmer that the promising newcomer has learned from his long hot summer of hate — from kooks with guns at his appearances to sad, uninformed paranoid parents keeping their kids away from his “stay in school” speech on Tuesday — and may finally deliver on the game-changing political promise that gave him the most presidential votes in American history last November.

Okay Joan, put down the Kool-aid and step away from the punchbowl. It was just a speech. We all know that Obama is very good at reading speeches off his TelePrompter.

Based on two speeches (one that nobody seems to have ever heard) you and a lot of other progressives fell in love with a skinny, big-eared handsome politician from Chicago’s poor South Side upscale Hyde Park neighborhood.  He bamboozled smooth-talked you into giving it up supporting him and now he is the President.

Get a grip and focus, Joan.  He doesn’t love you.  HE USED YOU.  To avoid misunderstandings, in the future I suggest you use this:

Continue reading

Thursday: Mutual, I’m sure

Hat Tip to Radiowalla at Alegre’s Corner for finding this little gem of an exchange between Dick Armey (his name conjures up so many amusing images) and Joan Walsh.
They were discussing Rush Limbaugh’s control over GOP members of Congress when Dick (so appropriate) starts talking over Walsh and finally tells her, “I’m so damn glad you could never be my wife”. I’m guessing that Walsh was equally relieved.
Note that Dick talks over Walsh, snickers and laughs at her comments and is generally dismissive of what she has to say.  This is not unusual behavior for men in the workplace but this clip is one of the best examples of the behavior of the species that has been caught on tape.
Yep, guys, we put up with this crap every single day.

Why Did Salon Care About a Freshman Senator’s Visit to Saddleback Mountain in 2005-2006?

Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh

Heidi Li linked to this story at Salon by Joan Walsh:

“I tried to keep an open mind when Obama began courting Warren three years ago; Salon sent a reporter to cover the popular young Democrat’s first visit to Saddleback Community Church, to talk about its laudable AIDS work, in 2006.”

This raises some questions for Ms. Walsh:

In 2006 Obama was a freshman Senator from Illinois who was not yet a Presidential candidate.  Rick Warren’s church is in California.  So why did Salon send a reporter?  Were you asked to send one, or were you told?

Either way, who made the request/gave the order?

Three years ago was 2005.  Obama had less than a year in office.  He had accomplished nothing.  2006 was an election year but Obama wasn’t on any ballot.  So why did you care about “keeping an open mind?”  How many other freshman Senators got the same attention? 

C’mon Joan, tell us more! 

Why did Salon give a fuck what Obama was doing back then??

Tuesday: In my mind I’m going to Carolina

Whoever keeps scheduling these training classes on primary days is a sadist. I’ll try to check in during breaks but I’m going to have to leave it to others to make posts for much of the day. You’re probably bored with me anyway and Kbird, BB, ronk and gary are my favorite reads these days.

So, Hillary should win Indiana. Of that we are fairly certain. It would be nice to win by 10 but we will be happy with winning. Carolina though is still anyone’s guess. Obama is likely to win it but by how much is just speculation at this point. Jerome Armstrong has been pretty good at predicting these things and he says Obama by 6. Or 12. *sigh*

Just keep sending good thots to Hillary. It’s going to be a good day for her.

In other news:

  • Obama tries to woo white working class voters by taking his jacket off and loosening his tie. This is to dispel the notion that he and Michelle are elitist intellectuals. Well, I would NEVER call Obama an intellectual. He’s smart, sure, but hardly an egghead. Hey, I’ve got an idea! Why doesn’t he stop calling them bitter and undignified? Or better yet, he could stop acting like an extra $30/month is pocket change. Or not call them cheap dates.
  • Gas tax? In Obama is wrong about the gas tax, George Frost at Salon says Obama was for it before he was against it. Obama voted to lower the gas tax in Illinois in 2000 and guess what? Some of that savings went into consumers’ pockets. Fancy that!
  • Joan Walsh talks about Michael Wolff’s sex life and projection. Apparently, Mr. Wolff thinks that we stupid old women should give up our sex lives like adults give up getting lots of gifts for Christmas. It’s just part of getting old for women. Men on the other hand, spend their middle age figuring out how they can have affairs with younger women and get away with it. And this is an explanation for what in this political season? That middle aged men can’t identify with any of the candidates and Obama is too young? Wha? Huh? How come Obama is the same age as me but he’s young and I’m old? Joan is right. The endless primary season is making people progressively sillier.

OK, Conflucians, here’s a fun little exercise. We know that Hillary will have a good day today so how will the media sing her death knell? Last night, Hardball raised expectations for her to stratospheric heights. If she doesn’t trounce him by 35 points in both states, she’s a loser. For some reason, they’ve also got it into their pinheads that she’s looking for a VP position if she doesn’t win North Carolina. That’s some mind reading because, to *me*, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Why would tbe more qualified person want to take second place to a guy she’s beaten in the primaries? Oh, I forgot. Guam was an Obama win so it counts. Florida and Michigan were Clinton wins so they don’t. All’s right with the world.

So, predict the spin tonight. Will it be, “Now that she’s won Indiana and held Obama to a single digit win in North Carolina, her campaign must be trying to figure out how to concede gracefully. She can’t keep winning like this and actually expect the superdelegates to make her the nominee. Howard, what’s your take on this? Will she sweep the remaining primaries and THEN concede or will it be sooner than that?”