Skip to content

The Left Wing Case Against Obama and Obama’s Next Term

2012 November 3
by Ian Welsh

Matt Stoller’s made the left wing case against Obama, and then responded to his critics, who, he’s right, don’t address his points.  The two articles are excellent, and you should read them.

I haven’t really bothered writing that much about the election because it simply isn’t very important, despite the hysteria.  Romney would probably be worse on the margins, but the difference is at the margins, except, possibly, for the Supreme Court.  The most intellectually honest argument for Obama can be summarized as “he’s an evil man who has gutted the constitution and done everything possible to enshrine oligarchy, but he’ll probably appoint a Justice who will keep Roe. v. Wade and a few shattered spars of the Bill of Rights around.”

The key thing to realize is that Obama is the President who normalized Bush’s Republic.  He normalized routine civil liberties violations, normalized anti-immigrant raids, normalized the eternal war on terror, pushed executive power even further than Bush with a unilateral war against the wishes of Congress in Libya and by arrogating for himself the right to kill any American.  He made sure the rich not only stayed rich, in the face of a financial collapse which he could have used to break their power, but has increased inequality significantly.  The wealth and wages of ordinary Americans have dropped, the portion of the country’s income going to the wealthy has increased, and the US is well on its way to becoming a corrupt petro-state.  Nothing is more hilarious than Mayor Bloomberg endorsing Obama because of climate change, when Obama has quite deliberately overseen a huge increase in hydrocarbon production and openly embraces so-called “clean” coal.   Obama may agree that Global Warming exists, and Romney may pretend that it doesn’t, but the policies of the two are functionally identical and the money Obama spent on renewables was so horribly misspent as to do nothing but discredit the industry.

The argument for “who cares” is simple enough.  Yes, Romney will be worse than Obama in certain respects, but if Obama is not in charge, then the Democrats are far more likely to oppose both civil liberties absuses and efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Let me tell you how Obama’s second term will play out.

1) He will appoint a milquetoast “liberal” to the Supremes.  You’ll keep the remains of Roe vs. Wade, but he’ll keep doing things like overruling Plan B as an over the counter medication, because he doesn’t really believe that girls impregnated by their fathers have a right not to have the child.  And every case that enshrines oligarchy, like Citizens United or HCR, will go for oligarchy (you aren’t stupid enough to think that Roberts switched his vote for any reasons other than to give insurance companies their bailout and gut Medicaid, I hope.)

2) The economy will struggle along till he gets his grand bargain, then it will absolutely crater.  You’ve got a couple years of lousy but not awful economy at most, use it, because years 3 and 4 are going to be awful.

3) He will make a Grand Bargain.  Winning by only a small margin of the popular vote will help with this.  The rich will pay slightly more, but most of the money will come from cutting Social Security, Medicare and other such programs.  The Republicans will give him just enough votes to pass it, so that it will be the Democrats who have gutted SS and Medicare.

4) The Republicans will nominate a right wing crazy in 2016.  He will stand a good chance of winning, because the Democrats, having cut SS and Medicare will now stand for nothing other than “fear the Supreme Court!”  In fact, the Republicans will run as the defenders of SS and Medicare.

Because the Republican Congress is now extremely far right wing, in fact reactionary, when they get their President, they will be able to do almost anything they want.  And all they will need is the House and 51 votes in the Senate, because they will not play stupid games about the filibuster, they’ll pass under reconciliation or just do it with 51 votes and tell everyone to go fuck themselves.  There will be no nonsense about super-majorities.  HCR will, at that point, be removed or gutted.  The court decision making Medicaid optional, however, will remain the law of the land.

Reelecting Obama does mean a better economy for the next couple years.  It does mean that people who can afford health care with mandated issue, and who must have it to make the bridge to Medicare, will get that.  It means nothing else.  It will gut the Democratic coalition, it will make a reactionary right wing president far more likely, it will kick the restructuring of the economy which is needed down the road further, making it more difficult when, or rather if, it ever occurs.  It will make the Grand Compromise, meaning SS and Medicare cuts, far more possible than if Romney were in power and Democrats were opposing the bill.  And yes, poor women will still be able, at least theoretically, to get abortions (upper middle class women are always able to get them, since they can travel.)

Is it worth it?  I don’t, personally, think so.  As with Matt Stoller and many others, if I could vote, I wouldn’t vote Obama.  To be clear, I wouldn’t vote for Romney either.  I’d probably vote for Jill Stein, making a third party viable starts with, oh, voting for it

On edit: one more thing, there is no excuse to vote for Obama if you are not in a swing state.  NONE.  Vote third party.

32 Responses
  1. tatere permalink
    November 3, 2012

    i don’t think that’s entirely all of the difference, though the things i have in mind are pretty small-bore. basically it’s that Obama would passively allow good work inside departments and agencies, with relatively competent low-profile people filling positions he doesn’t really care about (or where the lip-service PR outweighs the cost to owners – same as most modern corps). for instance, science-based people at depts like Energy, NASA, etc. Romney would almost certainly stuff them with apparatchiks – the right cares about everything because of the crazy.

    and if by some unforseen turn of events, the Democrats take the House back in 2014 and retain the Senate, AND actually do away with the filibuster (i know this is verging on pony plan land but it’s not impossible), Obama would probably passively sign most decent bills they manage to pass.

    seems like it’d be pretty simple to make a matrix: bad things and good things that will or won’t happen under one but not the other. it’d be pretty short, which would reduce the arguments – forget about stuff that’s a matter of degrees. for example, the Grand Bargain is just as likely under one as the other. yes, more Democrats would oppose actions taken by Romney than the same actions taken by Obama. but not enough of them, not with a Republican House.

    i’d think the real path forward in the US, to the extent that there is one, is in the cities. maybe we’ll stop looking for the Next Great Leader and focus on the stuff that we can actually *do*. not much ego juice in that, though…

  2. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 3, 2012

    Unfortunately, what my contacts tell me is that Obama WH micro-managing extends way down the federal bureaucracy. Almost anyone who in theory has the power to do some good does not, in fact, have power to do good. You have to get pretty low level before they don’t keep their thumb on you.

    As for the rest, sadly, yes, pony land. Leaving aside all the other improbabilities, that Democrats would pass good bills is unlikely, the marginal Democratic votes in the Senate, in particular, don’t want them, and Pelosi has capitulated, she is now, for example, onside with the Grand Bargain.

  3. Enrico Palazzo permalink
    November 3, 2012

    Yes. Because the “both parties are the same and we should vote for ralph nader” idea worked out so well the last time.

  4. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 3, 2012

    One of the interesting things is how Democrats now pretend that the Florida election wasn’t stolen, but lost.

  5. Radical Livre permalink
    November 3, 2012

    I’d probably vote for Jill Stein, making a third party viable starts with, oh, voting for it

    I’m no expert in the US political system, but I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that if the Greens gets 5% of the vote, they get federal funds. That alone is reason enough for the Americans among us to vote for them or the Third Party of their own choice.

    This is especially true if they don’t live in swing states, and their vote wouldn’t matter otherwise. Third parties could do good education work if they had federal funds.

  6. coloradoblue permalink
    November 3, 2012

    Some people just don’t understand Barry. For instance he left in office many of the hacks installed by GWB instead of routing them out and putting in competent, non-partisan people. Why? Because Barry don’t care about nothing but Barry. He wanted to be the first AA prez and he made it, nothing else matters. After his second term, he’ll giddily go the way of Clinton who has built up a (reportedly) very nice $100 million, making sure he never has to look into the empty faces and lives of those he is leaving behind.

    As for the senate, too many D’s, including my/Colorado’s two Pretenda-Dems will vote happily with every bill that helps the oligarchs and f**ks the rest of us. If somehow the Romneybot 2.0 wins, I fully expect Michael Bennett to pull a ‘Changehorse’ and join the R’s. He never votes for anything other than the oligarchy anyway.

    Millions like me left the failed D party after the first two years of Barry. I can’t even begin to imagine what might be left after his second term.

  7. Radical Livre permalink
    November 3, 2012

    Yes. Because the “both parties are the same and we should vote for ralph nader” idea worked out so well the last time.

    Yes. Because the “both parties are not the same and we should vote for Barack Obama” idea worked out so well last time.

  8. mjames permalink
    November 3, 2012

    It’s really hard to read the vitriolic comments to Stoller’s second piece. The anger coming mainly from those who back Obama is overwhelming. Yet, I would bet the only issue on which there is any disagreement amongst those commenting is the issue of Obama himself. No one is defending Obama’s right to kill anyone of us at any time and for any reason he may choose; no one is defending his refusal to break up the big banks or to prosecute corporate criminals; no one is defending his record on the environment or employment.

    I do not see how I will be convinced to vote for Obama by calling me names, by saying a vote for Stein is really a vote for Romney, by saying I’m a foolish idealist. I would like to hear, instead, a reason to vote FOR Obama. What has he done for me or the causes that are important to me, which used to be the causes championed by the Democratic Party? And, yes, the Democratic Party used to represent unions and used to stand for protecting Social Security.

    I don’t get the anger and the belittlement. I am voting my conscience. I cannot vote for a war criminal. I cannot vote for Romney. I believe in voting. Stein has decent positions. She is not Romney. She is not a war criminal. Am I thrilled that it has come to this? No. But I think each time we say we have to choose the lesser evil, we wind up with worse and worse choices. If we say to the Democratic Party, we don’t accept what’s happening and we refuse to back you any more, the Party will have to accede or die. For sure, there will be no negotiating or strong-arming AFTER the election.

    There are people I respect who back Obama because they believe he is the lesser evil. I’m not going to fight with them. We agree on pretty much everything else. We simply disagree on this. I think Stoller has come a long way.

  9. November 3, 2012

    Y’all (including Stoller) lose me when you say things, as Stoller does, like this:

    It is remarkable to see the level to which Obama defenders have sunk. Let’s start with a basic problem – why is Obama in a tight race? Mitt Romney is more caricature than candidate, a horrifically cartoonish plutocrat whose campaign is staffed by people that allow secret tapings of obviously offensive statements. The Republican base finds Romney uninspiring, and Romney has been unable to provide one good reason to choose him except that he is not the incumbent. Yet, Barack Obama is in a dog fight with this clown. Why? It isn’t because a few critics are writing articles in places like Salon. The answer, if you look at the data, is that Barack Obama has been a terrible President and an enemy to progressives. Unemployment is high. American household income since the recovery started in 2009 has dropped 5%. Poverty has increased substantially. Home equity – the main store of wealth for the middle class – has dropped by $5-7 trillion, in contrast to the increase in financial asset values held by Obama’s friends and donors. And this was done explicitly through Obama’s policies.

    It is NOT at all clear to me that the reason why it is a tight race—which may not really be that tight in terms of electoral college votes, but we’ll see—is that Obama is insufficiently left-wing, or that lack of enthusiasm for Romney himself will keep the Republican base from voting and agitating against Obama.

    But even taking Stoller’s claim at face value, I’d suggest that there is a consistency problem when Ian uses Stoller’s article as support for a projection of the future that ultimately lands on this (from Ian):

    4) The Republicans will nominate a right wing crazy in 2016. He will stand a good chance of winning, because the Democrats, having cut SS and Medicare will now stand for nothing other than “fear the Supreme Court!” In fact, the Republicans will run as the defenders of SS and Medicare.

    Because the Republican Congress is now extremely far right wing, in fact reactionary, when they get their President, they will be able to do almost anything they want. And all they will need is the House and 51 votes in the Senate, because they will not play stupid games about the filibuster, they’ll pass under reconciliation or just do it with 51 votes and tell everyone to go fuck themselves. There will be no nonsense about super-majorities. HCR will, at that point, be removed or gutted. The court decision making Medicaid optional, however, will remain the law of the land.

    So the race is tight because Obama is insufficiently left-wing, and therefore, this will accrue to the benefit of reactionary right-wingers, who promise the same, only worse?

    Now I can guess what you’re going to say: that Obama is discrediting left-wing policy, which will cause the voter to shift rightward. I’d say that, given the dismal state of everything (I have never disagreed with Ian’s assessment of the major points), it’s surprising that Obama is being judged as the likely narrow winner at this point, if this is the correct model of the minds of the voters! Or that he is competitive at all. As in, why is he competitive even now if all that is needed to push voters into the arms of the reactionaries is the perception that Obama has not sufficiently implemented left-wing policy?

    I remember some version of all these arguments being pushed in 2008. They will come true any election now. Aaaany election now…

    Really, nothing has changed. Since about 2000, the American (online) left has been in a state of perpetual [i]Groundhog Day[/i], fighting the same bitter sectarian battles over the correct interpretation of American electoral politics.

    The simple answer is: if you want to work within American electoral politics, you must have somehow supported someone’s political career, or at least been seen to have done so. No one in the Democratic party believes that their electoral chances have anything to do with the support that they get from the left.

    If Obama loses because of a lack of left-wing votes, that will be (as it already has been) taken as a sign that the left is not capable or willing to support the career of the candidate that the Democratic party has produced. If Obama wins despite the lack of left-wing votes, it will show that the left is not electorally relevant. Either way, …

    And if Romney wins, it will give the Republicans to set in place the things that a future Democratic president will likely entrench.

    The whole argument is predicated on the idea that it is possible to escape the lesser evil dilemma. A very good dream that many people have, but it depends on the idea that by appearing to let the Democrats be defeated, it will push them leftward, after maybe a few years of very reactionary Republican government. The incentives do not work that way, and there are reasons for it.

  10. November 3, 2012

    *sigh* tag fail.

  11. Fork Freedom permalink
    November 3, 2012

    When will people get that a vote for any of them is a vote for the corporatocracy? By participating, you simply legitimize the illegitimate social contract. It’s time to think seriously about a stateless society. Sometime before the planet lights on fire would be great.

  12. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 3, 2012

    If Mandos agreed with me, I’d be shocked.

  13. November 4, 2012

    If Mandos agreed with me, I’d be shocked.

    Well, at the very least, I agree with your reasons for not having written much about this election. I haven’t spent even a fraction of the time I did arguing about it back in 2008, because nothing much has changed and its the same arguments on all sides all over again.

    So, I also agree with the premise that Obama is a right-wing git. I did back then too. I agree that the PPACA was a terrible outcome (with the caveat that I think it was better than no outcome, which would have put the whole issue on ice for a generation or three). Same for Hillary, same for Bill, same for…

    There are also logically coherent reasons not to vote. I don’t necessarily agree with them, but they’re definitely there:

    1. An interpretation of one’s moral obligations that prevents perceived positive affirmation of Obama’s actions.
    2. A desire to express rejection of the dominant social order by declining participation in its rituals. (Associated with anarchism, see Fork Freedom above).
    3. Apocalypse now is better than apocalypse later, since apocalypse is inevitable. (Didn’t you, Ian, write something like this once? I recall it having been a much better argument than the one you just made.)
    4. Similar to (3), heightening the contradictions.

    These are internally consistent ideas and the latter ones have *some* chance of actually being true (not high, but still). What is not coherent are arguments based on the belief that acting to permit Romney to win will have less of a rightward drifting effect than an Obama victory. Obama entrenched Bush’s activities because Bush was able to introduce them. Whoever follows a hypothetical Romney victory, if the Grand Collapse hasn’t happened by then, will also entrench whatever Romney pushed forward.

    If you want to engage with the American political system, then you have to do so using its own internal logic. It makes no sense to pull a Strether and completely ignore who is voting for the Republicans and what they are voting for. Anything else is trying to have ones cake and eat it too.

  14. rob permalink
    November 4, 2012

    The case against Obama should begin and end with his war crimes, particularly his cover-up of the bombings in Yemen on 12/17/2009, and subsequent pay off of Yemeni President Saleh, then his quid pro quo of health care, a five star hotel in Manhattan and protection of Saleh from his own people. This rises to the level of a heinous act of self serving murder of 21 children to begin with and the cover up which is far worse than Nixon’s Watergate job. For anyone calling himself a liberal or an American to not be familiar with this is ridiculous since it was testified to Congress in 2010 by Jeremy Scahill of the Nation. Add to this the fact that not a single journalist has questioned anyone in the Obama cabal, and you begin to realize the crimes for which this president should be charged.

  15. Eureka Springs permalink
    November 4, 2012

    The supreme argument, which is really just a buzz word talking point by the O D-fenders falls so flat upon the slightest research, it’s stunning.

    What the Dems did not do (hold impeachment investigations and take it from there) in the face of Thomas and wife taking Koch monies and failing to report it… says it all in a nutshell to me. However, in every place I look I see a horrible president and party in Democrats on the front of Justice.

    D’s always join republicans in super majority approval of every right wing supreme on the bench today. There is no way anyone should think D’s are opposition.
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/10/the-democrats-dubious-record-on-the-supreme-court.html

    They nominate/confirm so few. The process is horrific, veiled in obscure questions, especially lack of questions and lack of demands for clear answers.

    The Obama Holder justice department hands out rewards among it’s peers who did not prosecute banksters or tortures. Rewards themselves for this!
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/10/marcy-wheeler-eric-holder-rewards-the-teams-that-gave-torturers-and-mortgage-fraudsters-immunity.html

    And then to ignore what Obama and Holder argue for in front of the courts is to ignore so much of this countries tack to the right of Bush Cheney precedents.

    Nope, Ian.. I couldn’t disagree with your soft sell/pass on the supreme issue more. Anymore than I think giving people a pass for voting for Dems in swing states is correct. Why if anything voting third party in a swing state is most important! We must go for the jugular if we are to break free from these neoliberal totalitarians. We must break free of their (D vs R) beliefs, their framing, their injustice, wars, economics… all of it. Perhaps especially we must break free of a bribe based political and electoral system. D vs R’s will never do that from within…. but they will order pepper spraying or worse to those who demand it.

    I can’t wait for the day a third party vote decidedly makes a difference in key States. If the so-called (Stein or Johnson) left doesn’t do it with gusto soon… the D vs R extreme right element or worse will remain the status quo.

    I am not a humanitarian bomber or a neoliberal… therefore I am not now, nor will I ever vote Democrat…. Not even for dog-catcher.

  16. November 4, 2012

    Mandos:
    Throwing the big-banksters, who blew up our economy, is a left-wing position? Is that what politics in this country has come to? That the law applies to the rich, as well as the poor, is left-wing?

  17. November 4, 2012

    Throwing the big-banksters, who blew up our economy, is a left-wing position? Is that what politics in this country has come to? That the law applies to the rich, as well as the poor, is left-wing?

    That was ALWAYS a radical left-wing position. The aristocrats have ALWAYS been treated as above the law, because they were the law. The idea that the same law applies to the pluto/aristo/merito/whateverocrats is an exceptional product of modern developments.

  18. November 4, 2012

    Ian, I don’t understand why you wrote

    “He made sure the rich not only stayed rich, in the face of a financial collapse which he could have used to break their power, but has increased inequality significantly. The wealth and wages of ordinary Americans have dropped, the portion of the country’s income going to the wealthy has increased”

    followed later by

    “Reelecting Obama does mean a better economy for the next couple years”

    How do you reconcile those statements? If by “better economy” you mean “the stock market”, why should I care?

    Also, let’s make a huge leap of imagination and assume Obama appoints some manner of liberal to the Supreme Court. My response is: so what? Obama is going around killing his own citizens and spying on whomever he wants, so what difference does it make who is on the SC? They aren’t going to stop Obama’s fascist impulses and he almost certainly won’t appoint anyone who would, so why bring up the SC as a possible reason to vote for him? As for Roe Vs. Wade, the right wing is killing abortion rights at the state level and Obama is doing nothing to stop them (why not station federal marshals to protect abortion clinics for example?)

    Everything else you wrote I agree with. Keep up the great work.

  19. November 4, 2012

    “Yes. Because the “both parties are the same and we should vote for ralph nader” idea worked out so well the last time.”

    Do you have any evidence that third parties cost Al Gore Florida? If so, please present it. I also wouldn’t mind an explanation why hundreds of votes for third parties are condemned but thousands of registered Democrats who either stayed home or voted for Bush are not, but that’s optional.

  20. November 4, 2012

    “It is NOT at all clear to me that the reason why it is a tight race—which may not really be that tight in terms of electoral college votes, but we’ll see—is that Obama is insufficiently left-wing”

    But that’s not at all what Mr. Stoller wrote, is it? He wrote–accurately–that it is a close race because Obama has done a terrible job.

  21. November 4, 2012

    “That was ALWAYS a radical left-wing position.”

    Please. Reagan prosecuted financial fraud. Heck, George W. Bush prosecuted financial fraud. Obama has done nothing there.

  22. amspirnational permalink
    November 4, 2012

    Mandos

    High Finance is considered parasitical by traditionalist right-wingers,
    and authentic right-wing populists. “Big banksters” are certainly not considered aristocrats by same.

    The Koch Bros took over and coopted the early Tea Party which was something of a flawed expression of this on the authentic right.

    But yes the traditional “radical left” also shares something fo the same sentiment.

  23. rob permalink
    November 4, 2012

    In case anyone has not read this story which documents alleged war crimes:

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/156977/jeremy-scahill-testifies-congress-americas-secret-wars

    I’d be curious to hear from anyone on this, especially the following excerpt?

    “On December 17, 2009, an alleged al-Qaeda training camp in Abyan, Yemen was hit by a cruise missile killing 41 people. According to an investigation by the Yemeni parliament, 14 women and 21 children were among the dead, along with 14 alleged al-Qaeda fighters. A week later another airstrike hit a separate village in Yemen.

    “Amnesty International released photographs from one of the strikes revealing remnants of US cluster munitions and the Tomahawk cruise missiles used to deliver them. At the time, the Pentagon refused to comment, directing all inquiries to Yemen’s government, which released a statement on December 24 taking credit for both airstrikes, saying in a press release, “Yemeni fighter jets launched an aerial assault” and “carried out simultaneous raids killing and detaining militants.

    “US diplomatic cables now reveal that both strikes were conducted by the US military. In a meeting with General Petraeus in early January 2010 President Saleh reportedly told Petraeus: “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.” Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister Alimi then boasted that he had just “lied” by telling the Yemeni Parliament “that the bombs… were American-made but deployed by” Yemen. In that meeting, Petraeus and Saleh also discussed the US using “aircraft-deployed precision-guided bombs” with Saleh saying his government would continue to publicly take responsibility for US military attacks. It is clear that we have only seen the beginning of the shadow US war in Yemen and Congress must demand accountability and examine the full extent of the lethal actions currently underway in Yemen.”

  24. S Brennan permalink
    November 4, 2012

    Hey Ian, I can not agree with the Supreme Court argument…Dems should be stripped of that Brand.

    Biden is the guy who put Thomas on the court by preventing 12 other women from testifying with their own stories of Thomas’s sexual abuse while on the job. Who’s more sordid, an abuser, or an enabler of such abuse?

  25. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    November 4, 2012

    CoT [Change of Topic]
    Yesterday (Saturday, 3 Nov.) I awoke to being informed two people, he 88 and she 85 were found in their home (Wednesday, 31 Oct.) by their daughter, the police are investigating “an unattended death”. He had a history of heart problems, she had suffered a stroke sometime earlier. Both grew up, lived, farmed and had their family in a small rural village and took their part in their community’s caring for each other as central to their lives, that was just the way they were, always first to help or lend a helping hand when anyone else needed. They retired to a larger town where there were facilities for their declining years if needed, but independent living was their choice as long as they were able. Since what transpired is as yet unknown, charity would have their likely assisted suicide and suicide as cause of their deaths as neither can be found guilty, or defend themselves now of murder in a court of law, as if those still exist, or count for much.
    These two people lived on a street, in a town, in a county, in a state, in a country that has lost all right to call itself civilized, or even human. They lived in the belly of a monster, created of willful ignorance, self-blessed, arrogant, self-righteous, intolerant, narrow-minded and without horizons to their world. These people, living anywhere else would have been held in respect on account of their age alone, but not so where they lived. They would have received every kind of assistance had they lived elsewhere, health care, social assistance, whatever, but were faced with poverty and ruin where they did live, only their child to see after their welfare, their chosen world indifferent to their needs, indifferent to the needs of most of the citizens of that world or any other world not them. This is a world not worthy of respect, this world is not worthy of caring, this world is not for saving, it is a world of poison, a cancer upon civilization, and may its hours be numbered in the light of day.
    This world was made by common agreement that this should be so. None who participate in its construction can be innocent of their handiwork, whether proactively building or passively allowing its progress, the blood that mortars its parapets stains all its citizens finding refuge there as well, even those who have withdrawn consent still have those stains upon their spirit, stains that do not launder away, and are visible to all others not resident to the fabled shinning city upon a hill. When the hearts of these two lifelong lovers ceased to beat, so too did the heart of this now alien world that has been built in the old republic’s name.
    If you do not know what you are about, you are certainly cursed.

  26. S Brennan permalink
    November 4, 2012

    I really think this downward spiral we are in ends in coup…it is the nature of large republics with standing armies. Strangely, both conservative and liberals [not to be confused with right wing and "progressives"] friends I have talked see this as the natural outcome. A surprisingly high number of these observations come unsolicited and at odd moments…so it’s not in the media, I think, it’s people subconsciously remembering history from school days long ago.

    Military officers like their corruption low key, with elements of self discipline, the wholesale looting of the US empire will grate on their nerves…people will say a coup will doom our economy, military men can’t run an economy, that might be true, but the US experience in WWII would indicate there are other options.

    The soldiers oath [I took it] at induction puts the US Constitution above the president…congress, courts and president routinely trample upon it…the legal justification is there.

  27. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 4, 2012

    Romney is a moderate Republican. You aren’t going to get 20 years of Dem presidents. The next Republican nominee/president will be much to the right of Romney, with a much more right wing Congress to work with.

    If you keep voting for evil, expect to keep getting it.

    Economy: it is in Obama’s interest to keep the economy together until he has his grand bargain. It is Romney’s interest to have his recession right away, so that the economy is in recovery when he runs for reelection.

  28. November 4, 2012

    High Finance is considered parasitical by traditionalist right-wingers,
    and authentic right-wing populists. “Big banksters” are certainly not considered aristocrats by same.

    The Koch Bros took over and coopted the early Tea Party which was something of a flawed expression of this on the authentic right.

    “Traditionalist” right-wingers and “authentic right-wing populists” are almost to a man deeply involved in goldbuggery which often takes the form of its own special very precious grift. They are not the friends of the left or in any way allied. Their complaint is that the banksters of today are the wrong aristocracy, and that only in the light of True Worth, now obscured by the socialist perfidy of “fiat”, can the holy Elect be revealed. And once that Elect is taken out of its obscurity through the clarifying light of gold, you can be sure that they will come up for a justification for every manner of abuse and embezzlement, because in that world, they will be visible as the just right of the rulers/owners.

    The Koch Brothers didn’t “co-opt”—as rentiers and resource-extractors, they claimed rightful headship of that movement. Who did they “co-opt”? A popular and effective movement was built around them!

    Culture matters. The squishy issues that the “guns-and-butter” left like to do deny really do matter. And by culture, I mean symbolism, and market research.

  29. viajera permalink
    November 4, 2012

    Romney would probably be worse on the margins, but the difference is at the margins, except, possibly, for the Supreme Court.

    That’s nice for you that the difference between Obama and Romney is an abstraction you can hand-wave away as just “at the margins”. For me and the millions of other women of reproductive age, the difference is HUGE and REAL.

    I’m a progressive, and I don’t like Obama’s economic and foreign policies any better than you do. But I don’t have the luxury of acting as if there is little to no difference between the parties. The Repubs think that rape is a gift from God, for maude’s sake! They want to make contraception difficult to obtain, and abortion illegal – with no exceptions for life of the mother or rape victims.

    I’d much rather have universal health care than Obamacare. But you know what Obamacare gives me that Romney has sworn to take away on Day 1 of his presidency? Annual visits and contraception covered without a co-pay, pre-existing conditions covered, screening and counseling for STDs and DV. Just for starters. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing – and nothing is what Romney is promising to give us.

    I bought into the “no difference between the parties” hype and voted for Nader in 2000. The Bush years taught me otherwise, and the War on Women has only gotten worse in the meantime.

  30. November 4, 2012

    That’s nice for you that the difference between Obama and Romney is an abstraction you can hand-wave away as just “at the margins”. For me and the millions of other women of reproductive age, the difference is HUGE and REAL.

    Bingo. Stupak is small fry compared to what the Republican base will at this point demand if given the validation of a Romney victory.

  31. Celsius 233 permalink
    November 4, 2012

    @Formerly T-Bear
    November 4, 2012

    None who participate in its construction can be innocent of their handiwork, whether proactively building or passively allowing its progress, the blood that mortars its parapets stains all its citizens finding refuge there as well, even those who have withdrawn consent still have those stains upon their spirit, stains that do not launder away, and are visible to all others not resident to the fabled shinning city upon a hill. When the hearts of these two lifelong lovers ceased to beat, so too did the heart of this now alien world that has been built in the old republic’s name.
    If you do not know what you are about, you are certainly cursed.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Indeed and amen…

  32. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 4, 2012

    Gonna happen anyway, children. Gonna happen anyway. You aren’t getting 20 years of Democratic presidents and every Dem moves to the right.

    Here’s what happens when Obama wins: he guts SS and Medicare. You already gave up mandatory Medicaid in order to get Obamacare, and Obamacare WILL be gutted the second you get a Republican President, and Medicaid will be cut back in stages.

    Your abortion rights are gone, already, you just don’t know it. To buy 4 more years, you will sell your future, just as you have election after election for 30 years now.

    There’s a road in America leading to economic apocalypse and a loss of all your rights, and you have no idea how to get off it, and sneer at anyone who suggests how. Obama is pushing you to a petro-state, you WON’T HAVE A FUCKING JOB IN 10 YEARS AND YOU WON’T HAVE MEDICAID AND YOU WON’T HAVE ANY FUTURE.

    Okay. That’s what you want. That’s what you’re going to get. You want your destruction to be bipartisan and you refuse to take any way out.

    Fine by me. Don’t let me get in the way of your self destruction.

    This is why I hardly write any more, there’s no point in talking to most of you. The most left wing people in the US are a bunch of ostriches with their heads in the dirt.

    You’re going to lose everything, including your abortion rights. Everything. You are going to have a straight up Russian style collapse, but worse.

    And, based on your actions and your words, it’s what you want.

Comments are closed.