The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

You can generally count on Obama…

… to do the wrong thing.

The Obama administration said it plans to appeal a ruling striking down the law (DADT), and asked a federal judge for an emergency stay of her decision.

And think the reason he has problems it that folks think he’s too left wing, but his policies were all good ones

During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called “tactical lessons.” He let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.” He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works. Perhaps he should not have proposed tax breaks as part of his stimulus and instead “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” so it could be seen as a bipartisan compromise.

As I’ve said before, the problem with this generation of Democratic politicians is they’re screwups and they are incapable of learning from their screwups.


Washington State May Cut Medicaid Drug Benefits


Repudiating Liberalism or Obama


  1. That’s most US politicians. The US system just isn’t very good at picking good people; the good ones are called “great,” just because their heads are on straight. But, what a clueless remark!

  2. To merely label them ‘screwups’ is somewhat charitable, IMO.
    A marked pattern of studied deficiencies occurring despite myriad ‘own goals’ by a dogged but fundamentally incompetent opposition and mass public exhortations to do better by taking more inclusive paths – ones that, say, don’t merely benefit one’s purse-string holders – might indicate something far less comically innocuous.


  3. “instead “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” so it could be seen as a bipartisan compromise.”

    Or he could have, maybe, made a big enough stimulus so it actually repaired the f**king economy. That would have been nice, too. Last time I checked, the supermarket won’t let you buy food with bipartisanship.

  4. Pepe

    Not to rehash the evil vs stupid debate, but well, the post invites it.

    Are they screw-ups who are incapable of learning, or do they only appear to be screw-ups because they publicly claim to believe X while really privately supporting Y?

    I think the answer is both.

  5. Bernard

    i read Holder will still prosecute even if California legalizes marijuana.

    Way to go Home Team!! Vote Democratic and get the Republican party platform.

  6. Z

    People in those positions generally have to be pretty smart to get where they are … for example, the fall-guy robo-signers didn’t manage to somehow trip their way to the top of one of our very powerful political parties. But then, once they get to the top and have all sorts of financial incentives to “fuck up” in favor of those that offer those incentives, they get all dumb all of a sudden. Wow! Remarkable!

    How is this for an hypothesis? Maybe they are not so fucking dumb, but no matter how smart they are they can’t defend their intellectually indefensible decisions. But, instead of admitting that they’re wrong … and admitting what entities those decisions were designed to benefit and who they were designed to fool and loot … hence biting the corporate hand that is there to feed them, they try to justify those decisions to conceal their true intentions and sound like a bunch of idiots in the process.


  7. zot23

    My prediction: In 20 years due to their inability to deal with the filibuster, we won’t have a Senate at all. Just a house making laws and a president to approve/veto them. The Senate is very steadily making an anchor out of itself in the quicksand of our times. They’ll be retired once we HAVE to get things done (which looks to be long before 2020).

  8. Formerly T-Bear

    Politics and politicians are corrupt, political parties are hollowed shells, fit only to ratify the corruption du jour. Law is sold to the highest bidder, the courts are prostituted to private agendas and alien ideologies foreign to traditional practice. Legislation is required but the legislators are whores sold to power, incapable of the most fundamental personal integrity, their presence blocking the ability to pass required law, the president and the executive have perfected the imperial presidency, protected by secrecy, spying surveillance, suppressed accountability and fear. The ability for self-correction is utterly compromised; there are no means to recover. The constitution is in tatters, passion, belief and lies rule the population, education and knowledge are discounted, unsold, unused. The only rational recourse is to withdraw consent, the madmen will soon enough bring down the house. Only then, out of the rubble that has consumed the errant wealth and flattened bankrupt power, can reconstruction begin, should any have the memory of how and why. To get there, consent is required to be withdrawn, no progress is possible without clearing the decrepit, rotted edifice; restoring the foundations upon solid grounds, and using every known device, rebuild the shelter that once was the patrimony of the nation and never again allow unregulated, uncontrolled, bankrupt power to threaten the public safety and common-wealth. Revolution first, revolution now; withdraw consent from the governing and the power they represent.

  9. anon2525

    Or he could have, maybe, made a big enough stimulus so it actually repaired the f**king economy.

    That is “inside the box” thinking. The left/liberal/progressive solution needs to be re-thought instead of continually calling for a bigger “stimulus.”

    At least two categories of actions need to be taken:

    1. Eliminate the parasites on the economy.
    2. Put in place a “backwards solution” to unemployment

    The Backwards Solution goes like this:

    1. Establish a job guarantee (economist Steve Keens’s term).
    2. Decide what problems need to be solved that are not being addressed. Create programs that would employ people to solve these problems.
    3. Figure out how to pay for it.

    This is “backwards” because the conventional wisdom starts with step 3 and works out “reasons” why it cannot be done.

    1. Ask how anything can be paid for and argue that there is no money for it.
    2. Declare that the gov’t. cannot solve problems and therefore no money should be spent by gov’t.
    3. Declare that only private companies (dictatorships) can create jobs, and therefore there can be no job guarantee.

    Propagandize on these three steps endlessly.

  10. anon2525

    “Steve Keens’s” should be “Steve Keen’s”

  11. jcapan

    It’s not about weakness or stupidity IMHO.

    Obama has self-identified as a New Democrat (euphemism for corporate fuckwhore DLC):

    These assorted centrists, eschewing populism b/c (ha!) it’s not a political winner, have instead turned to market-based solutions. In lieu of hostile opposition to corporate interests, they partner with/profit from the parasite class. They’re republicans with Ds next to their names. In their longing for power and lucre, they turned their backs on everything the party once stood for.

    As Thomas Frank has long contended, their abandonment of labor and the language of class has left the GOP (and now the Teaparties) to take up the mantle of populism (economics wholly sublimated beneath wedge-issue culture wars).

    They’re screwing things up for Americans, but it’s a very hard to make the case that they’ve failed to achieve their goals over the last 20 years. A likely single Obama term may change that but thus far wins for us do not parallel wins for them. Obama, he of the zero regrets, is doing exactly what he set out to do.

    What one might have concluded given conditions on the ground, is that he and his would have (despite their complete contempt for liberalism) embraced the practice temporarily b/c they could see it’s a winner politically. But they simply can’t fight for what they don’t believe.

    And let’s be honest, after the GOP takes over (at least) the house, the president will have a congress far closer to his own ideology–his ability to achieve his trojan horse agenda will be even closer to realization.

  12. Z

    Another thing that I marvel at is listening to commentators continually point out that obama inc. couldn’t do a worse job, if they tried, of persuading democrats to come out for the mid-terms to support congressional dems, while never ever considering the possibility that they ARE TRYING to LOSE the MID-TERMS becoz attaining their TRUE OBJECTIVES is EASIER with a REPUBLICAN CONGRESS.

    It just amazes me how far people will contort their logic to accommodate the premise that obama … and the democratic party, in general … actually has our best interests in mind, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary.


  13. Z

    And this sort of delusion that the dems and obama mean well keeps people hanging on to their precious party and voting for different dems that end up being corrupted by the democratic party leadership and infrastructure anyway instead of breaking off and building a powerful third party.


  14. jcapan


    The dem party is as poorly led as the Catholic Church. But no matter how criminal/otherwise malevolent the aims of these institutions, losing faith (even for the secular) is simply not an option for most. Being unmoored is just too terrifying to contemplate.

    Too many loyal dems think they’re independent b/c they’re capable of violently criticizing their party. But at the end of the day, if you go out and vote for Team D, you’re no better than authority-revering republicans. I may whinge about my spouse’s infidelity or abuse, but if I don’t walk away…

  15. jeer9

    Z nails it. The job of the Democratic party bosses is to stop progressive reform in its tracks when a wave of new blood enters Congress. Obama has done exactly that. (Not to beat a dead horse, but Walter Karp has analyzed the playbook.) Obama’s deal from the oligarchs for this favor is that they will nominate a loony Teabagger to oppose him in 2012 ensuring his re-election. You read it here first.

  16. dandelion

    Regarding gay rights in particular, I could never understand why people who thought so much of him because of his community organizing work in Chicago never also gave any weight to the conversion narrative he tells about his experience finding Jesus in Chicago. That narrative reads exactly like any other born-again narrative a Republican would write.

    Obama said on many occasions (even before he was the nominee) that he doesn’t support gay marriage because “his God” tells him marriage is between a man and a woman.

    Right-wing theocratic statements don’t get much clearer than that.

  17. dandelion

    Which is to say that Obama was always hiding in plain sight.

    Over at Open Left, Paul Rosenberg is tying himself in knots trying to sort out Obama’s psychology because he says we must understand the enemy in order to defeat him.

    But in my opinion, the real psychological target(s) are all those who could not/would not see Obama clearly. That’s the enemy (even if, in some cases, that enemy is “us”) that needs to be wrestled with, understood, and defeated.

  18. Z


    In regards to your comment:
    “But in my opinion, the real psychological target(s) are all those who could not/would not see Obama clearly. That’s the enemy (even if, in some cases, that enemy is “us”) that needs to be wrestled with, understood, and defeated.”

    Exactly. They’re part of the problem. They’re damn near as deluded and damaging as the republi-zombies. They’re enemies to the cause of repreentative government becoz they’ve allowed themselves to be herded up into one of the two corrupt parties that run our government … which itself is an enemy of the people.


  19. anon2525

    …breaking off and building a powerful third party…

    As a question of strategy which is the approach that is more likely to succeed: Forming a third party and getting it on the ballot in all states or regaining control of the Democratic party apparatus by removing the DLC from it? Historically, many people have tried the third party approach. For what it’s worth, Ralph Nader appears to be of the opinion that the two parties have (legislatively) raised the barrier to entry too high for a third party to be successful.

    If either a third party or a re-takeover of the Democratic party from the DLC were to be successful, they should make the following two items part of the party platform (and therefore a high priority when in office):

    1. Public financing of campaigns
    2. Removing the barriers to entry for third parties

  20. It’s not necessary that third parties win. It’s necessary that they join the conversation. Here’s one solid reason for voting Green: until the Greens get 5% of the population to vote for them, they are excluded from participating in debates. (And no, I’m not clear on exactly who is doing the excluding.)

    But: imagine if they did get over that 5% threshold, imagine how different televised debates would be if the Democratic candidate had to position him/herself in the middle between a right and a left, instead of just slightly to the right of a rightwing nutjob.

    The only way to pull the Democrats to the left is by empowering a gravitational force outside them that exerts that pull.

  21. Formerly T-Bear

    Blather away as much as you will about “D’s” or “R’s”, yammer on to your heart’s content, but it still will not change the fact that the political parties are empty illusions, devoid of their former substance, ghosts of dead forms that intermediated between power and the public.

    Neither political party exists; Republicans sold out long ago and are no more than robotic borg whose controlling program has dropped sufficient lines of instruction as to render themselves insane; Democrats, forsaking their successful coalition, brought on board those centrist and leftist portions rejected by the authoritarian Republicans from their party who by surreptitious, covert manipulation have taken over the control(s) of their political host. Always check to see the provenance of those controlling the checkbook of the party to see what is actually there, forget the propaganda which misleads and deceives.

    Both political parties are corrupted, their souls bought and paid for, puppets made to dance to divert attention away from the pickpockets in the crowd, removing everything of value from the audience who’ve paid to see the performance.

    If you want to preserve yourselves and your treasure, you must walk out of that performance, forget the entry price, it is gone, walk away from the crowd to better see who might have a hand in your pockets. Should this advice not be welcome, you can do as you wish and take the risks you want by doing so; enjoy the show, you are the main attraction. All the best …

  22. It seems worth quoting myself on this subject:

    The Obama administration has proven surprisingly politically inept. It appears that they do not understand the motivations of the people who elected them, nor their party’s own activists. The administration is skillful at persuading a broad public that they are what the public wants, but they seem to lack of the complementary skill of finding out what the public wants and satisfying those desires.

    WtF, Obama?

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