I've just spent many hours grading 50 research papers (fortunately from upperclassmen) of considerably varying quality; accordingly my brain is oatmeal. Not the fancy steel-cut kind, but the store brand Instant kind that ends up looking like a cross between that paste they fed RoboCop and an amusement park vomit patch liberally sprinkled with sawdust. I have an Epic Funny that I planned to run today but it's just not gonna happen at the moment with two final exams to dish out and hurriedly grade starting at 8 AM tomorrow.

As an aside, I never feel bad about whining about having to get up before 8. I know a lot of you get up at 5 or 6, but I'll bet that those of you who do aren't up working until 2 AM every night. It's a fair tradeoff. But I digress. Is it possible to digress in a post about nothing?

Can we pretty much stick a fork in Obama at this point? Mike has the fancy high-end take on the recent "deal" he made over extending tax cuts to your corporate lords and masters, a deal in which, according to this much less intricate analysis, the serfs (surprisingly!) get reamed.

So, we all understand what the score is. Half the country thinks he is some combination of Satan, Osama bin Laden, and Stalin. His liberal base struggles mightily to resist the urge to puke every time he opens his mouth to explain why trading $25B in unemployment extension over 13 months for $200B in top-bracket tax cuts over two years was a good deal ("I agreed to buy the GOP a Ferrari, but it's a great deal for us because they said we can borrow it for a day. If they're not using it.") A lot of those enthusiastic new-ish voters who showed up in 2008 will never be seen again. What happens now?

The easy answer is that he gets his lunch handed to him, or more accurately that he loses Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida (not to mention ACC states like North Carolina and Virginia that he had no business winning in the first place). That's plausible.

Equally plausible is that, as usual, a good percentage of liberals, black & hispanic voters, young people, etc. – the usual Democratic suspects – will drag themselves to the polls to cast a vote for Obama with a profound sense of shame because, really, what else are you going to do? And if the GOP manages to nominate someone who is enough of an idiot (e.g. Palin) the "moderates" in the electorate will, with great disgust, cast Obama votes because they just can't stomach a country run by that idiot. Thus Obama, much like Bill Clinton, wins a second term even though no one much likes him, solely on the weakness of the alternatives.

When I see the list of ass clowns and retreads the GOP is kicking around for the 2012 nomination, the second option seems plausible. But if by some stroke of luck or strategy they can find and nominate a decent candidate, let's be honest: you can stick a fork in BO.

That said, lots can change in two years. We saw that between 2008 and 2010. By 2012 things could be…well, much worse.

32 thoughts on “FORK-STICKING”

  • I can't remember exactly how he put it, but Stephen Fry was asked about Obama in early 09, and basically what he said was "Oh, Obama will undoubtedly be a disappointment. Politics is always disappointing, and politicians always end up sneaking out the back door."

    Which got me thinking, the only politicians we really revere are the ones that got capped before they had a chance to flop terribly and let everyone down. Take Lincoln. There is no way in hell he could have managed Reconstruction with anything resembling grace. It would have been ignominy and scorn heaped upon him and the Republicans from 1865 till the end, and we'd probably have Thomas Jefferson on the 5 spot.

    It has to really sting for Obama that all those times he said "progress will be slow, and there will be setbacks, and change doesn't happen overnight", none of us were really listening to what he was REALLY saying, which was "Hope, yes, but please not too much."

  • You're right about one thing. If anyone from the currently discussed GOP field gets the nomination they'll definitely be to President Obama what Bob Dole was to President Clinton. A pushover nominee that any candidate with half a brain can ream.

  • All of this hating on Obama is like getting pissed at the tooth fairy for turning out to be yo mama. After decades of rampant political corruption and egregioius mismanagement, our country is finally, thoroughly fucked up. Each and every one of us — the represented — are complicit. We entrusted our precious country, over and over again, to a veritable rogues gallery of gypsies, tramps and thieves, while we went about our business (and they went about theirs).

    Don't blame the sacrificial lamb when it turns out to be just a sheep . . .

  • Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I will keep the Christmas sunshine flowing on the Right. (This is the last time, I promise…)

    John, the suntan man, and Magic Mitch come January (and following) will not get the message your beloved T-tards have been shouting for the past couple years. That and the wonderful herd of slugs that the Rs will put up for candidates come '12. will fracture the Rs into the DIABLOs (Democrats In All But Label Only) and the Conservatives.

    I submit that EVERY(DAMN)BODY in the USA will be unhappy, and the now tarnished Messiah will return to D.C.



  • At least Clinton stood up to Gingrich in '95, forcing Newt's hand and causing the government shutdown which got blamed (rightly or wrongly) on the Rs. Dole was a weak-ish candidate, yes, but Clinton did some things after the '94 mid-term shellacking that showed he had something of a spine.

    Obama? So far, not so much. He's got the whiff of Carter about him, rather than Clinton. Yeah, a lot can change in two years, but as of now, I agree with your assessment, Ed. Only chance in hell he gets re-elected is if Palin or Newt (or maybe Huckabee, but he's got that folksy charm that can act as camouflage) gets the R nom.

    It's funny – for values of funny that mean "not really funny at all" – because in any other developed democracy in the world, Obama's a conservative, or a right-leaning centrist at the very least. If we weren't on the long, slow march to fascism, the Rs would nominate *Obama*. Really, what would they lose? He's already doing most of what they want anyway.

  • Wow, our lives are similar. I'm careening through research papers, too and give my exam tomorrow at 8:30.

    But I disagree that Obama is toast. The poutrage on the internet is largely confined to upper middle class, middle aged folks like, well, I'm guessing, us.

    Everything turns on the economy. So Obama had to get the economy going and that necessitated giving in to tax cuts for the rich.

    He will need to pick good, visible fights with the GOP over the next two years and then find a way to make the argument that he is still opposed to tax cuts for the rich. He stepped all over his message on that one, but he needs to keep repeating that hostage taker line until it becomes a cliche.

    The GOP are really good at messaging, and they understand that repetition is more important than truth. I actually thought his presser was good on those issues, but he needs to lather, rinse, repeat for the next 24 months.

  • 'Murikins' like someone that stands up for their principles, but Obama appears to be caving in too easily every time he goes up against the Regressive Party. Even if he'd gotten a one for one deal on tax cuts and unemployment, he would have come across as being stronger. The 2 for 1 deal makes him look weak, like he is actually favoring the rich over the unemployed. And it's not too smart to kick this down the road to the next election cycle. It would have been better to hash this out again next year and make the Regressive Party fight for tax cuts for the Uber-Rich.

  • I was one of those enthusiastic newish 2008 voters, though the reasons I voted for Obama over McKinney or Brian Moore (aside from the fact that Moore was a total dunce) was a vague sense of wanting to be on the winning team, and the idea that enough Dem votes might make Texas a viable swing state a few years down the line.

    And yeah, not only will I not be voting for Obama, I'll likely never vote for another Democrat.

  • The easy answer is that he gets his lunch handed to him, or more accurately that he loses Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida (not to mention ACC states like North Carolina and Virginia that he had no business winning in the first place)

    Don't forget the now-apparently-red Wisconsin. Unless Russ Feingold primaries Obama (and there really are a bunch of people here who would vote Russ for Prez who didn't bother to come out for the Senate election), I'd hazard to say this state isn't going blue in 2012.

  • The Man, The Myth says:

    Its so easy to blame President Obama for this whole thing so most people are. Who likes anything hard? I'll be an apologist. His rhetoric of hostage taking is spot on, it was either cave to rich tax cuts or let people run out of unemployment. It does stink – but he had zero choice. I will still point to the good things: the demographics are on the side of the liberals and progressives, most young people are tuned into the environment, creating a more equitable society, and changing our transportation policies to make it easier to get around our cities with public transportation. In the short term we might even lose in 2012 and Obama appears to be another milquetoast politician – we will win long term. The southern rural party are going to die off in 10-20 years and we will have total control of the world then.

  • "Fair and Balanced" Dave says:

    When I see the list of ass clowns and retreads the GOP is kicking around for the 2012 nomination, the second option seems plausible. But if by some stroke of luck or strategy they can find and nominate a decent candidate, let's be honest: you can stick a fork in BO.

    A "decent" Republican wouldn't make it past the Iowa caucuses. The Quitter isn't a shoo-in for the 2012 nomination for a couple of reasons:

    1. The fat cats are nervous about Palin actually calling the shots. The whole purpose of bomb-throwers like Palin, Bachmann, and media neanderthals like Beck, Limbaugh, and Hannity is to direct the anger of the rubes towards the "libruls" rather than the Wall Streeters who are the ones actually screwing up the country.

    2. Palin doesn't have a lock on the wingnut vote. Mike Huckabee will also attract a lot of the religious extremists.

    3. Palin sucks at the kind of campaigning you a candidate needs to do in places like Iowa and New Hampshire.

  • Voting Solves Nothing says:

    As a healthy, middle class, straight, white male, Obama has done absolutely nothing for me. People like me have it pretty good in America, but that's beside the point. I wanted a few simple things from this president, and I got none of them. I wanted us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay closed, and some kind of public option for health insurance…all things that he said he would do. He did none of them, and actually made all of them worse. And if that's the way that Democrats behave, then what's the point? The only reason that I have to vote for Democrats is that they're not as bad as the republicans, but it's getting harder and harder to make that distinction any longer.

  • He did none of them, and actually made all of them worse.

    I can see "not doing them", but I don't see how he made anything aside from Afghanistan demonstrably worse. Maintaining the status quo in Guantanamo isn't really "worse", and I don't think HCR or the withdrawal from Iraq is "worse".

  • Candidate Obama on Iraq

    "I support beginning the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq immediately, and under the plan I introduced in January 2007, we would have begun withdrawing forces engaged in combat operations on May 1, 2007. A withdrawal of our troops is the best leverage we have to press the Iraqi political leaders to make the political compromises necessary to end their civil war."

    On the Afghan War Candidate Obama 07/20/08 from

    'Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday that United States needs to focus on Afghanistan in its battle against terrorism.

    "The Afghan government needs to do more. But we have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent here in Afghanistan. And I believe this has to be our central focus, the central front, on our battle against terrorism," Obama said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."

    "I think one of the biggest mistakes we've made strategically after 9/11 was to fail to finish the job here, focus our attention here. We got distracted by Iraq," he said.'

    This is the standard DEM talking point pretty much since 09/11. W took his eye off the ball etc.

    VSN: I think you (and a lot of Ds and liberals) projected your desires on BHO about Afghanistan.

    He let you down on Iraq and Gitmo and the public option, but not Afghanistan.


  • There's absolutely zero chance of this fool getting reelected. He does not know how to play hard ball; that much is clear. When Kyl says that the GOP won't vote for START because the US first needs to upgrade its nuke stockpile, Obama should say, "Fine, we'll do the upgrade in a blue state." When the GOP says that they don't want to renew alternative energy subsidies, he should say fine, "But, we're increasing the percentage of domestically produced ethanol in our gas by 5%." When the GOP says that they want tax cuts for the rich, he should say, "Fine, but we need to do base re-alignment that entails adding more military bases in blue states while closing red state bases." What Obama has yet to figure out, and never will because he's so much like Clinton in that he wants to be loved so badly by the elites, is that, from a politically standpoint, the GOP has figured out since Reagan how to employ the art of political castling (one of the strongest and easiest moves in chess). Always, protect what is most dear to you and then outflank and attack. The country is already in a tail spin. It's over people; the lights just haven't been turned out in the stadium yet. However, the longer the Democratic leadership waits to play political chicken with the fools on the right, the damage, once the country finally implodes, will be that much more severe. Yeah, no way he wins in 2012.

  • If I had $100,000, I would bet it all on Palin not running in 2012. I don't even understand why this is a topic of debate. "Make 9 figures a year talking, or actually have the hardest job in the world? Hmm…"

    Not much of a question there.

  • The Regressives won't run any of the mengerie usually discussed but some stong-chinned conservative governor with no dirt in his past. Pawlenty blew it, but there are others.

    Obama, the enigma: Frank Rich expressed a good theory this past Sunday about Obama being a victim of Stockholm Syndrome:

    My own insight is that Obama "negotiates" with the Republicans as if he were talking to a foreign power, e.g. North Korea or Russia or Iran, never daring to badmouth the enemy. Substitute Amadinejad for Boehner and you'll see what I mean.

    Other than having a residual curiosity about Obama's personality, I can't argue with Ed nor would want to.

  • Voting Solves Nothing says:

    evrenseven Says:
    "If I had $100,000, I would bet it all on Palin not running in 2012."

    I agree with you, but for slightly different reasons. You're correct about the easy money vs. hard job reason, but it's also because '08 was Palin's peak of attractiveness. She will only get more wrinkled and less attractive by 2012, and her looks are the only thing that she has going for her. Once she loses those, it's over.

  • You're probably correct. Barring Obama becoming some kind of miracle worker in the next two years, he won't have much more than the damage control vote to rely on.

  • She will only get more wrinkled and less attractive by 2012, and her looks are the only thing that she has going for her.

    You're kidding, right? Two words: Botox and Photoshop.

  • Alot can happen in two years, and probably will. We have faced somw kind of shit storm fairly regularly in the recent past few years. Game changers that have impacted everyone. I think there is more of that coming.

  • I think Jesse Ventura was elected in this type of situation. His campaign became viable because of his performance in the debates.

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