LOUD NOISES

Tuesday was a special kind of hectic. A small kitchen fire that happened while I was in the shower caused a little bit of damage and a whole lot of headaches. After an initial scare with the girls, all four of the rats turned out OK. That fireman who gave your first grade class the talk about what to do in case of fire was not kidding; even though only a relatively small amount of fabric burned, the (equally small) house filled with heavy, acrid, "someone is burning synthetic materials" smoke in a hurry. Twelve hours later, my eyes are still burning and everything smells like a bonfire of wet leaves. Other than the odor, which I expect to linger for a short while, no mammals were injured and no real damage occurred. I have to admit, though, that it was pretty scary for a few minutes until I figured out what was going on, evacuated the rats, and put out the fire.

I don't want to name names or point the finger of responsibility, but let's just say that a valuable lesson about storing one's rayon shawl and pile of acrylic yarn handiwork on a lit stovetop burner was learned by all.

That is a long way of saying, "Pardon me, for this may be of poorer quality than I originally intended."

I am on all kinds of political email lists, none more consistently irritating than the official Obama list. Many of you are familiar with the faux-inspirational messages that pop up in your inbox every few days, purportedly authored by Michelle, Joe Biden, or even The Man himself. It is interesting to me from an academic perspective to see a communications strategy unfold, and for the last several months the Obama people have been hitting the "Emphasize how much we have accomplished, not what we failed to accomplish" talking point with the discipline of a Buckingham Palace guard. It hasn't really worked, but it isn't for a lack of effort. You may even remember the charming What the Fuck Has Obama Done So Far? website which garnered some attention right before the election. More recently the emails have been trumpeting, quite predictably, the DADT repeal.

The repeal is indeed an important victory for anyone to the left of Dog the Bounty Hunter on social issues, but it's also a great example of why people who supported Obama in 2008 are so disappointed with the first two years. A sampling of the accomplishments touted by the aforementioned website: expanding funding for private spaceflight programs, expanding the eligibility for Pell Grants, increasing funding for National Parks & Forests by 10%, appointed the nation's first Chief Technology Officer, extended Federal benefits to same-sex partners, etc. and so on. Those are all really nice things. But it's all low hanging fruit. What of that is particularly controversial aside from the inevitable (and ultimately meaningless) hysteria of the hardcore right-wing base? Which of these involved a real a legislative battle? Which of these things was in any way, you know, difficult for him to accomplish with large majorities in both chambers?

Disillusionment arises from the fact that these "victories" aren't the kind of thing one celebrates. In American football, no one congratulates the kicker for making an extra point. The kicker doesn't run around celebrating wildly either. It's just expected. Failure to make the kick would be a sign of staggering incompetence, but making the kick isn't a sign of much at all. It just means you have enough talent to accomplish the bare minimum expected of your job. The kicker really gets a pat on the back and an enthusiastic group hug from his teammates when he makes the 50 yard kick through wind and snow. That's impressive. That's an accomplishment. That's something to celebrate. Take a lap around the field, kid. You did good.

Obama is not getting credit for his "victories" so far because they are not victories in the fights he was elected to fight. None of this represents "change", if I may revert to the campaign's slogan for a moment. Obama, like all modern presidents, has meekly backed down from even a token challenge to the political power structure in this country. For all the talk of health care reform and financial reform, the end result has been exactly the same: the people with all the money get exactly what they want. Every time.

We win issues like DADT, for example, because our corporate masters do not care about it. If they did, their lobbying would certainly dictate the outcome. But they don't. It matters not one bit to Wall Street if DADT is enacted, repealed, or covered in rich, creamy frosting. Obama can win these fights all day. However, the second something that has the potential to affect profit margins is on the table the lobbyists and CEOs make it clear to the President that such issues are off limits and such behavior will not be tolerated from him.

In essence the Obama presidency thus far has proven that We can win if and only if big business has no dog in the fight. When it does, all bets are off. The President can continue trying to convince people to celebrate the fact that he can sink six-inch putts and kick extra points as though doing so is a great accomplishment. Alternatively, he could find enough of his balls to actually fight and perhaps even win a battle against meaningful opposition. Standing up to Maggie Gallagher, Fox News, and the other neanderthals who fly into a rage over gays in the military is one thing. Standing up to the elites who run this country is quite another.

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46 Responses to “LOUD NOISES”

  1. Ben Says:

    . . . is Dog the Bounty Hunter a social conservative? He's certainly liberal when it comes to mullets.

    Glad no one got hurt.

    Nice rant, but Obama's strategy of "give Corporate America what it wants" was pretty clear when he was a Senator and when he was running. This 2006 article is a little twee, but it does a good job of showing how assiduously Obama's tongue works the shaft that drives corporate profit:

    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2006/11/0081275

    Freaking ethanol, for God's sake.

  2. Paul Camp Says:

    My friend Amy loves peanut butter. She buys it in those huge plastic tubs.

    She used to live around the corner from me in grad school. One morning, she woke up, made a peanut butter sandwich, and went to take a shower, leaving the tub on the stove.

    Then her roommate, Therese, craved a morning tea and put the pot on before going off the her shower.

    At least, she thought it was the teapot burner she turned on.

    Thus began the Great Pnut Butter Conflagration of '88 and Amy's enduring nickname — Smokey.

  3. J. Dryden Says:

    It seems as if all recent presidents would rather be seen as cowards/do-nothings than as losers. That is, all of them have issues that they'd clearly *love* to fight for–to really go out and make a lot of noise about, and twist a lot of arms over, and basically do all the things that LBJ did so well. Yet none of them has the balls to face the fact that when you fight, you inevitably lose. Not every time, of course, but when you fight, you *will* get beaten, and often. Does this mean that you don't fight, so as to preserve your image as a "winner"? Well, only if "winner" is the same as "non-loser."

    By that standard, I am the winningest pro-athlete, hedge-fund manager, blues guitarist, and competitive eater in history, having never "failed" at any of these things. I am clearly not fit to be president, however, if that kind of "winning record" is my criteria for doing my job.

    Let us recall the merciless beat-down that FDR endured when he tried to override the pesky "check and balance" aspect of our government by packing the Supreme Court. He got clobbered mercilessly (and rightly so, thank God for posterity.) It was a loss-of-losses. But that's what happens when you *try*. Only someone with balls–genuine clockweights–will ever get beaten–but the loss will not only be merely temporary: it will fuel the urge to fight. And, ultimately, win.

    Or, you know, go down in ignominious defeat. But surely that's a preferable case to present when meeting one's Maker than "Hey, I didn't want them to say mean things about me on Fox & Friends, so I kept my head nice and low and made nice with everyone!"

  4. anotherbozo Says:

    One satisfaction of living in this downward-spiraling dystopia is having Ed express my outrage better than I ever could, with particulars well beyond my expertise.

    There seems to be a paradox: if the rich always get what they want, why fight them? Obviously there can be some victories, sometime, at least temporarily. And at least with a public battle with issues defined, a few more citizens might be stirred from their comas.

    I'd be interested in a comparison between FDR's and BHO's governing styles and political environments, though it would have to be highly speculative, mutatis mutandis. FDR was willing to take on some fights against the entrenched interests, I believe, squaring off against them ("I welcome their hatred" etc.), though I'm sure he had to cave on some issues. But he didn't have Fox News, PAC money run amok, a galvanized and highly organized extragovernmental right wing. OTOH, he didn't have immediate TV access to his constituents, the TV (or internet) pulpit. But yes, we do seem to have a wuss for a president. As concerns issues the rich care about, however, don't we have to go quite far back in history to find anyone who wasn't?

  5. Jonas Says:

    Well, there was that whole healthcare thing.

  6. sluggo Says:

    None of the reforms FDR enacted would have taken place had we not bottomed out as an economy. People ( and this country) only change when the threat becomes big enough.

    While I do want to see Card Check, Single Payer etc, I dread the economic collapse that would be needed to get the nation off it's butt to enact these reforms.

    Seriously Ed, this is the best political writing since Royko.

  7. Landru Says:

    No one celebrates the extra point? Hmm. Clearly not a Redskins fan.

  8. Ed Says:

    The whole healthcare thing where he caved on all the useful parts (like a public option) and re-wrote it as a giant handout to the private insurance and pharmaceutical industries?

    The whole healthcare thing that will probably be dismantled before it's even in place?

  9. Bette Noir Says:

    This debate about Obama's tactics reminds me a lot of the debate that has swirled, for 70 years now, around the question of whether or not European Jews fought back/resisted the Nazis "enough."

    Short answer: Of course they did, and in amazing courageous ways. The record is out there for those who care to investigate.

    And the result? Against all odds, the living remnant of the Jewish race have created a formidable world power in Israel and have made invaluable contributions to every aspect of contemporary life.

    A winning record by most standards.

    The reason that the question arises is that there are ways and "ways" of fighting an oppressive regime. First, one must recognize that the oppressive regime exists. That recognition usually occurs when the regime is so well established and so powerful that it insidiously pervades every aspect of a society — fighting such a regime requires resources and methods that are not readily available outside of the regime's sway.

    Men, especially American men, love a good fight. More's the better if it is some sort of chivalric Samson vs. Goliath matchup. Those who question the Holocaust Jews' survival instinct would probably have preferred to see the middle class Jewish doctors, tailors and pharmacists strangling Nazi guards with dental floss and comandeering their Panzers to lay siege to the Reichstag. Happily, for many, those "real people" were smarter than that; they may have dreamed of bloody retribution but knew it wasn't feasible if they cared to "live to fight another day."

    It takes great intelligence to parse a hostile environment and strategize a way forward that will result in a net gain.

    Obama could have easily taken his office and majority and launched an all-out attack on our corporate regime, caring little about "collateral damage." And he very likely would have seen it erased by the next administration. I still trust that Obama, more than many of us, has made an accurate assessment of what we're up against and the tactics necessary to make inroads in the dystopic America that we live in. Inroads that might survive his term in office and make it easier for us all to "rage against the machine."

    If I'm guessing right about Obama, I suspect he doesn't give a rat's ass if some folks think he's a wuss.

  10. Ed Says:

    With all due respect, you have got to be fucking kidding me.

  11. keith Says:

    What was so lame about the DADT issue is that its repeal was inevitable to all except Grumpy McCain, and it still took two years! Obama didn't so much as champion the issue (i.e. show leadership), but simply got out of the way to let the tide roll in. DADT boiled down to various factions stoking a social issue as a kind of distraction, all while the banksters happily picked our pockets. Followed the classic pattern so well explained several years ago by Thomas Frank in "What's The Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America."

    Sluggo's comment is oddly optimistic, in that perhaps our financial/economic collapse wasn't all that bad (or just SEEMS bad to those of us, with, you know, no money). If there's something worse on the horizon, it's hard to imagine how our republic will pull through it.

  12. MMD Says:

    I never thought I would one day be comparing Obama to Bill Gramatica, but that's exactly what he looks like now. Except that Bill was celabrating a first quarter chip shot FG, which is somewhat harder than a PAT.

  13. bb in GA Says:

    @JDryden

    "By that standard, I am the winningest pro-athlete, hedge-fund manager, blues guitarist, and competitive eater in history…"

    Unless you believe that silly movie (Crossroads) where the devil pitted Ralph Macchio (actually Ry Cooder) against Steve Vai in a blues guitar battle, there are no winners or losers in Blues Guitar playing.

    We are all brothers and sisters.

    Since we use mostly the pentatonic scales there are no wrong notes, only better choices…

    Play on, play on…

    //bb (I came by it naturally, but am honored to share it w/ Mr. King)

  14. Bette Noir Says:

    @Ed Actually, I'm not fucking kidding . . . with all due respect, of course.

  15. Da Moose Says:

    "Obama is not getting credit for his "victories" so far because they are not victories in the fights he was elected to fight. "

    Too Troo. Too Troo.

  16. Ed Says:

    It does take great intelligence to look at a potential conflict, realize that it would be hard to fight, cave in completely, and take whatever happens and call it a victory.

    It's interesting that you use the Nazi analogy, as it reveals what you consider to be acceptable losses on the road to these victories. I mean, that strategy worked great excepting the 6,000,000 people who were killed. Not such a good deal for them, was it?

  17. Andrew R. Says:

    Okay, Ed, do you know the difference between being insured and not being insured? The difference between a ten-minute procedure costing a thirty-dollar co-pay and the difference between a ten-minute procedure costing a thousand dollars? The difference between a three hundred dollar hospital deductible and a fifty thousand dollar bill that bankrupts you?

    You do know that there were a whole lot of people who, when they got sick after being insured were told that, wait, it turns out that our policy doesn't cover you, don't you? You do know about the number of people who made too much money to qualify for Medicaid even though they worked full-time in minimum-wage employment?

    Health Care Reform is a really big fucking deal.

  18. don Says:

    Mr. or Ms. Noir, I… uhhh. Jeez. Why bother? I read your comment up to "A winning record by all standards" and thought, well, I just have to point out that Europe's Jews hardly needed the Holocaust and whatever resistance came lamely on its heels to have "made invaluable contributions to every aspect of contemporary life". They were already doing so, and would no doubt have continued in that path without near-annihilation. So, no, not really a winning record. I wouldn't even call it a silver lining, or a bright side. Just a whole lot of needlessly dead people.

    But then I kept reading and realized you were digging yourself even deeper into the weirdest Holocaust analogy ever. Really. Are our corporate masters the Nazis and Obama the Jewish dentist hiding in a basement in Hamburg looking at the dental floss and thinking, shit, if only I had a majority in congress? Who gets to play Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS, in this? (I'm not asking for myself, but Glenn Beck will be interested.)

    But then I kept reading again and my goodness you've got me all worked up this rainy AM, haven't you?

    1) The half-fictional (and sexist) generalization you are labelling "Men" do not love a good fight, at least not as you've implicitly defined it (chivalrous…"Samson Vs Goliath", which is funny all by itself and should totally be a hot gay biblical-porn movie) – men – and most people, actually – love to be on the winning side of fights, and therefore actually "love" unfair fights in which Goliath wins every time, as long as Goliath is them. The half-fictional generalization "American Men" particularly love being Goliath against a David whose rocks have been previously pounded into sand, allowing a handy and utter victory which will then be written as "plucky little Goliath stood up for Freedom against Big Mean David", and so on and so forth.

    2) "…make it easier for us all to "rage against the machine."" Now that just makes me sick. Nihilist despair is not supposed to be easy, you know. If it doesn't hurt you're not doing it right.

  19. bb in GA Says:

    BHO wants single payer.

    Unless the tapes were phony (from back in 03), I have heard it from his lips. He said it would take about 10 years to shift gears from what we have now. We are on the way as of 2010.

    Unless there is incredible support for the Rs counter reformation, those evil insurance companies will take their last few billion swipes at their customers and fold their tents to disappear into another insurance sector in the 20 teens.

    Y'all know my theory so I will not repeat it now.

    The only thing that will stop Obama Care is that there is no more USA. That is not a happy way to "win."

    Lefties, be patient and stick w/ your man.

    //bb

  20. SeaTea Says:

    Unlike seemingly everyone in my generation, I had never read "Animal Farm". Recently I decided I really ought to read it, so I ordered it in French. It is, without question, jaw-droppingly prescient. I can't get over how much of what it details applies EXACTLY to post-9/11 America. It's all there.

    I am truly humbled and shocked to realize that all the tactics big business and big government have used to not-so-gently ass fuck us lo this past decade have been in place since at least the 30's, and probably for hundreds of years prior.

    It really doesn't speak well of the human race that the same tools can be wielded by the same powerful interests to do the same ass-fucking to the same have-nots generation after generation. You'd think we'd catch on at some point…

  21. Sarah Says:

    Not to pick nits, but wasn't it 13,000,000 people killed in the Holocaust? Six million Jews with the rest being Gypsies, homosexuals, the physically and mentally "defective" and various and sundry other "undesirables"?

  22. SeaTea Says:

    @Sarah – Might be that those other groups didn't have enough strategy on their side.

  23. ladiesbane Says:

    Let's back up for a moment: is the ultimate question, "Did Obama do enough?" Bette seems to argue that he's picking his battles and marshalling his strength, perhaps trying to choose a road that won't be doomed to fail against the Right. My thought is that he was submarined by his own bad choices, and by Democrats who decided not to play as a team.

    While it's true that Republicans would vote against a cure for cancer if it came over Obama's signature, I have not seen Obama fight to try to keep his promises; I saw him roll over before negotiations had even begun. I knew he'd be making deals, but I expected him to drive a harder bargain, you know? My grandfather, proud Chicagoan since arriving in this country, must be rolling in his grave to see this young hotshot dealing like a rube.

  24. 16shellsfroma30aught6 Says:

    If only Obama were half the liberal that wingnuts say he is…

    Still, I'll take a milquetoast pushover centrist over the more actively evil previous administration. Or the crotchety old prick they ran against him.

  25. >^..^ Says:

    Well you don't have to worry about a cure for Cancer, Big Pharma is making too much money on treating the disease.

    & I'm with 16…6 I to will take a centrist over the evil previous admin. or Palin's annointer.

  26. Bette Noir Says:

    How's this? I apologize profusely for employing a "hot button" analogy which resulted in a few cases of apoplexy and left oily puddles of tortured logic all over the place.

    Meanwhile, in the past few days, I've seen two examples of how unpopular viewpoints are dealt with in this forum. While it may be fun to engage in sophisticated banter, that banter shouldn't be mistaken for intellectual rigor — by anyone, including myself.

  27. HoosierPoli Says:

    Can we PLEnASE stop comparing Obama to Franklin Roosevelt? First, Roosevelt had the momentum of a global economic collapse, the collapse that Obama and other world leaders likely forestalled by doing everything that Herbert Hoover wouldn't. Secondly, just to take one Congress as an example, the 74th Congress was 71-25 in the Senate, 332-103 in the House. Those are crushing majorities. Roosevelt had a TWO HUNDRED SEAT CUSHION in the House. Granted, that was a disparate bloc, and there were plenty of things (like anything resembling civil rights legislation) that got pushed to one side in service of that. But come on. If Roosevelt had to go party-line, he could. Obama has never had that luxury.

    But the worst part is that you compared a year-long consensus-building and executive directed review process, aimed at dismantling one of the worst institutional discrimination policies still standing, passed in a hostile environment after a whiplash of an election, to an easy field goal kick. Maybe DADT repeal SHOULDN'T have been hard to do, but it was, and it got done. I would expect someone with a Ph.D in American Politics to have a little more perspective.

  28. Denn Says:

    DADT was already thrown out by the courts, and yet Holder, with O's approval, kept it going, wasting valuable political capital. Doesn't pass the smell test.

  29. mothra Says:

    Bette Noir, sweetie, just admit you used a really, really crappy analogy to make your point. I understand there are some people out there who still think Obama's playing eleventy-dimensional chess and has some killer strategy that we just can't see yet. Rock on with your support. Just don't use the example of Jews fleeing Hitler as an example of fabulous strategy and victory. As Ed pointed out, that strategy really didn't work for a whole hell of a lot of them. It also should be pointed out that Europe's Jewry cooperated with the Third Reich, thinking that if they just followed all the rules, the Nazis would just let them live and let live. Now that strategy could be compared to Obama's constant pursuit of bipartisanship, couldn't it?

    Also, I have one question for Ed: what is big business's interest in keeping Guantanamo open and not charging and trying detainees in federal court as they ought to be? Because that's one campaign promise that got jettisoned pretty quickly. Who profits off of those Guantanamo detainees?

  30. teadoust Says:

    "Are our corporate masters the Nazis and Obama the Jewish dentist hiding in a basement in Hamburg looking at the dental floss and thinking, shit, if only I had a majority in congress?"

    that's milk-through-the-nose funny.

  31. Robert Arctor Says:

    "The whole healthcare thing where he caved on all the useful parts (like a public option) and re-wrote it as a giant handout to the private insurance and pharmaceutical industries?"

    Thank you.

  32. Dave Says:

    God. Obama can rack up all the victories he wants, but unless and until the rich and/or bankers are made to eat a good deal of shit, they won't matter.

  33. leon Says:

    In Bette Noir's defense, it's really hard to make a Nazi/Jew analogy without it falling short. In everyone else's defense, why did Bette Noir even try (especially with this particularly weak analogy) in the first place?

  34. fuzzbuzz215 Says:

    In the end, I think the man does what he can. I mean, I feel that nothing short of mod violence and armed revolution (roll out the guillotines!) is really going to change the elite corporatist power structure. But, Obama does what he can within the system that was there to begin with. And he also seems willing to help people as much as possible.

    Eisenhower warned of the industrial- military (-Congressional) complex over 50 years ago. It is the system we are all mired in, I am afraid.

    When I voted for Obama in 2008 I wasn't voting for him because I thought he would undo the Industrial- Military- Congressional Complex. I voted for him because i thought he, of all the candidates, would do the most within the system he is given to support my interests. For the most part he has done that. He has worked hard against Congressional Republicans and a media that was more than willing to sing the hymn of the Tea Bagger.

    To go off your above football analogy, football is a game of inches. In many ways, the United States government (and society) work the same way. We take what the defense (i.e. Republicans and their corporate pay masters) gives us and work it for all its worth. The government and the country turn slowly but at least it is beginning to go in the right (left?) direction. It seems to me that our government was meant to turn slowly, given the diffusion of power across the branches, checks and balances, and the federal system. The American government rarely moves fast outside of times of crisis (The Great Depression, World War II). And while we are most definitely experiencing hard times, our President has done what he can to help.

    While the health care bill and financial reforms were not all we dreamed of, they were fights that needed fighting and they got done. I do think that Obama loses points on style (he rarely positions his arguments as to argue from a position of strength), but he tries to get things done. And while I agree with you that window dressing topics such as gay rights, abortion, and gun rights are distractions that the elite could care less about, I still think it is significant from a civil rights stand point that the military do away with DADT. Its a move in the correct direction that needed to be done.

    And after all, Obama did take office after one of the worst administrations ever. That and 30 years of Reaganomics.

    Ed, you may see him as Oliver Twist asking our corporate pay masters for a little more porridge. But I guess I respect the guy for having the guts to ask in the first place. Maybe, little by little, we will get somewhere. Maybe not. Regardless, I think Obama helps.

  35. Bette Noir Says:

    Au revoir, thirtysomethings. I stumbled into your little circle-jerk by accident and will now be stumbling out. Stay classy!

    PS Thanks for the Social Security!

  36. Ed Says:

    If you can't take some mild criticism for using the dumbest goddamn analogy on earth to suggest that something is a wise, effective strategy, I actually feel sorry for you.

    On your second point, I have my fingers crossed that you won't live long enough to enjoy it.

  37. Mel Witko Says:

    Amen! Amen! Amen! Money talks – Bullbleep walks! That has never been so true – at least since about 1929 or so. You hit the nail on the head with your insight into the true nature of control in this country. Exxon with $19 Billion (no typo, yes $19 BILLION) in profit pays $0 tax. But wait, that's not all! They get a $156 million credit!
    Fox News exists to continue to stir up the conservative (read – controlling interests) voter base with a diatribe based on individualism, small government, and fear of God. That sneaky little thing called "small government" is the enabler for lower corporate taxes, deregulation of business, and enhanced pollution of the planet.

  38. bb in GA Says:

    "Exxon with $19 Billion (no typo, yes $19 BILLION) in profit pays $0 tax."

    If I understand it correctly, even if they stroke a check to Uncle for $1 Billion Exxon still pays no taxes.

    Taxes show up on the Balance sheet as one of the "Current Liabilities" and on the P&L statement as the last thing you subtract to get Net Earnings.

    Exxon and every other corporation does not exist when it comes to paying taxes: Only employees, shareholders, and customers pay taxes.

    And if a company like Exxon gets some kind of subsidy from Sam then taxpayers provide that to the shareholders, employees, and customers of Exxon.

    Is my understanding too crude here? Help me smart people…

    Happy New Year

    //bb

  39. Turok Says:

    I used to feel the same way, but I realize that's being unrealistic. When you put Obama under a microscope, he has achieved a lot of good for only two years. Who would do better right now? In any case, stop being upset because we didn't turn into Western Europe overnight.

  40. My Says:

    I quit the Obama campaign the day he showed his ass by not undoing all the FISA scumbaggery and carte blanche sureveillance on you, me, and everybody else. Granted, I had a baby on the way and couldn't really afford to continue working 60-80 hrs/week pro bono, but IF A FUCKING CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER CAN SIT THERE WITH A STRAIGHT FACE AND SAY, "SURE! ALL THIS CLEARLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL SHIT IS HUNKY-fuckin'-DORY WITH ME!" then I submit to you that he is goddamned liar who is not to be trusted. There's a laundry list of other garbage that has come down the pike since then, all of which has helped me to not regret refusing to carry even one more drop of water for that weasel.

    See, it's not that he's a coward or ineffective. For that to be the case, he'd have to be sincere, which he is beyond expert at seeming.

    If you still believe a word he says, you're a sucker. It's like that Sam Halpern dude says: "He's a politician. It's like being a hooker. You can't be one unless you can pretend to like people while you're fucking them." And having met Obama a couple times in relatively small groups, he's a really, really good politician/hooker. Shit, he had me fooled like a sonofabitch.

    In any case, I'm sure his wealthy clients are more than pleased thus far, and will continue to be so into the future.

  41. JBerardi Says:

    Guys, if you hate Obama so much, I mean… what is your plan, exactly? How do you get Dennis Kucinish elected dictator-for-life? Because, honestly, with your expectations being what they are, I don't see how you'll ever be satisfied.

    Sorry guys, but the voting block represented by Gin and Tacos readership is fucking beyond irrelevant in America, and so too are it's policy goals. Either quit your bitching and accept this fact, or quit your bitching and get to organizing yourselves into a group of people who fucking matter to anyone. One way or the other, quit your bitching.

  42. fuzzbuzz215 Says:

    Damn Ed. That was mean. Kinda funny, but mean.

  43. Mike the Mad Biologist Says:

    Ed,

    Why does everyone assume Obama is a wimpy liberal, as opposed to a Rockefeller Republican? I don't think he's especially upset by any of the outcomes you've mentioned. He managed to pass START (a Republican bill), and that failure would have upset him. I don't think he believes he has failed at all, since he's not using moderate or liberal Democratic benchmarks for success.

  44. My Says:

    @Mike the Mad Biologist:

    Ding-ding-ding!!! We have a winnahhh!

    Just to paraphrasically succinctify my earlier point, I reiterate: Obama ='s 2010 plutocrat whore/bitchboy in 2008 progressive leader's clothing

    Also, this on the utter pointlessness of/gutpunch that is Obama not fighting the tax cuts for them what should be eaten: http://mydd.com/users/aappundit/posts/obama-staffers-pissed-with-obama-over-tax-cuts-for-rich

    See? Do you see what happens, Larry? DO YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS, WHEN YOU LET AN OBAMA FUCK YOU IN THE ASS? SEE WHAT HAPPENS, LARRY? SEE WHAT HAPPENS?

  45. Arslan Amirkhanov Says:

    @ Bette Noir

    "December 30th, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Au revoir, thirtysomethings. I stumbled into your little circle-jerk by accident and will now be stumbling out. Stay classy!

    PS Thanks for the Social Security!"

    Don't let the door hit your butthurt Democrat ass on the way out. Next time think twice before exploiting the suffering of the Holocaust to back your sacred leader. It was a retarded analogy, period.

  46. Arslan Amirkhanov Says:

    "Guys, if you hate Obama so much, I mean… what is your plan, exactly? How do you get Dennis Kucinish elected dictator-for-life? Because, honestly, with your expectations being what they are, I don't see how you'll ever be satisfied.

    Sorry guys, but the voting block represented by Gin and Tacos readership is fucking beyond irrelevant in America, and so too are it's policy goals. Either quit your bitching and accept this fact, or quit your bitching and get to organizing yourselves into a group of people who fucking matter to anyone. One way or the other, quit your bitching."

    Ladies and gentlemen, the voice of the Democratic party. This shit isn't going to fly anymore. Boycott Democrats in every way, shape or form. Don't be afraid of Republican bogeymen, they can only do more damage and eventually, unwittingly, wake a lot of people up.