B SQUAD

If I was a Republican who firmly believed that Barack Obama is destroying America and Must Be Stopped in 2012, I would have spent the majority of the CNN New Hampshire GOP Primary debate on Monday night sliding the barrel of a gun into my mouth and slowly talking myself out of it before repeating the process at five minute intervals. Since I'm not a Republican, I spent those two hours of my life (which unfortunately I can never get back) in absolute shock that there is a non-negligible chance that one of these drooling idiots will be the next president of the United States.

Three observations:

1. It's stunningly clear in the side-by-side comparison that Mitt Romney is the only one of these candidates with half of a functioning brain in his head. I think he's wrong about just about everything (more on that momentarily) but god forbid a tanking economy turns 2012 into an "anyone but the incumbent" election and we get stuck with one of these people. Romney might be a douchebag, but better a d-bag with access to the nuclear codes than one of these other vacant-eyed sociopaths.

2. This debate had nothing to do with answering questions or taking positions – it was Kowtow to the Donor Base, Evangelicals, and Tea Party Night. Anyone else enjoy the surreal sequence in which Pawlenty, Romney, and Bachmann tried to out-tax-cut one another? Romney proposed taking the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. T-Paw one-upped him with 15% last week. Tonight, Bachmann threw down to the tune of 9% (with no capital gains tax, estate tax, or AMT…and a tax increase on the lowest bracket). It was like watching three children fight over who loves mommy more. All seven debaters participated in a spirited round of "No, I hate Obamacare the most!" followed by the requisite "Who is the most pro-life pro-lifer?" sparring match. The candidates, sans Bachmann, didn't even look like their hearts were in any of this. Romney and T-Paw in particular had that McCain 2008 look of resignation, the one that shouts "I have to say this but very little of me believes it." CNN's crowd shots were a great reminder of who these candidates were trying to impress on Monday evening:

Dance faster, monkeys. The bloated plutocrats are not impressed.

3. The GOP analysts and talking heads are buzzing about a "big opening" (insert joke here) for Rick Perry. First, that's little more than a polite way of saying "Wow, these people are just terrible." Second, Perry is quickly turning into Fred Thompson 2012, the maybe-candidate on whom the party can pin its hopes of saving Republicans from this terrible field. In practice a Rick Perry candidacy would probably work about as well as Thompson's "campaign" did in 2008. The party faithful are just using him as a blank slate on which to project their fantasies of a perfect candidate; in reality he is a deeply flawed politician whose bullshit flies in Lubbock but doesn't scale up well to the national stage. And don't forget that every other candidate has a 2+ year head start on him in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early states. The louder the drumbeat gets for a Knight in shining armor to save the party, the poorer the odds that any such person will actually materialize. If Perry thought he would walk away with the nomination he'd be in.

God help us all.

57 thoughts on “B SQUAD”

  • I have no idea what I just saw. As Ed said in the post, the tax cutting and pro-lifing contest was surreal. Do people really care about abortions? I say its none of the governments business what we do in our doctors offices. More tax cuts? More Reagan worshiping? Gosh, I'd rather gauge my eyeballs out with a sharp stick than listen to how similar today is to 1980-81. The tax rate is at 35% not 70%! Why do we all feel so sympathetic towards rich?

  • The debate was TWO HOURS??? You might be one of the fifteen people in the country to watch that whole thing.

  • Middle Seaman says:

    If I could watch the stupid mud bath, I wouldn't. Why would I subject myself water soul boarding? Once you list the names, it's like in the funny farm: tell joke by numbers. 25 – very funny, etc. Romney – not very funny.

    God the merciful didn't find it appropriate to help us the last 3 years. We have our own joker as president.

    Unless god changes her mind, we are Guatemala.

  • The GOP debates need more top hats and pith helmets so as to really drive home the "Victorian-era class war" atmosphere.

  • What I wonder about is when the two political parties are going to self-destruct? It has happened before in this country but there seems to be a lot of inertia keeping these parties alive.

  • I just had a thought, if we all had affordable health care (could afford the pill, the patch, or the shot) then maybe we wouldn't have to worry about abortions.

    Those that could afford healthcare before Roe & needed an abortion, we not on a kitchen table using a coat hanger, they went to Europe.

  • Hey A. A month's supply of the Pill costs a couple dollars. An abortion costs a couple hundred bucks. Preventative reproductive health care is probably the cheapest medicine available, and can be had for less than a year's worth of cable tv service. You know what costs tens of thousands of dollars? Giving birth in a hospital.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    I read a mystery novel instead of watching.

    At least the characters there that are trying to kill and harm people are fictional.

    Oh, wait!
    None of these candidates are real people.
    And they're presenting a fictional future.
    A future with Galtian Overlords, and the serf's who serve them.
    If only t'wer fiction.

    Brrrrr…
    I feel the chill of death.
    Back to drinking!

  • Must comment again. These debates have been consistently disappointing for me for a pretty long time. They are always avenues for the politician to repeat the short sound byte… where as I think the country could use an actual conversation about its direction. I'd like them to ask/answer the question, "most of you are older, white men; the country is seeing fewer and fewer of your demographic category, how should we respond? Boycott immigrants from Mexico or the Southern developing world? How will these new immigrants change the future of the US and who we are as a country? These things should be a productive discussion about the future of the country, instead its pretty much blah.

    Perhaps no-one else say it, but when CNN went to break they would post questions from Facebook and Twitter. These questions were actual questions and not even the faintest bit predictable, I hoped the questions would be used by John King, but of-course no. How come all of the opportunities to ask real questions about the American people are missed? This is very frustrating for me.

    Also in regards to the time. This is a comment that I found last night on the New York Times comment board, I can only second it:

    the primary and debate process is ridiculous. the country elects a president who spends two years governing and two years running for re-election. while wanna-be's in the party opposite spend two years in Iowa and New Hampshire claiming to love corn and New England stoicism. It's such a charade, with two deleterious effects on the American electoral system: it turns voters off and/or distracts them from the substantive issues facing the country. These debates don't flesh out the issues, they only demagogue them. Both parties need to adopt an abridged primary schedule by region. 4 primary dates (debates occur Sunday prior to primary day) over six weeks in May and June of the election year. No campaigning or raising of funds prior to April. Fully financed campaign for party nominee. Privately raised money prohibited.

    The situation is so bad that both parties are always in campaign mode. Too much politics causes public apathy. let's at least be sensible and reduce the length of presidential campaigns!

  • One of the comments on a linked-to page was foreboding.

    It's almost as if the objective of the debate was to raise the "out-there" crazy threshold.

    If they consistently say ridiculous things for long enough, when they say things that are only mildly absurd or irrational, it's such a relief that people let it pass.

    "Obama is a half-lizard fascist socialist born in Kenya." [people roll eyes]
    "Liberals want to kill off the old people so they can all be gay." [people laugh and shake their heads]
    "I cook bacon with my gamma ray eyes." [people salivate and wait, still doubtful]

    and then…
    "A flat tax is a good idea." [well, that's a lot less bonkers than the prior statements. OK! We'll do it.]
    "The tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free must be stopped before they anchor our economy." [Gee, ok, let's close off the borders.]

  • Thanks for the summary. I did not watch it so that I wouldn't feel compelled to suck on the end of a double barrel shotgun. Indeed, God help us all.

  • Elder Futhark says:

    "Michelle Bachmann has raised five of her own children, and twenty-three foster children".

    And managed to only eat three of them. That's a pretty good record for someone from Iowa.

  • Was listening to Morning Edition on NPR this morning, and I had to chuckle when Steve Inskeep said the debate viewership was low partly because of the Hockey Stanley Cup Finals broadcast. Now I know it's the Boston Bruins, and in the Northeast there are more Hawkey fans than in the rest of the country, but really, this group of candidates needs no help killing anybody's interest in them as presidential candidates.

  • phillipswcs says:

    I find it interesting that everyone seems to be so busy with their personal attacks of everything leaning to the right, that they are missing the singular point that was being made by the "alleged" candidates (if you don't like the message, kill the messenger). The point that they seemed to be making was that this country is going down the drain financially and the current President's policies simply aren't working. Two and a half years into his 4 year term, we still have 9% unemployment (he promised it would never go above 8%), the housing market is in complete shambles, the banks are drowning in foreclosures, the stock market is spiraling down the toilet, gas is $3.75 a gallon and our national debt is currently at 14 trillion and growing at 4 billion per day. The President announces that this is just a "bump in the road" and then jets off for yet another round of golf. This is Nero fiddling while Rome burns. I can't say that I see anyone in the Republican herd that I'm all that choked up about, but I'd rather vote for Anthony Weiner's wiener than give 4 more years to a man who's policies are destroying us.

  • anotherbozo says:

    @Middleseaman: great line:
    Unless god changes her mind, we are Guatemala.

    Anybody know the viewer statistics for last night? Will look around…

    Meanwhile I'm more interested in Chris Christie's appearance on CNN tonight (PIers Morgan) than I was in the so-called debates. Christie's probably smart enough to stay out of the fray until the next cycle, but then why submit to an hour of public grilling? (He'll be sitting down facing forward, no doubt, his most advantageous position)

    If Romney goes all the way to win the White House it'll be the economy's doing, not his.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    phillipswcs,
    Well, I'm also sorry that Caesar Obama didn't nod his head, point a finger, and fix everything in the country for everyone.
    It would have been nice.

    But, last I looked, after he got sworn in, it was as the President, not as the Dictator.
    Right off, he had to deal with the worst economy in 80 years.
    Today, he has a Repbulican House, whereas before, he had a House full of Blue Dogs, and a Senate full of Ben Nelsons, Evan Byah's, and Joe Lieberman's. He was lucky to have enough support to save the auto industry, and get a half-assed stimulus passed, because there was no way a proper, fully-assed one would have.

    I happen to think that the Democrats, thanks largely to Pelosi, accomplished quite a lot in the first two years.

    Now, there's no incentive for the Republicans to help work to improve the economy.. Not when they feel that a bad, or worsening, economy is their road back to controlling both houses of Congress and the Presidency.
    So, the fault lies not in Obama, but in Blue Dogs, and Republicans determined to undermine this country to regain complete power.

    Cue the Obamabot accusations!

  • Monkey Business says:

    "The point that they seemed to be making was that this country is going down the drain financially and the current President's policies simply aren't working."

    I'm gonna stop you right there. The President does not directly affect the economy. He doesn't set fiscal policy for the United States. We have this thing called Congress, who controls the purse strings of the government. The President can ask Congress for things, but more likely than not Congress will tell him to fuck off.

    "Two and a half years into his 4 year term, we still have 9% unemployment (he promised it would never go above 8%)"

    Not his fault. Corporations across the country are taking in record profits and have huge amounts of cash on hand. Because of the recession, they cut a ton of employees and didn't notice a productivity drop because everyone else took up their work, and now they're not rehiring anyone.

    "the housing market is in complete shambles"

    Not his fault. Homes have been overvalued for years; now they're just slightly undervalued.

    "the banks are drowning in foreclosures"

    Because the financial industry is teeming with fraud and corruption from top to bottom. Also, we had this thing called TARP which I'm pretty sure was designed to deal with this. While we're on the topic, why don't we ask the banks why they keep trying to throw people who either own their houses outright, never had a mortgage to begin with, or are good on-time paying customers out of their homes?

    "the stock market is spiraling down the toilet"

    On the last day of Bush's presidency, the Dow was at 8218.22. As of a few minutes ago, the Dow was at 12081.07. The S&P was at 805.22; it's now at 1287.87. The NASDAQ was at 1440.86; it's not at 2676.27. So, by whatever measurement you like to use, the Stock Market is clearly healthier today than it was on Bush's last day in office, and is most assuredly not spiraling down the toilet.

    "gas is $3.75 a gallon"

    …and? The President doesn't set energy prices. Also, I filled up for $3.48 yesterday.

    "and our national debt is currently at 14 trillion and growing at 4 billion per day"

    "Deficits don't matter." – Dick Cheney -. Where were you when the Bush Tax Cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were going on? Were you howling about the deficit then? No? Then shut up.

    "The President announces that this is just a "bump in the road" and then jets off for yet another round of golf. This is Nero fiddling while Rome burns. I can't say that I see anyone in the Republican herd that I'm all that choked up about, but I'd rather vote for Anthony Weiner's wiener than give 4 more years to a man who's policies are destroying us."

    Let's get something straight here. Both sides' policies are destroying us, because neither side gives a good healthy shit about anyone but the people that fund their campaigns, Democrat and Republican alike. The only difference is that the GOP has gone so far off the deep end that it's nigh impossible for us to do anything but laugh at how far gone they are.

  • Shorter phillip:

    America is slowly becoming a shithole, therefore I will vote for any fuckwad who wants to double down on the policies that started the trend.

  • Re: Fred Thompson – I love love love love love love love that three and a half years ago, he was considered a realistic* candidate for the Republican nomination, and is now mostly seen hawking reverse mortgages on cable ads.

    *Other than the fact that he seemed unwilling to put any effort into the whole process.

  • @eric:
    Alternately: "You know what just might work? [Light bulb appears over head] Another round of corporate kleptocracy and 'starve the beast' bullshit."

  • Speaking of tax cuts, I did notice that every single Republican candidate for president wants to repeal the capital gains tax, the estate tax, and lower taxes in general. No, I didn't watch the debate last night, by the way. I watched the Stanley Cup finals which, after Boston scored 4 goals in 4 minutes, was probably the hockey equivalent of the torture those watching the Republican debate must have felt.

    Anyhoo, I did wonder: let's pretend that all of these huge tax cuts DID happen. With no tax consequences for bailing out of the stock market, and with Wall Street continuing to treat 95 million "average American investors" like marks on a carnival midway, what would happen if even a portion of Main Street investors gave Wall Street the finger, took their money, and ran?

    What would happen?

  • phillipswcs says:

    I should have known that wading into the deep end of the liberal/progressive pool would prove caustic… (again, if you don't like the message, kill the messenger). I am not an apologist for Bush… in fact, I think that in many ways he was a complete idiot, but you can't have it both ways… if as President, Obama isn't responsible for the current quagmire that the country is in, than neither was Bush for his 2 administrations. You can't eat the cake and have it too. As to Bush's wars, under Obama we are currently drone-bombing in "five" mid-eastern countries and he has not kept any of his promises about ending the wars, bringing the troops home or closing Guantanamo (seems like your dove transformed into quite a hawk!) American soldiers are still continually dying in the sand but no one seems to care under an Obama administration the way they did under Bush, and the mainstream news media seems to be all but ignoring it. Hmmm… agenda? I was not here to defend right wing conservatism, but to simply point out that the current policies "aren't" working. The President joked this weekend about how the $750 billion stimulus didn't produce the "shovel-ready" jobs that he promised. He himself admits that it's not working! I don't think that the millions of Americans who are currently out of work and losing their homes think it's all that funny. I know you will defend your champion to the end and never actually look at his policies and performance objectively or critically because you are so blinded by your own political ideologies and religious/non-religious philosophies that it has clouded your ability to determine things in a fair-minded and objective manner. So be it… let the Democrat, left wing, liberal, progressive, communist/socialist/Marxist hate speech continue!

  • @phillip:
    Nice try, but I didn't expect much from Obama and wasn't surprised. He's proven himself an ineffective centrist, which is about the best the Democrats can cough up these days. It's going to be a long slog for anyone who's really dedicated to rolling back the New American Century and reversing the crippling damage of Reaganism. And if the answer is "tax cuts," you're right, I'm not listening.

  • PS: While I'm not impressed with Obama's Band Aids, I'll take four more years of those over Grover Norquist/Cato Institute economic autism, which would have easily plunged the country into a bottomless depression.

  • phillipswcs says:

    @Acer,
    At least you actually heard my point and sound like someone who is objective and thinks for themselves… thank you for that!

  • Elder Futhark says:

    phillip,

    Aside from the usual passive/agressive infantile bullshit that passes for right-wing rhetoric, have you got anything substantive and factual you'd like to contribute?

    Or did you just come here to emit a little whiny gas out your hind-end and hope someone would wipe you clean?

  • c u n d gulag says:

    phillip,
    Look, I'm very disenchanted with Obama.

    And I'm pissed as Hell at him for Gitmo, and still being in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    There's a lot of shit he could have done better. If not going for Medicare for all, the at least Communicating certain things about ACA, being one of them.

    But to blame Obama for the economy, when the Repbulicans do nothing to help move it forward at all, and instead offer as a solution (discredited for 30 years) tax cutting policies that helped get us in this mess in the first place, is rediculous.
    And besides that, their only other input is as safety net killing deficit hawks, which should be laughable to anyone with an IQ higher than mid-double digits – and this after they ran a deficit greater than in the 43 previous Presidencies.
    This is all like blaming the Captain of the rescue ship for not being able to save all of the passengers on the Titanic when the other captain ran it into an iceberg.

    As for your last point, let me reword it for you, phillip:
    '…because you are so blinded by your own political ideologies and religious philosophies that it has clouded your ability to determine things in a fair-minded and objective manner. So be it… let the Republican, right wing, Conservative, Fascist hate speech continue!'
    You're good at it!

  • phillipswcs and Southern Beale are both right, and both wrong, and Ed alluded to it in his monkey comment in the post:

    Originally from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 23, Number 2, and is attributable to the political scientist Lawrence Britt (my slight mods in parens, and the following is cognizant that sometimes failure is intended even though there is the appearance of struggles for success. Never underestimate the disingenuity of sycophants, lapdogs, and other types of people in or funding elections to Congress. In other words, the illusion of opposition dissipates when analyzing results, or lack thereof):

    Common Facets of Fascist Regimes

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism(? Check.)
    Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
    2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights(? Check.)
    Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, and so on.
    3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause (? Check.)
    The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic, or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, and so forth.
    4. Supremacy of the Military (? Either check, half-a-check, or CHECK if we're including the Raytheons, Blackwaters, et al of the US/world.)
    Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
    5. Rampant Sexism(? My fellow Y-chromosomers my pass on this one, but the ladies would surely see this as a Check.)
    The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
    6. Controlled Mass Media (Pretty much check, in our own twisted Moon Over Parador, Red v. Blue kinda' way.)
    Sometimes the media are directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media are indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
    7. Obsession with National Security(? Not sure "obsession" is a strong enough word…CHECK.)
    Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
    8. Religion and Government are Intertwined(? Sigh…Check.)
    Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
    9. Corporate Power is Protected(? Since by "protected" we mean penultimate to literally sacrosanct, Check.)
    The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
    10. Labor Power is Suppressed (? Check.)
    Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts (? Check.)
    Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment(? The War on Poor/non-White Peop–erm, Drugs, anyone? Check.)
    Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations
    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption (? Check.)
    Fascist regimes are almost always governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
    14. Fraudulent Elections (? Three-fourths of a Check.)
    Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

  • Two points:

    FIrst, it's interesting to note that Phillip's criticisms are ones that Krugman, Atrios, et al all warned about: the stimulus was too small to really do very much at all. However, one might observe that right-wing solutions to our economic woes have a rather large problem: they have not worked. It appears going safe-center hasn't been the solution either. Perhaps it's time to revisit (or, in the case of the so-called MSM visit for the first time) the notion that it's a demand-side problem, rather than a supply-side one.

    Second, the description of the GOP debate as Who Loves Mommy More is absolutely spot-on. I kept thinking the Bachster was going to say Tax Cut Infinity Plus One.

  • if as President, Obama isn't responsible for the current quagmire that the country is in, than neither was Bush for his 2 administrations.

    Nonsense. That's just ridiculous.

    That only makes sense in a world where Democrats operate precisely the same as Republicans, where all things are exactly equal, where circumstances are exactly the same. That's just … too simplistic a view to be taken seriously.

    For example, Republicans have been obstructionist to a fault. They were in charge of Congress until 2006, and they rammed through their cherished policies of tax cuts for the wealthy, de-regulation, war profiteering, etc. Then they held fast to those principles when the Democrats took over in 2006, wouldn't budge, and forced Democrats to move to the right and adopt a lot of their cherished policies of … tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation and war profiteering. Then along comes Obama and we get MORE obstructionism, more holding fast and firm and refusing to budge from those same failed policies.

    Really what we've had for the past 10-15 years is Republican and Republican-lite. We didn't get the stimulus the Democrats wanted, we got the stimulus the Democrats could get passed. It was weakened by … tax cuts, tax incentives, etc. Always with the damn tax cuts with you people. Did we get spending on schools, infrastructure, all the stuff that we know works? Know, we did not.

    From the memory hole, look what Senate Republican leaders called "wasteful spending" in the stimulus. And look what got cut from the stimulus: $16 billion in school construction, $3.5 billion to green federal buildings, $1.2 billion to retrofit Section 8 housing, $2 billion for broadband. And on .. and on … and on.

    Instead in the interest of compromise we got a bunch of crackpot Republican lite, tax incentives and tax cuts and on and on. And that's just the stimulus bill. It's like that with EVERYTHING. Republicans hold fast and don't budge, Democrats are trying to get something done and are constantly inching to the right. Republicans and Democrats are not reverse images of each other.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    My Says,
    Yup, can't argue.

    However, these did not just come about in the last few years alone. We've been heading down this Fascistic road for a long time. Many people in the US supported the Fascist model from the 1920's until we entered the war. Some still did during it. And some still did after. Some of them were prominent names, and/or from prominent familes. Charles Lindbergh and Prescott Bush among them.

    Many of the things from the definition of Fascism were also the things that the right has worked on in response to societal changes starting with the growth and acceptance of unions, women being allowed to vote, the response to "The New Deal," women in the work force during WWII, the integration of the military and baseball after the war, and continuing through the Civil Rights and Women rights battles, right up to today's continuing fight for LGBT rights.
    All of this, and our growing reliance on miitary industrial complex for jobs, and the imbedding of the military, and the supporting businesses, into as many Congressional districts as possible, and the corruption of politicians, also has a lot to do with it.
    These were also responses to a growing Middle Class in the USA. Thom Hartman explains that a lot of this better than I can, so here's a link to his piece on the growth of the middle class in America, and how it was NOT an ordinary, normal, state of events.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thom-hartmann/theres-nothing-normal-abo_b_32532.html

    The fall back from a dying democracy, if we can't fix it, may end up being either a Feudal society, or a Fascist one.
    And Big Agra doesn't need American serfs – at least not right now – as long as there are illegal immigration willing and able to do the work.
    And our Galtian Corporate Masters love the idea of Government and Business in bed together as long as the politicians are willing to play the game. Either party, it doesn't make a difference to them.
    And that's what they're doing – playing the game.
    And we're the game pieces in 'Fascism-opoly.'

    We can write the Republicans off as far as trying to correct this. This isn't just their gameplan, it's also been their goal. And they have plenty of candidates willing to bring Dominionist Fascism here to America. They're already waving the flag and carrying the Bible. They're waiting for the right time and circumstances.

    But, if we can convince Democrats to return to their roots on Main Street, instead of grovelling for corporate dollars, we might at least be able to put up a fight. I just don't have much hope for it. But "Citizens United" may force them to return to their roots for money. However, that probably won't be enough to counter The Koch Brothers, and all of Corporate America.
    I've read where, unfortunately, the fix may have to be a wholesale depression.
    More unfortuanately, that was was spawned Fascism in Europe in the first place.
    I'm as worried as anyone.
    Fascism is part and parcel of "The Shock "Doctrine"-ization of America.
    I'd like to hear some ideas from people on what we can do about it.

  • The fall back from a dying democracy, if we can't fix it, may end up being either a Feudal society, or a Fascist one.

    I was actually thinking about this today. I'm thinking more feudal. Today I was looking at some 100-125 year old houses and I noticed how huge they all were. Of course, I thought, people back then had larger families but they also had servants, people who lived with them. Nannies and housekeepers and cooks and groundskeepers. And not just the super wealthy, you didn't have to be a Carnegie or Vanderbilt to have servants back in the day. Back in the day you were either the help or the helped, the upstairs or the downstairs. And as industrialization opened up factory jobs and other opportunities, people left the employ of the better off to work for themselves in factory jobs, which led to a big social upheaval as well. Suddenly you're earning your own money without having to beg and scrape before your betters and stay in your place, there's a sense of equality. Throw in a couple of world wars and a major economic downturn in the 30s and you can see where the labor movement got its juice.

    So then we have this big middle class thanks to manufacturing. But now, welcome to the new millennium. Outsourcing and mechanization have changed the labor landscape. Those jobs which created that huge middle class and that social equality are suddenly gone. What are people going to do? We have fewer haves, more have nots, and the haves have more than they've had in 100 years. I'm thinking we're headed back to where we were in the 1890s and 1900s, with a servant class. Oh, we'll call it something else … it may look different, but that's what it is. I already know several people hit hard by this downturn who have started housekeeping businesses. I think we're headed to a society where a small group of really rich people employ housekeepers and nannies and tutors and cooks and groundskeepers and this "help" may even be part of the household, living with the family.

    That's what I was thinking, at least. Feel free to tell me I'm full of shit and had a dose of bad potato salad at lunch.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    No, no bad potato salad, you bring up some interesting points.

    I was thinking of more of the nation as greeters for WalMart.

    You're thinking of the nation as kitchen help and cabana boys and girls for the have's.

    Hmmm…

    And you're right. In the late 19th, early 20th Centuries, even policemen and firemen here had household help – providing, of course, that they were above the lower levels.
    In Europe, even teachers and professors had help – of course, they were always better paid and respected positions there than here.

    All I know is that unless something changes, and fast, we are all well, and truly, screwed – except the have's, of course. They'll be doing the screwing.

  • You're thinking of the nation as kitchen help and cabana boys and girls for the have's.

    And not just that. As the population ages we need mush-makers and butt-wipers, too.

    This is the new "service economy" … I think they meant servile economy. But no one was paying attention.

    The good news is that in 50 years when the boomers have all died off (and I'm one of them, I'm not pointing fingers here), things will be a lot better. Nothing is permanent, the only thing we can count on is change.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Well, I'm an aging boomer myself, so, if I'm going to be a mush-eater, I may as well be a mush-maker.

    I'll leave butt-wiping to the more sycophantic members amongst the staff.

    I would sacrifice the last years of my life if I could somehow or other accelerate the change.

    Nice 'talking' to you. :-)

  • Halloween Jack says:

    That kid with the glasses in the photo looks like a future GOP governor, or a future registered sex offender, or possibly both.

  • SoVeryConfused says:

    @philip
    "I should have known that wading into the deep end of the liberal/progressive pool would prove caustic

  • phillipswcs says:

    I suppose I should be flattered to have drawn such attention from so many on this site today and I'm quite happy to have provided you all with such a source of amusement… I have a feeling that very few dare to come here boldly strolling behind enemy lines and having the audacity of hope to opine in such an unwelcomed way. I could spend much time answering each response and pointing out the areas of inaccuracy, but to what end. Opinions are like assholes… everybody has one and they all stink! So pat yourselves on the back for dispatching yet another naysayer and continue to worship at the alter of the Holy BHO…. BTW, I understand his golf game was off a little last week… and it was all Bush's fault…

  • phillip,

    Good for you that you paint with a brush as broad as a six lane highway. I've been reading this blog for about seven years and I feel like I've got an OK grasp of the posters here. A majority of posters here aren't happy with Barack at all, but they're happy he's not the alternative. Look, Barry is pretty much a 1990s moderate Republican. He's failed on a plethora of fronts as President but at least he's not batshit fucking insane like some prominent Republican figures.

    In retrospect the best thing Barry could have done as President is stepped down along with Biden so Pelosi could have become Pres. I guarantee you that a lot of people who frequent this site would agree with me.

  • @cerb:

    Frankly, in hindsight, and speaking as one who worked on and quit Obama's Pres. campaign over FISA (as previously detailed here), I'd have my 'druthers if Feingold and Kucinich were in charge.
    Oh well, honest men don't win much these days…"so it goes."

  • To all those disappointed with Obama, please realize that if you don't vote that the Repuiblicans will control all three houses. And if that happens they will make whats going on in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio look like a picnic. Know that the Republicans will vote, every single one of them, so if you don't vote its as if you voted Republican.

  • CUT YOUR HAIR AND GET YOURSELF A GODDAMNED JOB JOB!
    GO PICK SOME FUCKIN' STRAWBERRIES WITH THAT FINKELSTEIN SHIT-KID OR SOMETHING!!!!

  • @Southern and C U: I don't think either feudalism or fascism (except for the aspects where the govt controls the labour market in favour of business) are quite what the paradigm we're looking at. What we're looking at is much more akin to that other fine Southern tradition of sharecropping.

    Why is it that the South chooses to look at all of what it has from its history and culture to offer the world and selects what's in the cesspit? It's like Melkor who tried to make elves, instead created twisted versions as orcs (couldn't resist the nerd reference).

    Can we give Peter John an "amen"!! Because for now we've got Baz and I'd rather Baz than any alternative. This gives us 4 years to get Feingold's campaign going from the grassroots. Seriously, in a day when from the African Atlantic coastline to the Arabian peninsula, an north towards the Black Sea can come completely unstuck and overthrow their govts thanks to technology that *we* invented β€” let's review this: did the Egyptians invent Facebook? The Syrians YouTube? The Tunisians WordPress or the Libyans mass produce the MS Window OS? *F— No!** β€” and we cannot peacefully put someone into the Whitehouse in 2016 with a grassroots viral campaign? We are sad, and we deserve to be nothing better than a bunch of sharecroppers holding graduate degrees.

    So we've got 6yrs. to:
    A) reelect Baz
    B) To oust the T-baggers and other like minded GOPers from the Houses
    C) referendum any DINOs to kingdomcome (the T-baggers do it to the Rs and are holding them ransom)
    D) create and sell a truly better narrative than the GOP has
    E) Create the groundswell of support that Feingold needs on a low budget.

    Part of the organisational advantage that the Right has is that almost all attend churches and therefore are able to create a grassroots and block support of their own initiatives (or narrative) this allowed them to blindside many a local level politician because their advertising was at the church level, not on billboards. Blogs like this one are about the only places we have in common for such a disparate group such as ourselves. So who's up for the challenge?

  • @ SouthernBeale,

    "I'm thinking we're headed back to where we were in the 1890s and 1900s, with a servant class. Oh, we'll call it something else

  • @ SouthernBeale,

    I'm thinking we're headed back to where we were in the 1890s and 1900s, with a servant class. Oh, we'll call it something else

  • What I am really wondering is with the Republicans such a far out bunch of humans and Obama the most disappointing democrat ever, now is a perfect time for a combination of people who will do the right then, like Grayson and Saunders, to put together a totally independent ticket that could win, if it has the money behind it. IT is all about money. Some rich people will have to support them but 99% of them our on the other team that has destroyed the country…

  • Scott – 'most disappointing Democrat ever'? You have a short memory. I've been disappointed by Democrats since I started voting (1980) and BHO has a way to go to catch up.

  • I must admit I channel surfed a bit while watching, the debate was so boring. You make some great points. Let me add one about Gov. Hair (that would be Rick Perry to those of you who do not live in Texas as I do). The worst thing about him is his religious beliefs. With Perry in the White House, we would be a big step closer to a theocracy, since his ties to the far religious right are such that he must think the Prosperity Gospel is as American as Coca Cola. He is chummy with Rev. John Hagee, who preached that Katrina was God's vengeance on New Orleans for hosting a gay pride event. Remember George W. Bush's comments on praying and such before taking such actions as ordering the invasion of Iraq? Well, Perry is twice as loony. If he gets into the White House, he will change the "one button away" red telephone in the Oval Office (the one Kennedy used to talk to Kruschev during the Cuban missile crisis) to a white phone — with a direct line to "God." Bye, bye, First Amendment.

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