SCENES FROM A FAILED PRESIDENCY

Two vignettes.

1. Barack Obama – Democrat, man of color, and frequent recipient of the title "most liberal Senator" before his run for the White House – signs a law explicitly permitting indefinite detention of American citizens. For those of you who believe that criticism of the National Defense Authorization Act is overstated, read this thorough explanation of the provisions in the bill that make this possible. Proponents will argue that detention without due process can be applied only to suspected terrorists (According to whom? Based on what standard of evidence? Aren't these quite literally the exact same questions we had to ask under Bush?) and hey, trust us! We'd never use it for anything else.

Many down-in-the-bunker type Obama defenders cling to the 11th-degree chess theory of his presidency, that his seeming preferences for neoliberalism, neoconservative foreign policy, and Unitary Executive Theory are actually a series of strategic decisions – so complex and layered that our pedestrian minds could never understand it – engineered to produce liberal policy outcomes. The only way his decision to sign the NDAA could fit that explanation is that he and his Justice Dept. realize that this is so patently unconstitutional that the Supreme Court will reject it summarily while Obama scores some political points for being Tough on Terror.

Do you trust the Supreme Court? Does anyone? Can someone remind me one more time why I should care which moderate Republican wins in the titanic struggle between Romney and Obama?

2. Campaign Mode Obamatm announces that each state can choose which parts of his health care reform legislation they will enforce. While some types of coverage are mandatory, states are able to define and set limits during the implementation – for example, pharmacy benefits are mandatory but states get to decide what level of benefits will be offered. Let's all guess what Mississippi's going to provide its residents. Under this "mandate".

Essentially, then, due to pressure from Republican governors and attorneys general he has backed down…on his signature legislation, and possibly his only substantial accomplishment during his first term.

Hey, at least the Iraq War is over! As long as replacing troops with tens of thousands of unaccountable, legally immune private contractors meets one's definition of "over".

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52 Responses to “SCENES FROM A FAILED PRESIDENCY”

  1. J. Dryden Says:

    Do we still believe in the ability of any president (hell, any*one*) to improve our national lot? Seriously–who could possibly (and *how* could he/she possibly) makes things *better*?

    The majority has spoken, time and again, and they have been remarkably consistent: Spend freely on a massive military, dismantle any social safety net, and lower taxes into non-existence. That is what we as a people have said that we want, and it matters not a whit that a vocal minority thinks/desires otherwise; this is a democracy, and given that most of us are happy to receive our ideas from the moneyed powers who couch their vested interested in terms of patriotism and self-reliance, that is how things are going to be until some kind of vast cataclysm changes the national dialogue.

    With this in mind, what the fuck does anyone really expect Obama to do? His job? He's doing it. He is giving us exactly what we want. Cheap, easy non-solutions to intractable problems that allow us to ignore the underlying causes. We're American consumers, and he is providing us with exactly the service we expect.

    Yes, he's a failure. But only if one concedes that success was ever possible. I do not. The era of LBJ-style back-door arm-twisting died a long time ago, with the gentlemanly silence of the press corps and the ability to keep secrets in an age when technology didn't make that a laughable notion. The votes will never be there for a Democrat. Never. The GOP would, in fact, rather see the ship sink than cooperate with the rowers on the other side. The only consensus that will ever be reached is total–and I mean, complete and total–capitulation to the Right.

    All Obama can do–and has done–is try to slow down the inevitable slide into Gilded Age barbarism with a soupcon of Orwell. But that's all any "liberal" leader can do in a democracy with an electorate determined to go into the deepest, darkest part of the conservative woods. Blaming Obama for failing is like blaming a pilot for crashing a plane with no fuel, no navigation, and passengers engaged in a mass riot.

    I do not celebrate his failure. I recognize it, and regret it. And it is just possible that a better, abler person could have done more. But I do not believe that such a wo/man could get elected, and I do not believe that s/he could achieve anything much to "improve" the country. Look around: this is what we want. This is what we vote for, again, and again, and again. Why complain when we get it, and why castigate the man who gives it to us?

  2. wetcasements Says:

    "Do we still believe in the ability of any president (hell, any*one*) to improve our national lot?"

    I think the question is "Do we still vote for a POTUS who will make positive changes, or for the one who will shit the bed the least amount?"

    By the latter metric, Obama has been a stunning success.

  3. J. Dryden Says:

    @ wetcasements: I agree. It's utterly infuriating (or, if you've passed through that emotional stage, dispiriting) to recognize that the preferable candidate is "the one who will fuck things up the least," in no small part because that attitude ("All politicians can do is fuck up, so let's choose the one least likely to") is precisely the vicious lie we were told by the anti-government Reaganite crew for so many years, and lo, thanks to Gingrich's legacy of Death Before Compromise, that evil principle has become self-fulfilled.

  4. Middle Seaman Says:

    I don't buy into the defeatism spread by Dryden. Most people are too busy and too much confused by the Soviet type media to understand what is going on. The Republicans are clear: they for the rich and they are fascists. The Democrats are a bad abstract painting made by a monkey. Most of the party is way lost in the fog. Genuine Democrats are very few.

    No wonder that the safety net suffers. Most people don't even understand what happens; they are way to busy working their asses off.

    The pretend Liberal pushed Obama because they hate Clinton. Enough of us saw Obama in action and knew that is an empty suit riding a silly donkey. For me Obama is not a failure in the same way that I don't expect a goat to recite Shakespeare. Obama shouldn't run a grocery store unless you want your milk spoiled.

  5. oldfatherwilliam Says:

    Don,t forget appointments–especially the judicial ones. That alone is sufficient for me to lesser evil the choice.

  6. J. Dryden Says:

    @ Middle Seaman – I'm willing to be talked out of my defeatism (I'd call it 'objectivity,' but then, that's what a defeatist *would* call it, so probably not a reliable perspective, mine.) Anyway–no ego attached to my opinion–honest!–but I can't help but notice that your rebuttal kinda sorta confirmed my "everything sucks" contention, with the difference (a key one) that Obama *is* to blame for his failures. Fair enough, but if, as you claim, the Democrats are lost in a fog, and if the Soviet-style media has circumscribed an alternative perspective on the state of the nation, and if people don't understand what happens (and won't, thanks to the media-collusive blackout of the Real Deal), and if the only ones who know what they want and how to get it are the GOP (villainous bastards though they may be), then…how am I wrong, exactly?

    I swear, I'm not being snarky–I'm actually looking to be schooled. How, given the state of things as you've represented them, do you see things able to get better, realistically, practically? What can be done, and why isn't it being done, and what can change the latter into the former?

    I apologize for usurping the thread, and will shut up now; I promise.

  7. randy062 Says:

    As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.
    Clarence Darrow

  8. Middle Seaman Says:

    Dryden, since we are at it, let's do it right. We basically agree but sooner or later we will have a decent president rather than a string of Bushes. At that time with the help of serious groups, not the rich "liberals" that brought us Obama, we will see improvements.

  9. Arslan Says:

    "Now I see a little better how Nazism overcame Germany ~ It was what most Germans wanted-or, under pressure of combined reality and illusion, came to want. They wanted it; they got it; and they liked it. I came back home a little afraid for my country, afraid of what it might want, and get, and like, under pressure of combined reality and illusions. I felt-and feel-that it was not German Man that I had met, but Man. He happened to be in Germany under certain conditions. He might be here, under certain conditions. He might, under certain conditions, be I." Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free

    Very applicable to the American people these days.

  10. Fiddlin' Bill Says:

    The situation is such that the party backing the Romney Republican will continue to destroy the county wholesale, in every dimension, one little piece at a time. The party backing Obama will probably do much harm, such as your excellent example in this post, but the Democratic Party at least contains many people who still believe in democracy, fairness, who have some empathy towards their fellows, who don't see war as just another tool of diplomacy, who at least believe that we all face a climate disaster, etc. Look at what the Republicans have done since Reagan. A vote for Obama is a vote against total cratering. That's all it is. We have the R; we have the D–that is our system.

  11. Amused Says:

    Do you trust the Supreme Court? Does anyone?

    It's a scary to consider that Korematsu — the case that permitted the indefinite detention of Japanese Americans simply because the executive said he needed them locked up — it's still good law.

  12. Amused Says:

    To clarify: when I say "good law", I don't mean I consider it good, it's a legal term that means it's never been reversed and constitutes a precedent that the Supreme Court today can rely upon.

  13. Major Kong Says:

    My only small consolation is that it's still probably better than the chamber of horrors that would have been a McCain/Palin administration.

  14. c u n d gulag Says:

    "Can someone remind me one more time why I should care which moderate Republican wins in the titanic struggle between Romney and Obama?"

    I love you, but I think you know the answer to that one.

    Would McCain, or any Republican, have ended DADT?
    Given us any form of health care plan- even the inadequate and nascent one that was passed?
    How about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?
    Etc…
    More good progressive bills passed in Obama's first two years than in all eight of Clintons!
    And what did anyone expect him to do with a House full of retarded, rabid, wolverines?
    Remember, when he walks in, they play "Hail to the Chief." People don't have to rise up and yell "Hail Ceasar!" He's a President, not a Dictator.

    Obama was a lot more "Liberal" when Pelosi was Speaker. Not to even mention Reid and the Senate, with Red Dogs (there's nothing BLUE about then) like Nelson, Byah, and others. It's amazing that with all of the Red Dogs in both Houses, that anything got done at all.
    Little Boots got his way because of the make-up of those Congresses, and the after-effects of 9/11.

    Obama isn't, never was, and never will be a true Liberal. He can be made more so if we give him a Democratic Congress, with better Democrats than the Whoreporatist ones there now.

    And anyone who expected our first black President to be Liberal, or serve as one, is, quite frankly – delusional.

    First off, if he or she was, there would probably never be another one – at least not for a long, long time.
    Second, Obama's a moderate Democrat by today's standards, and look at the hatred spewed at him and his family. Franky, I'm amazed he's still alive.

    Look, there's a lot I don't like about Obama, the national security and detention shit, primary among them. But again, a Democratic President, especially a black one, can't afford not to be tough on those issues.
    You know that there are a lot of Conservatives out there literally praying, PRAYING, for another 9/11 on his watch! Do you think Conservatives will rally 'round him if there is, like Liberals and Democrats did around Little Boots after 9/11? Until he quickly proved that he was about as worthy of trust as a hung-over scorpion in your front pocket, which wasn't long at all.
    HELL NO!

    I've gone on long enough. I know I sound like an Obamabot, but I'm trying to give some perspective here.
    Just because he hasn't met your expectations on a particular issue or two, doesn't mean that you throw out the baby with the bathwater. Look at the body of work.
    And if you think there'll be no difference between Obama and Mitt, or Newt, or Jeb, or whatever Dominionist Christian corporate stooge the Republicans pick, then, either put down whatever you're smoking, or share it with the rest of us, because I sure as Hell think there's a big fucking difference.
    And if the shit you're smoking is so good that you can't see that, then remember – "Sharing is caring." So, whatever you've got, don't Bogart…

    Cue the Obamabot accusations!

    Happy Holiday's all!

  15. Fraz Says:

    THANK YOU c u n d gulag.

  16. Kanamit Says:

    Not a huge fan of Obama these days, but Romney isn't a moderate Republican. His rantings and policies are straight out of the John Birch Society, just given an air of New England civility.

  17. Meredith Says:

    Wonderful response, c u n d gulag, thank you.

  18. bb in GA Says:

    Yeah C-lag:

    We all appreciated how the Ds rallied around W after 9/11…y'know like calling him a p*ssy cause he didn't take an F-18 back to DC and touch down on P Ave before dark after the SHTF… yeah that kind of rallyin' around, that's what we miss.

    Merry Christmas y'all.

    The NDAA will probably get you almost as quick as me.

    //bb

  19. anotherbozo Says:

    Most of the time it's reaffirming to come to this site and have Ed fulminate about the current crimes perpetrated by government fuckups and corporate thieves. It's good to have company during our collective disaster and have one's own inchoate outrage given voice.

    It's really a downer to get bad NEWS from Ed, though. To wit: "each state can choose which parts of his health care reform legislation they will enforce."

    I hadn't read that.

    WASF.

  20. c u n d gulag Says:

    I'll go long before you, bb!

    I'll "see you in the Gulag!"

    I'll save you the lower bunk.

  21. Jonathan Says:

    C. Gulag, so a tiny bit of socially left legislation got passed which takes a side in ginned-up social controversies. Being forced to pour more money into financial products that don't even work (and that's all privately-run insurance is) or be fined is not my idea of socially liberal. That's all window dressing. What about the imbalance of wealth and power in the US? Why aren't they shutting down and seizing NewsCorp as a terrorist organization?

    BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL IN BED WITH THE RICH. NEITHER MAJOR PARTY WILL VOTE AGAINST CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH AND POWER.

    Bit of a shame it's not as easy to defect to most countries I'd want to be in these days.

  22. Marc Says:

    Jonathan: "Not a dimes worth of difference" got us Bush in 2000. Anyone who can't see the difference between the two parties is either incredibly out of touch or a tool of the plutocrats.

  23. xynzee Says:

    @C U: your rant jarred something loose, I believe that under Clinton drilling in the previously "un-exploitable" Alaskan reserves began. Of course nobody on the Left said anything because it was "our guy" who sold it out.

    How did Moore describe Clinton? As the most "Republican" president we'd ever had because of these kinds of acts.

    We also can't discount that Obummer knocked back Keystone. Think about that. Here's something that basically is "shovel ready" and would create a few month's worth of jobs, and of course would require maintenance crews (more jobs) to watch over. He knocked that one back, because of the potentially bad environmental impacts.

    Obummer-bot I'm not. But he does fit the bill of being the least likely the one I'd need to change the sheets as often for.

    The reality is, is that most people are really unimpressed with either party at the moment. The Teabagger's dissatisfaction, has been clear (crazy yes, but none-the-less clear) that they're not happy with the R's as they're doing business at present. Even Mississippi has enough sense to knock back legislation that outlaws the Pill.

    So what's the solution? Do we takes someone like Buddy Romer (sp?) seriously and vote third/fourth party, thereby splitting a ticket and winding up with the worst of our fears?

    That fear has been what's driven most electoral decisions for years. I really don't think that Anderson's campaign in 80 is ever given as much credit as it should for torpedoing Carter and delivering us the 12years of Reagan/Bush. Everyone says that the main issue was Iran-Hostage crisis (more likely the gas price than those held prisoner). So I'm a strong case in-point. To a degree I preferred Perot to the other two, but could he win? Doubt it. So Clinton it was. I like what Romer (sp?) is saying about money and elections (but not sure I like the rest of his platform), but could he peel enough votes of the other two two win? So Obummer it is.

    Maybe what's necessary are a couple of tweaks to the system. A valid "None of the Above" option. If there're enough "none of" votes, both candidates are thrown out (the incumbent is no longer incumbent) and say four weeks later there's a new election (minus the "None" category as this process cannot be allowed to go on indefinitely) with all *new* candidates.
    Another solution would be like the Australian Preferential system. You have the First Past the Post (the one with the most votes wins), but then the lesser candidates can allocate any votes that they received can go to another candidate. Instead of disappearing into the abyss, these votes stay in play, and can have a dramatic effect on the outcome. So the FPP candidate could receive 100 votes and the next up could receive 95, and say a third candidate receives only 6 votes, but then gives them to the one with 95, suddenly they have 101, votes and wins. Also by stating their preffs, it also gives further insight into how a candidate may vote during their term.

  24. Bernard Says:

    Oh yes, that lesser of two evils really does carry the day. lol
    remind me of that after they come for those you "disagree" with. with those who think there is NO difference between Obama and Palin.

    our Overloads thank you for your "but, but, Lesser Evil" advocacy.

    Cutting Social Security is Obama's greatest gift to the Overlords. Only a "Democrat" could do that.

    First they came for the Bolsheviks. etc.

    it always amazes me how well the Lesser of Evils has been bought by some.

  25. Chris Gerrib Says:

    Since I linked to this post from my blog, I might as well re-comment here.

    I feel your pain. I really do. But then I see things like:

    A) This kiss, which, prior to Obama, would have been grounds for immediate courts-martial of both parties.

    B) The announcement of new clean air rules that will finally get dirty coal-fired plants grandfathered in the 1970s out of service. (And no, Virginia, the rule will not cause a wave of blackouts.)

    This is on top of health care, saving GM and Chrysler, leaving Iraq, etc., etc. If John McCain were President, none of this would have happened. Hell, we'd not only still be in Iraq but probably bombing Iran by now. Most of the time, human progress comes, not in a rush, but in the slow day-to-day grind of incremental change.

  26. c u n d gulag Says:

    xynsee,
    I also think too often we're left with our vote going for the lesser of two evil's.
    But now, that evil on the Conservative side is even eviler!

    Our choice, at least as far as I see it, is to maintain a holding pattern, hoping that time (death, in other words, of the old, white, xenophobic, racist, misogynists elements), and the ensuing change in demographics brings us better candidates. In the meantime, we need to work to get those candidates in place and ready – and that's done from the bottom-up.

    If the Democrats lose soon, between voter suppression and their other anti-democratic (small "d") efforts, I'm afraid that we will soon become a Dominionist Christian Corporate (read Fascist) country. And there may be no escape from that – or, at least, not for a long, long, time.

    Btw – what you're describing is parliamentary government.
    And I wish he had that instead of what we have.
    If you look at recent history, most countries that turn to democracy by representative government (republican, small "r" government), choose that form, rather than our two-party system. They've seen enough of ours to know it's dysfunctional. And growing more dysfunctional every almost every election. Just look at our Senate! It wasn't meant to work this. And it isn't. And that's the exact goal of the Republicans. To make people hate government by any and all means, so they can privatize everything, and turn this country into a survival of the richest.

    Ok, enough of my endless yapping!

  27. Cargo Says:

    As a gay person, my choice is between a party that provides tepid support and a party that wants to throw me into the ovens.

    Not a dime's worth of difference!

  28. JohnR Says:

    Interesting; I think the Prozac 'N' Fluoride ("Proz'N'Fluor – now part of these delicious breakfasts!") in our water supply has been cut back a bit. I'm disappointed in Obama, but not terribly surprised – he's operating as President more or less as I assumed from his record he would be. Only the people who bought into the Republican "demonization" of Obama (and Obama's own campaign promises) would really believe otherwise. I think he's been loads better than any GOP President would have been, and would be, so I'll vote for him again next year. I have few illusions, though – I still see us plunging headlong down the last big slope of LeChuck's Rollercoaster of Doom; it's just that Obama's running the ride about half as fast as the GOP candidate would be. Anticipation..
    I'm not going to argue with bb about the different worlds we live in; it's bad enough in my own family, where everybody sees only that piece of the elephant that's right in front of him or her. Even my wife seems to filter out anything she doesn't want to remember; I'm not surprised old bb does so. Shoot, if I wasn't perfect in so many ways, I might do so as well. Oh Lord,it's hard to be humble.
    Anyway, I hope you feel a bit better now Ed; remember how much better BD felt when Phred encouraged him to let out the "Lousy Commie GOOK!" he'd been holding in that time they were lost together in the jungle. It can be a relief to blow off some steam. I hear JJ Astor IV expressed himself pretty freely as the Titanic went vertical, and I suspect he was much the better for it.

  29. acer Says:

    B-b-b-but! Alinsky! Van Jones! ACORN! George Soros! Caliphate!

    If you can't even keep Glenn Beck on FOX, you suck as an antichrist.

  30. Hazy Davy Says:

    Thanks for asking.

    Yes, I trust the Supreme Court. (No, I don't believe in the chess grandmaster theory of the Obama presidency. I don't really know what he's trying to accomplish).

    Glenn Greenwald and I read things differently—I do think this only applies to non-US citizens, and people captured abroad. Yes, I think that's still bad. But it's not like they can say "You were a part of 9/11", burst into your home in GA, and indefinitely detain you."

    What's baffling to me is this—it *still* seems unconstitutional, to strip US Citizens of rights if they are abroad. (If, instead, it said that under some conditions, your citizenship was forfeit, it might make more sense.) And President Obama is a constitutional law expert, right?

    —-
    Simultaneously appreciative of c u n d gulag and J. Dryden, and unaccustomed to the bb in GA playing the "false victimhood" bs. Geez, the Dems did practically massage W's taint while he circle jerked about launching a couple of new wars.

  31. Liebchen Says:

    Obamabots and others: To go back to the original point of Ed's post, I would simply note that the laws are already on the books classifying people investigating and/or protesting Big Ag's meat factories as "terrorists." ELF has been classified as "terrorist." In England, at least one police department has issued a memo calling OWS a "terrorist organization." A guy just got convicted for nothing more than using his First Amendment right to communicate his feelings on war and imperialism. (http://www.salon.com/2011/12/21/convicted_for_words_not_deeds/)

    The fact that you dislike Obama less than you dislike Romney or whomever gives me small comfort. SOMEone is going to start using these indefinite detention laws against American citizens that express unwanted political views. They obviously won't describe it that way; they'll have some "explanation" for the disappearances (if they acknowledge them at all). But that'll be the reason: Politically undesirable and annoying behavior.

    It's happened so many times before, all across the world, and in the US, too. It's naive to think that the US is immune.

  32. Marc Says:

    The sight of leftists bitching about Iraq – just after Obama kept a campaign promise and withdrew – is simply pathetic. This isn't about slavish devotion to Obama. It's about a pathological refusal to give him any credit for anything that he does. For example,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/opinion/toward-healthier-air.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    The EPA just enacted rules that would save thousands of lives.

    "Just words". "Lesser of two evils."

    You know damn well that we'd still be in Iraq if McCain was president, and that mercury ruling wouldn't have happened.

  33. Sarah Says:

    bb: A blessed Yule to you as well.

  34. Sunil Ramalingam Says:

    Marc, Obama would willingly have abandoned his campaign promise to leave Iraq if the Iraqi government had agreed not to prosecute US troops in that country. It's hypocritical for him to talk about keeping his promise. As for not giving him credit, as someone who voted for him it pains me to watch as he has stepped up drone attacks. He kills civilians, he kills US citizens without due process; I credit him for that. I didn't vote for it, and I can't support him any more.

  35. Marc Says:

    Sunil: In other words, there is nothing that he could do to satisfy people like you. Feel free to be a tool of the Republicans; just don't be surprised if people aware of the actual stakes call you on the Naderite nonsense.

  36. BillCinSD Says:

    "I also think too often we're left with our vote going for the lesser of two evil's.
    But now, that evil on the Conservative side is even eviler!"

    But that's what voting for the lesser evil does — moves the conversation towards more evil. We've had to vote for the lesser evil at least since the Democratic Party establishment abandoned McGovern because he tried to reform the party to reduce the power of the establishment.

  37. jb Says:

    Marc – how is stating facts being a tool to the Republicans. What Sunil stated is exactly what is happening. Seeing reality is not being a tool. Being a tool is having blind devotion in spite of the facts.

  38. c u n d gulag Says:

    Ok, BillCinSD, so, who you gonna vote for in 2012?

    There ain't no Liberal's running!

    McGovern was the last person to run as a "Liberal," except for maybe Mondale.
    How did those work out for anyone?

    And please don't bring up Dean, because he was not too much different from Dukakis – except he was smart enough not to get into a tank and ride in it.

    And all that poor SOB did to get discredited was to cheer a primary victory, and was undeservedly labelled an Uber-Liberal, and the MSM proceeded to feed on him like piranha's at an all you can eat Amazon River buffet.

    Unless there's some drastic philosophical change in our country, which may not be impossible, but pretty fucking damn unlikely, barring some economic, environmental, or other catastrophe, no Liberal can run and win the Democratic primaries and the general election.
    There's a far, far, better chance of a Dominionist Christian Corporatist (read Fascist) winning the general, than of a Liberal opposing him/her/it in it.

    I'd love to vote for a real Liberal in what little remains of my life, but I don't see that as any real possibility. And there's nothing I'd rather be wrong about in my life – except, of course, for the catastrophic circumstances that would have to occur to make that even a possibility.

    So, voting for the lesser of two evils, is still the voting for the LESSER of two evils. And, until such time as that changes, that's exactly what I intend to do. And I hope everyone with any brains decides to join me – because the alternative isn't just unthinkable, it's unlivable. Unless you like trying to survive in a Theocratic Fascist state.

    In case this is Ed's last post of the week, I wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season – regardless of what, or if, you believe!
    ENJOY!
    And a happy, healthy, and progressive New Year!!!!!!!!!

  39. Sunil Ramalingam Says:

    Marc, don't tell me about his achievement of leaving Iraq when he wanted to remain, and when he is leaving behind unaccountable mercenaries. If you like the drone policy, then you have the right guy. I don't. I hated it under Bush, and now it's worse under Obama. I despise the Libya intervention; if you like that, again, you're happy. But don't call me a tool of the Republicans if you support those Republican policies.

    There is something he could do to satisfy me: Stop the wars. Stop expanding them all over the world, and into the US. That would be a good start.

  40. Bernard Says:

    seeing the forest for the trees is something i just got, thanks to the Obots and other Democrats. no matter how much they look they only see what they want. lol.

    the arguments about complicity and willingness to abet the greatest heist in American history, if history gets told, that is.

    just quite simple how easy to foment brother against brother, without someone doing that fancy Nancy Reagan saying of "Just Say No."

    so much harder for Reid, Pelosi, Sanders, Durbin to just say no. how much torture is torture.
    when is endorsing EVIL by default different from active engagement.

    the appearances of weakness of Democrats and their terminal "Inability" to stop Republican destruction never amazes to astound me.

    to hear all these "oh i couldn't be like the Republicans, and never, never, never ever stopping the Republicans when they hold American hostage under the graces of Obama. or other Democrats, like Reid.

    those trees are all the same. the ones you can't see are still trees. But i digress about evil don't i!

  41. Technogeek Says:

    Pretty much the only reason left to vote for Obama over Romney is that Obama's SCOTUS appointments are far less likely to be in the vein of Robert Bork or Harriet Miers than anyone Romney would send before the Senate.

  42. Sarah Says:

    @Technogeek, and the Senate we have now would probably stonewall whoever does get appointed in the future. Sotomayor and Kagan both were confirmed before the 2010 elections.

  43. Fiddlin' Bill Says:

    To live in the real world you have to face the fact that we have a political system that boils down to a simple choice, D or R. There is simply no doubt at all that R is a far more horrible choice than D, and has been for quite some time. This in no way means that Lyndon Johnson did not escalate Vietnam into pure Hell. But it doesn't erase from history the Voting Rights Act. The Rs are trying to do that, along with Medicare, Social Security, and quite a few other things which count as "progress" in American History. After all, our glorious founders wrote slavery into the Constitution.

  44. Hawes Says:

    I read the Greenwald piece. He has a point with Myth 2, but Myth 1 is simply writing down something that already happens. And Myth 3 reads like paranoid mutterings.

    Sorry, but I don't give a damn about mercenaries. We're out of Iraq, something Romney regrets. We saved GM and Chrysler, something Romney regrets.

    If you don't think there's a legitimate choice in this election, you're a self-righteous fool. Obama's not perfect and the system he works under magnifies those imperfections, but stare into the heart of darkness that is the modern GOP and tell me there's no difference.

  45. Bears Fan Says:

    First, anyone that thought Obama was going to be some great liberal president is a complete moron. If you paid any attention at all he told you over and over again that he was a center left politician. He believed in compromise and pragmatism. If you heard something different then as Herman Cain said, Blame yourself. He told you what his policies would be and when given the opportunity on things like healthcare and DADT as well as many other campaign promises he has been true to his words. As far as his foreign policy and his extension on Bush's war on terror, other than stopping torture and closing Gitmo, he never really promoted any big changes in the policies of the Bush regime. I never expected that he would give up any of the new powers that Bush and Cheney and those promoting the Unitary Executive garbage claimed. Why because once given a power Presidents rarely give it back, which is why a new power should never be given to any President without great debate and analysis.

    So he didn't live up to your expectations. Could that be because you expected crap that he never promised?

    As far as the affordable care act is concerned, there have always been provisions for the states to be allowed to tinker around the edges. There is a baseline they must meet, but they can try different approaches in different areas. It is a sound theory when implementing sweeping legislation. It gives different states chances to experiment and see which approaches work the best. Because some states legislatures will be complete jackasses and try to simply strip the law down so that it is the least effective version possible will certainly happen. But it may strengthen the overall legislation in the end, as there will be a stark contrast to point to which will show everyone what the best alternatives are.

  46. Bernard Says:

    any concept of Obama being "Left" of anything is way beyond any evidence of Obama's behavior.
    Actions always speak louder, and Obama is a right wing placater. sucks Right wing talking points, and Gave Away Social Security.

    of course, Money and Greed are the active forces here. and Obama is just one of many sucking the Money from out wallets.

    so, the idea of evil being lesser of two is a farce of appearances. Cognitive disillusions.

  47. Bears Fan Says:

    Sorry Bernard,
    but you are ignoring the evidence. Obama's words match his actions pretty closely. What he campaigned on and what he has done, words vs actions are not particularly divergent. People have this odd idea that a President is just short of a King. As if just because he wants something done he can magically get it done. Why did GW Bush have so much success at getting his legislative agenda passed? Because gutless Dems in the Congress were afraid to do what they knew was right and vote against things like the Patriot act and such. Hell, did Bush ever have to worry about one of his own voting against him?
    Finally, how has Obama given away Social Security? Give me an example of any legislation he signed that has a major effect on SS? I think you are the one suffering from impaired cognitive function my friend.
    Oh and you think that there is no such thing as the lesser of 2 evils? Then let me make a suggestion that you have a choice. You either get a punch in the stomach, or you have electrical leads attached to your genitalia and current is repeatedly run through your body for 2 seconds at a time for a week.
    According to your logic, there is no difference because they are both bad choices. Which is obviously idiotic and delusional.

  48. Bernard Says:

    lol. good try. enjoy the holidays!

  49. bb in GA Says:

    @JohnR

    It is both amazing and enlightening that all I have to do is substitute D where you have R to get my general position…and I am not thrilled about the Rs

    Hoping for a better New Year for you!

    //bb