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Aug 10 2011

There aren’t many presidential candidates one can say this about…

…but Rick Perry is a traitor by his own confession and a murderer.

So the best the Republicans can field in this election cycle is a crazy church lady and a Confederate seccessionist? Looks like I’m going to be reluctantly voting for Obama again.

194 comments

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  1. 1
    'smee

    It would be great if Obama & the dems would actually get some cojones, but failing that, even the most dogmatic of the progressive left must recognize that there are some compromises worth making if it means avoiding an even worse outcome.

    I will do almost ANYTHING to keep the rethuglicans from getting the Presidency, from getting a majority in Senate, and from retaining their current majority in the House.

  2. 2
    Steve LaBonne

    Looks like I’m going to be reluctantly voting for Obama again.

    Not I. I’m in full “heightening the contradictions” mode right now, because we’re going down the toilet in any case, the only question being how fast. Like a drunk, the good ol’ USA may need to hit bottom before it can start to recover.

  3. 3
    rwahrens

    It is a sad commentary that again in this election cycle I am again going to more than likely be forced into making a choice between fucking insane and not good.

    I voted, gladly, for Obama last time, but if there were a better choice on the Democratic side, I’d make that better choice. Obama has been a disappointment.

  4. 4
    Holytape

    The notion that we should let the conservatives screw things up so bad, that people can’t help but see that liberalism and/or libertarianism has to be the way forward maybe one of the dumbest statements ever conceived. It’s like saying well, by bumper is a dinged up and the repairs were taking forever, so I decided to floor it into a brick wall. Now the repairs will happen twice as fast. Some damage done is not repairable. Power once concentrated is hard to change.

    Also if you haven’t noticed, the voting public isn’t exactly rational. Low taxes, entitlement spending and relaxed regulation of financial institutions have combined to cause this mess. And you know what the people are saying will get us out of this mess, lower taxes and less regulation, and no one is willing to cut entitlement spending.

  5. 5
    Mikey

    The nation is about to be introduced to Teflon Rick. This guy could walk through a cage of poo throwing monkeys and come out smelling of Axe body wash.

    http://www.texasmonthly.com/blogs/burkablog/?p=11045

  6. 6
    NEKSSpedTeacher

    Don’t forget the GOP also has the pro-Corporate Mormon.

  7. 7
    Steve LaBonne

    Some damage done is not repairable

    But when BOTH parties are doing the damage, merely at somewhat different rates, what’s your solution? Voting for bad Democrats has only encouraged them to get worse and worse.

  8. 8
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    I believe that perhaps we should listen to Mitch McConnell and the Republicans here. They said their top priority was ensuring Obama’s failure, and their every action has been consistent with a single-minded pursuit of that goal–regardless of the consequences to the country.

    Yes, Obama has been a disappointment to liberals. And yes, he is at least partly to blame for that. However, he came in with such high expectations, there is no way he could have fulfilled them. And Republicans and even conservative Dems have worked at every turn to thwart him.

    I think there is a simple reason for this, and ultimately, it boils down to race. Look at Obama’s treatment in the Congress dating from his first address there (remember the “You Lie!” outburst). Look at Faux News, who call the Whitehouse the “First Crib” and Obama’s birthday celebration a “Hip Hop Barbecue”.

    So what I am saying is maybe we should listen to our enemies. They are telling us what scares them, and whatever scares them cannot be all bad. Obama, as the nations first black President, is a transformational figure. The only way he could be more transformational is to be the first re-elected black President–overcoming not just the concerted opposition and sabotage of the racist fucks in America, but even his own shortcomings.

    Since we cannot achieve our every desire in this election, our goal ought to be the utter and complete demoralization of our enemies. I know of no better way to accomplish that than to shove another term of Obama down their throat.

  9. 9
    Steve LaBonne

    Another thing to realize is that things have gone exactly according to the Republican plan. They break stuff, sit back while Democrats get blamed for failing (indeed not even seriously trying even when they have the power, as in 2008-2010) to fix it, retake power and break things worse, lather, rinse, repeat. Another such Democratic “victory” and we are undone.

  10. 10
    DataJack

    I completely agree with you, PZ. Bachmann, a front runner? It seems as though a large part of our country has gone insane. An otherwise normal-seeming coworker (from Dallas) actually told me the other day that she thought a Perry-Bachmann ticket would be viable. Really? How can a sane person think that?

  11. 11
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Steve LaBonne, you are talking about handing the country–a country possessed of the 2nd largest nuclear arsenal on the planet, I would note–to the theocrats. Don’t take this the wront way: Are you insane?

  12. 12
    Steve LaBonne

    Are you paying attention all to what’s going on in this country, a_ray? We’re headed for disaster anyway on our current course. It’s you who are exhibiting insanity in the classic definition of doing the same thing (enabling horrible Democrats) and expecting a different result. Plus, the cycle that I described above is actually the reason WHY the Republican theocrats have become such a threat. I’m not sure what the short-term answer is, or if there even is one, but your way is not working, to put it mildly.

  13. 13
    Matt Penfold

    Are you paying attention all to what’s going on in this country, a_ray? We’re headed for disaster anyway on our current course. It’s you who are exhibiting insanity in the classic definition of doing the same thing (enabling horrible Democrats) and expecting a different result. Plus, the cycle that I described above is actually the reason WHY the Republican theocrats have become such a threat. I’m not sure what the short-term answer is, or if there even is one, but your way is not working, to put it mildly.

    If the US is going to self-destruct regardless of who is in charge, then the rest of us would prefer it done under the leadership of someone who is less inclined to take the rest of the world out with you.

  14. 14
    Rich Stage

    I just published this limerick on my blog

    Bachmann says she is God’s fling,
    ’til Perry throws his hat in the ring
    Which one’s a fraud,
    which one talks to God?
    Which one’s gonna lead the crazed-wing?

    Sometimes rhymes can get lazy
    when right-wing idiots make me hazy.
    But if I had said
    there’s voices in MY head
    you’d all just say I’m fucking crazy.

    Bachmann, by her own admission
    to her husband has pledged submission.
    If he would just ask
    it would be her task
    to get in her favorite position.

    Rick Perry, I think, is just messin’
    with our heads. He thinks he’s a blessin’.
    I think that y’all
    should give him a call
    and say we don’t need a new Texan.

  15. 15
    Steve LaBonne

    If the US is going to self-destruct regardless of who is in charge, then the rest of us would prefer it done under the leadership of someone who is less inclined to take the rest of the world out with you.

    Considering that Obama managed to start a new war without liquidating the two previous ones, is he really all that much better in that regard?

    If you’re talking about economics, Europe right now is behaving even more insanely than we are, and is the party most likely to take down the world economy.

  16. 16
    Freerefill

    Stewart/Colbert 2012

    Problem. Fucking. Solved.

    … besides, the whole thing is a joke anyway. Might as well get someone who’s good at it.

  17. 17
    nemo the derv

    Let’s face it. Were doomed.

  18. 18
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Steve LaBonne,
    Your analogy of a drunk that must hit bottom fails on a few VERY important criteria. This drunk has nukes. This drunk controls a large fraction of the world’s economy. This drunk can single-handedly alter the planet’s climate and wreck its productive capability even as the population crests at 10 billion.

    Were it not for those facts I’d have left the US a long, long time ago. We’re not talking a simple implosion of a single country. We’re talking disaster for the species.

  19. 19
    Non-Biblical Paul

    I’ve gotta admit, I like Perry’s idea for Texas to secede from the union. I think we should all be secessionists when it comes to Texas. I think there should be a massive drive in other states to get Texas to go through with Perry’s plan. I mean without Texas’ votes in the electoral college and Texan representatives’ votes in the House, America would be a decent country in no time.

  20. 20
    Steve LaBonne

    a_ray, I again remind you that it’s bad Democrats who are actually destroying the Democratic Party and handing power to the craziest Republicans. (I don’t believe for a moment that the Republicans really wanted to win the White House in 2008- it was much better for them in the long run to hand the pile of shit they created over to an ineffectual opposition which would then become covered in the shit in the public mind, and this plan has worked like a charm.) The strategy of propping up bad Democrats because the alternative is scarier is not going to prevent disaster. It has actually brought us to the brink of disaster.

  21. 21
    Otrame

    I live here and I didn’t know about this. I thought a governor talking with approval of secession was bad enough. He doesn’t really believe that childish nonesense, so he is a liar pandering to crazy people. He probably didn’t stay the execution because it would have gotten him into trouble with the death-lovers he is depending on. It would have even if there had been completely unambiguous proof the man was innocent. So, yeah. He allowed a man to die for personal gain. We usually call that criminally negligent homicide.

    I never expected Obama to be as liberal as many seemed to think he would be, and I knew he would be unlikely to get much past the opposition so the only thing I cannot forgive is that Guantanamo still holds hundreds of untried prisoners–an affront to the ideals of America as blatant as the internment of the Japanese.

    But I will vote for him even with the ugly fact of Guantanamo sticking in my craw because he is still impossibly better than any alternative. Besides, I agree with a_ray above. The thought of a black man in the White House who isn’t cleaning toilets makes some very bad people livid, and that makes me happy.

  22. 22
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Steve LaBonne, Do you even understand the first thing about politics? Do you have any idea how much the Whitehouse is worth to the party that holds it in terms of donations, perqs and prestige? I’ll bet you were saying the same thing about Al Gore when you voted for Nader. Look how well that one turned out.

  23. 23
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Otrame,
    I don’t think it is fair to blame Obama for Gitmo. He actually tried to close it early on, but
    1)he got no help from our “allies” in taking the prisoners
    2)he was actually forbidden by law from transporting prisoners to the US.

    How then, was he to close it?

  24. 24
    Steve LaBonne

    Do you even understand the first thing about politics?

    Clearly I understand it far better than you do, since you’re unable even to attempt to grasp what I’ve been saying. The weak, feckless Obama Administration couldn’t have been planned better by the Republicans for their purposes. It was just what they needed to get out from under, in the minds of the short-memoried public, the mess Bush created. Your way is not working. By the way, dumbass, 1) I voted for Gore, and 2) you’re a moron if you’re one of those who believe the falsehood that Nader cost him the election.

  25. 25
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Steve LaBonne,
    I think it more likely that you voted for Bush, concern troll.

  26. 26
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    If we’re going to vote for Obama no matter what he does, he’s going to move further to the right to grab the people who are maybe on the fence. Steve LaBonne is right: unless we’re willing to withhold our votes, we’re politically irrelevant and no one needs to pay any attention to us. That doesn’t mean we don’t vote. We need to all show up and write in someone more useful than Obama… like maybe a dead cat on a string.

  27. 27
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    you’re a moron if you’re one of those who believe the falsehood that Nader cost him the election.

    Let’s see. If Nader didn’t run, and those who voted for Nader would have voted for Gore (a reasonable presumption), then Gore would have won Florida, and therefore the electoral college. Care to show me figures otherwise?

  28. 28
    Steve LaBonne

    I think it more likely that you voted for Bush, concern troll.

    Ah, the typical lying psycho Obot. I won’t bother responding to you any more.

  29. 29
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Improbable Joe,
    This isn’t about getting eveything you want. This is an election where Obama will be running against a theocrat–regardless of who gets the Rethuglican nomination. THINK ABOUT THAT. These are people who think their actions are guided by an invisible sky pixie. They don’t just have imaginary friends, they do what their imaginary friends tell them to do.

    Last I saw, the perfect candidate was not on the ballot. Time to grow up and vote for the one that won’t make things irreparably worse rather than throwing a temper tantrum and trashing the country and the world in our inchoate rage.

  30. 30
    consciousness razor

    It has actually brought us to the brink of disaster.

    You said want us to get even closer to the brink, to “hit bottom,” as if somehow, something-or-other about a full-fledged disaster would fix the problem of our utterly insane electorate. What’s the plan anyway — vote Republican, to immanentize the eschaton? Or just don’t vote, or at least not Democratic, in the hopes the Republicans win? No. Just no. Not going into it again, either. I’m fucking tired of that.

  31. 31
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Hmm. “Obot?” I suppose you think he’s a Muslim terrorist, too, huh?

  32. 32
    Non-Biblical Paul

    The people who voted for Nader wouldn’t have voted for Gore, that’s why they voted for Nader. They would’ve voted for Gore if Gore had been a progressive candidate, but he wasn’t and so Gore lost Florida and the election.

  33. 33
    Steve LaBonne

    Gore would have won Florida

    Gore DID win Florida, as was clearly documented by teh Miami Herald. If his team had had the intelligence to demand a statewide recount instead of farting around and being cute, that fact would have been officially registered.

    Also, the election would not even have been close if Gore had been a halfway competent candidate, and if he had not gone out of his way to distance himself from a popular sitting President until it was too late.

  34. 34
    Carlie

    I got an automated poll call today asking me who I’d vote for in the primaries. The Republican choices were: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney. I had to laugh at the stark raving ridiculousness of that set of choices.

  35. 35
    Carlie

    Oh wait, and Rick Perry was in that list too.

  36. 36
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Steve Labonne,
    Nader made Florida close enough to steal. I’d buy him a Corvair if I could.

  37. 37
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The people who voted for Nader wouldn’t have voted for Gore,

    Talk about the point whooshing over your head. Without Nader on the ballot, most of the folks that voted for Nader would have voted for the lesser of the evils, namely Gore. Pay attention.

    Third parties have a history of denying elections to their closest allies. So they both lose.

  38. 38
    Steve LaBonne

    I’m not going to defend Nader. He’s a useless egotistical asshole. But the idea that he denied Gore the Presidency is factually incorrect. It was Gore’s own incompetence that did that.

  39. 39
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space,

    I don’t think you’re actually reading or thinking about what people are saying to you. There’s a difference between “not getting everything you want” and “giving the Republicans 98% of what they want and calling it a good deal” which is what you seem to be on about.

    Here’s a quick lesson in negotiating, and then we’ll compare it to what Obama does. Let’s say you want to buy a used car on sale for $10,000. You offer $7500, and the dealer counters with $9500. Eventually you talk him down to $9000 and a year of free oil changes. That’s a negotiation: you didn’t get everything you want, but you got more than you would have if you hadn’t negotiated at all.

    Obama’s “negotiating” goes like this: he offers the dealer $9975, but hints that he can go higher. Then he asks the dealer how much extra he needs to pay for the spare tire in the back, and the dealer tells him $100. Then Obama says that he’s got his old car with him, and how much does he have to pay the dealer to take it off his hands. The dealer charges Obama $5000 for the car that he will turn around and sell for $5000. Then the dealer gets greedy, and tells Obama that the seat belts are an extra thousand dollars. Obama jumps up and says “NO EFFING WAY! I’m not paying a penny over $500 for the seat belts.” Obama goes home after paying $20,575 for a $10,000 car, and brags to his wife that he saved $500 on the seat belts.

    And then you, Obama’s “wife”, go on the Internet and scold people for wanting a “perfect” negotiator. You’re like a battered spouse, making excuses for your abuser and justifying it by saying that the next guy would beat you even worse.

  40. 40
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Improbable Joe,
    Do you really like your chances “negotiating” with Michelle Bachman…or Rick Perry…or even AssMit Romney? Let me spell out for you THE issue in these elections:

    T-H-E-O-C-R-A-C-Y

    Go look it up. Now look up Iran as an example of one in action. Or the Massachusetts Bay colony during the witchhunts.

    On the one hand, we have a less than 100% successful President, who has nonetheless managed to keep the economy out of depression even given the horrible state Bush left it in, who has at least renounced torture, who has ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and quite defending DOMA and who actuall managed to pass the first healthcare reform since LBJ.

    On the other hand, we have theocrats who deny the very existence of physical reality, who equate homophobia with virtue and who think an invisible sky pixie is guiding their every action. We tried stupid in 2000-2008. It didn’t work.

    Time to grow up

  41. 41
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Steve LaBonne,
    No Nader didn’t deny Gore the Presidency. He handed it to Bush.

  42. 42
    'smee

    Steve LaBonne

    The strategy of propping up bad Democrats because the alternative is scarier is not going to prevent disaster. It has actually brought us to the brink of disaster.

    I hear what you are saying – but do you really think that Republicans – especially the current crop – would govern us out of the mess we are in, or are you actually positing a decent into madness as the only way out?

    Personally – I would rather chew my leg off than die in the trap. Voting Obama a second term would be the former. Allowing repubs to gain control of the Whitehouse as well as congress and potentially the Senate is such a scary possibility I’m willing to work with fuckwit DINOs to avoid it.

  43. 43
    raven

    Obama is going to have a very hard time getting reelected.

    The US economy isn’t doing well, isn’t getting any better, and may well slip back in a recession.

    Historically, the party in power when that happens gets tossed. We saw that in the last election when the Tea Party won a lot of races. That is how Obama got elected in the first place.

    Get ready for President Bachmann, Palin, Perry, Romney, or Huckabee.

    They won’t do any better than Obama, probably. It was the Theothuglicans and Bushco that caused this mess in the first place. What they will do is try to outlaw abortion, attack Planned Parenthood, NPR, and start up the War on women, children, atheists, scientists, gays, the EPA, and so on. Because it is so much easier to hate and discriminate and cause problems than solve the ones we have with the economy.

  44. 44
    LexAequitas

    The Republican choices were: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney.

    Oh, ugh.

    I agree Obama has been disappointing — though a substantial part of it has been a ludicrous level of opposition.

    However, there’s no way I’d want to give the country to one of those.

  45. 45
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Improbable Joe:

    Obama’s negotiation, however, adds the fact that if he doesn’t acquiesce to this dealer, then the dealer is going to drive his car over some school children and a cat. The Republicans in Congress are ready to DESTROY THE WORLD for their end goals. If it makes Obama look bad, they couldn’t give a rat’s ass what the result ends up being. Worldwide financial crisis? No problem! At least Obama won’t get in the White House again.

    What do you suggest we do on the polls? Vote for a crazy Republican? Cause a write-in candidate will basically be the same thing.

  46. 46
    'smee

    @Raven…

    Obama is going to have a very hard time getting reelected.

    Agreed. Which is why we need to support him, despite our differences.

    The US economy isn’t doing well, isn’t getting any better, and may well slip back in a recession.

    A fact not helped by the actively obstructionist tactics of the opposition.

    Historically, the party in power when that happens gets tossed. We saw that in the last election when the Tea Party won a lot of races. That is how Obama got elected in the first place.

    Historically true does not mean always true. This is a weird fucked-up situation. The oppostiion are not providing ANY answers, and are completely batshit scary in any rational or semi-rational analysis.

    Get ready for President Bachmann, Palin, Perry, Romney, or Huckabee.

    Fuck no. New Zealand is not far enough away.

    They won’t do any better than Obama, probably. It was the Theothuglicans and Bushco that caused this mess in the first place.

    Probably? let’s say definitely. Their policies are likely to be great for corporates, the top 1%, and anyone who makes money from money. For the rest of us… fucked.

    What they will do is try to outlaw abortion, attack Planned Parenthood, NPR, and start up the War on women, children, atheists, scientists, gays, the EPA, and so on. Because it is so much easier to hate and discriminate and cause problems than solve the ones we have with the economy.

    try to? If they achieve the turnover that you seem to think, they will have control of both houses as well as the Presidency. In that case we are well and truly fucked, by a Corporate Theocracy in the making, and Jackboots wont be far behind… i the interests of Peace of course, since we ARE AT WAR and objecting to the government in time of war is TREASON donchaknow.

    Fuck.

  47. 47
    LexAequitas

    Really, though, calling Rick Perry a murderer is inaccurate. Allowing an innocent person to die is not the same as killing them yourself.

    That doesn’t mean I find Perry in any way palatable. He has indeed made statements that imply advocacy of secession (AFAIK he didn’t actually advocate it, just suggested it was an open possibility), and his allegiances strongly suggest he’s a dominionist at heart.

  48. 48
    Non-Biblical Paul

    @Nerd:

    The only point you have is on the top of your head.

    The people who voted for Nader didn’t want to vote for the lesser of two evils, because it’s degrading; they never would have voted for Gore and they will never lower themselves to voting for Democrats. Some people have brains and a purpose in life, and so they vote for the candidate they actually like. It is specifically because of unsavory Democratic Party candidates like Gore, that Nader runs for office. If it wasn’t for Gore running for president, Nader wouldn’t have had to run for president himself. I hope Nader runs again, so I can vote for a progressive instead of Obama. Not much I would like to see more than Obama lose that election.

  49. 49
    Matt Penfold

    The people who voted for Nader didn’t want to vote for the lesser of two evils, because it’s degrading; they never would have voted for Gore and they will never lower themselves to voting for Democrats. Some people have brains and a purpose in life, and so they vote for the candidate they actually like. It is specifically because of unsavory Democratic Party candidates like Gore, that Nader runs for office. If it wasn’t for Gore running for president, Nader wouldn’t have had to run for president himself. I hope Nader runs again, so I can vote for a progressive instead of Obama. Not much I would like to see more than Obama lose that election.

    So what you are saying is that if Nader did not win the people who voted for him had no preference as to who did ?

    Have you any idea how fucking stupid that is ?

  50. 50
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    There’s also this weird idea that Obama is powerless, that the presidency and one half of Congress is meaningless as long as there are a couple of Republicans who hold out. That’s just nonsense as well… Obama uses his power, to keep Democrats in line with his selling out. If he used his platform and the Democrats used the power they actually have, there wouldn’t be opportunities for hostage taking.

    And this whole grading Obama on a curve is so frustrating. Ask a teacher if that’s how you run a classroom, by giving the top-scoring student an “A” no matter how low his score it.

  51. 51
    Rob

    @LexAequitas:

    Time to Godwin then. So Hitler wasn’t a murderer?

  52. 52
    raven

    raven:

    Historically, the party in power when that happens gets tossed. We saw that in the last election when the Tea Party won a lot of races. That is how Obama got elected in the first place.

    ‘smee:

    Historically true does not mean always true. This is a weird fucked-up situation. The oppostiion are not providing ANY answers, and are completely batshit scary in any rational or semi-rational analysis.

    “Historically true does not mean always true.”

    Well sure but not too relevant. The correlation is very high.

    1. Don’t you remember the last congressional elections. The Tea Party made major gains and managed to hold the national debt hostage.

    2. How do you think Obama got elected in the first place. That Great Recession thing that Bush left us.

    Blind hope and whistling past the graveyard might make you feel good but won’t change the facts.

    “The opposition…are completely batshit scary in any rational or semi-rational analysis.

    Sure. But irrelevant. They get elected. Bachmann, Palin, Romney, Ron Paul, Huckabee, Perry and so on were all and/or are elected officials.

    Most economists are calling for a lost decade. We can’t easily get out of the hole we are in, no matter who is running the country. A few are calling for a lost generation.

    I’ve always been optimistic about the USA. But things change, and it’s not looking like a realistic position these days.

  53. 53
    Non-Biblical Paul

    @ Matt Penfold:

    No. That’s not what I said at all. And you’re right, it is really fucking stupid for you to think of that.

    It’s offensive that Democrats think social democrats such as Green Party supporters have an alliance with them. We don’t.

    I really wish your bullshit Democrat candidates would stop running for office, because they steal votes from good candidates like Nader. However, if Nader can’t win, it’s better that Republicans win, because it sends a message to Democratic Party leadership to stop fielding candidates.

  54. 54
    raven

    IMO, Obama’s only hope for reelection is if the Tea Party/GOP nominate someone fruitbat crazy and evil that scares everyone with a working brain halfway to death.

    They might.

    If they do nominate anyone who doesn’t look like some Undead creature from beyond the Formless Chaos, they will win.

    At this point with our dismal economy and present economic trajectory, the presidency is theirs to lose not Obama’s to win.

  55. 55
    Matt Penfold

    No. That’s not what I said at all. And you’re right, it is really fucking stupid for you to think of that.

    You were unclear in your previous comment. That is your fault, not mine.

    It’s offensive that Democrats think social democrats such as Green Party supporters have an alliance with them. We don’t.

    I was not claiming you did.

    You know, for someone worried about offence you really should stop being so fucking offensive.

    I really wish your bullshit Democrat candidates would stop running for office, because they steal votes from good candidates like Nader. However, if Nader can’t win, it’s better that Republicans win, because it sends a message to Democratic Party leadership to stop fielding candidates.

    Democrat candidates are nothing to do with me, so cut out this “your” crap OK ? Really, that was a fucking stupid thing to say.

  56. 56
    'smee

    Raven — I agree with everything you are saying… maybe I am simply acting out my fears.

    Unfortunately I live in Georgia, and I’m surrounded by followers of the undead (Evangelical Christian Republicans) all of whom think the Tea Party folks are right and pure and holy. It scares the crap out of me, and if that means I need to mobilize everything and everyone I know to vote FOR Obama and AGAINST the wingnuts, then that’s what I’ll do, because sitting back and saying “they’ll probably win, anyway” is a sure way to turn that probably into definitely.

    Politics are the art of the possible.
    Re-electing Obama is possible.

  57. 57
    Non-Biblical Paul

    @ Matt Penfold:

    I was unclear? “Nothing I would like to see more than Obama lose that election”?

    When I think of your response, the word “jackass” comes to mind.

  58. 58
    TheBigD

    Bachmann and Perry will fight it out for the nomination, and no matter who wins that battle, the victor will win Dumbfuckistan. But that won’t give them enough Electoral College votes to become President.

    I think we should let Dumbfuckistan secede. We close all our military bass in those states, all Social Security and Medicare funds are forfeit, highway funds are cut off, education funds cut off, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    Thinking people fly over those states anyway.

  59. 59
    Glen Davidson

    It’s like the Republicans have found a trajectory, which is to reduce taxes on the rich significantly every decade or so, while becoming ever more rabid in their rhetoric to keep enough voters on board.

    And there’s no end in sight.

    Glen Davidson

  60. 60
    Glen Davidson

    Oh yeah, and the Democrats want to win each time by being like last decades, slightly more sane Republicans.

    Glen Davidson

  61. 61
    'smee

    @ Raven:

    They get elected. Bachmann, Palin, Romney, Ron Paul, Huckabee, Perry and so on were all and/or are elected officials.

    Bachmann: safe congressional seat, ensured by significant gerrymandering.
    Palin: minor politician from a minor state who failed to win anything except the endearing love of Fox News and its viewership – uninterested in being anything but a ‘celebrity’
    Romney: Not batshit, but anathema to the evangelical right since he is (a) Mormon, (b) architect of Romneycare [which will be an issue in the primaries], (c) from a North Eastern Lib’rul state [which makes him suspect to the ER.
    Ron Paul: too unflinchingly libertarian for the ER.
    Huckabee: a relative moderate as a Governor, becoming more visibly evangelical during primaries - now uninterested in anything but 'celebrity'

    You forget Perry - who is arguably more of a politician than anyone on the list (other than Huckabee and Romney) - but who is also tarred by his brushes with Secessionist sentiment in Texas [which will be an issue in Primaries when the gloves come off].

    Of them all – Romney is the least ‘scary’ but he is scary enough, simply because he would be the puppet of his congress and senate, even more than Obama would be.

    Bachmann just plain scares the shit right outa me

  62. 62
    raven

    ‘Smee, I’m in the same boat despite living on the west coast.

    The Tea Party has it in for a long list of groups, women, children, gays, scientists, atheists, nonxians, nonwhites, Democrats, pagans, etc..

    I fall into several of the groups they target.

    If the Tea Party gets the next presidency, which is how it looks right now with high probability, the US will be over with.

    No civilization (used in a colloquil sense) has ever lasted. In my lifetime two have gone down, the British empire and the USSR. Someday it will be our turn. That may be about…now.

  63. 63
    amphiox

    But when BOTH parties are doing the damage, merely at somewhat different rates, what’s your solution?

    You have three options, Steve.

    1. You vote Democrat. You vote MASSIVELY Democrat. You give the democrats the presidency, the house, and a UNFILIBUSTERABLE majority in the senate. This accomplishes three things: A) Triage. Since the dems are doing the damage at a lower rate, disaster is now approaching more slowly, giving you more time, B) the Democrats no longer have the excuse of the other party obstructing their agenda, and C) you have changed the demographic of the party with a big influx of new members, who may not be as beholden to the Old Guard as before. Then, you join the Democrats. And I don’t mean just signing some card. You join ACTIVELY. You become an activist within the Democratic party to create an effective opposition WITHIN THE PARTY to the destructive tendencies of the old guard. You create a progressive version of the Tea Party, within the democratic party, and then you work to have that faction take over the democratic party. This process takes time, and that is why you vote democrat first, to triage and give yourself the needed time.

    2. You create your own third party, and build it to the point where IT CAN WIN. If you cannot do this in a timely fashion, then option 2 is not feasible.

    3. You move to another country, and hope the US manages to fix its own problems. (But if it does not, when it does finally go down the tube, your new nation, and the rest of the international coalition will have only one choice left – intervene in self-defense into the internal politics of the rogue failed-state that is the US. This may require even require them to INVADE, divide the country to weaken and isolate the extremist parts, and outlaw the destructive party(s) in power. If such an international intervention/invasion is not feasible, or too damaging in and of itself (say because America has nukes and you can’t find anyway of neutralizing them beforehand), then option 3 is not feasible.)

    Your choice, Steve.

  64. 64
    Matt Penfold

    Non-Biblical Paul,

    OK, I did not read your original comment properly, so I apologise for that.

    However that does not excuse this comment from you, which requires an explanaton which I note you cannot provide:

    I really wish your bullshit Democrat candidates would stop running for office,

    I am not American, so how can a Democrat candidate be in anyway mine ? That you assumed I am American suggests you are not very bright and are rather insular in your outlook.

    If you are at all interested I voted for Plaid on both the individual and party lists in the last election in which I had a vote.

  65. 65
    Pteryxx

    Wait a minute… if Perry WANTS Texas to secede, then why the heck is he running for President of the whole country in the first place? Is he lying to keep secessionists happy, or is he actually going to dismantle the nation?

  66. 66
    Carlie

    What do you suggest we do on the polls? Vote for a crazy Republican? Cause a write-in candidate will basically be the same thing.

    I’m planning on doing a write-in for the primary, just to get it out of my system. I know there’s no way in hell that Obama won’t get the nomination; I just want to register that I’d rather vote for a different Democrat, thanks. Haven’t decided who to write in yet.

  67. 67
    Dianne

    Perry’s possibly even scarier than Bachmann. He looks sane and can play the “moderate” but he’s not either really. I like to think that the country’s not dumb enough to fall for him, but, well, George Bush and Ronald Reagan. What can one say?

  68. 68
    amphiox

    And this whole grading Obama on a curve is so frustrating. Ask a teacher if that’s how you run a classroom, by giving the top-scoring student an “A” no matter how low his score it.

    You might not do so, but if there is a end-of-year prize for the student with the highest grade, you give that student the prize no matter how low the numerical grade actually is.

  69. 69
    llewelly

    Romney is still the leading polls in comparison to other Republican primary candidates. He isn’t leading by a lot, but if he does win, it will be very difficult to convince those who fall between the Democrats and the Republicans that a Romney presidency will result in theocracy; he is a former governor of a state with a reputation for being liberal, and a former champion of a state health care program similar to the nation wide health care reform Obama championed. Worse, Romney is a better match for American corporate culture, and will probably receive more corporate financial backing than other potential Republican candidates. (And he is out fund raising them now.) It’s possible that Romney would choose firing up the base over appealing to the centrists, or think he could have his cake and eat it too, and select a VP candidate like Bachmann. But if that doesn’t happen, Romney will be very well positioned to campaign against Obama, in a way none of the other Republican primary candidates ever could be.

    The spouse abuser’s defense – “You can’t leave us, you have nowhere else to go!” – so quickly offered up by a_ray_in_dilbert_space and his compatriots – is probably sufficient against Bachmann or Perry. But it won’t work particularly well against Romney. If Democrats want to win in 2012 … they will need something better.

  70. 70
    amphiox

    There’s also this weird idea that Obama is powerless, that the presidency and one half of Congress is meaningless as long as there are a couple of Republicans who hold out. That’s just nonsense as well… Obama uses his power, to keep Democrats in line with his selling out. If he used his platform and the Democrats used the power they actually have, there wouldn’t be opportunities for hostage taking.

    So long as the filibuster remains an allowed tactic, and the Republicans control a filibuster-capable minority, then for all intents and purposes a majority in the Senate for the dems really is meaningless, and a handful of Republicans holding out can indeed set the agenda.

    That’s why the very first step in fixing the broken US government has to be obtaining a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and then the second step is using that majority to eliminate the filibuster, permanently.

  71. 71
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I can’t believe how many of you are voluntarily in Obama’s veal pen. It is just sad.

    amphiox, do you think a student learns anything if she’s rewarded for being one point less dumb than the next dumbest person? What if she only knows 20% of the material, she should get that medical degree and operate on you and your loved ones because the rest of the class got 19% or less? That’s who you want fixing your car, preparing your foods, teaching your kids.

    Because that’s the sort of government you and the other Obama supporters are advocating: rule by the barely slightly less stupid/crazy/evil than the next worse choice.

  72. 72
    amphiox

    Romney’s pattern has been to swing wherever he thinks the political winds are blowing.

    Which means that if the Dems can take back control of congress (ie, if voter frustration is such that all incumbents get equally hit, which is certainly possible, as Congress’ approval ratings are even lower than Obama’s) in 2012 (win back the House, reduce the Tea Party, keep at least a filibuster capable minority in the Senate), then a Romney presidency would probably be quite tolerable. It would, in fact, probably be indistinguishable from Obama.

  73. 73
    lordshipmayhem

    I remember when Obama got elected. The next morning, in my blog, I congratulated him. And gave him my deepest sympathies, for after The Shrub, everyone had this sky-high expectation for him. They were clearly expecting him to come in, walking on water, clean up the mess, get the West out of Afghanistan and Iraq, balance the budget, make every plain girl and boy into social stars, give us two cars in every pot, two chickens in every garage, and two joints of pot in every pocket, and in general wave his magic wand and make everything just wonderful.

    What they expected him to do on the second day would take more time than I have at the moment.

    Of course, he couldn’t – he was just a human being, maybe the most powerful human being on the planet but still just one human being. And now, he and the Democrats are paying for his inability to be God. He still has my sympathies.It doesn’t matter how good or bad his performance is, it will never be enough.

  74. 74
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Improbable Joe:

    I asked you and you ignored.

    What do you suggest?

  75. 75
    Matt Penfold

    Because that’s the sort of government you and the other Obama supporters are advocating: rule by the barely slightly less stupid/crazy/evil than the next worse choice.

    If the reality of the situation is that Obama is bad a choice, but the others are worse, then you need to deal with the reality of the situation.

  76. 76
    amphiox

    amphiox, do you think a student learns anything if she’s rewarded for being one point less dumb than the next dumbest person? What if she only knows 20% of the material, she should get that medical degree and operate on you and your loved ones because the rest of the class got 19% or less? That’s who you want fixing your car, preparing your foods, teaching your kids.

    Where did I say that?

    I said that IF THERE IS AN AWARD FOR THE STUDENT WITH THE HIGHEST MARKS (and there are such awards), then the student with the highest marks in the class GETS THAT AWARD. It doesn’t matter if the mark score is just 20%. If 20% is the highest mark in the class, the student with the 20% deserves the award, and not giving the award to that student would be unfair and wrong. (And yes, that student WILL learn a whole lot out of this process, particularly if his or her score is announced publicly at the time the award is given, which is also standard practice for these kinds of awards).

    Unless it is stipulated before hand that there is a minimum score required to qualify for the prize. This is case for professional degrees there is a minimum grade for licensing. If no one scores high enough in a given year’s candidate pool, no one passes, period.

    But politics doesn’t work that way, so that analogy fails. You cannot say ‘none of the candidates are any good, so this year we just won’t have a president!’.

    You vote for the best available candidate, no matter how weak he or she is. If you do not, as a member of a democratic society, you are responsible in part for the worse candidate succeeding, and for all the policies that the worse candidate goes on to implement, regardless of whether you personally approve of them or not. That’s what it means to be a citizen in a democratic society.

  77. 77
    Vicki

    There are decent, civilized people in every state–think about academics looking for jobs. If the only tenure-track position in your job is in College Station, Texas, or Omaha, Nebraska, you probably take it. (I knew an American who wound up at the University of the Witwatersrand that way: it was the only opening in the world in her field that year.)

    When you say “let them secede” you’re also saying “let them beat gay people to death, let them imprison women for having miscarriages, let them imprison poor blacks on dubious charges and then use them as slave labor.” They’re doing too much of that already: do you really think an independent, right-wing south wouldn’t be worse? Think about that runaway gay sixteen-year-old: they might manage to hitchhike or pay for a bus ticket to someone whetter, but they’re not going to have a passport to get them to what’s left of the United States.

  78. 78
    amphiox

    Because that’s the sort of government you and the other Obama supporters are advocating: rule by the barely slightly less stupid/crazy/evil than the next worse choice.

    No, that’s the sort of government that all advocates of democracy support. That’s the sort of government that democracy produces, when it works properly. This is what Winston Churchill meant when he said that democracy was the “worst of all government systems, except for all the others that have been tried.”

    If you don’t like it, then you need to go find a different, non-democratic government system that can magically produce acceptable candidates for leadership on demand.

  79. 79
    Matt Penfold

    Unless it is stipulated before hand that there is a minimum score required to qualify for the prize. This is case for professional degrees there is a minimum grade for licensing. If no one scores high enough in a given year’s candidate pool, no one passes, period.

    This happens at the National Eisteddfod here in Wales. If the judges do not think any of the entries are worthy winners they simply do not award the prize.

  80. 80
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    However, if Nader can’t win, it’s better that Republicans win, because it sends a message to Democratic Party leadership to stop fielding candidates.

    Uh, no.

    First off the GOP is just plain scary– give them too much power and see where that leads us. I mean, sure, having the Republicans in power is great if you’re a war-mongering billionaire, but most of us aren’t. It’s not worth the risk.

    Secondly, the message has been and will continue to be that the Dems should move to the right, not the other way around. Unless you can field a third party candidate that can capture a significant number of votes*, the Dems will have no reason to suddenly become progressive.

    And lastly: Until one of major parties tear itself apart, there’s no way that a third party will be viable (the third party will most likely be born of either the Dems or the Repubs. It won’t be an outside group).

    I have no issue with people who voted for Nader because Gore should have easily won that election. But don’t kid yourself– a third party vote will do more harm than good at this point.

    *Obviously not Nader, who received something like 2% of the vote in 2000.

  81. 81
    amphiox

    If Obama had a filibuster-proof democratic majority in the Senate, then his record would have been much, much better.

    Just look at all the legislation that would have passed but for a filibuster, and all the legislation that was changed to get around a filibuster. If all that had passed, Obama would have accomplished more progressive change than every prior democratic president combined, before the 2011 midterms.

    If you want to fix the system in 2012, you vote for Obama AND you vote for a filibuster proof democratic supermajority in the senate.

    It’s as simple as that, really.

  82. 82
    geral

    This is when I regret our political system. I am disappointed with Obama and I would like a more progressive president. Unfortunately, the only realistic options are him or a nut.

    Sigh. Tough choice.

    If I’m not convinced by next November, I’ll probably write in.

  83. 83
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    All this talk about “reality” would carry more weight if we didn’t have the example of Republican voters getting closer and closer to everything they want year after year after year. Why is it that changing political reality, shifting your party to more closely match what you consider to be the ideal, is ONLY allowed for Republicans? Republicans withhold their money and support for people who they find ideologically unsuited for their party. They hold primaries and boot out incumbents. Democrats? “Oh, those are the politicians we have, so that’s who we’ll vote for. I guess losing SS and Medicaid is OK, because really our elected officials have no power when compared to the 20% of the country who identify as Tea Party. We’ll just have to compromise and hope they don’t eventually strip us our right to vote for bad choices.”

  84. 84
    amphiox

    Or think back to the alternatives to Obama available in 2008.

    I trust no one seriously thinks that we would have been better off if McCain/Palin had won that election.

    But how about if Hilary Clinton had won the democratic primary? Do you think the reactionary birtherism “one-term president” crowd that obstructed every step of Obama’s agenda would have been any more cooperative with her? Would you have preferred the overt misogyny that would have resulted over the overt racism that we got?

    Do you think she would have had any more success negotiating around Republican filibusters to her progressive agenda?

    Do you think her agenda would even have been more or even as, progressive as Obama’s tried to be?

    Or, would you have preferred President John Edwards?

  85. 85
    raven

    And now, he and the Democrats are paying for his inability to be God.

    Obama hasn’t fixed the economy.

    Probably no one could.

    Bush left a huge mess. Obama did the usual, Keynesian spending federal money to stimulate the economy, and the fed reserve kept interest rates at around zero with quantitative easing.

    This time it didn’t work so well. Although if Obama hadn’t done all that, we might be in a Depression rather than plateauing.

    I’m not seeing that the GOP/Tea Party could do any better. Bush cut taxes, increased spending wildly, and started two expensive wars.

    AFAICT, the Tea Party/GOP’s solution to the problems they created is just more of the same. How can you cut taxes again without cutting spending? The vast majority of the federal budget is social security, medicare, medicaid, and the military.

  86. 86
    Duth Olec

    PZ for president.
    If both Republicans and Democrats suck, why on earth does the US keep voting for them? Is the majority really that narrowly-informed that they do not know about the smaller parties that are probably also just as bad so it is probably a moot point?
    Hey, George (Washington) didn’t like the idea of political parties. But would it even be possible–find someone who would make a good president, have a fundraiser or something to pay for actually getting on the ballot, and then actually get going.
    But the only good leaders would be those who do not even want to lead, which means…
    leopard slug for president

  87. 87
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    amphiox, you’re full of shit on Obama’s record. Obama has never ever proposed anything “much better” on any of the big issues. He has almost always started with ten year old Republican ideas, and then compromised to the right. AT BEST, we’d have gotten 2002-era Republican policy, instead of “worse than Bush” policy.

    Glen Davidson had it right earlier: Democrats are just Republicans from a few years ago. If you don’t believe me, just tell me where Nixon or Reagan would have fit into the current political system? Reagan would be a Blue Dog, and Nixon would have been somewhere in the middle of the Democratic party.

  88. 88
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Duth Olec:

    A Basic Campfire for Warchief?

  89. 89
    enlightend

    Rick Perry isn’t the only confederate presidential candidate.

    Bachman’s “law school” she attended taught that the civil war was the christian confederates against the godless Union.

    Plus, the schools moto is to bring Law in the US to its Christian roots …

    Thats one scary lineup!

  90. 90
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Improbable Joe,
    With our voter turnout as low as it is, it is a question of who votes. Republicans have a better track record when it comes to consistant voting, so it makes some (twisted) sense to pander to those who are going to pull the lever in the first place.

  91. 91
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Improbable Joe:

    Answer the question, Joe.

    What do you suggest we do, then? Protest vote? Vote for a write-in for the Primary? Write a strongly worded letter to Obama?

  92. 92
    llewelly

    Vicki | 10 August 2011 at 11:40 am

    When you say “let them secede” you’re also saying “let them beat gay people to death, let them imprison women for having miscarriages, let them imprison poor blacks on dubious charges and then use them as slave labor.” They’re doing too much of that already: do you really think an independent, right-wing south wouldn’t be worse? Think about that runaway gay sixteen-year-old: they might manage to hitchhike or pay for a bus ticket to someone whetter, but they’re not going to have a passport to get them to what’s left of the United States.

    Quote for every thread in which some asshole says “let them secede”.

  93. 93
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Improbable Joe,
    You cannot possibly think that you are going to change the political agenda by punishing the Democrats by withholding your vote, can you? Dude, do you really think you’ll bring Obama around to your point of view by hitting him with a rolled up newspaper?

    Oh how cute!

    Let’s imagine the following situation and think how a rational party leadership would respond. You have one tiny group that threatens to withhold their vote unless they get the majority of what they want–and what they want will cost a lot of votes. On the other hand you’ve got a bunch of folks in the middle who will vote reliably for you if you let them keep their guns and cater to their silly-assed religious prejudices against gays, women and minorities. Which way you gonna tack if you are a politician that wants to get elected?

  94. 94
    'smee

    @Improbable Joe: Do you vote. Are you a political activist?

    Or do you simply whine a lot?

    I hear nothing constructive from you. All I hear is Waah! Bad Republicans. Waah! Stupid Democrats. Waah!

    If. you. want. to. change. the. system. you. need. to. get. involved.

    The right did that with the Tea Party. They have demonstrated that you can campaign on extreme ideological positions, so long as those positions appropriately resonate with enough of the electorate – and do so sufficiently to get that engaged electorate into the booths to vote!

    The progressives (and I include myself in this) need to do the same.

    We need to stop being “hopey-changey” and start being “actively progressive”.

  95. 95
    amphiox

    All this talk about “reality” would carry more weight if we didn’t have the example of Republican voters getting closer and closer to everything they want year after year after year.

    You fail to consider the available alternatives. You think the situation would have been better if Obama had not been president, and McCain had been president instead? Or Clinton? And do you think not voting for Obama in 2012 will slow this process down or reverse it?

    Reality means you choose from what is available to you. You don’t have the option of magically poofing some ideal candidate into existence to vote for, like some clay golem with PROGRESSIVE MESSIAH written on its tongue.

    Why is it that changing political reality, shifting your party to more closely match what you consider to be the ideal, is ONLY allowed for Republicans?

    Of course it is not just allowed for Republicans. But here’s the thing. The Republicans went out and DID IT. All those Tea Party activists, before they became successful in the last election cycle, continued to loyally vote for republicans all those years while the quietly worked within the party to get their agenda through. And they worked at this for more than 20 years.

    And on no occasion did they ever, ever threaten to vote for a Democrat for president if they didn’t get their way within the party.

    You want to change the Democratic party from within, and move it back towards the left, go right ahead (I have recommended just the same earlier), but know that this is a process that will take 10 years at the least to do.

    And the first step that must be taken to achieve that end is to vote for Obama and democrats in all the house and senate races in 2012. Because if the republicans win in 2012, you WON’T HAVE 10 YEARS.

  96. 96
    'smee

    Improbable Joe: Rather than calling bullshit on Amphiox’ portayal of Obama’s record – which you have trashed in almost every post here, BTW – perhaps you need to provide some backup.

    Almost every piece of legislation that was proposed needed to be (a) diluted, (b) eviscerated or (c) eliminated completely due to the ability of Senatorial fuckwits (including Leibermann the Republican independent) to block, mangle, or otherwise evade responsibility for enacting reasonable legislation as demanded by the FUCKING HUGE DEMOCRATIC MAJORITIES. Instead, we got healthcare that ignored single payer, and greatly increased the power of healthcare insurance companies, we got market regulation that has no regulatory powers, we got consumer finance reform that has no fucking budget for action.

    And now we get the completely made-up, tea-party-imposed debt crisis that should never have been. Teh ramifications of which will be very long standing but which are fairly immediately recognized as increasing the costs of the ‘lower 98%’ while improving the opportunities for the top 2% to grab more properties, in the form of depressed stock, foreclosed buildings, and so on.

    So maybe you could provide some EVIDENCE for your fuckwitterish comments.

  97. 97
    amphiox

    amphiox, you’re full of shit on Obama’s record. Obama has never ever proposed anything “much better” on any of the big issues. He has almost always started with ten year old Republican ideas, and then compromised to the right. AT BEST, we’d have gotten 2002-era Republican policy, instead of “worse than Bush” policy.

    Define “much better”, please. Not all the 2002-era republican ideas were bad, you know, and the ones Obama supported were often the good ones.

    You realize that the ideas Obama proposed are already filtered beforehand with the view that he needs some degree of republican support for them? That if he had a filibuster proof Senate majority backing him up(and pulling him left) he would not have had to tack so far to the right even at the outset.

    Let’s put it this way. With a filibuster proof democratic majority, Obama would have gotten universal access health care with a public option passed.

    And that, alone, would have been a greater progressive accomplishment than all other democratic presidents before him combined, since WWII.

  98. 98
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    smee, Concerned Joe isn’t evidence based. He’s not about solutions. He’s about principles. And the rest of the world be damned.

  99. 99
    amphiox

    When you say “let them secede” you’re also saying “let them beat gay people to death, let them imprison women for having miscarriages, let them imprison poor blacks on dubious charges and then use them as slave labor.” They’re doing too much of that already: do you really think an independent, right-wing south wouldn’t be worse? Think about that runaway gay sixteen-year-old: they might manage to hitchhike or pay for a bus ticket to someone whetter, but they’re not going to have a passport to get them to what’s left of the United States.

    I think the idea behind “let them secede” is that rather than having the United States prop them up and allow them to continue all these travesties at the level they are currently doing, by allowing them to secede they would rapidly go overboard on these policies, and discredit them wholly, as well as fail spectacularly to make it as an independent state in a short while, which will lead them to come crawling back to the United States in supplication.

    In the meantime, the rest of the United States gets to take a much firmer moral high ground, without having to deal with the hypocrisy of propping up these states and allowing these transgressions. Which means that at the point when the United States takes them back, it will be in a much stronger negotiating and political position to put a halt to these practices in the longer term.

    Think about the following hypothetical scenario: In real life after the Union won the Civil War, the reconstruction period was motivated greatly by a need to re-establish unity, and this set back the advance of racial equality for decades.

    What if instead the Union had let the Confederacy go, and the Confederacy failed financially 20 years later, or in the leadup to or aftermath of WWI, (which is quite likely given the underlying financial weakness of the Confederacy, and the fundamental inefficiency of an economic system based on slavery) which forced them to come, cap in hand, to the Union for help, or possibly even to ask to rejoin the Union? The Union would have been in a position to demand much more in the way of progressive reform as a condition for such help.

    So, short term pain for long term gain.

  100. 100
    Dianne

    If one student gets 20% on a test, the student fails. If all the students get 20% or less on a test, the teacher has failed. If one politician is terrible, then that politician is awful. If all politicians are terrible then it’s probably the voters who have failed. These are, after all, our representatives. Perhaps they’re a little too representative?

    The Tea Party is in Congress because people voted them in there. Raising taxes is the “kiss of death” for a politician because voters only care about their take home pay and not about services or the economy or the long term. People support invasions because terrorism is scary and wars are exciting to watch on television. So maybe step one is to get people to think about why taxes are necessary, what foreign policy decisions make the county more or less secure, which programs are really a waste of money and which are effective, etc. It’s less simple and glamorous than just yelling “throw the bums out”, but might be more successful in the long term.

  101. 101
    'smee

    Amphiox: regarding let them Secede

    I think there was huge potential for the South (if Confederacy had been allowed to continue)to align with more authoritarian regimes in return for markets and financial support.

    That might well have made a difference in a geopolitical sense, but not as you posit: imagine the South on the side of the Kaiser (would the North have entered the war, at all?), and the war ending with armistice, but on terms more agreeable to Germany. A re-drawing of the European political map, still leading to disillusionment in Germany for the victory that might have been, and the rise of a former Corporal whose dreams of Teutonic greatness are still unrealized.

    Maybe I’m just a pessimist? (Maybe this is also why every time I try to write a story, my protagonist dies on page 2…)

  102. 102
    'smee

    Dianne

    So maybe step one is to get people to think about why taxes are necessary, what foreign policy decisions make the county more or less secure, which programs are really a waste of money and which are effective, etc. It’s less simple and glamorous than just yelling “throw the bums out”, but might be more successful in the long term.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I used to think that’s what “Civics” were for.

    I studied “Modern History” in high school, and stuck with it post school for fun and edification… None of that was at all comprehensible without some understanding of political systems (what’s the difference between socialism and marxism?) and the costs/benefits of different systems, and the different trade-offs intrinsic to every system of government.

    It certainly made my conversations with the “Trotskyites” and the “Young Conservatives” at college (early 80′s, Scotland) *interesting* to say the least.

    From the perspective of a (relatively new) US Citizen, I am appalled by the lack of understanding shown, by the majority of people I encounter here, of the basic principles of their country and its institutions.

    [SNARK]
    Maybe there does need to be a test to allow voting?
    [/SNARK]

  103. 103
    feralboy12

    If both Republicans and Democrats suck, why on earth does the US keep voting for them?

    No third-party candidate has been elected president here since Abraham Lincoln. Ross Perot pulled 19% in 1992, George Wallace 13.5% in 1968 and John Anderson 6% in 1980; those are the most impressive showings in my lifetime. This may have a lot to do with the widespread assumption that third-party candidates can’t win, and therefore a vote for one is a wasted vote; but I suspect another factor is the cost of running a national campaign without help from the established parties. That limits the quality of the candidates and makes it difficult for them to get any traction.

    Another problem, one which tends to increase the suckitude of the major party candidates, is the primary system that selects those candidates. Iowa, which holds the first caucus, and New Hampshire, which holds the first primary election, are low-population states that make the first big media splash and thus have way more influence than is justified. They are followed by the “Super Tuesday” primaries in the southern states. Living in Oregon, which votes at the end of the primary season, I have yet to cast a meaningful vote in the nomination process. It’s already over by the time we get to the polls. So, year after year, the general election offers a choice between two candidates chosen by small states/red states and others unlikely to pull even 10% of the vote.

    It’s disgusting.

  104. 104
    The Panic Man

    Okay, first, to the Naderites? Stop pulling for the racist Bush-kisser. He’s an egomaniac and you’re an idiot if you vote for him.
    Second, to the “I’ll just write in/not vote” types? 2010 called, they want their stupid back.
    Third, is there something I can add to my killfile script so it’ll work here? I’m getting sick of seeing the troglodytes here who are shitting up this thread.

  105. 105
    llewelly

    amphiox | 10 August 2011 at 11:36 am :

    I said that IF THERE IS AN AWARD FOR THE STUDENT WITH THE HIGHEST MARKS …

    What a stupid analogy. An American election does not award the candidate with the best marks in any particular subject. Instead, the two entrenched power bases put forth their candidates, and the rest are ignored. The Green Party candidate may or may not have better marks in environmental policy, or economic policy, or what have you, but that doesn’t matter, because only the Republican and the Democrat are considered.

  106. 106
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Again, no one is dealing with the fact that only one side compromises, and only one side is expected to compromise… and most of you seem to think that’s a perfectly reasonable and unchangeable fact of American politics. The Tea Party can get most of their way even when Democrats control the whole government. They can get their way no matter who is in charge. Democrats? Progressives? We’re “whiners” for even suggesting that Democrats actually act like Democrats, or that Democrats act like winners.

    Democrats act like born losers. And those of you with the “appeasement at all costs” attitude are acting like born losers too. No guts, no ethics, no principles… just compromise and sucking up to power and accepting excuses and providing excuses for the losers in D.C.

  107. 107
    KSE

    But when BOTH parties are doing the damage, merely at somewhat different rates, what’s your solution?

    How about getting involved in the party structure itself, and pushing for better candidates? That’s what the Tea Party did (with ample air support from a handful of hard-right billionaires, true) and it worked – they moved their party in the direction they wanted to see it go.

    For all the chatter about the TP’ers being politically unsophisticated, they worked the system expertly. They showed up to meetings, they got elected to party committees, and they made sure that their candidates got on the ballot on the local, state and federal level. Meanwhile the intelligentsia on the hard left are all vowing to stay home in 2012 or write in “Nader/Kucinich”… Yeah! That’ll teach ‘em!

  108. 108
    naturalcynic

    improbablejoe:

    do you think a student learns anything if she’s rewarded for being one point less dumb than the next dumbest person? What if she only knows 20% of the material, she should get that medical degree and operate on you and your loved ones because the rest of the class got 19% or less? That’s who you want fixing your car, preparing your foods, teaching your kids.

    Because that’s the sort of government you and the other Obama supporters are advocating: rule by the barely slightly less stupid/crazy/evil than the next worse choice.

    Wrong numbers. The choice is Obama with a 43, Romney with a 19, and everyone else with between 0 and 13. Everybody fails, some just worse than others. Now whaddayawannado?

  109. 109
    KSE

    whoops apparently I don’t know how blockquote works…? The above was a reply to Steve LaBonne @ 8:35 am

  110. 110
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I don’t think we can do anything much on the national level this year or next… to many entrenched losers, and too many people supporting their weak asses.

    What can we do? What about Wisconsin as an example? There’s an example of not getting everything you want, but at least fighting to win instead of cowering and hoping not to lose everything.

  111. 111
    'smee

    I’m done with this thread. It’s too full of uncomprehending fuckwits who think that negotiated compromise is equivalent to giving up.

  112. 112
    broboxley OT

    If the repo’s appear poised to keep the house, and the senate remains the same I will be voting for Obama. Letting the same crew run house senate and presidency has been a abject failure since 2000 regardless of party in control

  113. 113
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Awe, IJ is angry and apparently hasn’t read the thread. Good for you, Joe!

    Look, no one has said that the Dems shouldn’t fight for progressive ideals, we’ve just pointed out how American politics works. Everything from voter turnout to Ohio and New Hampshire figure into what a candidate’s platform will be.

    The system sucks, yes. But wanking on about how great third parties are* and trying to “teach the Dems a lesson” by allowing Repubs to be elected will just move us farther to the right. We can’t allow the Republicans to divide and conquer, unless you want to live in a theocracy.

    *Here’s a pro-tip, since you’re apparently a political n00b: If a third party should gain power, it will be because one of the other parties failed. If/when that happens, the new party will find itself flush with corporate cash and we’ll be right back where we started.

  114. 114
    The Panic Man

    That’s some nice Teabagger thinking, Joe.

    Concern troll is concerned.

  115. 115
    Tim DeLaney

    IMO, the national debate has been derailed. We seem to be trying to decide between progressive ideals and theocratic ideals (are there such things?). We have almost totally lost sight of the three most pressing problems that face our country, and indeed all of humanity. These three problems are closely interrelated.

    1. Climate change. If the scientists are correct, mankind is in for a very bad time. There may or may not be a way to cope with it, but ignoring it is insanity.

    2. Energy. We are running out of fossil fuel, and combusting the remaining carbon in the earth’s crust will only exacerbate the first problem.

    3. Overpopulation. When energy production via fossil fuel declines, so must food production. Today, we are feeding people by burning carbon. When the carbon runs out, billions (yes, with a “B”) will inevitably starve to death. It doesn’t take a genious to predict that they will not go quietly.

    Overpopulation is the worst of the three, because there is no theoretical way to deal with it, much less a practical one. Drastically lowering the birth rate, as China is attempting, would leave us with a disproportionally greater number of older folks. Demographics is working against us. And, of course, religion is (as always) working against us.

    We must simultaneously slam on the brakes, and curb population growth, and solve the energy problem in a way that addresses the problem of climate change. Instead, we are mired in an endless debate over debt ceiling, interest rates, gay marriage, tax policy, and a host of other issues that distract us from the real problems.

    A rational approach would be to mount a national, or better yet, multinational, “Manhattan project” to develop fusion energy. We are told that fusion energy is two or three decades away. Of course, that’s a great deal further away than the next election cycle. Try campaigning with a platform of extreme national sacrifice for the next 20 years. Good luck with that.

    Well, I’m 72, and it’s not my problem. But next week, two of my grandchildren are visiting us; what will I tell them? What are we doing to fashion a world they can live in?

    [crickets]

  116. 116
    Pycu

    Please don’t (vote for Obama). Read today’s Krugman’s blog post “Dismal Thoughts” to see why.

  117. 117
    Steve LaBonne

    How about getting involved in the party structure itself, and pushing for better candidates?

    That’s exactly what I strongly advocate. (Unfortunately the nature of my job prevents me from being personally involved in party politics, except in the form of monetary contributions to good candidates.) Along with losing the excessive focus on Presidential politics. Help will not come from the top down.

  118. 118
    Steve LaBonne

    If both Republicans and Democrats suck, why on earth does the US keep voting for them? Is the majority really that narrowly-informed that they do not know about the smaller parties that are probably also just as bad so it is probably a moot point?

    The game is extensively rigged at every level to exclude any influence for third parties.

  119. 119
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Pycu,
    Improbable Joe was asked what would work instead of voting for Obama. Now I think it’s your turn to answer that question: If not Obama, who?

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that things would be worse under McCain. I understand Krugman’s deep dissatisfaction, but I don’t see him advocating that we drop Obama.

  120. 120
    llewelly

    amphiox | 10 August 2011 at 12:25 pm :

    I think the idea behind “let them secede” is that rather than having the United States prop them up and allow them to continue all these travesties at the level they are currently doing, by allowing them to secede they would rapidly go overboard on these policies, and discredit them wholly, as well as fail spectacularly to make it as an independent state in a short while, which will lead them to come crawling back to the United States in supplication.

    And maybe the Independent Holy Nation of Texas would build death camps and murder minorities by the million. After all, that’s what happened in Harry Turtledove’s Southern Victory alternate history novels.
    After all, if you can build your argument on a fictional scenario you pulled out of your ass, surely I can build mine on a scenario loosely inspired by a popular author’s novels.
    No, wait, that’s pig excrement; your “throw Molly Ivins all those other Texas liberals under the bus in the name of long-term speculated good” notion hasn’t got a shred of evidence to support it.

  121. 121
    Steve LaBonne

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that things would be worse under McCain.

    I’m actually not convinced of that, provided he had come in with the same Democratic Congress that we actually got. Bush never was able to lay a glove on Social Security. It seems to take a Democratic President to provide the “bipartisan” cover for such assaults. Also McCain would be getting a lot of opprobrium for the economy and the Dems may well have gained still more seats in 2010 (the President’s party normally loses seats in the midterm in any case.)

    Real life is actually a bit more complicated than “yay for my team”.

  122. 122
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    A prominent Texan’s opinion of secession and allegience to the Confederacy:
    “In the name of the constitution of Texas, which has been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. I love Texas too well to bring civil strife and bloodshed upon her.”

    Perry might love Texas as much as Sam Houston, but not likely.

  123. 123
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    amphiox and others: Please don’t let us secede.

  124. 124
    llewelly

    Tim DeLaney | 10 August 2011 at 1:45 pm :

    1. Climate change. If the scientists are correct, mankind is in for a very bad time. There may or may not be a way to cope with it, but ignoring it is insanity.

    Well, I’m 72, and it’s not my problem. But next week, two of my grandchildren are visiting us; what will I tell them? What are we doing to fashion a world they can live in?

    Well, I’ll never have children, much less grand children. So what the fuck do I care?
    In fact the whole idea that all these problems will wait around until your grandchildren grow up to affect the world is bullshit. It’s the assumption that the European heat wave of 2003, which killed 40,000 people, the Russian heat wave of 2010 that killed 16,000 people, the horrible recent fire seasons in Victoria, Russia, and the US, and the ongoing drought in Texas have nothing whatever to do with each other. It’s the assumption the mind-blowing floods in Pakistan, New South Wales, and other regions of the world just sort of happen, oh, whenever. It’s the assumption global warming isn’t already moving the jet streams toward the poles, or making the air hold more water, or making the oceans warm up. In short, it’s bullshit.

  125. 125
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    Well, Fred Karger is running as a Republican, and he actually seems fairly progressive for an American politician. Like, about a fourth to half as progressive as we actually need, but still.

    Of course, he’s openly gay, so there’s no way he’ll even come close to anywhere near getting elected.

    I hate this country, sometimes.

  126. 126
    Aquaria

    1. You vote Democrat. You vote MASSIVELY Democrat. You give the democrats the presidency, the house, and a UNFILIBUSTERABLE majority in the senate.

    You really think that? Really?

    You won’t get that as long as you let Joe Lieberman caucus with the Dems and poison everything he slimes across–that fucker should have been thrown out to vote with the Republicans, like he usually does, anyway. You won’t get that as long as you have the likes of Ben Nelson pretending to be a Democrat for some reason only he knows, while also voting with the Republicans most of the time. At least 20% of the current Dems are actually Republicans–by today’s standards.

    The D’s problem is that they have no party discipline, and that starts at the top. Obama has been a fucking disaster as a leader of the Dems, and of the country. Pelosi and Reid have been even worse. With Dems like any of these fuckers running the show, who needs Republicans?

    Or maybe they’ve all been damned effective, for their actual constituents: Corporations. You don’t think they represent us anymore, do you? They only throw us a few poisoned and cut-with-sawdust crumbs of what we actually want and then go about their merry way, stuffing their pockets as they go. At our expense.

    They say vote for me so X doesn’t happen–then X happens anyway, often with their support. So why did I waste my vote on you again?

    Fuck them. I’ve given them my last contribution, my last volunteer hour and my last vote. I’m sick of them screwing me over, time after time after time, insulting my intelligence, holding my ideals and my principles in contempt, stabbing me in the back and punching me in the gut. If I wanted someone to do all that to me, I would have stayed with Mr. Aquaria #1. Instead, I’ve done what I did with him when it comes to the abusive spouse Democrats: I broke the fucking cycle. I walked the fuck away.

    I’m sure lots of people have reasons to stay in an abusive relationship; however, I learned, a very long time ago–the hard way, from painful first-hand experience, that an abusive spouse never changes, and things never gets better. I know like the back of my hand the lies abusive spouses will tell to make you feel like everything is your fault, not theirs, that they wouldn’t hit you if you’d just do X the way they wanted, if you just accepted their word for everything. And I know, oh so well, the lie they most love to tell: that things will be so awful for you if you leave.

    But it’s not awful if you just get up and walk the fuck away from an abuser and never look back. Things may not be perfect for you after you leave, but it’s a whole fucking lot better than being slammed into a wall face first or punched in the gut again. Or, worse, blamed for something you didn’t do.

    Nothing is as bad as that.

    Break the fucking cycle, people. The Dems are the abusive spouse of liberals, and the sooner all of you realize it, the better off we’ll all be.

  127. 127
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Steve,

    Real life is actually a bit more complicated than “yay for my team”.

    Well, no shit. Where did I even imply that I’m satisfied with the Dems*?

    But, if McCain was elected, there would have been no stimulus (unless you count deregulation and cutting corporate taxes even further a “stimulus”), healthcare reform would have been completely derailed and, oh yeah, how long do you think it would have taken to invade Iran? Democratic Congress or no, we wouldn’t have the lukewarm, milquetoast “progressive” bills that passed under Obama if McCain was in power.

    *By the way, I’m not a Democrat. But thanks for playing.

  128. 128
    'smee

    llewelly: why so angry over a hypothetical? Hypotheticals rarely if ever have evidence to support them – they are often simply thought experiments, “what if…” – Just like your Harry Turtledove Alt Hist novels.

    Maybe you need to have a little lie down?

  129. 129
    The Sailor

    When Bush the lessor ‘won’ in Y2k I said “Oh well, maybe we’ve hit rock bottom and the electorate will swing back.”

    I had no idea how much damage he and Cheney could do to our country in just 8 years.

    We were at rock bottom, we’re slightly crawling our way out of that ditch. If it wasn’t for all elected republicans and a few DINOs we would have progressed much more.

    Obama is like FDR, except he’s black and has all those racist negatives that FDR didn’t have. Even FDR had to give into rethugs, which caused the US to ‘double dip’ back into recession/depression. And FDR never faced anything like the current racist teabaggers and moderate rethugs pretending to be teabaggers just to get the nomination.

    Joe & Steve, you want to hold your breath until you turn blue to keep Obama out of the WH for a 2nd term? Fine, but it’s like saying Texas should secede, millions of innocents will die because you just can’t face reality.

    One more Supreme Court nomination is coming up soon. Would you rather have Obama nominate that person or [insert any republican president]?

    Obama has had fewer judicial appointees confirmed, or even brought up to a vote than any other president. That’s not Dems doing it.

    We only have a 2 party system, and you are stuck with it. Deal with it. I have seen nothing in Joe and Steve comments that is based in reality. They might as well be teabaggers, at least teabaggers have the power to hold the American people hostage until they get what they want.

  130. 130
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Waaaaay not caught up on this thread, but…

    Obama’s negotiation, however, adds the fact that if he doesn’t acquiesce to this dealer, then the dealer is going to drive his car over some school children and a cat.

    ^^^THIS!!!^^^

    Obama has a duty of stewardship, to his own people, and to the larger world of which the nation he leads is a leading member. He can’t morally play chicken with 300 million (or, arguably, ~7 billion) innocent passengers in his car. Of course, the House Republicans have precisely the same duty, and they chose to play chicken anyway. That makes them extortionists. Criminals (in a moral sense, if not a strictly legal one). Evil, in fact. It astounds me that people are angry at Obama and not (or not nearly as much) at the terroristic, extortionist thugs who robbed him (and by extension, all of us) at the point of an economic nuclear weapon.

    You know, if we were talking about a scenario in which a parent were threatened with the mass slaughter of hir family, and under that threat surrendered hir wallet and jewelry, we would all recognize that situation for what it was: A crime. And if someone came ’round here accusing that parent of being “weak and feckless,” regulars here would quickly (and not at all gently) educate that person on how wrong it is to blame the victim.

    Raising the debt ceiling requires an act of Congress, and there is simply nothing a president can do to create such a statute if the House of Representatives refuses to pass it. I don’t quite know what tools people imagine Obama had in his toolbox other than compromise? Or how anyone expected an acceptable compromise in the face of an opponent who was willing to blow up the fucking world. I earnestly believe default would’ve caused global financial chaos, which in turn might well have costs millions of lives. Obama had to swallow a lot of shit to prevent that… but aren’t you glad he did? Do you really think it would’ve been somehow heroic if he’d just said to the terrorists in Congress, “Fuck you; let it burn!”?

    I really wish your bullshit Democrat candidates would stop running for office, because they steal votes from good candidates like Nader.

    Hah! Nader has had his days as a hero, but in recent times he’s been little more than an egotistical jerk, willing to tear everything around him down in order to raise himself up.

    There are, however, candidates to the left of most Dems who, in my dreams, I’d love to see as president. Bernie Sanders comes to mind, for one… but if you think Bernie Sanders is going to be a viable candidate in this country any time soon, you can obviously afford the good drugs! The Republicans have spend decades (maybe half a century, depending on where you mark the beginning) gradually moving the political center of gravity to the right, and there’s just no way to reverse that overnight (and the span from the 2006 midterms, when the Dems took the House, ’til now isn’t even “overnight” on the time scale we’re talking about). If you got your wish, and mainstream Dems “got out of the way” of candidates like Nader or Sanders (or even Dennis Kucinich), all that would accomplish is to guarantee Republican government for the foreseeable future.

    Ah, it turns out that’s what you want:

    However, if Nader can’t win, it’s better that Republicans win, because it sends a message to Democratic Party leadership to stop fielding candidates.

    Are you suicidal? Or are you sufficiently rich and powerful that you can retreat to a fortified estate, like some Central American druglord, and wait out the coming social upheaval? Because I can’t see how any other sort of person would actually want to turn our country over the the current batch of Republicans, no matter how badly you want to “send a message” to those <CharlesBarkley<turrribuhl</CharlesBarkley< Democrats.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to un-grind one’s teeth? <sigh>

  131. 131
    The Sailor

    “Break the fucking cycle, people. The Dems are the abusive spouse of liberals”

    Riiiight … no wait, that’s bullshit. The “don’t vote or vote for republicans” is the same shit republicans are doing thru voter suppression and firing up their crazy base.

    If the progressives don’t GOTV massively, we will be living in a theocracy. It’s bad enough already and you fucks want it to get worse. Must be nice to feel so comfortable that you think you’ll ride out the wave. Why don’t you just say “fuck you, I got didn’t get mine.”

  132. 132
    llewelly

    The Sailor (The rudder has been shipped, but I haven’t shipped the rudder) says:
    10 August 2011 at 2:34 pm :

    I had no idea how much damage he and Cheney could do to our country in just 8 years.

    That’s bullshit. Bush couldn’t do anything without an “UNFILIBUSTERABLE majority in the senate”. He couldn’t add his picked cronies to the courts, He couldn’t deregulate the crooks, liars, and idiots that run Wall Street, he couldn’t pass massive tax cuts for the rich, he couldn’t invade foreign nations based on lies, he couldn’t stall AGW emissions reduction legislation, he couldn’t pass the Patriot act, he was only able to eke out a tiny fraction of his party’s goals. Or haven’t you been listening to amphiox?

  133. 133
    Steve LaBonne

    I have seen nothing in Joe and Steve comments that is based in reality.

    Then you haven’t been reading mine. I explained very clearly how Democratic malfeasance and misfeasance have been an integral and essential part of the downward spiral that has put us in the hole we’re in. Not dealing with THAT is not dealing with reality.

    A lot of people are also not willing to deal with the reality that the ineffectual Obama has now attracted much of the blame for the terrible economy, in the minds of fickle swing voters, to the Democrats. Just as the Republicans planned. I don’t know how to break the vicious cycle that I outlined in an earlier comment, but going on as we are sure isn’t doing it.

    Honestly, the capacity of the average Democratic apologist to analyze what’s actually going on in our politics is really pitiful.

  134. 134
    llewelly

    The Sailor (The rudder has been shipped, but I haven’t shipped the rudder) | 10 August 2011 at 2:44 pm:

    If the progressives don’t GOTV massively, we will be living in a theocracy.

    Good thing we have ACORN, who got out the vote in record numbers in 2008, enormously benefiting Democrats. Oh wait, we don’t, the Democrats threw ACORN under the bus on the basis of a completely fraudulent video.

  135. 135
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Honestly, the capacity of the average Democratic apologist to analyze what’s actually going on in our politics is really pitiful.

    Compared to your whinging? I haven’t seen a solid and workable idea from you all day. Just whining and hand-wringing.

  136. 136
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Aquaria:

    You won’t get that as long as you let Joe Lieberman caucus with the Dems….

    As an aside, LIEberman is old news, and some of us here in CT are working hard to make sure his seat is filled with a real Democrat, Rep. Chris Murphy. We hope to make our already all-blue congressional delegation a much truer shade of blue.

    The D’s problem is that they have no party discipline, and that starts at the top.

    Yeah, the problem with us Dems is that we’re just not authoritarian enough! ;^)

    Seriously, I think liberals (and yes, most Dems are liberals, in the broad sense of the word, even if the exigencies of our political culture pushes their pragmatic politics to the right of where their hearts are) have a built-in obstacle to overcome: The very things that make us liberal — empathy, openmindedness, an urge to toleration — makes us constitutionally disinclined to adopt our opponents’ dirty tactics and near-paramilitary mission discipline. It honestly a bit of a dilemma.

  137. 137
    Steve LaBonne

    I haven’t seen a solid and workable idea from you all day.

    Another sign that you haven’t actually been reading. I’ll leave it to you to find the relevant comment, where I endorsed what I think is the only way forward..

  138. 138
    The Sailor

    “LexAequitas says:
    10 August 2011 at 10:19 am

    Really, though, calling Rick Perry a murderer is inaccurate.”

    Really!? Perry signed the death warrant. He murdered at least one innocent man.

  139. 139
    'smee

    llewelly — you really should take your meds.

    the difference between Shrub’s presidency and Obama’s being that the Dems as a party cover a fairly broad range of political opinion. Even when in the majority, the progressives are way down the list of influencers.

    When faced with a media that cried ‘TRAITOR’ if one even suggested there was no need for a war, or that the security services had quite enough power already, or that maybe now is not the best time to cut taxes – wouldn’t we be better improving X,Y or Z?

    The media, and the corporate interests who leveraged Reagan (and Clinton & Bush Snr) but came to real power during Shrub 1 & 2, made certain that the overton window kept moving to the right – and the progressives were made to look less and less ‘mainstream’. From any vantage point other than smack in the middle of DC, the US has a firmly right wing country for a long time, with firmly right wing politics.

    Serious people need to recognize that, and complaining that negotiation and hard work is needed to move that window back towards the center (never mind the left) is just childishly idiotic. It will take significant work AND significant compromise to recover even some of the ground lost. It will take working from within the existing power structures, and moving them leftwards incrementally. Revolution is not simple, and it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon — unless you all let a theocrat into the Whitehouse. Then… it will be hell on earth for anyone not of the right denomination.

  140. 140
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Holy cats, Batman! I can suddenly see comment numbers… and shading of alternate comments… life is good!

  141. 141
    The Sailor

    llewelly, I agree with you. It doesn’t change the fact that we have to GOTV in local and national elections to keep it from getting worse.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    Steve, you might as well be a republican, because you agree with them on so many points, and your solution is to make it worse.

  142. 142
    Steve LaBonne

    It will take working from within the existing power structures, and moving them leftwards incrementally.

    And that will mean redirecting much of the kind of resources and energy that went into electing Obama, into the more productive goal of taking over the Democratic party from the precinct level up. Just as the conservatives did on the other side. (Undue obsession with Presidents is one of the biggest failings of liberal politics.) It also means redirecting contributions of time and money from the existing party apparatus to individual good candidates. There are no shortcuts.

  143. 143
    Steve LaBonne

    Sailor gives the usual bullshit response of the Democratic hacks who have led us to the brink of the abyss. That stuff just doesn’t cut it anymore.

  144. 144
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Steve LaBonne:

    And that will mean redirecting much of the kind of resources and energy that went into electing Obama, into the more productive goal of taking over the Democratic party from the precinct level up.

    That’s absolutely the project we need to be engaged in… but we also need to make sure we don’t fall into a new fucking Dark Ages while we’re busy electing real progressives to school boards and town councils.

    Just as the conservatives did on the other side.

    Yeah… I notice they didn’t forget to elect Nixon and Reagan and Bush and Bush (a total of 26 years in the White House, if I’m doing my arithmetic correctly) while they were working on it. None of the first three on that list, BTW, would’ve made it through a primary in today’s Republican party: They weren’t far enough to the right. Nixon invented the EPA, fer FSM’s sake, and at one point instituted federal wage and price controls! He might as well have been Karl Marx’s illegitimate son, by current Republican standards.

  145. 145
    The Sailor

    Steve sez “Sailor gives the usual bullshit response of the Democratic hacks who have led us to the brink of the abyss. That stuff just doesn’t cut it anymore.”

    Riiiight. So exactly what is the difference between you and a teabagger?

  146. 146
    Steve LaBonne

    So exactly what is the difference between you and a teabagger?

    You should be studying, and emulating from the left wrt the Democrats, how the teabaggers took over the Republican Party, if you want to help save this country. Your mainstream Dem hackery has led us to disaster,

  147. 147
    Steve LaBonne

    Yeah… I notice they didn’t forget to elect Nixon and Reagan and Bush and Bush (a total of 26 years in the White House, if I’m doing my arithmetic correctly) while they were working on it.

    But they failed to elect Goldwater before that. (And Nixon initiated a years-long setback for conservatives.) You have to walk before you can run.

    The tragedy of the Obama campaign was that it mobilized a lot of idealistic young people with the false promise of participating in real change. Many of those people will be lost to political activism permanently after seeing how things actually went down.

  148. 148
    llewelly

    ‘smee | 10 August 2011 at 3:00 pm :

    llewelly — you really should take your meds.

    Thank you. As soon as I can afford a visit with a mental health specialist, I’ll see one, and then I’ll try to find some way to afford whatever meds are recommended. That didn’t work back when I had health insurance, but now that I don’t maybe things will improve.

    Dems as a party cover a fairly broad range of political opinion. Even when in the majority, the progressives are way down the list of influencers.

    My apologies. I did not know that, because I live in liberal state and have a liberal senator and a liberal representative who always votes the liberal party line … oh, wait, I live in Utah, my senator is Orrin Hatch, and my democrat-in-name-only Representative votes Republican more often than Democrat.

    When faced with a media that cried ‘TRAITOR’ …

    As it happens, I have often argued certain sectors of America’s “news” media are far more to blame than Democrats. I didn’t think I needed to bring it up in every thread, but apparently I do. More importantly, I do not believe it is possible to shift the Overton window left by dumbly nodding when the media cries “TRAITOR” – much less leaping to do the bidding of Faux News. Or, as happened in the invasion of Iraq, leaping to the bidding of the New York Times.
    The Overton window cannot be shifted left by accepting the fraudulent videos like the one used to destroy ACORN, or by accepting fraudulent story lines like “climategate”, or by accepting the myriad economic frauds perpetrated in support of the financial deregulations of the 1990s and 2000s. The Overton window cannot be shifted left by arguing that the current crop of Democrats is the best we can hope for, and it can’t be shifted left by arguing that Obama only needs to be better than Rick Perry.

  149. 149
    The Sailor

    steve sez – “Your mainstream Dem hackery has led us to disaster”

    8 years of GWB put us into disaster. It was preceded by 8 years of Clinton, who had a surplus.

    So you are no different from a teabagger? You advocate trashing the whole country/world just to get YOUR way!?

    You are no different from a teabagger. ‘Burn down the country, burn down the world, we don’t care.’

    I hope you stay home during elections. No one needs you.

  150. 150
    Cosmic Snark

    So the best the Republicans can field in this election cycle is a crazy church lady and a Confederate seccessionist? Looks like I’m going to be reluctantly voting for Obama again.

    As if you would have considered voting Crapublican anyway, PZ.

    It does suck, having to vote for the least nauseating instead of voting for the best. Wouldn’t it be great it just once, we had two good candidates to choose from? Or even one?

    But Obama must feel fairly secure, knowing that his opposition is likely to be batshit-crazy Domininonist Regressives. Can’t wait to see the campaign commercials from both sides. “I’m Michelle Bachmann, and God approved this message.”

  151. 151
    David Utidjian

    By Steve LaBonne’s logic the last thing the Republicans should want is the Whitehouse in 2012. The economy is in such a mess and, as many predict, it isn’t going to get much better any time soon… that they will be stuck with it and not be able to do much about it. I very much doubt any Tea Party style economic policy will work.

    It won’t be much better for Obama if he gets re-elected unless he pulls his head out of the Republican asses and gets on the ball.

    Either way the results will be “interesting.”

  152. 152
    Improbable Joe

    Cripes, it is pathetic how incapable some of you are to seeing beyond the idea of just sucking up to Democrats after they betray you year after year, and calling progressives like me “trolls”. Obama is a shit sandwich of a president, and don’t expect me to be grateful that it isn’t McCain who would have been a double shit sandwich with a cup of piss on the side.

    I’m fucking pissed off that I have the choice of not voting, or holding my nose and voting for center-right Obama. And then to have people who are generally smart and activism-leaning just saying “too bad, suck it up, there’s no possibility of ever having a better choice” is infuriating.

  153. 153
    eigenperson

    The “abusive spouse/parents” metaphor is pretty accurate, but it isn’t complete.

    What we have is a choice between living with father Barack and stepmother Hillary, who hit us regularly with their hands, or living with mother Michelle and stepfather Rick, who hit us with coils of barbed wire specially designed to inflict as much pain and as many debilitating injuries as possible.

    Of course, we could go live with uncle Ralph instead. He’s a pretty nice guy who treats us well. Unfortunately, if we actually try to do that, Michelle and Rick will come and forcibly abduct us so that they can continue beating us.

  154. 154
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    And then to have people who are generally smart and activism-leaning just saying “too bad, suck it up, there’s no possibility of ever having a better choice” is infuriating.

    And, what is that choice, how does it get the nomination from Obama, and what are the chances of that choice actually getting elected after deposing a sitting president with an honest assessment? Your choice is to actually vote for somebody who might win the election, and is the lesser of the evils, or let the others more evil win by default. Then you need to shut up with the complaints for the next four years.

  155. 155
    The Sailor

    Ignorant Joe, you are a teabagger.

  156. 156
    The Sailor

    eigenperson – no, the comparison is not correct, not even with your modification.

  157. 157
    The Sailor

    Improbable Joe, now I know you are a teabagger, because you are a liar. Not once has anyone on this post called you a ‘troll’.

    Stupid liar is stupid and a liar.

  158. 158
    'smee

    IJ sed that the posters here have said

    too bad, suck it up,

    Indeed we did — reality sux, but we don;t get to pick the externalities. We do get to pull our thumbs out of our assess and try to change things, though.

    IJ then sed

    there’s no possibility of ever having a better choice

    WTF? I think the only person saying that was YOU.

    Everyone posting here saying we need to get the vote out has ALSO said we need to work to improve the situation. And that better choices don’t just happen – they are the result of years of hard work from the ground up.

    Troll.

  159. 159
    Steve LaBonne

    By Steve LaBonne’s logic the last thing the Republicans should want is the Whitehouse in 2012.

    And they’re going about it the right way with their sorry cast of hopefuls, who constitute Obama’s only hope for re-election.

  160. 160
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Your choice is to actually vote for somebody who might win the election, and is the lesser of the evils, or let the others more evil win by default. Then you need to shut up with the complaints for the next four years.

    This is ridiculous. Why can’t someone vote for the lesser of the two evils and spend the next four years complaining that the progressive choice in 2008 failed. In 2008, the Dems had the mandate and the power to enact progressive reforms, and only succeeded minimally. They screwed the pooch. I work with my county Democratic party and I donate to it. I will likely vote for Obama in 2012, but only because the only other viable choice is some christofacist rethuglican. Why, Nerd, do you think that I ought to shut up about what I see is wrong in the party that happily uses my effort/earnings?

    I’m surprised that the progressive Dems aren’t a little more sympathetic to those who fin this farce distasteful. I see the harm in splitting the progressive vote, Nonetheless, accomodationist dems who run the show must shoulder their portion of the blame should that happen.

  161. 161
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Yea, I’m with Antiochus. I’ll vote for Obama, and I’ll spend the next four years telling him and my Democratic congressmen why they’re a big disappointment.

  162. 162
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    *erk*

    …progressive vote. Nonetheless,…

  163. 163
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    (And Nixon initiated a years-long setback for conservatives.)

    SRSLY? In the 18 years following Nixon’s resignation, only 4 years saw a Democrat in the White House, and that was a Democrat even Michele Bachmann could (and did) love (because he was “born again”)[1]. And that span of time included the 8-year reign of the fellow conservatives like to call Ronaldus Maximus, who arguably paved the ideological way for the radical right wing of today (even though he himself would be too far to the left to get arrested in today’s Republican party, if his moldering corpse were reanimated). Some “setback”!

    The tragedy of the Obama campaign was that it mobilized a lot of idealistic young people with the false promise of participating in real change.

    I defy you to look my daughter, or her mother, in the eyes and tell them health care reform wasn’t “real” change. I defy you to look your gay friends in the eyes and tell them the repeal of DADT wasn’t “real” change. (And I fully expect to see the end of DOMA under Obama’s watch, too… unless the end of Obama comes first.) Considering he’s spent every nanosecond of his presidency with one gun or another pressed firmly to his temple, I think Obama’s list of real accomplishments is pretty fucking impressive.

    If you want tragedy, I’d say it’s that so many of what ought to be the loyal, responsible opposition are willing to (and may already have, to a substantial degree) destroy our government rather than let that <ComicSans>watermelon-eatin’, terrorist-lovin’, Kenyan Muslim with the funny name (or his fat, ugly wife)</ComicSans>[2] have even one tiny crumb of success. Obama’s presidency has turned over a rock and revealed a large fraction of our fellow citizens to be more committed to their own self-interest, racial hatred, and misogyny than to the wellbeing of our nation. If we need to be angry, why can’t we fucking be angry at them???

    [1] Mind you, I actually think Carter gets a bad rap, and will rise in the estimation of history as time goes on… but he was hardly a speed-bump on the right’s ride from Nixon to Reagan.

    [2] Sad that I know how to do fake “Comic Sans” tags but not real ones, eh?

  164. 164
    'smee

    Bill Dauphin@163.

    Well said, sir! Well said!

  165. 165
    Steve LaBonne

    One thing a lot of people are missing (especially the ignorant types who blame “firebaggers” staying home for 2010) is that Obama / McCain drew hardly any higher turnout than Bush / Kerry, yet a substantial portion of Obama’s majority consisted of new voters (students and minorities). These are not the kinds of voters who show up for midterms, so Obama’s majority was built on sand, something of which the Scott Brown victory was an early warning. In the long run we have to find ways to motivate a lot of current non-voters to show up. Accommodationist Dem politics, which offers little to those who aren’t already in comfortable circumstances, is clearly not that way.

  166. 166
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @my 161:

    *my Congressmen why the Democrats are disappointing.

    My Congressmen haven’t actually been a disappointment, they’re pretty darn good. It’s my Governor and Attorney General who suck.

  167. 167
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Steve:

    Newsflash.

    The States are making it HARDER for new voters to actually come out and vote. Didn’t know if you knew that. They are making it nearly impossible for people who aren’t Republican voters to get out and do what they need to do.

    ACORN – destroyed because it was Democratic-biased.
    State ID requirements – can’t easily get them if you’re a student
    Absentee ballots – the Koch brothers are making sure those don’t get sent in

  168. 168
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    FWIW… That Daily Kos place sure is full of center-right accommodationist DINOs, isn’t it? No “real” progressives there, right?

    “I’m afraid that too many on the left have been beaten down by decades of little or no progress. Losing has become part of their ideological identity to the extent that compromise is interpreted as failure. Progressives must learn to define success in ways other than losing righteously.” [emphasis added]

  169. 169
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Why, Nerd, do you think that I ought to shut up about what I see is wrong in the party that happily uses my effort/earnings?

    I get very, very, tired of folks who whine constantly about politics, but then don’t bother to vote. And if you vote, but vote for a third party who stands no real chance of winning, don’t complain about who won if it is the greater of evils. What I would like to see, is that folks actually vote for someone who can win, and then look at reality before they complain about what is delivered. If it requires both a house and filibuster proof senate, and that isn’t the case, be realistic about what is delivered.

    Like right now, instead of complaining about Obama hasn’t done on any number of issues, complain vocally to everybody about the Rethugs not bringing judges up for an up/down vote like occurred during the shrub administration. If fence sitters hear about how the rethugs don’t play fair, it gives the rethugs a bad light. You trash the sitting president, expect a rethug to be elected.

  170. 170
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    If we need to be angry, why can’t we fucking be angry at them???

    To quote Marilyn Manson, I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers. I got anger to go around.

  171. 171
    Steve LaBonne

    The States are making it HARDER for new voters to actually come out and vote. Didn’t know if you knew that.

    You’re obviously too ignorant to know that this affects things only at the margin, because at ALL times only about 40% of eligible voters show up in non-Presidential years. That has to change. If it could be changed significantly, it woud completely overwhelm Republican voter suppression efforts.

    I’ll put it in simple words for the simple-minded. Turnout wins elections. Enthusiasm (including enthusiastic volunteers) drives turnout. Mainstream Dem politics, from Obama down, is an enthusiasm-killer. This is a recipe for failure- as we have seen.

  172. 172
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Steve LaBonne:

    …something of which the Scott Brown victory was an early warning.

    The only thing the Scott Brown victory really proved was that bad candidates who run bad campaigns are liable to lose. I was there (albeit admittedly only briefly), canvassing for Coakley, and her organization was disastrous.

    Katherine Lorraine:

    ACORN – destroyed because it was allegedly Democratic-biased.

    FTFY! ;^)

    Actually, ACORN’s real bias was toward giving poor people access to the ballot box. It just so happens that poor people (especially the urban poor, and especially poor people of color) tend to vote disproportionately for Democrats. I wonder why that might be, eh? Couldn’t be, as Colbert might say, that “reality has a well-known liberal bias,” could it? 8^)

  173. 173
    Steve LaBonne

    The only thing the Scott Brown victory really proved was that bad candidates who run bad campaigns are liable to lose.

    That’s a prime example of the truly pathetic level of political analysis I always see from people like you. No, that was in fact only a small part of the story. Mainly it was an example of the same off-year turnout effect, with only Repubican voters motivated, that we saw on a grand scale in November 2010.

  174. 174
    feralboy12

    And, what is that choice, how does it get the nomination from Obama, and what are the chances of that choice actually getting elected after deposing a sitting president with an honest assessment?

    Historically, challenging a sitting president for the nomination only results in the other party winning the general election. As Johnson in 1968, Ford in 1976, Carter in 1980 and Bush in 1992 would attest.
    And, to re-iterate an earlier point, three of the most liberal states in the union lie on the west coast, and don’t hold primaries until the nominations are already wrapped up. The last time a democrat actually needed to win a west coast state to get the nomination was 1972, when McGovern needed California.
    We have a system here that is nothing like what the writers of the Constitution envisioned; it’s a system that evolved rather than one that was designed. There’s a lot of blind spots, nerves that take circuitous routes and so forth…
    I’ve already resigned myself to an election pitting Obama against some complete idiot, or maybe against Romney, who is so vapid I have doubts he can win the nomination. The idea of a Perry or Bachman or Santorum in the White House is just too horrible to contemplate.

  175. 175
    Jadehawk

    *reads thread*
    *reads responses on the same subject on her blog*

    huh. When I jokingly said that the universe always throws my life out of kilter so that I never manage to graduate from anything, I didn’t expect it to destroy the most powerful country in the world just to make sure that I’ll be forced to leave the USA one semester before graduation [/egomania]

  176. 176
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Steve LaBonne:

    The only thing the Scott Brown victory really proved was that bad candidates who run bad campaigns are liable to lose.

    That’s a prime example of the truly pathetic level of political analysis I always see from people like you. No, that was in fact only a small part of the story.

    Well, leaving aside my puzzlement over what you mean by “people like [me]” (in my experience, people who use that formulation usually actually know almost nothing about the people they’re talking to), you’re simply wrong in this case. While I, personally, had only a brief “cup of coffee” as a Coakley volunteer, I know plenty of others who were more involved, and the story they tell is always the same: Coakley was an uninspiring candidate who took the “Kennedy seat” for granted, didn’t start campaigning in earnest ’til way too late, and then ran a disorganized and unfocused campaign. Brown was an attractive guy who attacked Coakley’s presumption in a way that was very specific to MA politics.

    Turnout is always low in midterm elections, and even lower in off-schedule special elections, but that’s not why Scott Brown won.

  177. 177
    Dianne

    When I jokingly said that the universe always throws my life out of kilter so that I never manage to graduate from anything, I didn’t expect it to destroy the most powerful country in the world just to make sure that I’ll be forced to leave the USA one semester before graduation

    Sigh. Dammit. Someone go wipe Jadehawk’s memory. She’s onto us again!

  178. 178
    David Marjanović, OM

    Like a drunk, the good ol’ USA may need to hit bottom before it can start to recover.

    Is there a bottom?

    Is there a bottom?

    Since we cannot achieve our every desire in this election, our goal ought to be the utter and complete demoralization of our enemies. I know of no better way to accomplish that than to shove another term of Obama down their throat.

    This idea does have some appeal… :-)

    Considering that Obama managed to start a new war without liquidating the two previous ones, is he really all that much better in that regard?

    What war has Obama started?

    If you mean Libya, you really haven’t been paying attention. And while the retreat from Iraq and Afghanistan is way too slow for my taste, it has at least started.

    If you’re talking about economics, Europe right now is behaving even more insanely than we are, and is the party most likely to take down the world economy.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Dude, you’re worse off than Greece. Just nobody admits it, because you’re too big too fail. One (one!) rating agency drops its rating of the US from AAA to AA+ (while Greece is at C++ or something), and everyone is like “ZOMGZ WTF”, while schools and police offices are closed in rural Idaho and Texas for sheer lack of money?

    The € isn’t falling any faster than the $, even though they are both falling.

    Stewart/Colbert 2012

    Problem. Fucking. Solved.

    … besides, the whole thing is a joke anyway. Might as well get someone who’s good at it.

    I don’t understand why such suggestions are almost never taken seriously. At least Sen. Franken has set precedent.

    Let’s see. If Nader didn’t run, and those who voted for Nader would have voted for Gore (a reasonable presumption), then Gore would have won Florida, and therefore the electoral college. Care to show me figures otherwise?

    Gore won anyway.

    Notwithstanding comment 36, comment 33 is correct, and you should all be ashamed that you didn’t fucking riot.

    Time to Godwin then. So Hitler wasn’t a murderer?

    …well… no, of course not. He ordered mass murder, but didn’t perform it.

    Duh.

    Romney is still the leading polls in comparison to other Republican primary candidates. [...] Worse, Romney is a better match for American corporate culture, and will probably receive more corporate financial backing than other potential Republican candidates. (And he is out fund raising them now.) [...] But if that doesn’t happen, Romney will be very well positioned to campaign against Obama, in a way none of the other Republican primary candidates ever could be.

    At the same time, he cannot possibly win the elections. There are tons of fundies out there who simply won’t vote for a Mormon, come literal hell or high water. That’s why Romney didn’t get the nomination last time.

    If Romney really does get the nomination this time, which I obviously doubt very strongly, we can sit back and relax.

    You won’t get that as long as you let Joe Lieberman caucus with the Dems and poison everything he slimes across–that fucker should have been thrown out to vote with the Republicans, like he usually does, anyway.

    Remember Zell “Godzella” Miller? Apparently, the Democrats have extremely silly statutes that don’t allow them to throw anyone out. “Democrat is a state of mind” and such crap.

    Break the fucking cycle, people. The Dems are the abusive spouse of liberals, and the sooner all of you realize it, the better off we’ll all be.

    But the two-party system is written into your constitution. You can’t get rid of it unless one of the two parties spontaneously detonates.

    [2] Sad that I know how to do fake “Comic Sans” tags but not real ones, eh?

    The real ones don’t work here.

    huh. When I jokingly said that the universe always throws my life out of kilter so that I never manage to graduate from anything, I didn’t expect it to destroy the most powerful country in the world just to make sure that I’ll be forced to leave the USA one semester before graduation [/egomania]

    Every such cycle fails once, and when it does, it fails forever. Had everything continued as normal, the Tàipíng Rebellion would have ended the Qīng Dynasty, but instead it continued a bit longer, and then the monarchy broke down even as a concept, for the first time after thousands of years. This time, the Reptilian candidates are so stupid they’ll fail (except for Romney, who’ll fail because he’s a Mormon)…

    At least that’s as far as I can think at sunrise. :-)

  179. 179
    DLC

    Something to remember about President Obama:
    While I agree that there have been instances where the President should have shown some more spine, he has not had the House behind him since the 2010 elections and really has not had the Senate at all, even with a 59/41 majority, because McConnell has ordered that no bill shall pass un-filibustered.
    The president can do little without the Congress behind him, or at least with being able to strike a deal, and when the other side refuses to deal, you’re out of luck.

    Secondly, I’d like to remind people that the perfect is the enemy of the good.

  180. 180
    alkaloid

    @Katherine Lorraine, #161

    The result of this is that four years later, you’ll be in the same situation (except that then, the democrats after Obama will be even further right, and still calling for your support). Why should they care whether you complain after you elected them, when you’ve already made it clear that you’re going to give them the only thing they even marginally care about at this point-namely your vote?

    The cycle doesn’t really seem to have an end, and I wouldn’t really call it the voters’ fault if every possible signal is interpreted by Democratic politicians as a reason to go further right.

  181. 181
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @alkaloid:

    They won’t care after I elect them. But if I don’t elect them then I’m fearful for the opposition. Bachmann or Perry are frightening thoughts to an atheist transgender. I don’t think it’s in their power to re-criminalize homosexuality, but I’m pretty sure they’d want to try.

  182. 182
    'smee

    Ms Kat@181

    I don’t think it’s in their power to re-criminalize homosexuality

    If they would win the presidential race, one would also expect a similar showing in house & senate races. The upshot of that is a vastly more right-wing, more theocratic government who would willingly destroy decades of social reform – starting with abortion rights, elimination of gay rights, and evisceration of any and all social programs. Then they’d start on me (new citizen, but atheist, liberal and ‘elitist european’)

  183. 183
    'smee

    DM@178: you think more deeply at sunrise than many ever do!

  184. 184
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @’smee:

    I don’t doubt that they’ll remove abortion rights if that fight goes to the current Supreme Court. It’s way too right wing now, and I’m certain it would get kicked to the curb. All I know, one of these crazies wins, I’m gonna try to find someone in Europe to crash with.

  185. 185
    'smee

    KLCdlM@184

    I am a new US citizen — which means I can now leave the US with impunity, and get back when I feel it’s safe (unless they change the rules on expatriation under the coming Theocracy)

  186. 186
    Tim Martin

    Calling someone a “traitor” is a strange criticism. My country (America) was founded by traitors.

  187. 187
    scenario

    A lot of the problem is at the primary level. Only about 20% of voters vote in the primaries. The people who vote in the primaries tend to be the most motivated. Tea baggers are about 20% of the population. I wonder what percent of them vote in primaries? Since Democrats and Republicans each have about 50% of the vote than about 10% of Americans vote in the Republican primaries and 10% in the Democratic primary. If 1/4 of tea baggers vote in the primaries they are a 1/2 of the Republican primary voters.

    20% of the voters end up being 50% of Republican primary voters. I’d like to see what % of progressives vote in the Democratic primaries.

    In my city if you don’t vote in the primaries, you don’t have a vote at the local level. I’ve lived here almost 20 years and the Democratic candidates for State Senate, State House of Representatives, School Committee etc. has run unopposed in the general elections. If I were a conservative I could really only vote Republican at the state level. Unfortunately, the Democrats tend to shoot themselves by picking the worst candidates they can find. I tend to vote for third party presidential candidates because my state will reliably vote 85 to 90% for the Democratic candidate. I can vote my for who I think is best because I know that my state will overwhelmingly vote for my second choice.

  188. 188
    Anri

    Cripes, it is pathetic how incapable some of you are to seeing beyond the idea of just sucking up to Democrats after they betray you year after year, and calling progressives like me “trolls”. Obama is a shit sandwich of a president, and don’t expect me to be grateful that it isn’t McCain who would have been a double shit sandwich with a cup of piss on the side.

    I’m fucking pissed off that I have the choice of not voting, or holding my nose and voting for center-right Obama. And then to have people who are generally smart and activism-leaning just saying “too bad, suck it up, there’s no possibility of ever having a better choice” is infuriating.

    Ok, Joe, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll vote for whomever you suggest – Nader, the Ghost of FDR, your pet rabbit LucyFur, whomever – if you’ll do me just one little favor:

    Pick your ‘dream team’ from the Rupubs who’ll be elected when half of the Dems vote a straight ‘who’s that then?’ ticket. Palin/Jindal, Romney/Voldemort, really whomever.
    Give me a quick rundown of their 4 years in office, just the highlights: major initiatives passed, existing legislation removed, Supreme Court Judge nominations, that kinda thing. Call that List A.
    Then, for those points, give me a breakdown of how you think a second Obama term would be differnet from the above. That’s List B.

    Just as soon as you can show me that List A would be better for the country than List B, you’ve got my vote.
    Thanks in advance!

  189. 189
    'smee

    Anri@188:

    Don’t hold your breath, Anri — you asked Joe to actually work to provide evidence to support his position. And as we’ve seen from this thread alone – Joe doesn’t need evidence, no sirree.

    You, Anri, are just another sheeple. (according to Joe)

  190. 190
    'smee

    scenario@187: I hear you – but absent major election reform (how ya gonna do that from outside?) we need to deal with reality as it is – as fucked up as it is – and it’s fucked up because we progressives got lazy.

    We thought reason alone was enough.
    We thought that people would NEVER vote against their own best interests.
    We thought that obviously wackaloon candidates from the extremes would never be electable .

    We thought wrong.

    It’s time to act positively for change. Not just hope for it.

  191. 191
    Jack

    1. Vote.
    You don’t have to like it, but vote for the least bad candidate in every single election, primary and general and special. You know why no one cares about young voters’ opinions and everyone cares about old voters’ opinions? Because the older voters actually go to the polls every damn year and vote. If your demographic consistently votes, you’ll see candidates catering to your problems.

    2. Give your money to lobbyists.
    Politicians have many masters and flop back and forth like a wet noodle. Lobbyists have one goal and will never betray you. Find an advocacy group that advocates what you care about. Hell, find ten that advocate on ten different specific issues you care about. Fourth Amendment, First Amendment, stem-cell research, there’s a lobbyist for that. The lobbyists will be whispering in politicians ears long after those same politicians have forgotten their conflicting campaign promises.

  192. 192
    uncle frogy

    I have read the majority of this thread and since I see no new one starting up I will try commenting on the new pharyngula

    I think that the entire world is going through some major change just now it has been building for some time. I think that it is the result to the three issues listed above. over population, energy, and the resultant global warming.
    We are more and more tied together by economics than ever before it is truly a global civilization but there is now unanimity as to direction at all. Those who do not look at the whole picture and only think in terms that would be more appropriate to the 19th century have too much influence world wide but things are getting harder to deny and regardless what anybody thinks AGW will happen with the expected effects which will probably be worse than predicted and sooner any way.

    I see little choice but the Democratic party here in the US but there is more going on than just the coming election and more to do.

    the big changes may seem to come out of “left field” and take the established order off guard but they will come, if you doubt it go ask the president of Egypt how it works

    here is a comment from You tube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZvWt29OG0s&ob=av3n

    that indicates what my thinking is about what is likely to happen

    uncle frogy

  193. 193
    Charles

    We already have a theocracy, except the god that both parties are beholden to is corporations.

  194. 194
    Ayanna Westen

    Every occasionally all of us choose blogs that people read. Listed below are the most recent sites that people select.

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