Quantcast

«

»

Sep 06 2012

The Clinton ‘Nightmare’

If you didn’t see it last night, watch it now: Bill Clinton’s speech to the Democratic National Convention. Wow…it’s what I want from a political speech, tons of policy and specifics and evidence.

In case you’re wondering whether he just made it all up, FactCheck.org just called it Our Clinton Nightmare…because they had to do so much checking of details and data, and because it kept turning out that he wasn’t making any juicily dishonest claims. The worst error they found was that he oversold the effect of Obamacare, because most of its provisions aren’t yet in effect; the real reason health care costs are slowing right now is because people are too broke and too uninsured to go to the doctor.

FactCheck did not report on his other gigantic error, though. The closing line of Clinton’s speech, and of every other speaker, was that tedious, stupid “God bless you, and God bless America.” I’ve got to learn to hit the mute button on the remote faster, because that pointless piety was really getting on my nerves.

Despite his flaws, Clinton really is a politician’s politician, talented and undeniably brilliant. If only Al Gore had turned him loose to campaign for him…and now, I seriously hope that Obama is planning to put Clinton to work on his re-election.

Unleash the Bill! Romney doesn’t stand a chance.

Now, of course, Obama has to give a speech tonight that is at least its equal. Romney just had to top a rambling old geezer and an empty chair (and he failed). Obama has to show why I shouldn’t just write Bill Clinton’s name on my ballot.


If you’d like to just read it rather than watch it (although you’ll be missing a master rhetorician at work), here’s the text.

211 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    autumn

    Well, seeing as Bill isn’t legally allowed to be President anymore. . . but then, I voted Nader in 2000.

  2. 2
    PZ Myers

    My dream: Bill Clinton goes Godzilla on the Romney campaign, so they try to bring out their own ex-president: George W. Bush. Bwahahahahahahahaha!

  3. 3
    cervantes

    Yeah, it baffles me too — is the idea supposed to be that God wasn’t going to bless America, but maybe he’ll happen to be listening to the speech and say, “Oh what the heck, maybe I’ll throw them a blessing after all”? It’s completely nonsensical.

  4. 4
    Gregory in Seattle

    Clinton was so impressive that at least one GOP strategists is saying that his speech was “the moment that likely reelected Obama“.

    “I would recommend to my friend Paul [Begala] here, tonight when everybody leaves, lock the doors. You don’t have to come back tomorrow. This convention is done. This will be the moment that probably re-elected Barack Obama.”

    Of course the GOP would love for the convention to end early. Clinton’s speech probably re-elected Obama; Obama’s own speech will clinch it.

    I have serious issues with President Obama and the national Democratic party. If the spirit of this convention keeps going through November, however, I might actually feel good about voting for them, for the first time in many years.

  5. 5
    Louis

    Those “Middle Class First” signs have (I hope and I guess) entirely different connotations from the same sentiment in the UK.*

    Good speech though.

    Louis

    * Over here such sentiments are expressions of the Daily Mail reading Right. As in “stuff the poor, give the middle class some tax cuts”

  6. 6
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    My dream: Bill Clinton goes Godzilla on the Romney campaign, so they try to bring out their own ex-president: George W. Bush. Bwahahahahahahahaha!

    Yeah that would be great, unfortunately, not bloody likely.

    They’re keeping him and his record of 8 years of total fucking disaster as far away from the campaign as they can.

  7. 7
    Zeno

    PZ, you’re taking it too seriously. The traditional “God bless America” tag at the end of a speech is just about as religious as the implied “God be with ye” in “goodbye.” It’s the god-botherers who open their speeches with it (and sprinkle it throughout) that really bother me.

  8. 8
    Francisco Bacopa

    The closing line of Clinton’s speech, and of every other speaker, was that tedious, stupid “God bless you, and God bless America.”

    Not quite true. Every speaker who held or had previously held elected office said “God Bless America”. I think only one of the other speakers said it. There were a couple of big business types who just said their bit and then just said “Thank you” and just walked off stage. Same with almost all the other non-politician speakers too.

    One of the speakers was a craft brewer who had benefited from a small business loan guarantee program. Obama himself is brewing beer. Is this an attempt to make Obama seem like a regular guy, unlike that scary Mormon who will take our brewskis away?

  9. 9
    Charlie Foxtrot

    God: “What? America? Another blessing? Didn’t I just give you one?? Oh, ok, have another. Hmmm… *click* wait, shit – that’s a hurricane… ok. *click* fuck, tornado. OK, gottit *click* …Paul Ryan… FUCK!!!”

  10. 10
    Louis

    I’m sorry but at 18:00 to 18:09 I thought he was going to go into Sir Maxalot’s “I like Big Butts”.

    Louis

  11. 11
    ChasCPeterson

    If you’d like to just read it rather than watch it (although you’ll be missing a master rhetorician at work)

    well, rhetoric ought to work in writing. Master orator, you mean?

  12. 12
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    PZ, you’re taking it too seriously. The traditional “God bless America” tag at the end of a speech is just about as religious as the implied “God be with ye” in “goodbye.”

    Did I miss sarcasm here?
    Because those things aren’t in the same category, not even similar. Goodbye is a word that lost its religious connotations long ago. “God bless… ” is about as clear as it gets and has no place in secular government.

  13. 13
    Didaktylos

    Is now the time to start calling for a repeal of the 22nd (is it?) amendment?

  14. 14
    ppb

    Louis @#5,
    It’s meant to be in contrast to the Republican agenda, which is all about giving the poor oppressed billionaires yet another tax cut.

  15. 15
    blf

    Bill Clinton goes Godzilla…

    A rubber movie monster for President! Does that make Congress Gigan?

  16. 16
    carlie

    My dream: Bill Clinton goes Godzilla on the Romney campaign, so they try to bring out their own ex-president: George W. Bush.

    I saw a great tweet: “Bill Clinton said more nice things about George Bush than the entire Republican convention combined.”

    well, rhetoric ought to work in writing. Master orator, you mean?

    Both. The content was great, but also that man can work a room. I was on Twitter and most of the comments were about how people were falling all over themselves in happiness and adoration in spite of themselves.

  17. 17
    Alex

    CF,

    no that’s not how it works, God waits for a certain necessary number of demands before he even considers starting with the blessing.

  18. 18
    Louis

    ppb,

    Yeah I guessed it was along those lines.

    Interestingly, as I intimated, the same line in the UK plays precisely into giving those poor hard done by billionaires more tax cuts. Same words different context!

    Louis

  19. 19
    Lynna, OM

    Clinton used “arithmetic” and logic to counter Republican claims. He didn’t talk down to the audience. He assumed his audience wanted to know the facts.

    His summary of the Republican message: “We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him and put us back in.”

    The three speakers who had been fired under a Romney/Bain takeover and subsequent bankruptcy were also good — not experts like Clinton, but very believable.

  20. 20
    holytape

    The speech was so good enough that Republican strategists are demanding to see his birth certificate too.

  21. 21
    Lynna, OM

    I really enjoyed this. Honestly. In responding to Clinton’s DNC speech the Romney campaign has given us the best example of disingenuousness I’ve ever seen. They set a new standard. It’s remarkable. A wonder for the ages.

    President Clinton drew a stark contrast between himself and President Obama tonight. Bill Clinton worked with Republicans, balanced the budget, and after four years he could say you were better off. Barack Obama hasn’t worked across the aisle – he’s barely worked with other Democrats – and has the worst economic record of any president in modern history. President Clinton’s speech brought the disappointment and failure of President Obama’s time in office clearly into focus.

    http://www.towleroad.com/2012/09/romney-campaign-responds-to-clinton-speech.html

  22. 22
    jimmauch

    In politics you must have the expectation that you will not get 100% of what you want. I think that the Democrat’s platform that god will not be our Cheif of Staff to the President making decisions on the rights of women & LBGT’s is encouraging. We will have to wait a while for a politician or a party closing a speech with the proclamation for a continuing reverence to our all good and all knowing spaghetti monster.

  23. 23
    Raging Bee

    Okay, where do I get my “ARITHMETIC!” T-shirt and bumper-sticker? Maybe the Obama logo with the English word on top and the Spanish word on the bottom?

    Or maybe we could go “Team America” and have T-shirts saying “Arithmetic, FUCK YEAH!!!”

  24. 24
    Larry

    the Romney campaign has given us the best example of disingenuousness

    Shameless motherfuckers, aren’t they? They are so low on ammunition, they have to praise Bill Clinton, who, if I remember rightly, wasn’t too popular with the jesus-crowd back in the day.

  25. 25
    anteprepro

    Quoted by Lynna (emphasis mine):

    Barack Obama hasn’t worked across the aisle – he’s barely worked with other Democrats

    Here’s my question: HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE?

    Are they insinuating that Obama is some sort of tyrant who hasn’t accepted help from anyone and is pushing legislation without input from anyone at all? Because, barring that strange scenario, if we admit that “he’s barely worked with other Democrats,” we reach the inevitable conclusion that he has, as a result, made concessions to Republicans. Which is what “working across the aisle” usually means.

    Fucking Spin: How does it work?

  26. 26
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    Lynna @21:

    I’m so tired of yelling ‘FUCKING LIARS!’ at my TV the last few weeks that my voice is hoarse. It highlights the gaping chasm of credulity that the current crop of conservative voters are brandishing, like it’s something to be proud of. “Yay for me! I have zero street smarts and the wide-eyed innocence of a four year old! Tell me another true story, Uncle Mitt.”

  27. 27
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    I should submit that as a political slogan.

    Republicans: Such a vast, gaping chasm of credulity, they will swallow ANYTHING!

  28. 28
    Lynna, OM

    It’s not just Clinton that is giving Romney heartburn instead of a mormon burning in the bosom. Lo, there are Mormons for Obama.

    …says Grant. “I’d be happy for him to be my stake president,” a leadership position in the LDS church. But Romney’s policy views, in the view of the Hardys, do not line up with their faith.

    To be clear: the Hardys are not lapsed Mormons. Grant is a church leader in his area. …

  29. 29
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    My “stake president?” Cripes but they’re creepy. How many of them have even a dim awareness of how odd and idiosyncratic they are and how disturbing their nomenclature is to outsiders?

  30. 30
    Lynna, OM

    They [Republicans] are so low on ammunition, they have to praise Bill Clinton, who, if I remember rightly, wasn’t too popular with the jesus-crowd back in the day.

    They hated Bill Clinton with the first breath they took in the morning, and with the last breath before they, mercifully, fell asleep. Rush Limbaugh grew hoarse with hate.

    The only time they slacked off in hating Bill was when they turned to Hillary.

    I remember this all too well. Thanks to an economic downturn of my own, I had to live with my parents, both Republicans, for a year. The vitriol was so thick that it gave me nightmares. After listening to Limbaugh daily, green slime would drip out of my parent’s mouth when they uttered the word “Clinton.” I loved my parents, but it is hard to live with that kind of flaw. To this day I think I suffer from exposure to that level of hate and unreason.

    Bill Clinton did not hate them back. Very fucking Christian of him.

    Republicans brought the Bubba Bump on themselves. They are the ones that pitted Clinton against Obama in TV ads that lied about Obama gutting Clinton’s welfare reform. I think Clinton was delighted. Republican threw red meat to the Big Dog.

  31. 31
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    Josh @29:

    Well, Mormons are huge fans of that movie Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and they have a thing for his weapon set and want more presidents to kill vampires with stakes, so they affectionately refer to presidents they think can take on vampires as ‘stake presidents’…

    No! REALLY! Look, I’m not making any of this up. It was right there on Golden Tablet #17, but only I can decipher it. Why are my underwear bunching?

  32. 32
    Lynna, OM

    How many of them have even a dim awareness of how odd and idiosyncratic they are and how disturbing their nomenclature is to outsiders?

    Answer: Few to none.

    They all think that the more we get to know mormonism, the more we’ll like mormons.

  33. 33
    blf

    They all think that the more we get to know mormonism, the more we’ll like mormons.

    I dunno, might be possible. How do you recommend preparing one?

  34. 34
    Lynna, OM

    Coverage of the speeches given by laid-off workers at Bain-owned companies:
    Link at Talking Points Memo.

    Excerpt:

    The most dramatic tale came from Randy Johnson, a former worker at Bain-owned Ampad in the 1990s, who described how the private equity group took over the company, fired its workers, then invited them to reapply for jobs with lower benefits.

    “What affected me most was having guys the age I am now come to my desk, and cry; guys who had nothing to fall back on,” Johnson said.

    Ampad eventually went bankrupt. But Bain made about $100 million off the deal through management fees and the sale of its stock.

    “I don’t think Mitt Romney is a bad man,” Johnson, a longtime Romney critic across multiple campaigns, told the audience. “I don’t fault him for the fact that some companies win and some companies lose. That’s a fact of life. What I fault him for is making money without a moral compass. I fault him for putting profits before people like me.”…

    I think Romney is a good man when it comes to his family and his fellow mormons, but that he is a bad man toward the rest of the human race.

  35. 35
    Lynna, OM

    Before Clinton the Republican Party was worried about Romney’s chances. What must they be thinking now?

    My bet is that they will double down on voter suppression efforts. Link to a summary of Republican tactics to suppress votes.

    Excerpt:

    …Obama’s ability to peel off the support of voters in three states of the old Confederacy — Virginia, Florida and North Carolina — shook the very foundations of the Southern strategy and left the Republican Party reeling.

    The party’s initial instinct was to try to undercut the president’s “postracial” appeal, with party leaders asking Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to provide the response to President Obama’s first State of the Union address, and selecting former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele as chair of the Republican National Committee. Both of these decisions soon proved hasty and ill-advised.

    Now, it seems, the Republican Party is done with politics. The party has, in effect, abandoned serious engagement with the essence of political activism: trying to persuade voters to support the candidates and viewpoints of one or another political party. Urban voters, blacks, Latinos, young people and now perhaps even a majority of women voters appear beyond the reach or interest of the GOP….

  36. 36
    Lynna, OM

    I dunno, might be possible. How do you recommend preparing one?

    They remain hard as rocks no matter how you prepare them.

  37. 37
    raven

    The “Clinton nightmare” does have a point.

    As the Onion pointed out, our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity under Clinton ended when Bush was elected president.

  38. 38
    duce7999

    Hey PZ, I don’t think Sandra Fluke made a reference to any god. So there is one? I know that her last line was something like “So ladies, and gentlemen, now is the time to choose.” I believe at this point she dropped the mic.

  39. 39
    Lynna, OM

    Joan Walsh, editor at Salon, provided a nice commentary. Excerpt:

    In his long but mostly engaging speech, his voice a little hoarse, the wonk in chief dazzled the delegates with numbers: Did you know that in the last 52 years, the U.S. created 66 million private sector jobs, and 42 million were created in the 24 years Democrats controlled the White House? Me either. Or that Republican policies quadrupled the debt in the 12 years before Clinton took office and doubled in the eight years after? That two-thirds of Medicaid – supposedly the poor people’s healthcare program – goes to nursing home care for seniors and rehabilitation for the disabled? (Translation: You use Medicaid too, white people!) Or that we’ve dropped to 16th in the world in the number of young people with college degrees?

    http://www.salon.com/2012/09/06/were_all_in_this_together/

  40. 40
    Steve LaBonne

    I think Romney is a good man when it comes to his family

    I don’t. I’m quite sure he’s the kind of patriarchal asshole one would expect a Mormon to be, and there have been a number of anecdotes about his behavior which tend to back that up.

  41. 41
    raven

    They all think that the more we get to know mormonism, the more we’ll like mormons.

    It actually works the other way around. I’ve known dozens of Mormons and spent a lot of time in Utah.

    There is a wall between them and the rest of humanity. They are taught that they are the Real Jews, god’s chosen people, The One True Religion. The men are all priests with magic powers.

    They are taught that they are superior to everyone not of the One True Cult.

    Out of those many dozens, there were only two that I could relate to. Both of them were…LDS converts.

  42. 42
    Lynna, OM

    Awfulness from the right was vented in twitterland, including jabs at Sandra Fluke. I think they just can’t stand the fact that she is so obviously a nice young woman, and, yes, sweet. Her intelligence just infuriates them.

    John Podhoretz @jpodhoretz
    The perma-smirk on Sandra Fluke’s face is one of the reasons I’m a conservative.

    Ann Coulter @AnnCoulter
    Bill Clinton just impregnated Sandra Fluke backstage.

    Roger Stone @RogerJStoneJr
    I wish Ted Kennedy could have dated Sandra Fluke!”” or take her for a drive !

    Craig Robinson @IowaGOPer
    Hard to watch this Catholic nun who stands against the main tenet of her faith, the right to life. Get off the bus and get back to church

  43. 43
    Marcus Ranum

    The traditional “God bless America” tag at the end of a speech is just about as religious as the implied “God be with ye” in “goodbye.”

    Oh, yeah? So you’re telling me nobody’d care at all of a speaker ended with “Ia! Ia! Cthulhu ftaghn!” Or “Allahu Akbar!”

    I bet.

  44. 44
    ibbica

    they affectionately refer to presidents they think can take on vampires as ‘stake presidents’…

    Hold on then: what do they call presidents they think can take on an invasion of space aliens? I’d think that would be rather more important to them than some lowly vamps, surely they must have a name for such a president, no?

  45. 45
    Lynna, OM

    … there were only two that I could relate to. Both of them were…LDS converts.

    And that’s why there is also a hierarchy within mormon communities, with Born in the Covenant folks rated as better marriage partners. And Born in the Covenant for many generations is even better.

    Converts are the ones harboring residual reasonableness and tolerance, being not so thoroughly church broke (as in breaking horses).

    Ann Romney, as a convert, is an exception. She became mormon aristocracy in one great leap. She is now fully capable of giving a Relief Society speech to an entire convention hall of mostly non-mormons. If you think her speech was a bit odd, just view it in the light of the mormon Relief Society and it all makes sense.

  46. 46
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Carlie:

    I was on Twitter and most of the comments were about how people were falling all over themselves in happiness and adoration in spite of themselves.

    This was me last night. Good ol’ Slick Willy was trying his hardest to melt my cold, cynical heart and I’ll be damned if there wasn’t a moment or two where I felt my conviction to leave the presidential line blank this November started to waver.

  47. 47
    raven

    And that’s why there is also a hierarchy within mormon communities, with Born in the Covenant folks rated as better marriage partners. And Born in the Covenant for many generations is even better.

    I’ve heard exactly that from Mormons who trace back to the migration from Missouri to SLC.

    They are a bit wary of converts and think that it can take several generations to make Real Mormons, that is people who can believe anything as long as the church leaders say it.

    The best marriage partners are also RM’s (Returned Missionarys) with BYU degrees.

    Ann Romney, as a convert, is an exception. She became mormon aristocracy in one great leap.

    That is true of any primitive patriarchial culture. The woman’s status is entirely determined by the husband’s status. They are just property and breeding stock after all.

  48. 48
    Lynna, OM

    In response to the Republican response to Clinton’s speech, (see comment #21), Steve Benen wrote, in part:

    President Obama appointed Republicans to key posts in his administration, and incorporated Republican ideas into his policy agenda. He demonstrated a willingness to work with GOP officials on just about every issue under the sun.

    On the other hand, there were congressional Republicans who huddled, literally on Obama’s first day, and agreed to adopt “unyielding opposition” to every White House measure. The Senate GOP leadership decided before the president was even inaugurated that they would not compromise on anything. Shortly after the inauguration, one House Republican leader said his caucus was prepared to emulate the “insurgency” tactics of “the Taliban.”

    I realize the political establishment has rules, and those rules dictate that both sides must always be blamed for partisan strife, but there are some pesky facts that point in a very different direction….

  49. 49
    Amphiox

    Interestingly, as I intimated, the same line in the UK plays precisely into giving those poor hard done by billionaires more tax cuts. Same words different context!

    It’s just an indication of how much further to the right the Overton window is in the US vs the UK.

    The further the Overton window is to the right, the higher up the income scale you can go with the tax cuts for me, screw everyone below code phrasing schtick, and get away with it. In the UK, it’s down at the “middle class” (more accurately upper middle class, I think). In the US it’s way up at billionaires.

  50. 50
    erinmacdonald

    As Charles P Pierce put it: “Bill Clinton. At least 300 electoral votes. Tomorrow. Against anyone.”

  51. 51
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    Now I understand why the Republicans hate[d] Clinton so much. He ever so charismatically hands their asses to them, and despite themselves they say “thank you.”

    Canada’s politics and leaders are nowhere this impressive or charismatic. Not since Pierre Trudeau. (Although I do give some points to Jean Charest and Danny Williams at the Provincial level.)

  52. 52
    DLC

    Former President Clinton’s speech was brilliant. He hit all the targets like Robin Hood on a spree.

  53. 53
    culch

    Lynna @ 30:
    Yes, that’s how I remember it, the Rethugs demonizing both Clintons at every opportunity, and making up others. And the media happily went along with the sex scandal and impeachment. The Clintons private lives were investigated by partisan snakes, with the results, speculation and lies trumpeted by the reich-wing press.
    The came Bush-lite, and the media backed off. His evasion of military service, drinking, drug use and crony capitalism were ignored except by the tiny leftish press. If Hillary had killed HER high-school boyfriend, Congress would STILL be holding televised public hearings.
    Louis @ 5:
    Yes, it’s a different context, but it stills rankles me that the poor are dismissed as a valued constituancy. Nearly everyone, Dem or Rep, seems to think of themselves as “middle class,” and does not want to be lumped in with the poor (stereotyped as brown, uneducated, drug addled losers).

  54. 54
    blf

    They remain hard as rocks no matter how you prepare them.

    Not even lion chow then.

  55. 55
    Olav

    I am not going to watch any speech by Slick Willy before someone can confirm that it calls for an immediate end to: Guantanamo Bay, murder by drone, war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to name just a few gripes I have with US foreign policy.

  56. 56
    Amphiox

    Nearly everyone, Dem or Rep, seems to think of themselves as “middle class,” and does not want to be lumped in with the poor (stereotyped as brown, uneducated, drug addled losers).

    It is the unrecognized toxic dark side of the American Dream. If anyone can succeed, and upward mobility the opportunity for all, then those who don’t must of course be failures. And the poor don’t think of themselves as poor, only as the middle class of the future.

  57. 57
    Amphiox

    I am not going to watch any speech by Slick Willy before someone can confirm that it calls for an immediate end to

    Does that extend equally to all other speeches and speakers? I presume then that you will not be listening to any speeches and will not be participating in the current political cycle at all?

  58. 58
    hyperdeath

    Ia! Ia! Cthulhu ftaghn!

    Now that’s how you end a speech. I can’t see it happening though. :(

  59. 59
    NelC

    The closing line of Clinton’s speech, and of every other speaker, was that tedious, stupid “God bless you, and God bless America.”

    We used to have an Irish stand-up comedian called Dave Allen on the BBC when I was young — I think he was an atheist, actually — who would always sign off his shows with, “Goodnight, and may your god go with you,” which I think is nicely inclusive. It manages to cover all the bases, even with only a little stretch for atheism.

  60. 60
    AsqJames

    US vs. UK middle class rhetoric.

    I think there’s a substantial differences between who is considered middle class in our two countries – in the popular imagination generally and in certain media in particular.

    I hear US politicians and media talk about the manufacturing industries (particularly the iconic auto industry) and the quality blue-collar jobs they provide and I get the impression “middle class” jobs in America are defined by their pay and benefits.

    I think the UK may be slowly moving in this direction, but manual labour – working with your hands no matter how skilled or well paid, rather than in an office with your brain – is not (IMO) given the same status. A teacher with an income of £20,000 would almost certainly be considered middle class (particularly if his/her parents were/are), whereas a plumber or electrician earning £80,000 probably isn’t.

    Again, I think this is changing, but “middle class” in the UK is (I think) as much about what you do, how you behave, what you wear, how you speak and who your parents are than how much you earn and what your ambitions for your children are.

    In this context UK political rhetoric seems tied more closely to preserving the privilege of those who are middle class, while US rhetoric is about providing access to that middle class for those just outside it.

  61. 61
    Amphiox

    AFAIUT, class distinctions in the UK are much more precisely defined, traditionally, than in the US, where class is a rather fluid, fuzzy, overlapping concept.

    Which of course means that, politically, in the US, it is so much easier to harp on class divisions and do class warfare in all but name, and have a majority of people assume that the target is not them, even when it is.

  62. 62
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    I think Romney is a good man when it comes to his family and his fellow mormons, but that he is a bad man toward the rest of the human race.

    QFT

    This is exactly what I think every time someone says “I don’t think Romney is a bad man, per sé…”

    He is a bad man to everyone outside his family and his church. He is the epitome of the kind of racial/religious tribalism that will be ushered in with a vengeance if the Republicans win.

  63. 63
    robro

    Great to hear that Clinton did well and that FactCheck.org found little factually wrong. There was a New York Daily News article at the top of the Google News last night that took him to task for saying something about Republicans being obstructionists while Democrats have been compromisers, their point being that both parties have been players in the gridlock. Perhaps that’s partly true, but just say the word “taxes” and see how recalcitrant those Republicans get.

    Clinton is one of my favorite politician, and my wife loves him (she just said he’s looking “pretty hot these days”). He’s also the reason we got on the Esselstyn diet, which has practically eliminated my wife’s chronic angina. He’s not perfect (that business with Jennifer, Monica, et al is troubling) but he can speak well and at least he seems sincere. Gore really blew it in 2000. It seems Obama is playing the Clinton card heavily.

    On the religion front, in addition to the mock piety, the Dems put something about “god” back into their platform. It was fairly innocuous…something about “god-given right” to a living…but still. They also voted in an item about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel…ugh. At the very least it ended up in a voice vote and there were boos.

  64. 64
    twincats

    And the poor don’t think of themselves as poor, only as the middle class of the future.

    The real problem is that too much of the middle class think of themselves as the 1% of the future.

  65. 65
    Olav

    Amphiox, #57:

    Olav, #55:

    I am not going to watch any speech by Slick Willy before someone can confirm that it calls for an immediate end to

    Does that extend equally to all other speeches and speakers? I presume then that you will not be listening to any speeches

    I don’t know. Are any of them going to say the things I mentioned?

    and will not be participating in the current political cycle at all?

    You can have your current political cycle, I couldn’t care much less at all. And even if I were an American, I would not know who or what to vote for. Both “major” parties are clearly out of the question. They’re just not an option.

    They are “More of the Same” vs. “The Same, and More of It”.

  66. 66
    kagekiri

    My dad said something like “I think Romney is essentially a good person.”

    …I was disappointed, to say the least.

    Of course, he also liked the Republican National Convention, which just overhearing snippets of made me want to throw things at the TV. I guess the kool-aid manages to make even ROMNEY seem like a good person, because what he sounds and seems like to me is a lying, spineless creep.

  67. 67
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Well, it’s nice that we won’t have President Rmoney.

    OTOH, I detest Bill Clinton. More than anybody else, he propelled the Democratic Party toward neoliberalism. He destroyed welfare. His civil-liberties policies set the stage for Bush II’s depredations.

    Oh, and yeah, his treatment of Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey. Which mainstream feminist organizations ignored so that they could work with him.

    As for “our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity under Clinton,” a lot of that was due to fruition of the dot.com boom, which had been decades in planning.

  68. 68
    Amphiox

    You can have your current political cycle, I couldn’t care much less at all. And even if I were an American, I would not know who or what to vote for. Both “major” parties are clearly out of the question. They’re just not an option.

    You speak from the privileged position of not being an American and not being required to live with the result of this election cycle.

    It is good that at least you recognize this.

  69. 69
    grumpypathdoc

    Some of last nights speakers, I seem to recall James Sinegal, former CEO of Costco, and Sandra Fluke, did not invoke any deity at any point in their speeches.

    Obama will of course.

  70. 70
    casey

    Yeah, they also put God back into the party platform. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cncbOEoQbOg

    And from watching the video it seems like they didn’t actually have the support to do it. The party just shoved it through.

  71. 71
    Lynna, OM

    He is a bad man to everyone outside his family and his church.

    Did you notice that all the personal stories about Romney being generous with his time and money were presented at the RNC by mormons? There are no good stories about Romney being empathetic outside of his church/community?

    One couple that belonged to the same Massachusetts ward, or church, as Romney did recounted in a prime-time address how Romney tended to their 14-year-old son when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

    Pam Finlayson walked onto the convention stage to tell how Romney helped her when he served as bishop – the rough equivalent of a church pastor – of their ward in Belmont, Massachusetts. Finlayson told how she’d given birth to a daughter 3½ months early and that the baby suffered from underdeveloped lungs, an unstable heart and a brain hemorrhage.

    Romney is “building The Kingdom,” and the kingdom is mormon.

    “Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church,” Romney said. “When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church.”

    Earlier in the evening, the Oparowskis and Finlayson were introduced by Grant Bennett, a fellow ward member who talked in specific terms about Mormon life.

  72. 72
    Lynna, OM

    I was pleased to see Clinton put the “Obama gutted work requirements for welfare” lie to rest. He did a good job of that.

    Of course, that won’t stop Romney and Ryan. They will continue to use that lie because it is effective.

    Well, I’m not sure exactly what President Clinton will say, but there’s no question that President Obama’s decision to say that we’re going to allow waivers or excuses from work requirements in welfare was designed to shore up part of his base that may not be inclined to go out and vote in the same kind of energy and passion as they did four years ago.

    And, I think putting a measure that would take work out of welfare and waiving the work requirement in welfare is an extraordinary political move on his part, and one which I disagree with. My own view is that we should have greater work requirements with welfare, not less. — Mitt Romney

    Romney, an ill informed doofus.

    In every possible way, Romney’s simply lying, and he’s doing so in a racially-inflammatory way. The reference to the Democratic “base” is especially ridiculous — Romney is asking voters to believe the president’s most ardent supporters want welfare checks without work requirements. How subtle.

    The rest of this is just garbage, and Romney knows it. The work requirement hasn’t been waived; what the candidate is saying is the exact opposite of reality. The Republican just doesn’t give a damn — he knows he’s lying; he knows that we know he’s lying; but he’s confident just enough voters will be ignorant enough to fall for his con. — Steve Benen

    Link.

  73. 73
    Olav

    Amphiox, #68:

    You speak from the privileged position of not being an American and not being required to live with the result of this election cycle.

    It is good that at least you recognize this.

    Yes, I do recognise that. And I would be running to the hills with my dog and survival necessities if I would have to live with the result of your election cycle. It’s quite hopeless.

    Not that the political situation in my country is perfect and ideal, because it isn’t. But at least most politicians here aren’t bloody mass murderers. They just pretend to be.

  74. 74
    carlie

    They are “More of the Same” vs. “The Same, and More of It”.

    I am so tired of that facile oversimplifying erroneous statement that reveals absolutely no thought or analysis from the person saying it. No, they are not the same. Go look at the party platform documents – they are vastly different. Go ahead and look at what the fuck Obama has done so far. No, he’s not perfect. No, I don’t like him that much. Yes, he’s a moderate Republican of 20 years ago, not a Democrat. But he’s a hell of a lot better than Romney would be, and thanks to the way our political system is set up, those are the only two real options we have when it comes down to the actual election (working on the party for change happens between elections, not at them).

  75. 75
    Lynna, OM

    Charles Krauthammer on Fox News, referring to a change of venue for Obama’s speech tonight because of impending bad weather:

    It wasn’t the weather, they knew what the weather was going to be months ago. This was clearly a response to the fear of a sea of empty seats, and that’s why this is being done.

    Democrats can predict the weather months in advance. Why have they been hiding this skill from us?

  76. 76
    Lynna, OM

    Response to all the female speakers at the DNC, from right wing nut bag, Erick Erickson:

    ‏@EWErickson
    First night of the Vagina Monologues in Charlotte going as expected.

  77. 77
    Synfandel

    Louis wrote at #5:

    Those “Middle Class First” signs have (I hope and I guess) entirely different connotations from the same sentiment in the UK.

    Most Americans don’t recognize that there is a working class. Except for those on the Forbes 500 list, everyone is middle class.

    Or as John Steinbeck wrote: “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

  78. 78
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    Being Canadian my opinion regarding Obama is just and only that since I don’t have the right to vote, but I’m going against the tide here to say that I have a favourable opinion of him. He’s clearly intelligent. He’s articulate. He seems to care about the poor and the middle class. He also drives the GOP completely spare, and that alone is reason for me to like the man.

    I know it’s petty, but the thought of giving the Republicans apoplectic fits for another four years gives me a lot of pleasure.

  79. 79
    Lynna, OM

    Discussion of Clinton’s “it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did” comment:
    http://www.salon.com/2012/09/06/clintons_masterful_attack_on_paul_ryans_brass/

    Scroll down to the “continue reading” link to access the video of the snippet from Clinton’s speech.

  80. 80
    sockeyesalman

    @ PZ
    Politicians almost have to say to their constituents and potential constituents that they wish God’s blessing on them and for God to specifically bless America. I’m sure the speechwriters make sure they say it (regardless of the politicians’s belief or disbelief in a god). I think a declared atheist would unfortunately be unelectable in the United States of America. And, why would or should god bless Americans and America more than any other people or nations? I would think that all sincere, loving and charitable Xians always pray for god’s blessing on all people, including their enemies. Enuf fer now.

  81. 81
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    sockeye @80. I always thought it would be a heck of lot more honest for many Republicans to say what they mean when they say “God Bless America.” What they should be saying out loud is “God Bless America…and no one else.”

  82. 82
    Lynna, OM

    My prognostication, which is worthless, but I’m going to make it anyway: Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and others spending millions to elect Mitt Romney will be seen to shift their focus to Senate and House of Representative races.

    After Clinton’s speech, they must know the battle is uphill for Romney. The Republican strategists will shift their piles of dough to races they can win, and this will give them a chance to completely block any and all of President Obama’s initiates in the future.

    The teeny tiny itty bitty hope that this won’t work is based on the fact that disgust with Republican politicians may affect down-ticket races enough to counter all that cash.

  83. 83
    Lynna, OM

    Oh, good, more lies from the Republican propaganda machine. I was beginning to be worried that I would run out of lies to discuss when Romney/Ryan began recycling all the old lies.

    Republicans debuted a new ad Thursday in which a frustrated former Obama supporter expresses her disappointment with the president. The only problem: The woman in the video is actually an RNC staffer.

    Bwhahahaha. In what part of their damaged brains do Republicans think they can get away with this shit. I mean, that’s not even super sneaky. It’s just dumb.

    Link

    Lovely woman playing the role, though.

  84. 84
    Olav

    Carlie, #74:

    No, they are not the same. Go look at the party platform documents – they are vastly different.

    They are only different on matters of low priority. No such “party platform documents” are relevant to people who have US murder drones flying over their homes.

    and thanks to the way our political system is set up, those are the only two real options we have when it comes down to the actual election

    You can always opt not to participate in such a system. Or you could vote for someone from a minor party that you do like. That is your democratic right and you should not let yourself be bullied or tempted (e.g., by a nice speech, or a sensible seeming document) into voting for manipulative mass murderers.

    Assuming of course that you don’t like mass murder committed around the planet in your name. If you do like it or just don’t give a toss: carry on, do what you always do. You know you wanna. America fuck yeah.

  85. 85
    Lynna, OM

    They are only different on matters of low priority.

    Spoken like a person who is not:

    a woman

    an elderly person on medicare and medicaid

    a university student from a poor family

    an educator who is not a creationist

    anyone concerned about food safety

    anyone concerned about workplace safety

    anyone who prefers not to go to war with Iran

    …..

  86. 86
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Olav:

    Low priority?

    Whether or not the party wants to fuck over the poor, women, LGBT persons, college students, elementary students, older Americans, disabled Americans, Americans who might need health care in the next few years, workers in general, small businesses, immigrants, prisoners, and the environment are low priority?

  87. 87
    koliedrus

    Doh!

    The vid’s been yanked.

    Could it have been because of the horrible decision to zoom in on someone’s health insurance card as she held it up?

    I hope so but too late.

  88. 88
    Lynna, OM

    The video of Clinton’s speech can be seen here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/video/2012/09/06/us/politics/100000001763238/bill-clintons-speech-.html

  89. 89
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Lynna and Katherine, you might want to check out #OccupyDNC and #DNCBlackout before you enthuse too hard about how the Democrats are going to not fuck over all those constituencies.

    Also, apt comments about Clinton’s speech:

    I can understand the appeal, I really can. He’s absolutely dripping with charisma, and his speech last night articulated the Obama line stronger than Obama ever could. Of course, he oozes with a certain unnerving creepiness, but I think that response has more to do with my status as a guy skeptical of used-car salesmen rather than my status as a socialist.

    What was interesting about the speech and what “the boy from Hope, Arkansas” has always done well is mix a populist appeal, talking about shared prosperity and equal opportunity in the broad strokes, but actually delivering austerity quite well on the specifics. He did work to reform welfare, and he was a deficit hawk, yet somehow, Clinton manages to maintain the authenticity to present himself as a friend to the poor and downtrodden. It’s the beautiful sophistry of the Third Way.

  90. 90
    Lynna, OM

    The Clinton speech is also available here:

    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/politics/2012-election/video-bill-clintons-dnc-speech

    Video is followed by the transcript.

  91. 91
    ARKopah

    Clinton’s speech was pretty good and hit on all the right points, but I honestly more expected a post here to be about the DNC “god vote” that was stolen…

  92. 92
    Lynna, OM

    Lynna and Katherine, you might want to check out #OccupyDNC and #DNCBlackout before you enthuse too hard about how the Democrats are going to not fuck over all those constituencies.

    We know for a certainty that Republicans are going to fuck over those constituencies. Mitt Romney told us so. Ryan told us so, and he wrote it down.

    Being fucked over less is not a ringing endorsement, but still important.

  93. 93
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    They are only different on matters of low priority.

    Nope, only in your OPINION, which as a non-USA resident, can and should be ignored. Why are you taking so much time about something outside of your jusidiction? Trolling is my guess.

    before you enthuse too hard about how the Democrats are going to not fuck over all those constituencies.

    Compared to how much the Rethugs with fuck over the same people? Get real.

  94. 94
    naturalcynic

    The difference is between: Have Some of The Same Old Shit vs. Here’s 3X More Shit and You Will Wash it Down With Sewer-Fed Pond Scum While I Stomp on Your Genitals.

  95. 95
    machintelligence

    robro @ 63

    On the religion front, in addition to the mock piety, the Dems put something about “god” back into their platform. It was fairly innocuous…something about “god-given right” to a living…but still. They also voted in an item about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel…ugh. At the very least it ended up in a voice vote and there were boos.

    casey @ 70

    And from watching the video it seems like they didn’t actually have the support to do it. The party just shoved it through.

    The expression on the chairman’s face was priceless. If he had been honest he would have said “The motion fails for lack of majority” gavel down. “The next order of business…”

  96. 96
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    You’re talking about two political party platforms:

    Platform A states: We are going to fuck over everyone who’s not a rich, white, Christian male.

    Platform B states: We are going to back the middle class, women, LGBT, immigrants, sick people, poor people, and students (among others.)

    While the people behind Platform B may, in the end, not be able to do everything they say, they’re not enshrining in their platform the fact they want to fuck the average person over.

    Sadly while I would like to get a president in here that would fully back every progressive ideal that I stand for, it’s realistically not going to happen anytime soon – probably not even within my lifetime. At least we can vote in a person who isn’t trying actively to drag the entire fucking world back into the sewer.

  97. 97
    Lynna, OM

    Ashley Judd spoke out on the differences between Dems and Repubs. And before you say she’s just an airhead actress, so why should we listen, Judd received a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

    Yes, she’s pretty, but that’s beside the point here. She’s 44 years old and knows a thing or two.

    To have sex and be obliged to procreate. There’s a critical distinction that we don’t always talk about in the public space: I think that position is pro-birth but it’s not pro-life. Having children requires love and the resources to properly feed, educate, and support the child, and the Romney-Ryan proposed budget does everything from cut Head Start, so you’re obliged to have this child but if you’re in a lower- or middle-class income bracket, you don’t have access to Head Start. Plus, they want to totally slash education, and it would be devastating. And voucherizing Medicare and Medicaid disproportionately affects women, children, and the elderly. So, you have to have the baby, but you lose the safety net that so many of them would need.

    She had a lot to say about abortion and the Supreme Court as well.
    Link.

  98. 98
    Olav

    Katherine, #86, in reply to my #84:

    Low priority?

    Whether or not the party wants to fuck over the poor, women, LGBT persons, college students, elementary students, older Americans, disabled Americans, Americans who might need health care in the next few years, workers in general, small businesses, immigrants, prisoners, and the environment are low priority?

    Very good question. And the answer is: Yes.

    To the people who fear the US drones zooming over their villages and their homes, the things you list are indeed of extremely low priority. They don’t care about your poor and your college students. They are poor themselves and, frankly, fuck your college students and your older citizens, just keep your bloody drones to yourself. That is how they would see it.

    I am not saying the issues you mention are not extremely important. Of course they are. But they are naturally of much lower priority than a. ending the perpetual war that the US is fighting around the globe and b. slashing your “defence” budget in half, a few times over, in such a way that a sizable budget becomes available to spend on those goals that are more worthwhile.

    Do “Democrats” like Clinton and Obama propose to slash your defence budget in half, a few times over?

    If Clinton did that in his speech I will watch it. I would be pleasantly surprised.

  99. 99
    Olav

    Nerd, #93, in reply to my #84:

    They are only different on matters of low priority.

    Nope, only in your OPINION,

    Everything is opinion on these pages, and opinions can be debated. I believe I argued my opinion reasonably well, e.g. at #98.

    which as a non-USA resident, can and should be ignored.

    Spoken like a stereotypical American bully. America fuck yeah.

    Why are you taking so much time about something outside of your jusidiction? Trolling is my guess.

    I do take an interest, obviously. I also have American friends that I debate these things with sometimes. Out of my jurisdiction? I would be quite happy if the American governement would not act outside its “jurisdiction”. We would not have this conversation then, or it would at least be different.

  100. 100
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Olav, why should we give a shit what you think? Especially, since you don’t have a viable alterative. The Rethugs are worse on what you consider important. So, until there is a viable alternative, shut the fuck up.

  101. 101
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Olav:

    You’re also talking about a person who is actively trying to fix the problems related to the US economy and a person who is going to bring about the collapse of the US economy – which will result in a worldwide depression.

    I am willing to suggest that if Mitt Rmoney becomes president, there will be a global, financial depression. Mitt and his multi-billionaire friends will have tons of money and will be living the high life in their palaces and mansions and yachts and whatnot while the rest of the fucking world starve to death with no jobs and no chance at a decent life.

    I may be overexaggerating it, but if you’re going to not give a rat’s ass about the lifestyle of Americans, then at least you ought to be worried about a global financial collapse.

    In addition, Obama is okay with the reduction in the defense budget, and will likely end the war in Afghanistan. Rmoney is interested in INCREASING the defense budget, and probably will not only continue the war in Afghanistan, but strike against Iran.

  102. 102
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    *Obama seems okay….

    I have not heard of him taking steps to stop the automatic defense cuts from happening.

  103. 103
    consciousness razor

    To the people who fear the US drones zooming over their villages and their homes, the things you list are indeed of extremely low priority. They don’t care about your poor and your college students. They are poor themselves and, frankly, fuck your college students and your older citizens, just keep your bloody drones to yourself. That is how they would see it.

    Speak for yourself. Don’t put words in their mouths, especially if you’re going to do it so ineptly. Whether that’s the case or not, that’s not how they should see it. You want us to be concerned about people in other countries? Great: we should be. I completely and totally fucking agree. Now why exactly shouldn’t people in other countries be concerned about our welfare as well as their own? If it’s just fucking self-interest all the way down, we could settle the matter with a petulant “fuck your people and villages” but that would be wrong. So where the fuck do you get off doing the same fucking thing to people in the U.S.?

    I am not saying the issues you mention are not extremely important. Of course they are.

    Then why is that what you just fucking said? How are you not contradicting yourself?

  104. 104
    Lynna, OM

    Olav @98

    To the people who fear the US drones zooming over their villages and their homes, the things you list are indeed of extremely low priority. They don’t care about your poor and your college students. They are poor themselves and, frankly, fuck your college students and your older citizens, just keep your bloody drones to yourself. That is how they would see it.

    Olav is a single-issue non-voter.

    While I see his/her point about drones, I do not see why we cannot address more than one issue at a time.

    For what it is worth, Romney and Ryan are the guys committed to increasing the defense budget of the USA, hence more drones.

    They want to actually increase defense spending over a decade $2 trillion more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they’ll spend it on.

    House Republicans on Monday spelled out some funding increases they are seeking in defense programs above the amounts President Obama requested in the fiscal 2013 Pentagon budget, including an additional $1 billion for Israeli anti-missile defense systems.

    While the Obama budget proposed reducing the core defense budget by $5.2 billion, or 1 percent below this year’s spending, the Republican majority on the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee put out a suggested bill that would add $1.1 billion to Pentagon spending.

    Obama is committed to decreasing the defense budget.

  105. 105
    unclefrogy

    machintelligence #95

    the L.A. mayor would not have done that besides it removes a hot button side issue from the debate.
    it is politics after all.

    uncle frogy

  106. 106
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Olav is a single-issue non-voter.

    Which is too stupid for words.

    That can’t possibly improve the situation, it can only make him feel righteous while his country goes to shit that little bit faster.

  107. 107
    raven

    Olav the idiot:

    To the people who fear the US drones zooming over their villages and their homes, the things you list are indeed of extremely low priority.

    Which is largely irrelevant.

    Do you know why those drones are “zooming over their villages”?

    I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t just to waste some fuel.

    The drones are flying because other people fear their targets for good reasons. If they win, they are likely to kill them.

    The Taliban were an Islamic version of the Khmer Rouge, wild eyed fanatics killing large numbers of people and destroying what passes for Afghani culture and civilization.

    The world is a lot more complicated than US bad, everyone else good.

  108. 108
    consciousness razor

    For what it is worth, Romney and Ryan are the guys committed to increasing the defense budget of the USA, hence more drones.

    And in fact Clinton did mention that in his speech, if Olav would gently take his head out of his ass for a while and just fucking listen to it. Which of course doesn’t even mean he’d have to agree with any of it.

    FUCK

  109. 109
    raven

    For what it is worth, Romney and Ryan are the guys committed to increasing the defense budget of the USA, hence more drones.

    Romney is a war monger who until recently, was hinting at another war. With Iran.

    Iran has a population almost as large as the UK, 70 million or so. Many of whom are wild eyed religious fanatics looking for a Jihad to join.

    We would probably win the battles but it wouldn’t be as easy as Afghanistan or Iraq. We would probably lose the peace as a long drawn out occupation of a hostile population works the way it usually does.

    There goes another few trillions of dollars and who knows how many lives to accomplish what could end up being very little. Again.

  110. 110
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Olav, I don’t like people who carp about something, but can’t offer a viable solution to said problem. Either the democrats or rethugs will be elected to the presidency in November. There is no viable alternative. And of the two, the democrat is far, far more likely to be less aggressive. You’re just carping to make yourself feel good and righteous.

  111. 111
    Rutee Katreya

    [quote]But they are naturally of much lower priority [/quote]

    And that’s not even the same as saying women, or gay people, are low priority. =.=

    [quote]If they win, they are likely to kill them. [/quote]
    Yeah, and if tentacled aliens come from space people then maybe all that tentacle porn the earth has might objectify them. Can we keep our concerns to ‘things that might actually happen’ plox?

    The only people who have good reason to fear the taliban die right alongside them in drone strikes.

  112. 112
    tgriehl

    @110: Nerd of Redhead and Olav

    Not to mention that the Dems seem far more willing to listen and change positions and policy when need or demand arise. Look no further than the President’s “flip-flop” on marriage equality.

  113. 113
    raven

    [quote]If they win, they are likely to kill them. [/quote]
    Yeah, and if tentacled aliens come from space people then maybe all that tentacle porn the earth has might objectify them. Can we keep our concerns to ‘things that might actually happen’ plox?

    I see you missed the last 25 years of history.

    Go to wikipedia and google.

    Look up “Taliban”.
    Look up “Al Qeada”
    Look up World Trade Center 9/11

    I’ll even give you a head start since you clearly need it. Of the many thousands killed by Al Qeada, 80-90% have been…other Moslems.

    Surprising Study On Terrorism: Al-Qaida Kills Eight Times More …
    ww.spiegel.de › English Site › World › Terrorism

    3 Dec 2009 – New Report Shows Many More Muslims Killed Than Non-Muslims. It is, of course, no surprise that al-Qaida kills more Muslims than non-Muslims —

  114. 114
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Kitty and Lynna: I apologize, I shouldn’t have directed my comments at you specifically.

    I’m voting for Obama myself. Lesser of two evils and all, and me in a purple state.

    That said, I just get kind of disgusted by how, even on a progressive website, so many people are enthusing over a pair of center-right politicians. Not simply saying, “Well, lesser of two evils, okay,” but swooning at the pretty words coming out of the DNC.

    I did the same sort of enthusing in 2008. Thinking about it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

  115. 115
    raven

    The only people who have good reason to fear the taliban die right alongside them in drone strikes.

    This is so wrong.

    The only people who have good reason to fear being killed by the Taliban are everyone who isn’t a member of the Taliban.

    There’s been a war between them and the rest of Aghanistan for decades now. You must have missed most of the last two decades.

    These guys have a well documented history of oppression, war, violence, and murder to advance their loony plan to keep Afghanistan in an Islamic Dark Age.

  116. 116
    sobriquet

    I just watched the Clinton speech, and what a contrast it was to Romney/Ryan’s lie-fest. I don’t believe either major political party has the best interests of the populace fully at heart (duh). I dislike Obama for continuing to strip away our Constitutional rights (assassinating U.S. citizens abroad without trial or court order clearance, support of Defense of Marriage Act and DMCA, support for continuing or even expanding the NSA/Department of Homeland Security, support for crony Wall Street “capitalism,” and many other things) little by little, but I absolutely ABHOR Romney/Ryan for just about everything they stand for or have done.

    I’m not naive, the reality of it is that there are only two possible outcomes come November; either Obama or Romney will be president, but that doesn’t mean one should simply cast away a vote for the “lesser or two evils.” Being in California, which is going to vote Obama anyway, I plan to vote 3rd party and go with Jill Stein to protest the two-party system. She pretty much has a 0% chance to win, but we don’t need her to win. If she can get just enough votes to show that people are angry enough with BOTH parties, that will hopefully signal a change to how the Democratic party will act in the future (i.e., stop pissing on progressive values), or better yet, really start a movement and break the duality of the major parties.

    Moreover, if she can get 15% of polling (very unlikely, but one can hope), she would be admitted to nationalized debates with the major candidates. THAT in itself would be a victory — presidential debates nowadays are nothing but platitudes and there are certain issues such as cutting the military or NSA/Homeland Security that just won’t be touched with any depth. I wonder how Obama/Romney would handle things when a 3rd party candidate actually takes them to the task of why we’re supporting such an insane military, why we’re propping up Wall Street and leaving average Americans to rot, etc.

    In short, if you really believe that the difference between Obama and Romney is the difference between life and death and you live in a battleground state, vote Obama and live to fight another day. But if, like me, you live in an uncontested state (California, New York, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Maine, etc), please, PLEASE vote for a 3rd-party candidate, and show the blood-sucking career politicians that we’re done with them.

  117. 117
    Olav

    Nerd, #100, You are wrong to try to bully me to “shut the fuck up”. Please feel free to ignore me from now on. Have a nice day.

  118. 118
    Olav

    Katherine, #101:

    In addition, Obama is okay with the reduction in the defense budget, and will likely end the war in Afghanistan.

    “Will likely end the war” remains to be seen of course. He was “likely” to shut down Guantanamo (he promised) and he did not. The US took its sweet time to end the wholly unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, have still not completely left the country, and the liars who instigated the war were not brought to justice. The aim of the war in Afghanistan, to capture/kill Osama bin Laden, was ultimately achieved after many distractions and many deaths, but US military presence in Afghanistan (and thus war) is likely, from what I read, to continue for years to come. And perhaps to intensify in Pakistan. And drones are flying across the Middle East, extrajudicially blowing people up left and right.

    Obama inherited the ridiculous “War on Terror” and then he made it his own. If I were in your shoes as an American voter, I would never be able to vote for him because of it. He is not worthy of anyone’s vote. And it is a damn poor state of affairs that there isn’t a better alternative.

    Rmoney is interested in INCREASING the defense budget, and probably will not only continue the war in Afghanistan, but strike against Iran.

    Of course I do see the dilemma and I share your worry about Romney as well. I do hope he does not become president. Then again I don’t believe he would get completely free reign as president, there are still counteracting powers even in US government, right?

  119. 119
    Amphiox

    As I said from the start, Olav has the privilege of thinking that xe won’t be directly affected no matter who wins in November (though if Romney tanks the world economy and goes to war with Iran, there’s not a corner on this good green earth that won’t feel it, and everything Olav complained about re US foreign policy will increase), so xe feels safe to pontificate about rank ordinalling issues and waiting for the immaculately conceived progressive Messiah who will dictate all good policy by fiat and will never need to compromise to get stuff done.

    Also, Olav apparently wants us to tell him want is in the speech rather than listen to it himself and make up his own mind. It is a whopping 48 minutes long or so, after all.

  120. 120
    Olav

    Raven, #107:

    The Taliban were an Islamic version of the Khmer Rouge, wild eyed fanatics killing large numbers of people and destroying what passes for Afghani culture and civilization.

    Yes.

    But are you seriously suggesting the US presence in Afghanistan is a humanitarian effort to safe the poor Afghanis from the Taliban? America as World Police, carrying The White Man’s Burden? If so, I would gently suggest you lay off that juice you are sipping.

    The US went into Afghanistan in 2001, and I agreed at the time, to get Osama bin Laden and eradicate Al Qaeda. If they had not bungled it and had made swift work of it, they would have been out in a year. Then it went wrong, Iraq happened, and we are still not out of Afghanistan (my country is represented there too, unfortunately). It is past time that we pack up the whole thing and leave, and let Afghanis rule their own country.

    The world is a lot more complicated than US bad, everyone else good.

    Of course, and it goes without saying. I have absolutely no ill will against Americans in general.

  121. 121
    Olav

    Sobriquet, #116:

    But if, like me, you live in an uncontested state (California, New York, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Maine, etc), please, PLEASE vote for a 3rd-party candidate, and show the blood-sucking career politicians that we’re done with them.

    I think this is probably the best idea in the whole thread. It is a compromise, of course. But perhaps it could send a real message if enough people don’t let themselves be fooled by the “Democratic” propaganda machine. Green Party, anyone?

  122. 122
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    Forgive me for not reading all the way through these comments, but:

    @Olav:

    I’m an American, and I share your concerns. It doesn’t matter how smooth Clinton is, or how sensible Obama may be on some small subset of issues. Obama is not attacking the big, urgent issues. He never has. His entire appeal is “I’ll stick with the Republican approach, minus a few of the crazy bits as long as the differences don’t cost too much”.

    Obama has done nothing — NOTHING! — to actively cut the military budget, which is the thing bankrupting the nation. As has been the case since the ’70s, “cuts” mean “we won’t raise the spending quite as much as we had planned, but it will go up”.

    On the other hand, Obama has asserted that, as President, he has the authority to have anyone in the entire world, including U.S. citizens, assassinated without trial and without any form of oversight. That, alone, would be a show-stopper. Once you allow that, he’s a dictator. He may be a benevolent dictator, although I doubt it, but he’s still a dictator.

    Obama actively fought to PREVENT us from withdrawing from Iraq; the only reason we left is because the Iraqi government refused to extend the agreement to not prosecute us for war crimes. Then Obama turned around and claimed that he “got us out of Iraq”.

    Likewise, Obama was the one who personally killed all discussion of both single-payer and the public option when the ACA was being assembled, then he turned around and claimed it as a major step forward. (He also used it as an excuse to avoid doing anything about war and civil rights violations for the entire time it was under discussion.)

    And shall we rehash once again the way Obama refused to prosecute ANYONE for ANY of the crimes which occurred under Bush, either the war crimes or the financial ones? Or the way he brought a lot of the criminals into his administration?

    Yes, okay, Obama is not as bad as Romney. But he is still bad; he will make America actively worse. By voting for Obama, you will not be voting for maintenance of the status quo, or for slow healing, you are voting for making things worse. You are throwing your vote away.

    Me? I’m voting Green everywhere a Green candidate exists, and to heck with the Democrats until they stop being Republicans-Lite.

  123. 123
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Me? I’m voting Green everywhere a Green candidate exists, and to heck with the Democrats until they stop being Republicans-Lite.

    Then effectively vote for Romney and the rethugs. Don’t gripe if they win and are worse than the present administration. As they will be on every one of your concerns. Green’s are viable. They are a distraction to help Romney win.

  124. 124
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dan’g, meant to say in #123 the Green’s aren’t viable (single digits at best). So voting for the Greens is effectively voting for Romney and the rethugs. Why would you wan’t to do that? You hate the people of this country that much?

  125. 125
    Olav

    Amphiox, #119, There is nothing wrong with making compromises. Except when you do it with war mongers. Then everything goes to shit, either sooner or quite quickly (what a fantastic choice to make).

    I will probably read the speech, rather than listening to it. That could save me a couple of minutes.

  126. 126
    consciousness razor

    By voting for Obama, you will not be voting for maintenance of the status quo, or for slow healing, you are voting for making things worse.

    Worse than what? Do you think Obama is worse than Romney? Or do you expect a third-party candidate to win? Or do you expect the country to simply not have a president, because somehow in the next two months we’ll have overthrown the government?

    Those are the choices. I’m not quite sure which would be more absurd, but all of them are, so take whichever absurd position you have and shove it.

  127. 127
    Olav

    Ms. Daisy, #114

    I’m voting for Obama myself. Lesser of two evils and all, and me in a purple state.

    That said, I just get kind of disgusted by how, even on a progressive website, so many people are enthusing over a pair of center-right politicians. Not simply saying, “Well, lesser of two evils, okay,” but swooning at the pretty words coming out of the DNC.

    I almost forgot to say, Ms. Daisy Cutter, that this is a position I certainly respect. You framed it just right. Ultimately you are just bullied into voting for Obama, and it is just not the way it should be.

    Also, Vicar, #122, thanks for your support. I was beginning to feel a bit lonely here. You are one of those Americans, of which I know a couple, that I certainly sympathise with.

  128. 128
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Sniff, ah the aroma of the illogical but self-righteous non-thinkers. Remeniscent of 3-methylbutane-1-thiol.

  129. 129
    consciousness razor

    You are one of those Americans, of which I know a couple, that I certainly sympathise with.

    Yep. Fuck all the Americans, with their extremely low-priority issues, other than a couple of them. Very sympathetic, asshole.

  130. 130
    Olav

    Consciousness, #126:

    By voting for Obama, you will not be voting for maintenance of the status quo, or for slow healing, you are voting for making things worse.

    Worse than what? Do you think Obama is worse than Romney?

    Worse than the current situation. Worse than the current state of affairs, on many levels.

    OK, Romney will probably do it a bit quicker, I concede that.

  131. 131
    consciousness razor

    Worse than the current situation.

    That makes no fucking sense. In the current situation, Obama is president. So if Obama is president, that’s worse than Obama being president?

  132. 132
    Olav

    Consciousness, #129 in reply to my #127:

    Yep. Fuck all the Americans, with their extremely low-priority issues, other than a couple of them. Very sympathetic, asshole.

    That is not at all what I said. Try not be as black-and-white, as either-with-us-or-against-us please. Thanks.

  133. 133
    consciousness razor

    That is not at all what I said. Try not be as black-and-white, as either-with-us-or-against-us please. Thanks.

    Try to retract the bullshit you said above and fucking mean it. Thanks.

  134. 134
    Zeno

    Beatrice: Did I miss sarcasm here?

    Nope. I meant it in all seriousness. Most invocations of “God bless” and “God bless America” are just so much noise, vapid sign-off formulas of little meaning. Only in right-wing conclaves do you get that special stress and emphasis that indicate they really mean it, ogawd, they really mean it. While most Democratic politicians are ostensible Christians who use the formula, very few of them use the rest of their speeches to prate about what “God wants us to do” and that sort of rot. I wouldn’t say it myself, but “God bless America” at the end of a speech evokes a shrug from me rather than a retch. Meh.

    Marcus Ranum: Oh, yeah? So you’re telling me nobody’d care at all of a speaker ended with “Ia! Ia! Cthulhu ftaghn!” Or “Allahu Akbar!”

    Pas du tout! Those phrases are way out of the American mainstream and have yet to have their significance drained out of them. They aren’t mere cant. Of course, having said that, I’m sure the second invocation would get a much more significant negative reaction than the first. The first would merely confuse them. Or make them think of Howard Dean.

  135. 135
    Olav

    Consciousness, #131 in reply to my #130:

    That makes no fucking sense.

    Try some simple logic.

    In the current situation, Obama is president. So if Obama is president, that’s worse than Obama being president?

    Yes. If he continues some of his most unhelpful policies (surely you would not say he does everything right?), that will make a lot of things worse than they are now.

    Romney may do even worse than that, but they’re both bad.

  136. 136
    Olav

    Consciousness, #133 in reply to my #132:

    Try to retract the bullshit you said above and fucking mean it. Thanks.

    Seeing as you are so fanatically intent on misunderstanding me, I rather suspect it would be impossible to satisfy you. I will leave our discussion at that. Have a nice day.

  137. 137
    atcggcta

    Last month President Clinton gave a speech in Las Vegas where he said the following:

    “A month or so ago, I finished the great microbiologist E.L. Wilson’s latest book, The Social Conquest of Earth, which I highly recommend. He’s 87 and this may be his last book. But he made a profound point over and over and over again throughout the book. He said, “It’s really almost an accident that our species survived. Because we and our predecessors from which we are evolved could have been wiped out a thousand different times. And it didn’t happen. So poof, here we are.” And if you look around the world, the great winners of the world are the cooperators. The ants, the termites, the bees, and the humans. They have the highest level of cooperation.”

    He’s a smart guy, so he knows about biology and evolution.

  138. 138
    Rutee Katreya

    The only people who have good reason to fear being killed by the Taliban are everyone who isn’t a member of the Taliban.

    You are an idiot. The Taliban is not capable of projecting power outside of afghanistan any more. I have far more to fear from my own countrymen. More people died in fucking auto crashes in 2001 than in 9/11. I am much more likely to be physically harmed by Christians on anti-gay bullshit than I am to have to deal with the Taliban, and I’m in fucking Atlanta, the USA’s airport capital.

    There’s been a war between them and the rest of Aghanistan for decades now. You must have missed most of the last two decades.

    I think you missed the last decade, where we’ve been killing them more than the taliban have.

    These guys have a well documented history of oppression, war, violence, and murder to advance their loony plan to keep Afghanistan in an Islamic Dark Age.

    The USA is not the fucking world police. Unless the afghani people are staging their own revolution and want our help, stay the fuck out. If they do, aid them in a support role. It’s not the USA’s fucking planet to do with as it pleases. That’s what fucking created the Taliban in the first place; remember the Muhajideen?

  139. 139
    consciousness razor

    Try some simple logic.

    “Simplistic,” you mean. If that’s supposed to mean ignoring facts, no thanks. Maybe I’ll try “complex” logic.

    Yes. If he continues some of his most unhelpful policies (surely you would not say he does everything right?), that will make a lot of things worse than they are now.

    No, I wouldn’t say he does everything right. In this election I can vote for Obama, vote for Romney, vote for a third-party candidate, vote for a write-in candidate, or not vote at all. Those are all of the choices I have, when it comes to what I will do about my vote.

    The only thing you can reasonably do is compare one choice with the others, not with some absolute standard which you can’t do anything about. Even if they would all make things worse, they can’t all be worse than all of the other choices which are actually on the table.

    Given that we’re talking about voting, which one is better than the others when it comes to voting?

  140. 140
    demonhype

    I think the energy and excitement might becoming from the fact that for once someone on the Democratic side was actually fucking calling out the steady stream of evil bullshit emitting from the right wing–rather than just letting it happen, shrugging and going “meh”, as they seem to have been doing for quite some time now. It gets tiring to see all the most powerful and official parts of the Rethug party doing more and more evil, outright lying about pretty much everything, trying to hide it less and less, and watching your own side just let it slide for fear that calling it out might get attacked as “partisan” and “being divisive”–which seems to happen when someone on the Dem side so much as breathes a word of call-out on, say, the Daily Show much less an official forum of any kind. It gets tiring, and you start wondering if those in power on your side even give a damn about its constituents lives, much less their views.

    So hearing someone outright say “these fuckers are lying” (though far more eloquently than that, of course) was just a wonderful thing to see, and I for one would like to see more of it–and see it expand to include all the other crap like drone attacks etc. I think it makes a lot of us on the side of not-Evil believe that there may be a chance of taking this party from not-Evil to actively being Good.

    And ruteekatreya @138: Nicely done. There are still too many people trying to pretend these guys are some kind of freaking Star Wars Evil Empire Poised to Take Over the World, while pretending the shit we’ve pulled is either Totally Heroic and Altruistic or non-existent.

  141. 141
    echidna

    Olav,
    If the US had a preferential voting system, then your plan to vote Green ahead of Democrats would make sense.

    But it doesn’t. Voting to keep a less-than-optimal Democratic government is surely better than the next most likely alternative scenario.

    You are not just voting a government in, you are voting to keep the looters out.

  142. 142
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I’m not trying to get Obama re-elected so much as I am trying like hell to prevent Romney and the rethugs from getting elected. Which means I need to vote for 1) a person and party who is relatively to the left of Romney and the rethugs, 2) stands a decent chance of actually winning the election, which means, 3) polling numbers this close to the election need to be 30% or higher.

    Now, who/what else fits those criteria other than democrats and Pres. Obama? Anything else isn’t viable, and voting for it/them will help elect Romney and the rethugs with our first past the post voting system.

  143. 143
    scottportman

    You know who didn’t end with a fatuous “God Bless the United States”?

    Sister Simone – the Nun on the Bus. The Catholic. The one indisputable Christian out of the whole lot. I’m fortunate to know Sr. Pat Farrell, the president of the Organization of Women Religious, the main organization for nuns in the US. She spent her formative years in El Salvador during the civil war, helping the poorest of the poor. I don’t even remotely believe in God, but I do certainly respect and admire these two women. It causes me no harm if they believe, and they have more courage and dignity and decency than all of the Catholic hierarchy together. They are the one factor that keeps me from totally disrespecting the Catholic church. I’ll gladly diss the church, and their dogma, and their horrible history of child molestation, and their infantilized and silly bishops. But I won’t diss those nuns. Despite not sharing their belief, I love them.

    I’ll also add that Bill Clinton gave one hell of a speech. The big dog slipped the leash and for 48 minutes was the wild free-ranging political animal he is. It was a joy to watch, not just because he eviscerated the Republicans, but because it’s good to see an animal like that in his natural habitat. He enjoyed the crowd and he enjoyed flaying the hide off of Romney and Ryan. Reminds me of a Mexican proverb: “Si no puedes correr con los perros grandes, quedate en el porche.” Mitt should just stay on his porch.

  144. 144
    Olav

    Consciousness Razor, #139:

    Given that we’re talking about voting, which one is better than the others when it comes to voting?

    First: Thank you for engaging the argument. I appreciate that.

    My honest personal answer to your question is: I really wouldn’t know what to do, or whom to vote for. As I said, I am glad I am not a voter in America, where I would be confronted to make a decision. I believe I would probably not vote at all. And I know it is not a solution, but then I don’t have one.

    Short of starting a democratic revolution of course. As if that had any chance of succeeding. You see, I am not an optimist.

    As you have noticed, I do feel strongly about the issue. I just could NOT in good conscience vote for a candidate, a party, a platform that stands for perpetuating war, murder, the sidelining of the rule of law (I think Americans would call it the subversion of the Constitution) and all the other ills that are inherent to the current situation.

    And I do feel these issues take precedence over (most) domestic issues, important as they may be. I think you can not resolve the one, before resolving the other. And I think that fawning over speeches distract the people from seeing what really must be done.

    So there: I don’t know. I hope the American voters will figure it out for themselves. I do wish them good luck with that.

  145. 145
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Politicians almost have to say to their constituents and potential constituents that they wish God’s blessing on them and for God to specifically bless America.

    What is it with you lot? Do you really think PZ doesn’t know this? Do you think anyone here doesn’t know this? Do you understand that we’re complaining about living in a culture where this is seen as mandatory, and that we hope to change that?

    Don’t tell me “they have to say it for their careers.” I already know that. That’s the reality I’m complaining about. And it’s not inevitable, and it doesn’t have to be taken as a given.

  146. 146
    Rip Steakface

    Olav, you don’t know, but we progressive Americans can’t just do nothing. The time to work towards more progressive candidates is *not* the election year, it’s between elections. Over the next four years, people here should register as Democrats and push for left-wing candidates to win primaries. That’s how it’s done.

    In case you haven’t noticed, democratic revolution has worked… almost zero times. The American Revolution wasn’t really a revolution (it was a colonial rebellion and not a changing of government within a pre-existing nation) and yet that’s the only revolution I can think of that didn’t result in autocracy or a reign of terror.

    The French Revolution got Napoleon. The October Revolution got Lenin and Stalin. The Chinese Civil War got Mao. Cuba got Castro.

    Revolutions don’t make democracies.

  147. 147
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    My honest personal answer to your question is: I really wouldn’t know what to do, or whom to vote for.

    Then shut the fuck up. Without a viable alternative, your OPINION is bullshit.

  148. 148
    Rip Steakface

    @147 Nerd of Redhead

    Thanks for being the vicious threadwinner I can’t be.

  149. 149
    Anri

    To the people who fear the US drones zooming over their villages and their homes, the things you list are indeed of extremely low priority. They don’t care about your poor and your college students. They are poor themselves and, frankly, fuck your college students and your older citizens, just keep your bloody drones to yourself. That is how they would see it.

    Tell me: an America that keeps its drones to itself – more likely to happen with more college graduates, or fewer college graduates?
    More likely to happen with centrist politicians in charge, or right-wing politicians in charge?
    More likely to happen when Obama is putting judges in the court system, or when Romney is putting judges into the court system?

    Thinking’s fun – you should try it sometime.

    . . .

    But if, like me, you live in an uncontested state (California, New York, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Maine, etc), please, PLEASE vote for a 3rd-party candidate, and show the blood-sucking career politicians that we’re done with them.

    Right, because the smaller margin by which a Democrat wins, the more they will be to tell the Republicans to take a flying leap….
    …or, um, something.
    Maybe it sounded better in your head.

    (PS – can I ask why you’re opposed to putting professional politicians into political office? Is your primary care physician really a scuba instructor or somesuch, not a full-time MD? Speaking as someone from a school system in which every social studies teacher’s first name was “Coach”, having people in careers they don’t really care to do is rarely a good idea.)

  150. 150
    Olav

    Nerd, #147:

    Then shut the fuck up.

    You don’t have much of a repertoire, do you? ;-)

    Anyway, goodnight people, it’s a different timezone here and I am already late.

  151. 151
    Olav

    Meant to add: So I am following Nerd’s advice ;-)

  152. 152
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    I live in Virginia.

    The apathy vote got us Bob “Ultrasound” McDonnell.

    Fuck the third party vote.

  153. 153
    noahhopson-walker

    As I recall Gore wouldn’t (or couldn’t) have Clinton campaign for him because the Republicans were STILL riding the Lewinski thing for all it was worth.

  154. 154
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You don’t have much of a repertoire, do you?

    Nor to you have much cogent to say. Think about that. OPINION is cheap and worthless. Solving a problem like those in space: PRICELESS.

    Don’t just gripe, have a realistic and workable solution.

  155. 155
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    They are only different on matters of low priority.

    I’ll be the one to say it, Olav. If I spiral down into hellish depression and attempt or commit suicide because I CANNOT GET HEALTHCARE FOR MY MENTAL ILLNESS, guess how much I am going to care about drone strikes? I won’t give a fuck. My partner won’t give a fuck. My kids won’t give a fuck.

    Obviously people place a higher importance on trouble that affects them personally. Duh. Do you have anything of substance to contribute?

    A populace that is healthy, well-fed, employed and educated is going to have a hell of a lot more time and energy for opposing unjust wars. People who are scrambling to make a living or not die from easily treatable diseases don’t have time or energy to concentrate on anything but that scramble.

  156. 156
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @consciousness razor, #126:

    Worse than what?

    Let me give you a concrete example of how Obama is trying to make things worse.

    Obama has been trying to cut Social Security and Medicare. Not “well, he likes the programs, but he’s willing to compromise” but actively trying to reduce those programs if not do away with them entirely. This is not a change since he was elected; his writings before the nomination were in favor of doing this.

    During his first term, he did everything he could to try and build a case for this. Remember the “dogfood commission”, the bipartisan commission which was supposed to come up with recommendations about austerity, put together by Obama, which was deliberately loaded with people who had this viewpoint? That was intended to make it seem like the decision was natural and had bipartisan support.

    Right now, the only reason the U.S. has not started to dismantle Social Security and Medicare is that the Republicans are so racist that they won’t even let a black president do what they want him to do. We are actually lucky that the Republicans are batsh*t insane, because if they weren’t Obama would have dissolved the social safety net in the U.S. entirely.

    What’s more, if he succeeds in doing this, Republicans will be able to blame the Democrats for the fallout from that move — quite truthfully, just as they can blame Clinton for the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

    And that was WITH the threat of voter disapproval hanging over Obama’s head. If he’s in a second term, not having to worry about reelection, he’ll almost certainly be even worse. (It’s pretty clear that Obama doesn’t care even slightly about the reputation of the party and thus won’t be acting nice to give a boost to his replacement. If he did, he wouldn’t be doing this kind of thing in the first place.)

    Face it: if Obama were still a Congress member, and he had the same record of supporting right-wing points, he would be one of those Blue Dogs people like you revile. He’s a right-winger who happens to be a black Democrat, and he is doing a better job than any Republican ever did of scuttling the party, and people like you are applauding him.

  157. 157
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    Whoops — sorry, that should have been “catfood commission”, not “dogfood”. Put it down to subconscious cat-owner partisanship. :P

  158. 158
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    raven @#37:

    As the Onion pointed out, our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity under Clinton ended when Bush was elected president.

    That deserves a link:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/bush-our-long-national-nightmare-of-peace-and-pros,464/

    January 17th, 2001:

    “We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two,” Bush said. “Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there’s much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation’s hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it.”

    Almost prophetic.

  159. 159
    sadunlap

    I wondered how FactCheck.org treated the RNC. It’s actually quite interesting. If the page on Clinton is longer than any of the others for either convention it’s because he made more assertions of fact. In the case of Paul Ryan they called him on his outright lies (yeah!).

    On the subject of what to do, 3rd parties, etc. :
    Just a thought, if some of the more passionate, articulate and energetic people commenting here would consider organizing a take-over of your local Democratic party committees, that would be a start. The 3rd parties fail mostly for lack of a broad-based organization which does not grow overnight. Before the Deaniacs ran out of steam they made some inroads into winning local democratic party positions (you know the ones on the ballot where you barely or do not even recognize any of the names). Enough people in enough of the country start to take over the internal democratic party apparatus, they can nudge it back to the left (or in favor of people who work for a living).

    Pipe dream, I know. But if anything will change, that’s the most likely path to success.

  160. 160
    consciousness razor

    First: Thank you for engaging the argument. I appreciate that.

    If you were arguing sincerely, I probably would’ve been nicer, but I don’t think you were. So even though you’ve backed off, you still haven’t admitted your mistakes, which I don’t appreciate.

  161. 161
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Let me give you a concrete example of how Obama is trying to make things worse.

    Irrelevant unless you also show the rethugs would make things even worse than OBAMA. PUT UP OR SHUT THE FUCK UP ON OBAMA BEING WORSE THAN THE RETHUGS….Welcome to reality, not your delusions of reality.

  162. 162
    consciousness razor

    Obama has been trying to cut Social Security and Medicare. Not “well, he likes the programs, but he’s willing to compromise” but actively trying to reduce those programs if not do away with them entirely. This is not a change since he was elected; his writings before the nomination were in favor of doing this.

    Citation needed.

    Right now, the only reason the U.S. has not started to dismantle Social Security and Medicare is that the Republicans are so racist that they won’t even let a black president do what they want him to do. We are actually lucky that the Republicans are batsh*t insane, because if they weren’t Obama would have dissolved the social safety net in the U.S. entirely.

    Fuck yes. Thank our lucky stars for the batshit Republicans. They giveth, they taketh away.

    Face it: if Obama were still a Congress member, and he had the same record of supporting right-wing points, he would be one of those Blue Dogs people like you revile.

    So people like you do not revile them? Because you don’t actually support progressive policies but are just being dishonest, lying, delusional asshole?

  163. 163
    Amphiox

    Face it: if Obama were still a Congress member, and he had the same record of supporting right-wing points, he would be one of those Blue Dogs people like you revile.

    I would choose ANY blue dog democrat over Romney and Ryan, or any republican, for that matter.

  164. 164
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Yeah yeah fuck the repubs.

    They also voted (about) an item about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel

    But this is hilarious! What next, will they vote that Sydney is the capital of Australia, or that Paris is the capital of Mexico?

  165. 165
    Amphiox

    You don’t have much of a repertoire, do you? ;-)

    When facing a one-note opponent, one doesn’t need anything more.

  166. 166
    consciousness razor

    I’m still trying to sort this out.

    He’s worse than them because:
    He wants the same bad things they do.
    He can’t do what he wants, because they’re so fucking racist.
    Therefore (1) he will not do what he and they both want, and (2) they’re so fucking racist.
    Now let’s just assume Republicans also wouldn’t do them, also because they’re so fucking racist.

    So that’s what makes him worse: things that he’s not actually doing, which would be (but aren’t) exactly the same, except without the racism.

    Mind-boggling.

  167. 167
    Amphiox

    But if, like me, you live in an uncontested state (California, New York, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Maine, etc), please, PLEASE vote for a 3rd-party candidate, and show the blood-sucking career politicians that we’re done with them.

    Be very careful wishing for something like this. If this happens and the margin of victory shrinks significantly in safe “blue” states due to progressives abandoning the Democrats and going for third party candidates, consider the implications.

    The Republicans will see this as vindication of their obstruction-everything strategy, the secondary goal of which was explicitly to disillusion the democratic progressive base into not voting or voting for a third party. This will encourage them to double-down.

    As for the Democrats reaction? You hope they’ll take it as a kick in the pants to tack back left to “recapture” your progressive vote? In the current political environment that is not very likely. Far more likely is that they will conclude that the progressive portion of their base is a fickle and unreliable one and it doesn’t pay to court them, and they will tack center right instead.

    You want to move the Democratic party leftward, you need to work at the grassroots level for at least several years, in between elections. Impulsive spur of the moment grand gestures at election time will not do it when the entire political culture has been pulling away from this for many years already.

  168. 168
    Amphiox

    There is nothing wrong with making compromises. Except when you do it with war mongers.

    If Obama is a “war monger”, then so is every head of state of every remotely relatively powerful nation-state that has EVER lived.

    Then everything goes to shit, either sooner or quite quickly (what a fantastic choice to make).

    Sooner = NOT AS FAST AS quite quickly = MORE TIME AVAILABLE TO FIX THINGS.

    If I have to choose between sooner or quite quickly, I CHOOSE SOONER, WITHOUT HESITATION, and then I USE THAT EXTRA BIT OF TIME I’VE BOUGHT TO TRY TO FIX THE PROBLEM.

    I DO NOT sit aside twindling my thumbs and wringing my hands while SOMEONE ELSE maliciously chooses quite quickly, and doom us all.

  169. 169
    echidna

    Olav:

    I just could NOT in good conscience vote for a candidate, a party, a platform that stands for perpetuating war, murder, the sidelining of the rule of law (I think Americans would call it the subversion of the Constitution) and all the other ills that are inherent to the current situation.

    There are times when every choice you can make is going to do some harm. What you must decide, in good conscience, is which decision does the least harm.

    You seem to believe that abstaining, or voting Green is less harmful than voting Democrat. But the greatest harm would be allowing the Republicans back, and the only way to prevent the Repubs from taking government is to vote Democrat. Nothing else will do.

    By the way, re the speech: ARITHMETIC!!!

    The fact checkers didn’t touch Clinton’s claim that Romney’s budget plan does not meet the basic test of fiscal responsibility because the numbers don’t add up. It was a really strong statement, and they just left it alone. Because it’s true.

  170. 170
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @Nerd of Redhead, #161:

    Irrelevant unless you also show the rethugs would make things even worse than OBAMA. PUT UP OR SHUT THE FUCK UP ON OBAMA BEING WORSE THAN THE RETHUGS….Welcome to reality, not your delusions of reality.

    Okay, first off: you’re trying so hard to intimidate me via rage that you’re losing coherence. Calm down a bit, please.

    I presume you mean I’m supposed to prove that Obama would make things worse than the Republicans. (Otherwise, yelling at me for not being willing to accept Obama as the LOTE makes no sense.)

    You are also (apparently deliberately, since I said exactly the opposite quite clearly) claiming that I think Obama is worse than the Republicans. He isn’t — but he’s not even close to good, or even neutral. He’s bad. The fact that the Republicans are worse is irrelevant. When the election rolls around, I will be seeing a ballot which has two bad candidates (R and D) and at least one good candidate (Green). To vote for a bad candidate when a good one is available undermines democracy and makes me a traitor to my principles, and I won’t do it.

  171. 171
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    Right, because the smaller margin by which a Democrat wins, the more they will be to tell the Republicans to take a flying leap….
    …or, um, something.
    Maybe it sounded better in your head.

    The problem is that the Democrats never tell the Republicans to take a flying leap.

    If they lose, the Democrats decide it was because they were too far to the left, and resolve to move rightward.

    If they win by a small margin, they decide that the small margin was because they were too far to the left, and resolve to move rightward.

    If they win by a large margin, they conclude that all that moving to the right that the party has been doing the last 3 decades must have worked, so they’d better keep it up.

    There is no way to train a Democrat to move leftward. So why bother continuing to beat your head against the wall? Vote for someone who actually stands for something you like, instead.

  172. 172
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @consciousness razor, #166:

    He’s worse than them because:

    Ah, here’s your problem. Point out to me, please, where I said that Obama is worse than the Republicans. I merely said that he is extremely bad, and should not be voted for.

    Either you aren’t bothering to read before you reply, or you are and you’re being dishonest when you reply. Either way, you are certainly moving further and further away from being able to convince me that you have a point.

  173. 173
    consciousness razor

    To vote for a bad candidate when a good one is available undermines democracy and makes me a traitor to my principles, and I won’t do it.

    A good candidate who will not win and thus will not do any of the good things all politicians promise (and generally fail) to do. If your principles result in doing nothing good just for the sake of having those principles, you should start over with new principles. Principles might look good on paper, but they’re worth shit if they only reinforce themselves and don’t amount to anything – to real people in the real world, because those are what matter in the end, not principles.

  174. 174
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Calm down a bit, please.

    You haven’t been coherent due to your idiocy and presuppositions. I see no evidence of reality in your inane posts. Merely delusions. Try thinking through a problem instead of an emotional response.

  175. 175
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    He’s bad. The fact that the Republicans are worse is irrelevant.

    No, it is utterly and totally relevant as to who to keep on the sidelines. You know that. That is reality, not wishful/delusional thinking.

  176. 176
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    We need to find a better way to demand results between elections, I guess.

  177. 177
    Amphiox

    In real life you do not choose “good”, you choose “better”. Reality is relative. Absolutes belong only in fiction and religion.

    And a candidate who has no chance of winning is not, ever, “good”, no matter WHAT their positions are.

  178. 178
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    The big problem is an electorate that favors violence, bigotyr, and poverty for those who “deserve” it, because we don’t seem to understand violence, bigotry, or poverty even when awash in them.

    Fie on us.

  179. 179
    consciousness razor

    Ah, here’s your problem. Point out to me, please, where I said that Obama is worse than the Republicans. I merely said that he is extremely bad, and should not be voted for.

    I’m not claiming he’ll do nothing bad, and I don’t need to in order to claim he should be elected. As I said to Olav above:

    The only thing you can reasonably do is compare one choice with the others, not with some absolute standard which you can’t do anything about. Even if they would all make things worse, they can’t all be worse than all of the other choices which are actually on the table.

    What are the actual choices in the election, with any significant chance of happening? Obama or Romney. The Greens (or maybe myself as a write-in candidate) might do everything right, but they will not win and thus won’t do anything. Welcome to reality. Deal with it.

  180. 180
    Amphiox

    And Obama is “extremely bad” (note relative term “extremely”) COMPARED TO WHAT???

    An unnamed, undescribed, imaginary progressive messiah onto which we can project all our fondest desires? (Oh wait, we already tried that – that was how we reimagined Barack Obama in 2008)

    This is just as dishonest a ridiculous hypothetical as the hypothetical normal term fetus for abortion for birth control.

  181. 181
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @…. various, I thought there was a single comment which brought this up explicitly, but I can’t find it now:

    Can you Obama supporters please stop using the false argument that if we vote for anyone other than Obama, we’re responsible for a Romney win? That’s a lie.

    There are vastly more people who don’t show up at the polls at all than there are third-party voters — more than vote for all the third parties put together plus the Republicans — and they are the ones truly responsible for the way the election goes. If you’re going to blame anyone, blame them. If you’re going to try and recruit anyone, recruit them. We third party voters are such a small group, we’re not worth complaining about. We don’t decide elections. (For example, there were more registered Democrats in Florida in 2000 who exit-polled for Bush than there were voters for Ralph Nader in the contested districts. If your own party had actually voted for your own candidate, the Greens would not have even been mentioned.)

    Of course, you can’t really do that. People are staying home from the polls for more or less the same reason that people like me are voting for the Greens; the Democratic party message has become “vote for us and we’ll screw you slightly slower than the Republicans do”. That’s not something that’s going to bring anyone to the polls unless they are already heavily invested in tribal identity like — not to put to fine a point on it — most Obama supporters seem to be.

    If you could do that, if you could turn the Democratic party into a party which actually did positive things instead of just a bunch of collaborators with the Republicans*, then you would probably eliminate the Green party at the same time. The Greens exist because the Democrats have demonstrated that they are mostly a force for political entropy and evil.

    In this sense, the Democratic party has inverted itself. Instead of trying to change the party to accommodate the voters, you are now trying to change the voters to accommodate the party. That’s never going to work; if you had any sense you’d stop trying.

    But instead, no doubt you’ll continue to demand that everyone who votes who isn’t a Republican should vote for the Democrats, and blame the ones who don’t for your losses. The fact that some of you are resorting to name-calling and ALL CAPS FOR WHOLE PHRASES AT A TIME suggests that you are driven by unthinking hatred, rather than a rational desire to actually fix things.

    *And please don’t trot out Obama’s list of micro-achievements again. They are nearly all of tiny magnitude and fleeting importance, except for the ones which have no practical force (like coming out in favor of gay marriage without trying to do anything about it legislatively). I don’t know of anyone who, if asked, would say “why yes, I prefer Obama to have improved Pell Grant funding, rather than prosecuting the bankers who crashed the economy”. I know of no gay people who, given the choice, would have Obama take a meaningless stand for gay marriage if the price was him not taking a stand on closing Gitmo. (You know, with all the power he has insisted on amassing, he could close it down tomorrow by executive order, and invoke executive privilege to avoid even discussing it. He doesn’t do this, and won’t. But he’ll have children and emergency workers bombed in Afghanistan, and uses executive privilege to avoid even discussing that. A matter of priorities, I suppose.) But that’s effectively the way Obama has managed things: his tiny or pointless positives are bones he throws to the left in an attempt to shut them up about his massive and deadly negatives.

  182. 182
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Can you Obama supporters please stop using the false argument that if we vote for anyone other than Obama, we’re responsible for a Romney win? That’s a lie.

    Until you prove numerically other, it is true. Welcome to reality, not you delusions. teal deer fuckwittery.

  183. 183
    Amphiox

    And with respect to the drone strikes (which were already occurring before Obama took office) one must look at them in the greater context. The increase in drone strikes is part of the larger strategy of WITHDRAWING actual troops, and REDUCING the US’s military footprint and foreign entanglements. It is part of the overall Obama strategy of DISENGAGING from Afghanistan and Iraq. And the increase in drone use probably provided the necessary political cover TO withdraw actual troops, or at least helped with that.

    To use the drone strikes as an example of Obama being a “war-monger” is about as accurate and honest as birtherism.

    Warmongers start wars. Obama is ending two. Romney would continue both and start a third.

    Who’s the “warmonger” again?

  184. 184
    Amphiox

    Vicar, it is not a false argument, and it is not a lie. It is REALITY.

    It is ARITHMETIC.

  185. 185
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @consciousness razor, #173:

    Principles might look good on paper, but they’re worth shit if they only reinforce themselves and don’t amount to anything – to real people in the real world, because those are what matter in the end, not principles.

    I’m glad people like you are a relatively recent phenomenon, at least as representing the majority opinion with a political party. If the rule you just outlined had been applied at the time, America wouldn’t have outlawed slavery, let alone given women the right to vote, passed the New Deal, enacted the Civil Rights Act, or any of the other things in favor of which I’m fairly sure you are.

    I’m afraid I have to agree with George Bernard Shaw (who I mostly find tedious): The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

    Right now, the Republicans have a lot of people who are sticking to their principles. Those principles are stupid and contradictory and self-destructive — but the response of the Republican party has been to move ever-rightward to adapt to these people.

    Most left-leaning people, on the other hand, have been telling themselves to compromise ever since the 1960s. Result? First the uninspiring religious guy Carter, then the victory of the unspeakable Reagan, then Bush, then the center-right Clinton, and finally W. followed by Obama. We’ve compromised our principles so much that Time recently actually published an article claiming that Obama was an uncompromising leftist populist for the first part of his first term. Really? News to me, and to everyone else I know who actually is a leftist or a populist.

    We need, in fact, more people who will abandon the Democrats if the Democrats won’t start standing up for things. That appears to be the only way to even get the party’s attention, these days.

  186. 186
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Very good question. And the answer is: Yes.

    To the people who fear the US drones zooming over their villages and their homes, the things you list are indeed of extremely low priority.

    Now, what would you say if I thought, as a struggling single mom, the war is a low priority for me?As someone who is struggling, starving and trying to survive in the USA, you are saying I need to throw away my life to save those of other in far off countries. I don’t agree with the war, never have and definitely want it to end, but people are dying here as well.

    I’m sorry but even if Obama was saying he’s going to continue the war, defense budget and all that shit, I’d still be voting for him because it give my child and I a better chance to live.

    Do I feel badly and want the war to end and want my president to work on all those issues? Yes, but I’m not trading my child’s life for someone else. I have a responsibility to her and quite frankly, if both candidates are for the war I better vote for the worst case scenario, which is Obama.

    As you have noticed, I do feel strongly about the issue. I just could NOT in good conscience vote for a candidate, a party, a platform that stands for perpetuating war, murder, the sidelining of the rule of law (I think Americans would call it the subversion of the Constitution) and all the other ills that are inherent to the current situation.

    Lucky for you. I don’t have that luxury and I don’t need your bullshit trying to guilt me into feeling badly about it or responsible.

    And I do feel these issues take precedence over (most) domestic issues, important as they may be.I think you can not resolve the one, before resolving the other.

    As someone who’s life and family depend upon these domestic issues, I simply cannot say that.

    Yeah, let us (meaning women, minorities, poor,etc) all suffer, be ignorant and die here in the USA, that will make it a cakewalk for the Republicans to get in. Why do you think they are making it damn near impossible for those disenfranchised to be unable to vote? Oh, wait, you’re not an American so you probably don’t know that. You probably don’t give a shit and think that’s just a “low priority”.

    FUCK YOU.

  187. 187
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    We need, in fact, more people who will abandon the Democrats if the Democrats won’t start standing up for things. That appears to be the only way to even get the party’s attention, these days.

    Then it should be easy for you to prove historically, rather than your hysterically written prose, that it actually works. Why haven’t you lead with evidence instead of OPINION. Oh, that’s right, you can’t prove you are right, only pretend you are right….

  188. 188
    consciousness razor

    Who’s the “warmonger” again?

    Everyone, except Jill Stein (G), because she would do everything right, if she would win, which she won’t. Her principles and a buck-fifty will buy you a large fountain drink.

    By the way, Joe Biden’s doing some serious warmongering right now.

  189. 189
    Amphiox

    The greatest threat to the future of American democracy is the STRATEGIES of obstructionism and voter suppression. It is FAR more dangerous and destructive than any single policy position. Policies come and go, and can be reversed and repaired if the democratic system is healthy. But the strategies of obstructionism and voter suppression strike at the very foundation of the entire democratic system itself.

    What America MOST needs is a REPUDIATION of these republican pioneered strategies. The more thorough the better. And a narrow Democratic victory for Obama in 2012 may not be enough. A narrow victory may still result in Republicans doubling down on these strategies and that would mean that we would STILL be forced to strategically vote against them in 2016. To prevent this requires the discrediting of the STRATEGY, not just the party. And the best way to do that is with a Democratic LANDSLIDE. The republican obstructionists need to be wiped off the electoral map, and the target of obstructionism, Obama, needs to be seen to GAIN votes as a result. The bigger the margin of victory the better. So every single vote matters, even in solid blue states.

    If you really want a chance to move the Overton window left by 2016, if you really want a chance for progressive third party candidates and parties to be viable in 2016, and you’re serious about wanting to participate rather than just complain for complaining sake, or beating your breast in a display of your progressive leanings as a shallow dominance display to impress in the moment, then you vote for Obama in 2012, and you hope and work for a MASSIVE Obama and democratic victory in 2012.

  190. 190
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @Amphiox, #184:

    Warmongers start wars. Obama is ending two. Romney would continue both and start a third.

    Obama did not end the war in Iraq. He tried as hard as possible to extend our presence there, but the Iraqi government refused to grant U.S. troops immunity to prosecution for war crimes, and so Obama was forced to accept the original timetable negotiated by Bush — but since he had been trying to stay there, he turned around and claimed this was a deliberate withdrawal. (But, of course, we still have those bases we constructed there, and we have a huge presence of U.S.-funded mercenaries and “advisors”, who are still there with guns and uniforms. It’s the old principle, dating back at least to Vietnam, that we have no troops in a country if we just don’t call them “troops”.)

    As for Afghanistan, we’re still there. We have more people there now than we had when Obama came into office. How is that “ending the war”?

    Or are you referring to our troops in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and (we’re starting to find out since this was apparently secret) Africa, all of which were invaded under Obama?

    Or perhaps you’re talking about Romney’s statements which indicate that he wants to invade Iran? I hate to break it to you, but Obama, as part of his “support” for Israel, has said that the U.S. will invade Iran if Israel starts a war with them. Guess what Israel’s leadership has said about that possibility… go on, guess.

    And now, I’m afraid that I too must sign off for the night. Thanks for a discussion which, though those of you who disagree with me said nothing I haven’t heard before (and frequently stated with less acrimony, I might add), was nonetheless illuminating if not pleasant.

  191. 191
    consciousness razor

    If the rule you just outlined had been applied at the time, America wouldn’t have outlawed slavery, let alone given women the right to vote, passed the New Deal, enacted the Civil Rights Act, or any of the other things in favor of which I’m fairly sure you are.

    Yeah, totally, right on. When I said people are what really matters, that leads to slavery and infringing people’s rights. YOU DISHONEST PIECE OF SHIT.

  192. 192
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    hanks for a discussion which, though those of you who disagree with me said nothing I haven’t heard before (and frequently stated with less acrimony, I might add), was nonetheless illuminating if not pleasant.

    And you said nothing cogent, nothing substantiated by evidence, only OPINION of fuckwitted irrational idjit. Don’t let reality hit you on the way it. It will flatten you.

  193. 193
    Amphiox

    Obama is in the process of ending the war in Iraq, and if he wins it will happen. If Romney wins the Iraq war may also end, but only because the US is redeploying their troops for the new war in Iran.

  194. 194
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Disclaimer: Obama is to Romney what quinine is to malaria.

    I just wish that someone in charge would see that violence abroad contributes to poverty in the US and elsewhere.

    Imagine how much misery just the fuel budget in Afghanistan would end if spent on food for those who need it, or medicine, or housing, fucking etc.

    When I say this it seems like a fucking platitude. Why aren’t politicians offering the same pablum? I’d fucking eat it, and like it.

  195. 195
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    If Romney wins the Iraq war may also end, but only because the US is redeploying their troops for the new war in Iran

    And if the very possibility doesn’t make one shit hir pants, xe isn’t wearing pants.

  196. 196
    Amphiox

    Just like in evolution, constructive political change occurs in increments, increments which in real time may be quite small. Macro mutations, ie revolutions, rarely end well.

    To go from where the US was in 2008, or where the US is now, to the Great Progressive Utopia, is not possible except in fan fiction, or religious texts.

  197. 197
    Geral

    Obama’s speech ended and the next speaker was a bishop who gave an overly long sermon. Just when I started to have hope…

  198. 198
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    I live in Virginia.

    The apathy vote got us Bob “Ultrasound” McDonnell.

    Fuck the third party vote.

    QFT – I live in Virginia too.

  199. 199
    ibyea

    Olav and Vicar
    Do you even know anything about America’s electoral system? It is winners take all. So even if all third party voters are large in numbers, they will be so scattered that they will not even make a dent in the elections. THEY WILL NOT WIN A SINGLE STATE!

  200. 200
    anteprepro

    Fucking fucking fuck. How many times does this need to be hammered on?

    No, the Democrats are not JUST AS BAD as Republicans. Not by the greatest stretch of the imagination. There are individual policies where Democrats are JUST AS BAD as Republicans. There are cases where Democrats are BAD. But generally, Republicans are consistently FAR WORSE.

    No, a third party presidential candidate is not viable. It is throwing your vote away until either our method of electing candidates changes or there is enough people out there willing to vote for one specific alternative candidate. Which will require a lot of time to build up to that point, or a lot of organization to accomplish. If you have any functional sensory organs at all, you will be aware of any of those things being true well before casting your vote.

    Given the above: No, not voting for Obama, whether it means not voting, voting third party, or voting Romney, isn’t going to solve problems with war/the economy/whatever. Any of the above is a virtual vote for Romney and Romney is FAR WORSE regarding foreign, economic, military, and social policy.

    And for fuck’s sake, Olav, you benighted moron: The social and economic policies of the U.S. AFFECT EVERYONE. The U.S. isn’t fucking quarantined or in its own isolated dimension. The screwed up social policies fuck up our politics, the screwed up economy affects the world economy as well as fucking up our politics, and our fucked up politics lead to fucking up the economy even more, fucking over ourselves even more, and fucking over EVERY OTHER COUNTRY THAT LOOKS AT US FUNNY in the name of “Defense” or possibly “Manifest Destiny” if we our politics become that fucking retrograde.

    And FYI: Obama has actually decreased military spending slightly. He’s easing on the brakes, cautiously and gently because he doesn’t want to look like one of ‘dem Stop Sign Lovin’ Communists, or Heaven Forbid, a liberal . And, seeing this, Romney et. al. are crying out for more spending and a war on Iran. Fuck, his policy statements on his website even call for being a little rougher and more paranoid with Russia and China. Obama isn’t stopping our run-away trajectory fast enough, so apparently people think it is acceptable to let the person who promises to slam on the accelerator take the wheel. Or they are in flat denial that that is really our only other option at this time.

    Fucking fucking fuck fuck fuck fuck. The situation is awful enough and yet it seems like it needs to be endlessly explained, EVEN TO PEOPLE WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER. Why the fuck do we have to keep it explaining it to people who aren’t new to American politics but apparently haven’t paid enough attention to see the fucking obvious? It’s like pulling fucking teeth, and the only reward is yet another “Democrats are just as bad, so I’m gonna write in Cthulhu, hup dup fup” joker coming out of the fucking woodwork.

  201. 201
    Amphiox

    It’s quite simple.

    People like Olav and Vicar aren’t interested in constructive change for the better.

    They aren’t interested in the practical realities involved in making such things actually happen in the real world.

    They’re doing the liberal-progressive variant of the standard primate dominance display. Puff their chests up with progressive talking points and pound and hoot. Show off their “credentials” in a progressive social community so they’ll appear to look better (I am MORE PROGRESSIVE than the POTUS, I am MORE PROGRESSIVE than YOU), and accrue a false sense of elevated status.

    Sound and fury.

    Nothing more.

  202. 202
    Amphiox

    I mean, to call the Democrats just as bad as the Republicans? To call Obama “very bad”?

    That’s TEA PARTY talk.

  203. 203
    echidna

    We need, in fact, more people who will abandon the Democrats if the Democrats won’t start standing up for things. That appears to be the only way to even get the party’s attention, these days.

    The only thing this would accomplish is a win for the Republicans. It sounds like the sort of argument that stealth Republicans would give to Democrat supporters in the hopes that they are too stupid to reject it as counter-productive.

  204. 204
    Anri

    There is no way to train a Democrat to move leftward. So why bother continuing to beat your head against the wall? Vote for someone who actually stands for something you like, instead.

    In any given election of this sort, you have a simple choice: vote in a way that makes you happy, or vote in a way that might actually result in better outcomes for yourself and millions of people around you.

    One of these is a terribly selfish choice.

    The understanding of which is which has been left as an exercise for the reader.

    (I’ll leave unsaid what it might demonstrate about a person when the choice that might help people in the real world isn’t inherently the choice that makes them feel good.)

  205. 205
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    No, Olav, I am not “bullied into voting for Obama.” I’m making the best of several bad choices. You are minimizing the concept of bullying.

    Seeing as you are so fanatically intent on misunderstanding me…

    Y’know, if a bunch of people “misunderstand” you, their understanding may not be the problem.

    Demonhype:

    I think the energy and excitement might becoming from the fact that for once someone on the Democratic side was actually fucking calling out the steady stream of evil bullshit emitting from the right wing–rather than just letting it happen, shrugging and going “meh”, as they seem to have been doing for quite some time now.

    Understandable.

    The Vicar:

    Calm down a bit, please.

    Shove your tone trolling up your ass.

    anteprepro:

    And for fuck’s sake, Olav, you benighted moron: The social and economic policies of the U.S. AFFECT EVERYONE.

    This.

  206. 206
    Rip Steakface

    That’s TEA PARTY talk.

    Indeed.

    However, notice what the teabaggers did between 2008 and 2010: they rallied, got astroturf and a touch of genuine grassroots (mostly astroturf though) money, and worked to move the Republicans to the extreme far right. If any organization is a model for moving a party to their preferred part of the political spectrum, it’s the Tea Party.

    So then we need to emulate the Tea Party in that respect. Basically, we need to ditch the protest vote for a third party candidate – that’s never a good idea (just be glad that the Libertarians can function as a spoiler on the Republicans). Instead of that, work in primaries and on the local level to make sure liberal Democrats win primaries and elections.

    The Tea Party has done two things to solidify their control over the GOP: one, they brought in primary challengers to any Republicans they viewed as too moderate to scare them into the far right. Two, if the ones they viewed as too moderate didn’t budge, they would come out in droves to support their wingnut candidate in the primary and then in the election. This didn’t always work (see: Christine O’Donnell), but more often than not, it did.

    We need a liberal Tea Party. We need to be as viciously liberal as the Tea Party is viciously fascist. Only that way can we drive the GOP bastards out.

  207. 207
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Synfandel

    the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

    And Rmoney knows just how to exploit this delusion. The less well off rethuglicans claim they wish not to have their lives run by government but end up being utterly pwned by the oligarchs.

    @ koliedrus

    The vid’s been yanked.

    I noticed. In looking for it on youtube, I came across this: Gay Veteran talks to Mitt (If anyone does not hate the gormless privileged jerk yet, watch this.)

    @ anteprepro

    social and economic policies of the U.S. AFFECT EVERYONE.

    I can see Rmoney China bashing. But in reality, in the short term at least, Rmoney in power will be great for China. [Rmoney-bashing does not really feed my best interests (he will bring more work here) but he is just too horrible a specimen to support.]

    In the the long term, Rmoney will be very bad, even for China. Nobody benefits from the loss of American innovation that Rmoney’s policies will lead to. Nobody ultimately benefits from more war or a struggling US.

  208. 208
    Amphiox

    The MOST important thing that I want a political candidate to stand for is the ability to actually GET CONSTRUCTIVE THINGS DONE in the real world. That means the ability to WIN elections and get into office.

    So when I vote for centrist candidates in favor of right wing nutbags, I am voting precisely for the candidate that stands for what I believe in.

  209. 209
    Amphiox

    Abandoning the Democratic Party for progressive third parties will PRECISELY NOT force the Democrats to move left. Why? Because, at this moment, in this political climate, the centrist voting block is BIGGER than the progressive voting block. Abandoning the Democratic Party right now will simply convince them that the Progressive block is an unreliable source of support not worth the effort of pandering to. Force them to choose between the centrist “them” and the progressive “us” and they will do the rational thing and choose THEM.

    Abandoning the Democratic Party now, particularly now when the Democrats see themselves in an existential struggle against the far right will serve only to marginalized yourself out of the political conversation entirely. There will probably be a fairly vicious backlash as centrist-left Democrats consider your abandonment to be a betrayal at a time when the common enemy was most dangerous, and retaliate in kind.

    The only way to move the Democratic Party to the left is to convince the centrists to move left, and that means engaging with them. That means embracing the Democratic Party, infiltrating it, and moving it from within over the course of a decade.

    This is what the Tea Party did.

    I thought that Progressives pride themselves in being more rational and more engaged in reality than the Tea Party.

  210. 210
    Nick Gotts

    If you really want a chance to move the Overton window left by 2016, if you really want a chance for progressive third party candidates and parties to be viable in 2016, and you’re serious about wanting to participate rather than just complain for complaining sake, or beating your breast in a display of your progressive leanings as a shallow dominance display to impress in the moment, then you vote for Obama in 2012, and you hope and work for a MASSIVE Obama and democratic victory in 2012. – amphiox

    That’s scarcely more likely than a Green Party victory. If I were American, I’d vote for Obama in any state which could plausibly go either way, but I’d vote Stein in any other (and, in either case, campaign accordingly). In the Congressional races, I’d abide by the same principle in most cases, unless the Democrat was genuinely no better than the Republican and there was a Green running. While I don’t agree with Olav and The Vicar’s “don’t vote Obama anywhere” line, they have been making serious points that have not been adequately answered, and in some cases have been answered in ways that are simply disgusting. For example, with regard to drone attacks, we had this response from Amphiox:

    And with respect to the drone strikes (which were already occurring before Obama took office) one must look at them in the greater context. The increase in drone strikes is part of the larger strategy of WITHDRAWING actual troops, and REDUCING the US’s military footprint and foreign entanglements. It is part of the overall Obama strategy of DISENGAGING from Afghanistan and Iraq. And the increase in drone use probably provided the necessary political cover TO withdraw actual troops, or at least helped with that.

    To use the drone strikes as an example of Obama being a “war-monger” is about as accurate and honest as birtherism.

    That is stupid, dishonest garbage, and Amphiox should be ashamed: withdrawing troops is both highly popular, and within the President’s executive power: he didn’t need political cover. (We also had raven practically cheering the drone strikes, ffs, but then I don’t expect better from her.) There have also been a lot of dishonest claims that Olav and the Vicar are saying Obama is as bad as / worse than Romney. Neither of them has said or implied that: if oyu have to resort to outright misrepresentation of those you are arguing with, it says a lot about either you, or the quality of your arguments, or both.

  211. 211
    consciousness razor

    There have also been a lot of dishonest claims that Olav and the Vicar are saying Obama is as bad as / worse than Romney. Neither of them has said or implied that: if oyu have to resort to outright misrepresentation of those you are arguing with, it says a lot about either you, or the quality of your arguments, or both.

    It’s not enough just to give variations on “Obama does bad stuff.” If that were their only claim, then it would be true that they weren’t necessarily claiming he is as bad as or worse than Romney (or anyone else). But that’s not the case, because they also claimed we shouldn’t vote for him.

    So how would you make any sense out of the position that we shouldn’t vote for him? If we shouldn’t, that’s because it’s as bad as or worse than something else. So what else is there? And what, realistically, is likely to happen if you do any of those other things?

    They may not have been trying to argue that point, but it doesn’t matter, because that’s where the argument goes, whether or not they like it or understand it.

Comments have been disabled.