What The "Do Nothing" Obama Has Accomplished That We Choose To Ignore Or Fail To Acknowledge

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George Victor

Yes, he's a terrible fella.  And U.S.imperialism is just that. And they are all alike. No distinction. Nada. But folks elected him...and would not have, had he presented any other face.   Now, describe the society that elected him.   In somewhat more accurate terms, the role of the workiing class, etc. etc. in this time of market domination.

al-Qa'bong

George, try reading a little closer.  Nobody's calling Obama terrible; we're just saying he's the same as any other POTUS.

The problem isn't whether Caesar is Caligula or Augustus; the problem is Caesar.

George Victor

George Victor wrote:

Yes, he's a terrible fella.  And U.S.imperialism is just that. And they are all alike. No distinction. Nada. But folks elected him...and would not have, had he presented any other face.   Now, describe the society that elected him.   In somewhat more accurate terms, the role of the workiing class, etc. etc. in this time of market domination.

 

Take another run at it alQ.  You missed dealing with 95 per cent of the post (speaking of "reading a little closer."   :)

al-Qa'bong

It doesn't matter if there are minor distinctions between presidents; one can grow peanuts, one can forget if he actually did something or merely played doing so on film, one might be great at playing the saxophone, while another can cut brush with the best of them - as presidents they aren't so easily distinguishable.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Some nice spin in that OP. But spin is all it is.

George Victor

But y'all are only looking at the electoral product of that Republic to the south.  WE all know how the pres. looks, what he does, the wrongs caused.  But when you ignore the fact that he is considered too liberal by a vast number of people, their ignorance as to the hidden agenda of the Tea Party and its GOP followers, and the role of a media that does not attempt to inform, you are only stating the obvious. Easy pickin's.

Why not speak to those aspects of that political system which need changing, and how that might be accomplished?  I understand Sky Captain's frustration in opening this thread.  It's as though you believe the president would not like to do more, much, much more, in reforming a variety of institutions, from education to medicine, and of course, dealing with the plight of African-Americans.

But he does make such a sitting-duck target, eh?  Why bother with all that other stuff.  Particularly if you have NO IDEA HOW HE COULD ACHIEVE THE TARGETS THAT,OF COURSE, WE ALL KNOW SHOULD BE  the objectives of an American president in this, the 11th hour of our time as a species. Or are you perhaps the only one with such an acute sense of our biological situation, FM?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quit kidding yourself, George. He is an establishment president as committed to war and US coporate and military imperialism as any that went before him.

George Victor

And he holds with none of the truths, reads none of the science, that scares the shit out of you and me?  Wow.  FM, that puts us in singularly egotistical positions.  I never could assume that, even though I know that the American/Canadian/whatever electorate may not have quite grasped the import of their roles.  :)

b star

As said before, I was in the U.S. during the Primaries and spoke with many individuals who worked with the Democrats to get either Clinton or Obama into 'power'.  It was clear from the beginning that dirty politics were at play and that Obama likely would not follow through on many promises.  He said ad nauseum how much he and Michele detested Washington politics and how they would never be part of the clan there and the opposite has occured. They have become the King & Queen of Washington! They love the parties, the cameras, the photo-ops. They play the game exceptionally well.  He is a posturer as they all have been and most of us are well aware that there has never been a huge difference between the Republicans and Democrats in the U.S.  This is old 'news'.  It is critical to follow up on what he has said and to check mark whether or not he has followed through on various issues.  We cannot simply believe what he says or any President or Prime Minister. We have to do a reality check. Obama has been way down in the polls and the reasons are clear why that is so. Many who voted him in are more than disappointed.  They thought the Mesiah hath arrived and some still refuse to see the truth about Obama.  It's a game, a public relations game. When I say that there is little difference between the Republicans and Dems., the Bush Administration was the exception in that who could be much more repressive?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Why would the American people bother voting at all if these two parties really are so similar? I find it hard to believe folks on this forum could possibly say there's no difference between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin.

500_Apples

Boom Boom wrote:

Why would the American people bother voting at all if these two parties really are so similar?

At most, ~half of them vote.

b star

I don't recall anyone saying "There is NO difference" Boom Boom.  There isn't much difference between the Liberals and Conservatives either.  Again, no big news, most of us have known that for a long time.  Naturally, each Party wants to differentiate itself to the voters but once they ride in, guess what?  Not much difference. Why would Americans bother voting?  They don't have a third party to vote for and don't have much of a choice do they. More and more people do not vote at all because they know this all too well. They are despondent over it and some still want a voice of some sort and vote for what they feel will be the least harmful but the margin isn't huge. Others make sure they vote in order to protect their interests.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I still can't believe Americans voted for two George Bushes! Or, for that matter, Richard Nixon.Laughing

500_Apples

Boom Boom wrote:

I still can't believe Americans voted for two George Bushes! Or, for that matter, Richard Nixon.Laughing

Nixon is one of the most progressive presidents of the 20th century. He started the EPA, he had wage and price controls, he sought to universalize health care but the democrats defeated him, he ended the vietnam war and he opened up trade with China.

The establishment actually took steps to remove him from office.

George Victor

Boom Boom wrote:

I still can't believe Americans voted for two George Bushes! Or, for that matter, Richard Nixon.Laughing

 

Yep, it's in understanding that, Boomer, that we begin to grasp what is really rotten in De...troit,  eh?  Without the finance capital collapse, it coulda been McCain with Sarah as heart failure backup, eh?       It taxes the imagination.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

500_Apples wrote:
Nixon is one of the most progressive presidents of the 20th century. He started the EPA, he had wage and price controls, he sought to universalize health care but the democrats defeated him, he ended the vietnam war and he opened up trade with China.

The establishment actually took steps to remove him from office.

Long before he was elected POTUS, he wasn't exactly known for his charisma. That's what I was referring to.Laughing

I'm also amazed that Reagan was elected. Holy crap!

Aristotleded24

George Victor wrote:
Yes, he's a terrible fella.  And U.S.imperialism is just that. And they are all alike. No distinction. Nada. But folks elected him...and would not have, had he presented any other face.   Now, describe the society that elected him.   In somewhat more accurate terms, the role of the workiing class, etc. etc. in this time of market domination.

That's nonsense. In 2008, not only had the Republican Party been utterly discredited, but the economic meltdown shattered people's faith in the economic system. So he could have used that appeal to forcefully argue for the types of progressive changes that would have improved the lives of the majority of citizens. He didn't, instead he campaigned on the rhetoric of "hope" and "change." And if he really wanted progressive change, given the Democratic majorities, all he has do is twist the arms of conservative Democrats and say, "either you're with me on this legislation or I will personally see to it that you lose your next primary challenge." When you take a look at ideas that are moderately progressive, ideas that are on the mainstream political radar of every other industrialized country, public opinion polling shows that a majority of Americans either agree with them or can be convinced. The media in the US distorts this reality a great deal. Remember the Jeremiah Wright controversey, when the media highlighted how "shocking" those comments? What does it say when on the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36T1fnIafC0]ABC coverage[/url] they showed a black person shrugging off Wright's remarks as "being black in America?

I would actually arge that Obama is worse than Bush. Bush was so hated by the time he left office that people would run in fear if he said the sky was blue. Now with Obama in place, he is capable of using his positive image and rapport with people to follow through on the regressive policies of Bush.

b star

This is EXACTLY the truth of what is happening as Aristotleded 24 accurately has stated above.  I have talked to many blacks (African Americans) in the U.S. who have told me the same thing.  Some voted for Obama, some did not and saw through the charade early on. 

Slumberjack

Fewer drone attacks against innocent villagers than his predecessor's record might have been one of the more tangible signals of wanting to wean the nation from the usual military-industrial narrative of death.  Instead on his order they've increased. One needn't wait in anticipation to see if year two will become the breakout year when things will begin to be set right.

George Victor

You folks don't follow the U.S. political polls and seem to have no idea how misled the great unwashed actually are and how passionately they argue against this liberal president.  Perhaps you at least follow Krugman's economic concerns in the NYTimes (as close to liberal-Democratic concerns as we're going to get). 

Yes, Sj, the U.S.military's use of weaponry that kills innocent civilians is a crime just as heinous as the exploding of bombs in crowded marketplaces.  As pacifists we should be poised to condemn both actions. And I'll bet you are also poised to explain how the pres. overcomes the down-home sentiment favouring an eye for an eye.   Although it has been some years since I've seen a hint of anything but criticism...warranted but a bit of a one-note without a concomitant offer of solutions that are achieveable in this world. How about a hint of hope now...keeping it practical, not "we should" or "they should" stuff.  More "they could."

al-Qa'bong

They could have voted for Ralph Nader.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:

They could have voted for Ralph Nader.

Yes, and he would have been an inspired choice, but I suspect many did not do so because they were afraid he would split the vote against their opponent. You know, like what happens in Canada every electionWink

b star

Then we have Obama congratulating Harper for sending more and more Canadians to Afghanistan for the slaughter.  The caskets keep coming "home" and both Obama/Harper congratulate the parents of the deceased 'kids' for their sons/daughters' heroism when they were simply fodder for their (the elite's) interests!

al-Qa'bong

One step in the right direction would be for the US to revoke corporate charters.

The obvious problem with this is that there are Democrats and Republicans in government.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

George Victor wrote:

And he holds with none of the truths, reads none of the science, that scares the shit out of you and me?  Wow.  FM, that puts us in singularly egotistical positions.  I never could assume that, even though I know that the American/Canadian/whatever electorate may not have quite grasped the import of their roles.  :)

No, George, he hasn't. In fact, he's not even real. He is a marketed brand and people like you are the targeted market.

Think about the disconnect between truth and marketing, George. Corporations don't sell us what they produce, but what we would like to buy. So the packaging is of a rustic red barn and full tree rather than a dark, foul, loud barn holding thousands of hens pressed together in horrible conditions reminiscent of Dante's inferno. They don't sell us a dystopian future of scarce resources consumed by violence but of speeding cars on empty highways accompanied by uplifting music. 

The Obama campaign, recognized with a marketing award, sold 'change'. It packaged it in a man who represented a radical change visually and orally. But there is no change. It is the same government, with the same players, on the same path. With all marketing, they sold what we wanted and we bought what they produced and the disconnect is a chasm.

We are now marching to a bigger, badder war against another Islamic nation over resources with a president who was elected in opposition to existing wars against Islamic nations over resources.

You bought the eggs on the shelf, George. And behind them is not a chicken scratching and pecking happily in the grass of some small, family farm, but the industrial machinery of violence and brutality only interested in what can be extracted from flesh and blood creatures that feel pain and know fear.

Look beyond the marketing, George.

b star

FRUSTRATED MESS!  You maybe frustrated but you sure ain't a mess. Join the rest of the frustrated clan!  Your above post is fantastic.  If you are not an author of the truth, then it is time to GO TO IT.  Your analogies are exquisite - I cannot find another word for it.  WOW.  I have felt defeated on one of the threads today (big time), but you made my day with your forthright statement.  THANK YOU!  Talk about telling it like it is. May you multiply. :)

al-Qa'bong

But George, the dogpack is running unleashed right now.  All that's changed is the guy loosing the reins.

George Victor

The eggs analogy is from the language of marketing, FM.  Your vision of self does not admit that others could be concerned with keeping away the vermin that would be far quicker to unleash the dogs of war.  In other words, you inhabit a neat little world with parameters dictated by a moral vision, a world unrecognizeable to the vast majority of the American electorate. 

Joe Bageant's latest (be back in a minute with a pricess extract..  :)

From "Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball:

"If there is no economy left, what the hell are we all participating in? A mirage? The zombie ball? The short answer is: Because the economy is a belief system, you are participating in whatever you believe you are. Personally, I believe we are participating in a modern extension of the feudal system, with bankers as the new feudal barons and credit demographics as their turf. But then, I drink and take drugs. Whatever it is, the money economy is the only game in town until the collapse, after which chickens and firewood may become the national currency. The Masai use cattle don't they?

At the same time, even dumb people are starting to feel an undefined fear in their bones. When I was back in the States last month, an old high school chum, a sluggard who seldom has forward thought beyond the next beer and Lotto scratch ticket, confides in me:

"Joey, I can't shake the feeling that something big and awful is going to happen. And by awful I mean awful."

"Happen to what?"

"Money, work, our country. Shit, I dunno."

"Probably all three," I opined. "Plus the environment."

"Cheerful fuck, ain't ya?"

"That's what they pay me for, Bubba."

Some in the herd are starting to feel a big chill in the air, the first winds of the approaching storm. Yes, something is happening, and you don't know what it is, dooooo yew, Mistah Jones?

However, the most adept economists and other court sorcerers are going along as if nothing too unusual is happening -- calling it a recession, or more recently a double-dip recession (don't you love these turd-balls, making it sound as harmless as an ice cream cone -- gimme a double dip please!) or even a depression. But no matter what it is, they smugly assure us, there is nothing happening that the world has never seen before. Including the insider scams that ignited the catastrophe. It's just a matter of size. Extent."

 

Ya see Pilgrim, it's more than one guy at work. Not so neat a picture, and terribly more complicated.

George Victor

Oh they are far from "unleashed" alQ.  Far, far from that!

al-Qa'bong

I have trouble following your line of reasoning, Geo.  I can't argue with the Bageant quote - there's nothing surprising there except that an erstwhile "Ma and apple pie" Merrikan is finally coming around to a dim sense that he's been told a pack of lies.  The few yanquis I've met seem inexplicably resistant to that idea.  .

We seem to agree on this.

On the other hand, Michael Moore's recent film on capitalism showed stats demonstrating that more yanquis prefer socialist ideas to capitalist beliefs. Believe it or not, the swinish multitude can discern between government/corporatist propaganda and their real best interests.

We seem to agree on what the dogs of war are up to.

FM's egg marketing analogy is spot on - I don't see why you find fault in it.

Quite often when I read you posts I think I agree with the kernel of what you're saying, but then the kernel becomes blurred behind a swirl of chaff, and I'm not sure what you're saying.

Maybe you just like to argue.

Jingles

[url=http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2007/04/theater-of-death.html]Once upon a time...[/url]

Quote:
I will make this point very slowly. I will use simple words. The Democrats and Republicans, the governing class, and the foreign policy establishment all agree that that our foreign policy should be directed to ensuring global hegemony for the United States. See my series "Dominion Over the World" for the details. They all agree that the United States is "entitled" to direct events around the world, and that we must have the most powerful military the world has ever seen to make certain that our will can never be thwarted. They all agree that we must always have our way. There is no country and no event around the world that is immune to our interference. With only a handful of exceptions, no one in government or in a position of significant influence thinks otherwise. Historically, the Democrats have been in the vanguard of this policy, and they have been its most vociferous advocates, beginning with Woodrow Wilson. The Democrats have initiated more overseas interventions, both covert and by means of outright war, than the Republicans, by far. If you have any remaining doubts on this score, read Barack Obama's recent foreign policy address.

 Take your Obama fantasy, hold it up to the light of Arthur Silber or Chris Floyd, and see how he fares.

George Victor

al-Qa'bong wrote:

I have trouble following your line of reasoning, Geo.  I can't argue with the Bageant quote - there's nothing surprising there except that an erstwhile "Ma and apple pie" Merrikan is finally coming around to a dim sense that he's been told a pack of lies.  The few yanquis I've met seem inexplicably resistant to that idea.  .

We seem to agree on this.

On the other hand, Michael Moore's recent film on capitalism showed stats demonstrating that more yanquis prefer socialist ideas to capitalist beliefs. Believe it or not, the swinish multitude can discern between government/corporatist propaganda and their real best interests.

We seem to agree on what the dogs of war are up to.

FM's egg marketing analogy is spot on - I don't see why you find fault in it.

Quite often when I read you posts I think I agree with the kernel of what you're saying, but then the kernel becomes blurred behind a swirl of chaff, and I'm not sure what you're saying.

Maybe you just like to argue.

 

And maybe, alQ, you, like the American public, just want to focus on the guy in charge and blame him?  Bageant points out the level of thought of so many in the great republic to the south.  That, he is saying, is a large part of what's wrong.  Bageant is not faulting Obama. Bageant is not guilty of falling for the marketing line.  He says his old school buddy is plain goddam ignorant!  , horror of horrors.  But, in full flight from such incorrectness, you only want to say that the American scene is shifting, that such folk are coming to realize they've been had, there is no need for such elitist expressions about the "swinish multitude" as you put it.

Read enough of Bageant, or Monbiot, etc., and you see that they are not proclaiming a new dawn of awareness among the 'Merican public, but citing such backwardness to explain how the madness of a Tea- Party-led GOP came to be...and is growing.

Those yanks whom you say won't admit to being had...they are not going to understand your good guy/ bad guy description of their plight for much the same reason,and they are not about to read Mannheim or Chomsky on ideology.  But perhaps you should. You would then perhaps be able to understand their "ignorance"... which is really only an acculturated lack of facts, of history. A product of propagandization from youth. But we have to call it something, eh? 

But I'll leave you with your less complex world.  It must be reassuring to be able to describe events in such simple, readily understandable terms, comforting to the ego.

al-Qa'bong

What makes you think I don't read Monbiot, Bageant and Chomsky, or that I see the situation as white hats vs. black hats?

You know, I was trying to reach out to you, to see if we could breach the gap that shouldn't really exist between what we're trying to tell each other.

I see the attempt was pointless.

Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture

More than anything, what this poster at salon.com said about the bashing of Obama (by way of an article about Jon Stewart) sums up what the original writer's been talking about:

Quote:
Poor Stewart!

He's just discovered that Obama isn't a magician-slash-emperor able to turn the political establishment upside down, make great changes and implement monumental policies while battling a Depression, creating jobs from thin air and matching wits with a republican opposition hell-bent on nothing but seeing us sink further to improve their chances of making a comeback.

America doesn't want a government, they want a benevolent dictatorship.

More proof that the intellect of this "culture" has sunk to a new low.

[url=http://letters.salon.com/ent/tv/feature/2010/06/22/obama_jon_stewart_sat... Stewart![/url]

Include the rest of the world in place of the 'America' line, and I say that's just about right.

Maysie wrote:

Hey Sky Captain.

Sky Captain wrote:
 All I see here, however, is the same kind of extremist wingnut behaviour as on the right, but being practisced by the left,  /quote

Describing all of babble, or certain select people who you disagree with as having "wingnut behaviour" is rude. I strongly suggest you focus on the argument and not insults. 'Kay?

 

Sorry Maysie, I'll try to not so snarky next time.

Boom Boom wrote:

al-Qa'bong wrote:

They could have voted for Ralph Nader.

Yes, and he would have been an inspired choice, but I suspect many did not do so because they were afraid he would split the vote against their opponent. You know, like what happens in Canada every electionWink

 

The thing about that is, if only left-leaning Canadians and Americans would learn to form coalition parties during elections, they might just get into power and accomplish what they want. But they don't and so...what happens, happens.

George Victor

 

Quote: "On the other hand, Michael Moore's recent film on capitalism showed stats demonstrating that more yanquis prefer socialist ideas to capitalist beliefs. Believe it or not, the swinish multitude can discern between government/corporatist propaganda and their real best interests."

 

"Swinish multitude" alQ? You provoke and bait, inferring that that is my attitude toward the "average masses" (that term was supplied by your backup, U, when I appealed for an alternative to "Great Unread") and then you flounce away when I respond in kind?

Please supply a descriptor for those folks, alQ. Or does it all then become too complex?

 

Let me leave you with this thought from Louis Wirth in the preface to Karl Mannheim's Ideology and Utopia: "Instead of being content with calling attention to the fact that interest is inevitably reflected in all thought (the Marxist position, my edit.) including that part of it which is called science, Professor Mannheim has sought to trace out the specific connection between actual interest groups in society and the ideas and modes of thought which they espoused. He has succeeded in showing that ideologies, i.e.those complexes of ideas which direct activity toward the maintenance of the existing order, and utopias - or those complexes of ideas which tend to generate activities toward changes of the prevailing order - do not merely deflect thought from the object of observation, but also serve to fix attention upon aspects of the situation which otherwise would be obscured or pass unnoticed. "

I can't understand the propensity of some to pigeonhole Obama  except as an intellectual copout on their part, a retreat to the characterization found in Hollywood's wild west.

 

 

 

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I loved Moore's film about capitalism although it depressed the hell out of me - but there was a strong message of hope at the end. Solidarity now! 

George Victor

Yep, Boomer, Moore knows what's needed.  But now we see the White House press secretary saying openly that the GOP may again dominate the House of Representatives after the November elections.  "But here's the question: Will rank-and-file Democrats care?"  asks Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent.

"What if the only way to boost enthusiasm isn't to reveal how successful those awful Republicans were in rendering the Democrats quasi-powerless but to succeed in spite of this problem and do more to mitigate the economic crisis and the pain it has caused?" asks this pundit who's clearly in the GOP pocket.  As though the Democrats have not tried that in the face of relentless Republican mendacity and obstructionism.

He knows, of course, that the Democrat followers are more inclined to hive off somewhere and sulk, "cutting off their noses to spite their friggin faces" (to roughly paraphrase that wise old saying, and which is so noticeably the pattern hereabouts).

George Victor

The Gobe and Mail editorial board today celebrates Obama's "tremendous courage in challenging Arizona's new, draconian immigration law." He's taking them to court and has promised a second lawsuit, against any racial profiling used in applying this law. "To their credit, the police chiefs of Arizona's two largest cities have joined the federal government's legal action."

The Globe's conservative columnist in Washington, Konrad Yakabuski smirks in a poll story today about th 51 per cent of Americans who say it's more important to have Republicans in charge of Congress; 43 per cent favour Democrats in charge. The results are roughly the same on the question "Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy."

The editorial muses: "Mr. Obama finds himself on the defensive on so many fronts; two wars, a struggling economy (no mention of the Republican role in that struggle, my ed.)  and the BP oil spill are all cutting into his popularity.  That he would act on principle and put swing votes at risk so soon before Nobember congressional elections, by challenging a popular law in court, is commendable."

But that is not sacrificing enough for the Globe: "He must muster even more courage by taking the fight to Congress, and pushing for immigration reform."  If only the Globe could summon a soupcon of that courage from its business reporters. Bowing to the realilty of the immigrant's role in the U.S. economy, the editorialist observes that "in many states, up to a quarter of agricultural workers are illegal," making illegal immigration a "secret cornerstone of the American economy."

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:

It now appears that the Obama neocon "Justice" Department is worse than the Bush-Cheney one because it is less obvious, but follows the same track - while Obama himself in his rhetoric and troop deployments imitates every aspect of the specious war on terror.

This is change, all right - but not in the direction we had hoped. The question is, what to do about it.

Last month's 6-3 Supreme Court decision in the case of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project found that humanitarian groups can be judged guilty of aiding and abetting terrorism merely by holding peaceful dialog and engaging in political discussions with proscribed organizations. Those convicted may be sentenced to up 15 years in prison.

George Victor

Lynne Varner, a columnist for The Seattle Times, reports that a University of Washington survey this spring "found race, alongside politics and the size of government, to be key issues energizing the tea-party movement." You have to be "white, straight and Protestant."

A teapartyer who was "challenging a Democrat in Illinois's 9th Congressional District was asked about the movement's lack of diversity and responded by pointing to a fellow member (and African American) Chris Broughton" but Broughton " is also the guy who brought an AR-15 rifle and a handgun to an Arizona Obama rally last year because he concurred with his fundamentalist pastor's preyer for Obama 'to die and go to hell'." 

But, clearly, this  black president should not let institutionalized militarism or McCarthyism stand in the way of unilateral declarations against even the Supreme Court of the United States. And mid-term elections among a racist electorate should not stand in the way of presidential edicts any more than the constitution itself.   He is clearly just another wuss. 

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

So you're arguing that Obama is pursuing Bush policies and using his own "justice" department to crush civil liberties because he is afraid of the Tea Party?

George Victor

Frustrated Mess wrote:

So you're arguing that Obama is pursuing Bush policies and using his own "justice" department to crush civil liberties because he is afraid of the Tea Party?

FM, if you can read that in this:

"But, clearly, this  black president should not let institutionalized militarism or McCarthyism stand in the way of unilateral declarations against even the Supreme Court of the United States. And mid-term elections among a racist electorate should not stand in the way of presidential edicts any more than the constitution itself.   He is clearly just another wuss."

 

...then you have become a literalist .  :)

But I don't believe that, because you have started your sentence with "So", which hereabouts means that the writer is setting one up with a complete misinterpretation, requiring a defence.  The United States is not only militaristic, its people depend on "defence" (read war) production to keep the wheels of industry turning. Ancient Sparta must have looked like this.  I believe Leo Strauss recognized that only there could he get away with Natural Rights and History (and Steve is eating his heart out).  So when I say, tongue in cheek, that the pres. shouldn't let institutionalized militarism or McCarthyism stand in the way of doing something, I mean that, of course, he can't make a silk purse out of the sow's ear of a militaristic state. We shall see what he says and does in the developing horror show of Iran. And the rest of that paragraph is in the same vein. 

How the U.S. "got that way" is taken up by Barbara Kingsolver in her new novel. The Lacuna, which I just heard about last night on CBC radio. It goes back two-thirds of a century, and I grew up with those developments in a labour household in the 40s and 50s.  Dwight Eisenhower, of course, warned the world about what was occurring when he left office. But, of course, its like the market itself...who's going to say that the emperor that employs  one is a violent, monstrous creature, or support anyone who does?  

kropotkin1951

George Victor wrote:

But, of course, its like the market itself...who's going to say that the emperor that employs  one is a violent, monstrous creature, or support anyone who does?  

I think that is what many are trying to say.  I don't give a flying fuck over american domestic policy that is their concern.  Obama was always an imperialist. It is like calling British leaders in 18th and 19th centuries imperialists.  The British at least admitted they were trying to have their Empire control the world.  The flim flam Yanqui trader thinks that it can sell domination as free trade.  All the benefits of empire with none of administrative requirements for running an empire.  

Before the last election I said he would be an echo of Condoleezza Rice in his foreign policy.  I suggested she would make a good running mate for him and I think that was a good assessment.  Both of them have been trained at the same imperial centers and believe implicitly in America's right to rule the world.  

My problem is that if someone else's government gets to make all the important rules then I have less rights than my fore fathers did as British citizens in the colony of Upper Canada.  The marketing spin that it is about spreading democracy is truly inspired but obviously a lie since I could never vote for the people who supposedly make up the American government. 

And Frustrates Mess your post above was awesome.  I may steal your analogy.

George Victor

You're just discovering that the U.S. calls the shots, krop?   And you don't like what it has become since the Second World War? 

Better late than never.  But calling Condy and Barry soul mates is not about to lead to understanding...of anything.    Try and refine your political analysis a teensy bit.  :)  Understanding why the GOP is dragging its heels on all legislation will also help you to understand what Steve is up to here. 

Or is it all the same to you?

kropotkin1951

No it is not all the same.

Your childish sarcasm aside I stand by my contention that if you look at the foreign policy of Obama and Rice you will see the same policy not a bit of difference.  Did it ever occur to you that the schools they went to and the training they were given in grad schools has formed them intellectually and is the dominant part of their world view.  Saying that we live in Pax Americana and Obama is an imperialist is hardly earth shattering news to most of the planet.

I beg to differ that america has lost its way after WWII.  I actually think it has been an brutal militaristic society since its inception.  But then the Pilgrims were the English equivalent of the Taliban.

So George since you agree that america calls the shots what you are truly saying is that us peons should shut the fuck up and let the MSM view prevail.  Don't ever say the Emperor has no clothes when the clothes the emperor tries to wrap himself in are "Freedom and Democracy."  Your emperor has no clothes.  He spins a tale of clothes that is far superior to Bush's and he even publicly said he was Changing his Clothes.  But the truth is they are both naked imperialists.  

George Victor

"So George," he says.  I'll just repeat what I said to FM about the "so" folk:

"But I don't believe that, because you have started your sentence with "So", which hereabouts means that the writer is setting one up with a complete misinterpretation, requiring a defence.  The United States is not only militaristic, its people depend on "defence" (read war) production to keep the wheels of industry turning. Ancient Sparta must have looked like this.  I believe Leo Strauss recognized that only there could he get away with Natural Rights and History (and Steve is eating his heart out).  So when I say, tongue in cheek, that the pres. shouldn't let institutionalized militarism or McCarthyism stand in the way of doing something, I mean that, of course, he can't make a silk purse out of the sow's ear of a militaristic state. We shall see what he says and does in the developing horror show of Iran."

 

SO, kropster, no I do not believe we should "shut the fuck up." Just an hour ago I had a long telephone chat with my cousin and her husband in North Carolina. He was wounded in fighting in France in 1944, and Betty was the typical English war bride. They have no idea where the teaparty folk are coming from except that they are obviously essentially racist, and their ridiculous charges against Obama can only come from that base. Betty and Len are old-line GOP people from upper New York state - his forbears floated over on the Mayflower. They represent middle America, and they are afraid for their son's and grandson's future because of what is BEING DONE TO Obama. I find the discussion here just as ridiculous in the way that it subverts any consideration of his attempts to overcome the dead hand of America's social history.  There are many good people in America who are trying to see their way through a crisis of leadership that threatens to leave us all with something very bad indeed, not even governable.

Sean in Ottawa

I liked FM's post about marketing and I support the main idea that many have expressed that these parties and presidents are very similar and the understood point that they are very far away from us.

I also agree that there is a tendency by some to over estimate the difference between presidents we have seen and the political parties.

All that said, I also think those minor distinctions at times are important and do make a difference, even as frustratingly similar they may be on most other points. I also do consider it to be some progress when US voters pick the lesser extreme right candidate.

I am willing to consider context, where they come from and what their political understanding is and therefore in spite of the many drawbacks and disappointments with Obama, I remain charitable about my judgment of him. At least, however, I admit that I am being charitable. And, then again, I am also willing to say that even packaged and marketed, I prefer the politics of hope over the politics of mean. Even as worthless the difference may be in the moment or in an individual policy, the tone is more positive. That tone is not so much representative of substance as an expression of what the people want-- let's remember marketers choose to market what they know the public wants to buy.

There may be slim pickings for positives but it is not completely empty I feel as I turn back to our scene, aware that I cannot help but be less revolted when I look at or hear Obama than I am when I hear Harper. Even in those small, marketed, insignificant ways, the difference means something to me, even if I cannot fully articulate why. Maybe I am more interested in the hope that the voters had when they elected him than the falseness of the promise. Maybe I am all-to-aware of the fundamental greed in the motives of so many that elected Harper and I can see that difference reflected in the marketed package.

I don't know if this can make sense to you because much of this is visceral and emotional rather than anything else.

kropotkin1951

Your post George make no sense. You agree that america is a militaristic society and you expect minor tinkering to accomplish anything?  You are delusional in your believe that america has a democratic system of government.  Like the USSR and other totalitarian states the constitution on paper is reads really nice and progressive.  However in the USSR the central politburo made all the real decisions and in the USA Wall street makes all the real decisions and Obama is merely the nice facade.

I watch what the GOP is doing and all I have to say is who cares.  The Supreme Court corporate lackeys have sold the whole country out.  I will be real interested to see how many elections it will take before the majority of election ads are from corporations telling people who not to vote for because they will lose their jobs and livelihood.

But a modest attempt to talk about change should be good enough right?  God Bless America and Nobody Else.

 

George Victor

quote:

"I watch what the GOP is doing and all I have to say is who cares.  The Supreme Court corporate lackeys have sold the whole country out.  I will be real interested to see how many elections it will take before the majority of election ads are from corporations telling people who not to vote for because they will lose their jobs and livelihood.

 

"I watch what the GOP is doing and all I have to say is who cares." Spoken like a true "progressive" of the left in 2010. Small wonder that the folks on the right are having a field day. 

Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture

George Victor wrote:

quote:

"I watch what the GOP is doing and all I have to say is who cares.  The Supreme Court corporate lackeys have sold the whole country out.  I will be real interested to see how many elections it will take before the majority of election ads are from corporations telling people who not to vote for because they will lose their jobs and livelihood.

 

"I watch what the GOP is doing and all I have to say is who cares." Spoken like a true "progressive" of the left in 2010. Small wonder that the folks on the right are having a field day. 

 

You said it, George! And I've been saying it, too, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

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