I know hippie punching is fashionable these days, but finally! Thank you, Charlie, for pointing out how far to the right this country has drifted in the last 30 years. And finally, criticism for a Democratic president who has governed to the right of Nixon, to the right of Eisenhower, is an admitted blue dog, and I would lay better than even odds that he would cripple social security and medicare if given half a chance, all in the name of pretend fiscal policy that somehow magically isn’t a problem during Republican administrations. I breathe a breath of fresh air, because, let’s face it, most of what we hear on this site and others is that we can’t criticize him, that criticism=voting green or something (it doesn’t), and he gets a free pass because he’s got a D next to his name and look at the alternative. It took that alternative going to Obama’s left last night for some to get it, even if he lied through his teeth, but what the hell.
I hope Obama and his political advisors are finally getting what the great Harry Perkins said (oh, how we need one of you now, Harry) when advised by his Chancellor to move to the center, “I once tried middle of the road, got run down by traffic in both directions.”
I disagree with Chomsky on this point. As I asserted in my post, and as Atrios asserted the other day, maybe they don’t know it already.
It’s not brainless. I’m a fairly smart guy, and I know what it means and can use it correctly in a sentence.
It may be cliche, but it has validity going back thousands of years anytime somebody with intelligence (in the information gathering sense) communicates with somebody with the power, whether that is power over the degree to which you live in a free society, you keep a job and eat, or whether you live or die.
In the context of my earlier post, it means telling members of the Democratic party that there are a lot of us out here who find their policies don’t meet the standard of where we would like the Democratic party to be, including the President. Just a shorter way of saying it.
May I ask what problem you have with that particular phrase? It has valid meaning.
It means, do you have the balls to tell the President he’s wrong because he’s wrong and not be a squirming little toadie because he happens to be a president who’s a member of the Democratic party.
How much truth do you think Obama gets in a day if he doesn’t go out and do that searching on his own, if he lets other people determine what comes across his desk?
Atrios posted about this just the other day regarding a meeting he was in with Obama. There was also an episode of The West Wing with this theme, the one where they were deciding whether or not to hire Josh Molina’s character in season 4, I believe. Fiction, but valid.
It also goes back to the tyrant who would kill the messenger if he didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear. The question of the day for the messenger to stay alive: what version of events does the tyrant want to hear?
I know, let’s all pretend things are just peachy. That “we create reality” stuff I hear the righties talk about. We’d still be in Vietnam if we did that, but what the hell.
I’ll take sucky, too.
Change happens 1x1x1 with people changing on an individual level first. The amount of change that needs to take place on an individual level for any meaningful change to occur on the collective level makes it seem a monumental undertaking that must be impossible, like changing the caste system in India.
But there we are. The US is an adolescent country psychologically and it needs to grow the fuck up.
Until then, we can talk, we can fight for elected representatives that may cast a deciding vote on something meaningful, and it may not be our lifetimes before something is really accomplished, but hopefully it won’t ultimately be too late.
On the other hand, meh, it’s all an experiment. Experiments fail. There have been many failed empires and humanity is still very young compared to other life forms on earth.
And if we’ve messed up mammalian habitat too badly, it won’t matter anyway.
TBogg, I luvs ya, we go back many years together, but you seem terribly black and white on this issue.
Would you put Digby under this “progressive” label? Cornel West? It seems like they’re merely speaking truth to power. They don’t want Chomsky to be president, and neither do I.
The whole root of this abstract noun designed to cause a visceral reaction, terror, isn’t that hard to figure out. If you keep people in camps, or in extreme poverty, with the vicious brutality of a colonial era, followed by the US giving arms and loads of money to a 0.1% which effectively continues those policies in a post-colonial era, you now have multiple generations that basically don’t have anything to live for.
We’re going to punish you and beat you down and rub your nose in the shit simply for your bad luck of where and when you were born. And if you try and rise up against it following the natural urge to be angry about that sort of thing, we’ll punish you some more. Drone surveillance and warfare is just the latest form of this.
The neo-fascist right in this country wants to continue the punishment but in ever increasing magnitudes, until…what? These people are somehow magically going to “mind themselves” and “know their place?”
This all has to stop somewhere.
I, like many, got all hopey and changey in 2008. I thought we had another FDR. We needed one. I was terribly disappointed. Many are. People like Digby, and John Aravosis, Jane, and Cornel West saw through this, and perhaps many of us should have listened to them.
You’re old enough, you’ve seen how far to the right this country has moved in the last 30 years. Many of Obama’s policies are arguably to the right of Nixon’s. To the right of Eisenhower’s.
Somebody’s got to push back, even if their idealism seems quaint. Somebody’s got to speak out loud for what this country could be, not for what it is, a nation not of people who are all in this together, helping each other, but of producers and consumers where life doesn’t mean much outside the sphere of the fictional concept of money, and if you dare point that out, you’re in deep shit.
Those drones may be over your house soon, you may have to get used to that buzz 24 hours a day. Shouldn’t we try and stop that before it’s too late?
Patches commented on the blog post Nobama Slam Poetry Hatefest & Disappointment Caucus Is In The House
I must admit, I got all hopie and changie in 2008. I thought we were getting a President who would enact FDRs second bill of rights. I was wrong. It was a great disappointment.
People like Jane, Digby, John Aravosis, Cornel West, et al, saw this coming. I (we?) might have listened to them, and we would not be so disappointed now.
But as TBogg points out, what are our choices? People are not going to rise up en masse and occupy Washington and all the various industrial complexes.
I think a legitimate argument can be made that this country has moved so far to the right in the last 30 years that any fair evaluation of the Obama administration’s policies puts him (and Clinton) to the right of Nixon, to the right of Eisenhower. Obama and Clinton are what used to be called moderate Republicans.
But what are our options? Personally, I think it’s do the best we can with what we’ve got and keep pushing. Keep educating. That’s why people like Jane, Digby, Greenwald, Howie Klein, etc., are so important. Keep pushing. Keep educating. The change will come one person at a time. 1+1+1 might be our new mantra.
But can we do it without killing ourselves over the lack of perceived movement when compared to our ideals?
And now for something completely different. The makers of Atlas Shrugged Part I are suing for royalties and alleging copyright infringement. Hilarious. http://www.deadline.com/2012/05/relativity-netflix-sued-over-atlas-shrugged-part-1-license-fees/
Anybody seen the movie version of Never Let Me Go? Any good? I’m nuts about Carey Mulligan.
Highly recommend the movie version of Slaughterhouse Five, and, of course, the movie of Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day.
Did you enjoy The Art of Fielding?
Hey Tom, thanks so much for the video. I was not familiar with their work so a new discovery is a real treat.