How Obama And His Crew Have Screwed The Democrats

The Lion’s already said it, but here’s Robert Kuttner’s conclusion of his piece over at Huffington Post:

Either way, the Massachusetts surprise should be a wake-up call of the most fundamental kind. Obama needs to stop playing inside games with bankers and insurance lobbyists, and start being a fighter for regular Americans. Otherwise, he can kiss it all goodbye.

Worth reading the whole thing. It’s not long.



10 Responses

  1. Some of us predicted — way back when Progressives were knee-jerkily banging the drum for the new messiah — that the Obama Administration would soon feed at the same trough as the Republicans.

    When there’s a Republican White House and Congress, Democrats often join together to speak out against the nation’s fat cats, theocrats, and warmongers. But the problem with having a Democratic White House and Congress is that no one speaks out against government abuses. Essentially, you and I and most Americans lose a voice.

    The solution is to start supporting “third” parties in a big way. The crazies on the right have already figured this out. When will we sane people get the idea?


  2. The only third party that stands a chance right now is a Milquetoast party for your Liebermans, Caos, Landrieus, McCains, Specters. There are TONS of them.


  3. writechic:
    Your comment points up exactly what’s wrong with liberals and civil libertarians. Obviously a decent third party will NOT “stand a chance right now.” But if we keep settling for third-raters because we don’t have the patience to lose while we build real winners for the future, we’ve doomed ourselves to being governed by the slimy weasels you named — and others like them.

    When the conservative movement started in this country, Goldwater got trounced in the 1964 national election. Sixteen years later, Reagan won the first of two terms. Ever since then, conservatives have been a force to be reckoned with.

    When was the last bonafide liberal elected as president? I think you’d probably have to go all the way back to FDR to find the answer to that one. And a civil libertarian? Not since Jefferson, if even then.


    • Well, what do I know. I’m of the mindset that Socrates was the first and last truly brilliant philosopher. If you know something I don’t know about gadflies, Athens as a great steed, corrupting the youth, and the Republic’s invisible ring, tell me.

      I don’t want to be exactly what’s wrong with liberals.

      P.S. Didn’t Reagan sweep the South off its feet with coded bigot talk about state’s rights?

      P.S.S. Should we really have let a McCain-Palin circus occupy the White House after Bush?


  4. Didn’t Reagan sweep the South off its feet with coded bigot talk about state’s rights?
    I think you’ve got Reagan mixed up with Nixon. Not all state’s rights talk is coded bigotry. Some people actually believe that we’re still a Republic (fortunately, in a non-Platonic model, although I do think that most Americans view the world as if they’re living in caves).

    Should we really have let a McCain-Palin circus occupy the White House after Bush?
    Well, I think Sarah Palin was the game-changer in 2008, for oh-so-many reasons. Not the least of which are that she’s (1) a theocrat, (2) a hate-filled harpy, and (3) a moron.

    But it’s time that we stopped allowing ourselves to be caught in a governmental false dichotomy. The truth is: I don’t see much different that would be happening now if McCain-Palin had been elected. We’ve had: big biz bailouts, foreign wars, failure to provide universal health care, increased governmental support for faith-based organizations, a highly flawed educational model, earmarks (translation: blackmail) flooding our legislation, lobbyists for big business calling the Congressional shots, and incompetent cabinet secretaries? Aside from the fact that our current president can cobble together more than two sentences in understandable English, in what way are we better off now than we were a few years ago?


    • I think you’ve got Reagan mixed up with Nixon.

      No, I’m not thinking of Nixon. I’m thinking of Ronald Reagan choosing to launch his election campaign with a rabid endorsement of states’ rights in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1980. I’m thinking of the overt demonization of the welfare queen and the quiet crippling of the Civil Rights division in the Department of Agriculture (which annihilated black farmers across America). Then came subsequent migration of Dixiecrats to the conservative movement. Racists, racists masking as theocrats, theocrats, and money-grubbers all live together under one big, GOP tent.

      Democrats, a third party, whoever need that kind of mobilization minus the evil. I don’t see that as something that can happen quickly.

      (Okay, now I have to ready young scholars for a day of substandard education 😉 ).

      Part two to come later…


      • Oops, we crossed in the mail. Glad I’m not the only one who remembers Philadelphia.

        And let us not forget the great ‘Ketchup is a vegetable’ speech from the ugly man.


    • Reagan opened his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi with a speech on states rights.

      Philadelphia was where Chaney, Schwerner, and Goodman, three civil rights workers were murdered by the police and the Klan (same thing).

      If that wasn’t coded bigotry, then there’s no such thing.

      As for the caves, Platonic or otherwise, I disagree. I think most Americans believe they live in palaces and that it’s their right to tell the rest of the world how to live, despite America’s failure in one arena after another – moral, ethical, financial, industrial, educational. We are the poster child for uninformed arrogance.


  5. But it’s time that we stopped allowing ourselves to be caught in a governmental false dichotomy.

    Don’t take this personally, please, but rather take it as me trying to understand. There are plenty of dichotomies (false, perceived, and real) to be caught up in, and none seems especially useful. It is easy for one to hold the notion that a third party is the messianic answer to America’s problems. You don’t know. You believe.

    History supports the fact that once (however well-intentioned) parties finally seize power, invariably, they fuck it up, become corrupted, and generally squander the potential to do good. This doesn’t of course mean that people should stop trying. They should just be aware of what they’re up against. Governments, nations, individuals are all works in progress.

    I don’t see much different that would be happening now if McCain-Palin had been elected…etc.

    Really? Really? Because McCain-Palin was all kinds of crazy.

    I guess being “better off” depends on who you are. If you’re an American college student your family gets a $2,500 tax credit. If you’re a Muslim looking at America from another nation, you see better international relations though there are still miles to go. If you’re a scientist doing stem cell research, avenues have opened up. If you’re an environmentalist, you’ve noticed 2 million acres of forests have come under protection AND the Department of Forestry is no longer headed by the lumber industry. Important emissions standards have been implemented in California that were blocked by Bush. Harsh interrogation has been banned as a matter of law.

    On the other hand, if you’re poor, if you’re sick, if you’re unemployed, if you’re being marginalized because you can no longer afford to make ends meet, if you have any sense as a citizen you see the nation’s crisis is breathing down the collective American neck and you know SOMETHING must be done soon. Health care, jobs, etc. Something.

    I’m certainly sympathetic to that.

    But the whole Cassandra thing and the “see I told you so” is not useful or is as useful as setting up the strawman of “all of these American morons that believed Obama was a savior”–I have met no such persons.

    The point of the post and linked article on how this administration is screwing Democrats in general is succinctly put in this paragraph: “As policy, the interest-group strategy made it impossible to put on the table more fundamental and popular reforms, such as using Federal bargaining power to negotiate cheaper drug prices, or having a true public option like Medicare-for-all. Instead, a bill that served the drug and insurance industries was almost guaranteed to have unpopular core elements.

    Now, I wonder what is salvageable.


  6. We are the poster child for uninformed arrogance.
    I agree, although that’s one big fucking collective child.

    The false dichotomy in our government is that there’s any viable difference between the parties. Wouldn’t you rather see a third party, representing a national philosophy, wield some decision-making power, rather than individuals like Ben Nelson or Bart Stupak? A third party, with narrower but broader-based interests than either of the two behemoths, might be able to influence legislative votes in a non-extortive way.

    Your list of boons provided by the current administration is nice. I wholly agree that science and environmentalism will benefit from the Democratic regime. I’m dubious about whether the ban against harsh interrogation techniques will really be obeyed, but the gesture is great. I think you’re pie-in-the-sky about Muslims looking at America from another nation, but I have no evidence to support my skepticism; do you have evidence to support your optimism? And I happen to oppose tax credits to the families of college students, but we can argue about that at another time.

    You list the poor, the sick, the unemployed, and the marginalized as those who have not gained anything under the Democratic regime. I’d add: civil libertarians; atheists, skeptics, and free-thinkers; self-employed writers, artists, and musicians; teachers, students, parents; homosexuals and unmarried heterosexual couples; doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs; and, most of all, seekers of the truth. In fact, I’d ask you: who in the general population has benefitted?

    As far as your comment about my being a Cassandra, may I remind you: She was right.

    In short, returning to Ric’s post: Obama and his crew have not screwed the Democrats. The Democrats have screwed themselves — and the American people. Many of us are no better off than we were in the previous eight years (in two of which, I remind you, the Democrats allegedly controlled Congress).


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