12/06/2007

Puppy Swallowing: a metaphor for the democratic party

The run for the dem's presidential candidate is fucking stupid.

It's also a neat little microcosm of the wider democratic party nad hteir governance (or lack their of) after they made their Great Leap Forward back last year - which has led to exactly diddly squat in actual progress, as I and everyone else with a brain predicted.

You see, the trouble is that not only is it really hard to tell the makeup of the repugs apart from the dems - one party is full of right wingers with a handful of moderate centrist, and then there's the repugs* - the trouble is that I'm starting to be unable to tell the difference between the three dem candidates (I say "three", because while everyone knows that Kukichinich (or whatever) is the only good candidate, no one will vote for him. For "pragmatic" reasons. Yeah, nothing really quite mind boggingly abso-fucking-lutely broken like a million mirrors being thrown at an infinite of already slightly cracked eggs that are themselves resting on a big bed of quite impressively thin ice that is, itself, stretched out over a dark and yawning casm at the bottom of which is a huge row of spikey stalagmites, there, or anything).

Seriously, is edwards the white cunt candidate, obama the black (gender: gazellalope, because, well, is he a gazelle? is he an antelope? does anyone really care either way?) candidate and hillary the white male one? Or is Obama the white guy and hillary the black guy while Edwards is the Gazellalope? Anyway, it's something like that.

The point is that their actual policies are largely indistinguishable: Whatever it takes to win, they'll do, as long as the DLC approves it first, and if it doesn't involve doing something good or right or advancing civil rights or re-aquiring the various civil rights they've all gladly let the repugs steal over the past 8 years.

I should, maybe, point out at this point that I'm not going to vote for any of them, or any presidential candidate for that matter, what with how the election process jumped the shark about the same time it became acceptable to impeach presidents for blowjobs.

Which I assume makes me more impartial than the various highly partisan repugs and DINOs who run the various "bipartisan" Committess and Miscellaneous Karaoke Nights that have starteded to grow in ever more fervent numbers among the senate and congress' various duties since the dems "got into power" down there.

So trust me; I hate them all equally.

Bascially, the problem with politics is that it largely involves this single scene being played over and over again whenever the repugs want to do anything:
Repugs: Eat this puppy.
Dems: Do we have to?
Repugs: Eat this puppy or we'll call you names.
Dems: *eats puppy*
Sane People: WTF!?
Centrists: Nothing wrong with eating puppies, high in fibre, protein and very low in fat.
Sane People: Whaaa?
MSM: Today the senate/congress' bipartisan puppy eating comittee has struck another blow against immigrant terrorists.
Bush: Today we have morey Disensentivized the terrorists from thinking we are not propared to swollow their puppies, wibble wibble.
Sane People: Sweet Chocolate jesus, has the world gone mad!?
Centrists: Only Idealist Single Issue Voters would object to eating puppies, sometimes you have to eat a few puppies to make an omelas.
Right Wingers Pretending To Be Centrists (RWPTBC): And it's not like puppies matter.
Centrists: Actually, puppies do matter, just not enough to not eat them.
RWPTBC: O Rly? Care to validate my rather blatant puppy-eating agenda by have an overly long and faux-intellectual arguement about the ideal limitations that should be placed upon the practice of puppy eating (that by definition accepts that puppy eating is okay in some circumstance, and has the primary effect of pushing the entire debate towards my pro-unrestrained puppy eating position due to how certain pro-me fallacies have to be accepted with out question on your part to indulge me in such a pointless cock measuring contest).
Centrists: You're on!
Repugs: Now eat this huge sack of puppies!
Dems: Do we have to?
Repugs: Eat this huge sack of puppies or we'll call you names.
...and so on and so forth.

Thus goes the puppy swallowing cycle.

Now I'm not saying that the dems actually eat puppies, if for no other reason because Dick cheney would never share his puppies with anyone, but that's essentially what happens. Replace "puppies" with "start a war on iran" or "demolish public education" or whatever evil plan is underfoot this week and you get the drift. Repugs say "jump" and the dems say "what color?"

As it stands the main reason I hear for voting for anyone, usually the dems, is because which ever party we're supposed ot be voting for will be the one to pull ameirca back from the brink of fascism/the masturbatory homosexualist abortionist agendarisation of america's puppies/men/children/fetii, and also whatever the hell the repugs are selling themselves as against.

Of course, no matter what candidate gets elected, politics will still eventually boil down to a "who can eat the most puppies?" contest that has the side effect of making sure that all the vile bastards who indulge in the most vile perversions possible (including, but not limited to, strip yatzi) are given a comfortable and essentially limitless series of benefits for doing... something, something unbelievably vauge that involve mom's home made apple pie or something... all at the tax payers expense of course.

Note that I was going to do a post on the whole silliness with the GLBT hate crime bill that's not going to make it past Bush's veto anyway, irregardless of how many of the letters in GLBT they throw into the Big Tent's trash bins, because hate crimes are dicriminatory dontchaknow, and bush is totally a uniter not a discriminator *snort*.

The slight trouble is that there's no way on earth I can write a rousing treatise on what being an ally means, and about how you aught to suffer and sweat alongside your allis rather than throw them over the side of the boat to get what you want - while at the same time having thevery rights the bastard bigoted are throwing transpeople under the bus to get in their desperation, using that whole weird as hell "we must refresh our liberty with the blood of other people's liberties" logic that is more usually found under moist rocks along with the the yellow elephants that use it to it's most extrememe end.

Though to be fair, no one with the ENDA thing has actually posited that other people be nuked as a prelude to "protecting" liberties they'll happily throw away themselves if the boogeyman asks them to. So all those pragmatic types out there can rejoice in not being quite as sad a representative of humanity as some of the worst of the slimey reactionary cowards. Which apparently is a thing you can feel proud about, because pragmatists have, by definition, got really quite appallingly low standards.

However, you'll note that I didn't because it's very hard to not go into a whole screw you, I got mine area with such things, becuase I'm basically pulling a pragmatist myself and yelling that groups X should be happy to live without their rights For the greater good of the cause, and why no, I'm not throwing away my pre-existant rights to stand in solidarity with the people I'm asking to stand in solidarity with the people who's rights they asking to throw away For the greater good of the cause.

Remember remember folks, the man who throws their life away for the cause is a martyr, while the man who throws someone else's life away for the cause is a tyrant, and should be dealt with appropriatly.

Of course that's basically been the tune from most liberals and the democratic party in particular over the last few years, everyone else should be prepared to sacrifice so that the idolent rich who run the f***in' "left" don't have to, you know, be mean to their right wing pals.

Of course, the history of puppy eating of two of the three dem candidates is well known, Edwards has declared himself to actually be black at one point and Hillary is barely a step up from lieberman, pointing it out at this point would be kinda redundant at this point.

But Obama is often ignored when people think of general puppy eating shenanigans, in no small part because he never really says anything of note.

And being a democrat the idea of him ever even theoretically doing anything of note is just too silly for me to even bother noting its absence.

Fortunately for anyone trying to make out a positionon on the Man, the Plan, the Canal, Obama Barack, Obama was kind enough to gave us a dirty great peice of waffles back in '05 at, where else, Dkos.
So, quoth the Obama, I thought this might be a good opportunity to offer some thoughts about not only judicial confirmations, but how to bring about meaningful [a favorite word of his it seems] change in this country.

Wordnerds should note that this diary at DKos also seems to be the first time that white people started calling Obama "eloquent" and "well spoken", which as anyone who is anyone knows translates from the PC speech into "testimant to his race" and various other kinds of untercompliments.

There is one way, over the long haul, to guarantee the appointment of judges that are sensitive to issues of social justice, and that is to win the right to appoint them by recapturing the presidency and the Senate.


This is Obama getting the "pragmatic" arguement in early and often here. The first troublesome thing to note are the words "long haul" and "guaruntee".

"Long haul" because it implies that the short term problems of, you know, people dying (or in this particular instance, of women, specifically, dying because this is the damp squib of the roberts/SCOTUS nomination he's largely talking about) is not of consequence to him, because he's a "pragmatist", who are, as I defined it earlier, tyrants and lovers of egg breaking in the hopes of those long term omelettes showing up magically some time in the distant and ever receding future.

This highlights my troubles with the pragmatics right here; you've also got to whisk the eggs, pour it, cook it, and if you want a good omellete you also need to buy stuff to add to the omelette.

In short, there's more to an omelette than breaking some eggs, and the way that pragmatics often ignore the omelette process to the exclusion of anything that doesn't involve breaking "eggs"**, and which leads down a path of simple deductive logic to raise questions about whether or not those people are even hungry, let alone hungry for omelettes (especially when you find yourself watching them scoff down bowls full of chocolate covered caviar before we've even started cracking eggs).

What more interesting however is that any politician who puts forth arguements to support himself or his colleagues in the long term is trying to pull a fast one over on the people he's talking to.

Politicians only care about the short term, and are also selfish self serving bastards (excepting cynthia mckinney who's actually a platonic ideal of sheer badassery). I'm not saying that as some slander against politicians though, I'm saying it because THAT'S HOW THE FUCKING SYSTEM IS SUPPOSED TO WORK.

The democratic process relies on the principle that it is in the politicians' best interests to do short term things that will keep them in office rather than something doesn't, that's how the invisible hand of the Democratic process works. However the rest of the paragraph does show us a bit of how Obama views the point of politicians;

And I don't believe we get there by vilifying good allies, with a lifetime record of battling for progressive causes, over one vote or position. I am convinced that, our mutual frustrations and strongly-held beliefs notwithstanding, the strategy driving much of Democratic advocacy, and the tone of much of our rhetoric, is an impediment to creating a workable progressive majority in this country.


Now I'm going to ignore the gibbering about "lifetime records", suffice to say the alleged "people" he's talking about voted for both teh war and the PATRIOT act, and hence their so called "progressive" "lifetime records" is worth exactly jack and squat (and, hell, wtf? "lifetime"? Would these people still vote yes to bill #345676 which pertains to the existence of santa? And what is their position wrt bed wetting and being able to go potty on their own? Inquiring minds have wanted to know for a long time now). In short he's actually lying quite barefacedly here, rather than indulging in the carefully worded mere obfuscation of the truth that fills up the rest of the essay. Of course some of things he says would later turn out to be a lie when roberts was nominated, but considering the entirety of the comments thread is full of brownnosing based on his so called eloquence (which admittedly makes a bit more sense on DKos where you have Kosimandius himself who really isn't eloquent or well spoken, so maybe it's not entirely disengenuous coming from kossacks) you have to wonder at him just whipping out a "no srsly, don't fact check or give two seconds' thought to what I'm actually saying, ignore the man behind the curtain, two plus two really does add up to five, clap your hands if you believe in fairies, I AM THE AMERICAN DREAM AND YOU CAN ACHIEVE JUST WHAT I HAVE ACHIEVED IF YOU JUST STRUGGLE THAT LITTLE UNATTAINABLE AMOUNT HARDER THAN YOU ALREADY DO" out and outer like that.

What is interesting, and I'll be saying that alot here because roughly 2/3rds of what he writes in this essay is filler that essentially says nothing, and hence is not intersting. What's interesting is that first line, now he never actually defines and so we have no idea what he's defining "good" in his "allies", will they do what's right? Will they at least stand in solidarity with him on things he supports? Well as the whole peice is, in retrospect, explaining why he didn't actually fight for a filibuster and therefore why he didn't actually try to organise an anti-roberts or anti-alito movement within the government during the hearings, we know that he clearly, for those pesky "pragmatic" "reasons" (i.e. "excuses" in actual fact), didn't care that they stood counter to his policies, which he is very careful to point out involved him throwing his vote away by voting for a filibuster (bcuz he's prgressv, no really, I'm not making this up) against massive and coordinated opposition. The fact that they were in fact they were in fact coordinated by right wingers into voting as suited teh rightwinger's policies is, again, something that he doesn't even bat an eyelash at.

The why is of course open to supposition, but certain deductions do spring rather suddenly to mind to hear him talk of people who essentially believe that half the human race are brood mares are "good allies". That he's very much "the black democrat" in a way that Hillary has never been "the female democrat" is one of the major aspects of his presidential campaign, that he's thus had to climb his way up, as Condi also did, in an enviroment where who you know and what you are is always more important than any particular aspect of your personality or personal life or beliefs is also the big open secret in left blogistan. And so the answer to the question of "how did he manage to get where he is today?" seems to somewhat also explain his curious conception of what makes a person a "good ally".

Now I wouldn't call obama an uncle tom, because I'd much rather call him a brown nosing sychophantic token who's position exists where, say, cynthia mckinney's didn't in no small part by fitting into the social enviroment on capitol hill - which means being suitably unthreatening to white people at all times. To such a person then a good ally is basically someone who won't stab you in the showers, and who deigns to allow you to a lot of work on his behalf that he then can take credit for, unless you do something he doesn't like of course at which point he's kind enough to grant you all rights to the grief that it produces.

According to the storyline that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists - a storyline often reflected in comments on this blog - we are up against a sharply partisan, radically conservative, take-no-prisoners Republican party. They have beaten us twice by energizing their base with red meat rhetoric and single-minded devotion and discipline to their agenda. In order to beat them, it is necessary for Democrats to get some backbone, give as good as they get, brook no compromise, drive out Democrats who are interested in "appeasing" the right wing, and enforce a more clearly progressive agenda. The country, finally knowing what we stand for and seeing a sharp contrast, will rally to our side and thereby usher in a new progressive era.


THERE'S A BUTT! of course there is. Though do note that even this strawman version of the great liberal dream still does not involve democrats actually doing stuff, it's all "red meat rhetoric" and "devotion" and "discipline". Action? Not there, because I think at this stage (2005!?) the democrats were already pretty much unable to even conceive of a strawman in which they actually did anything more than jack squat.

Take a shot.

I think this perspective misreads the American people.


IT DOESN'T MISREAD THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TELLING YOU THIS STUFF! WHO ARE AMERICANS! AND PEOPLE! HOW HARD IS THAT TO UNDERSTAND!? of course I think politicans actually get fired if they don't wave a the strawamericanpeople about now and again so maybe it's not entirely his fault. THOUGH THE LOGIC FLAWS STILL SUCKS HUGE GOAT TESTIS!

Take another shot.

From traveling throughout Illinois and more recently around the country, I can tell you that Americans are suspicious of labels and suspicious of jargon.


WARNING! WARNING! INCOMING LABELS AND JARGON ALERT! WARNING!

Take another shot.

They don't think George Bush is mean-spirited or prejudiced, but have become aware that his administration is irresponsible and often incompetent. They don't think that corporations are inherently evil (a lot of them work in corporations), but they recognize that big business, unchecked, can fix the game to the detriment of working people and small entrepreneurs.


First of all, I'm pretty sure that dick cheney personally ate all the small entrepreneurs in 1995.
Secondly, HAVE YOU NEVER WORKED AN HONEST DAY IN YOUR LIFE!? Of course most of the people who work in corporations hate corporations! Have you never even HEARD of Dilbert!? Most employees of big businesses like their paychecks, but they hate their bosses, their managers, their underlings, their co-workers, their bosses' bosses, they hate the way things are run, they hate what their corporations are doing, they hate the evil cats who run the HR departments, they hate the toilet facilities, they hate the productivity schemes used to paper over all the theft the CEOs are doing.

They.

Don't.

Work.

For.

Fun.

Seriously, for most workers to not hate the crap out of corporations would require an negative average IQ. You are not just wrong, you sound like freakin Bush, that's how monumentally ignorant you are, like a fucking moron who gets his facts entirely from FOX News.

HINT: those people telling you this crap LOVE THEIR PAYCHECK also. Factual accuracy, not so much. Oh and take a shot.

They don't think America is an imperialist brute, but are angry that the case to invade Iraq was exaggerated, are worried that we have unnecessarily alienated existing and potential allies around the world, and are ashamed by events like those at Abu Ghraib which violate our ideals as a country.


Well it's good that you noticed that something was violated in abu ghraib, you miss what it was by a few hundred thousand miles, but by the standard of aim that we go by in a post-WMDarguement world that's close enough.

Oh yes, one other small point, the case wasn't "exagerrated". I hate to quibble, or at least I'm renowned for something like that anyway, but...exagerrated isn't quite the word I'd use.

I'd start with "lie". I'd start with "complete fabrication". I'd start by pointing out that it wasn't a very good lie even at the time, and that by 2005 even the republicans had stopped trying to pretend that it wasn't a lie. I'd start with pointing out that the CIA admit that they were told to tell lies. I'd start with lots of things, all of them to point out that Obama is himself, "exagerrating" the case for the invasion of Iraq in this essay of his. And "exaggerate" is actually the second verb that comes to mind btw. You may have to swig straight from the bottle here.

It's this non-ideological lens through which much of the country viewed Judge Roberts' confirmation hearings.


Yeeeeeessss, except that one of your jobs as a "representative" is to "represent" your consituents' views, which often means arguing for their case if their case needs arguing for, and if this requires you making a big song and dance to get people's attention and to in fact try to make people care, then that is your job.

Though Obama is just being a democrat here really, but take a shot anyway, for idealism's sake.

A majority of folks,


To quote Wikipedia "citation required". Oh and take another shot while you're at it.

including a number of Democrats and Independents, don't think that John Roberts is an ideologue bent on overturning every vestige of civil rights and civil liberties protections in our possession.


That's a strawman btw, a hyperbolic strawman. I personally tend to assume people who are prone to flinging strawmen around at me are not eaxactly "on my side", though ymmv, for instance, you may be an idiot, or you're the sort of person who'll take a shot here.

Instead, they have good reason to believe he is a conservative judge who is (like it or not) within the mainstream of American jurisprudence, a judge appointed by a conservative president who could have done much worse (and probably, I fear, may do worse with the next nominee). While they hope Roberts doesn't swing the court too sharply to the right, a majority of Americans think that the President should probably get the benefit of the doubt on a clearly qualified nominee.


Yes he said that the president should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Uh huh. Snark cannot add to that really. However it's pretty much just a declaration that roberts is "within the mainstream of american jurisprudence", without any real neccesary basis in reality, though we're supposed to just accept it and read on with out questioning. In short, he's bullshitting. So take a shot. Again.

And it should be pointed out that they did in fact do worse than roberts, but that the dems didn't actaully stop her either and forced the repugs themselves to stop their own candidate.

Which led to Alito getting appointed without any objection from the Dem, making the dems 0 for 3 in the SCOTUS nominations, and you must be getting kinda drunk by now, but take a shot anyway.

A plausible argument can be made that too much is at stake here and now, in terms of privacy issues, civil rights, and civil liberties, to give John Roberts the benefit of the doubt. That certainly was the operating assumption of the advocacy groups involved in the nomination battle.

I shared enough of these concerns that I voted against Roberts on the floor this morning. But short of mounting an all-out filibuster -- a quixotic fight I would not have supported; a fight I believe Democrats would have lost both in the Senate and in the court of public opinion; a fight that would have been difficult for Democratic senators defending seats in states like North Dakota and Nebraska that are essential for Democrats to hold if we hope to recapture the majority; and a fight that would have effectively signaled an unwillingness on the part of Democrats to confirm any Bush nominee, an unwillingness which I believe would have set a dangerous precedent for future administrations -- blocking Roberts was not a realistic option.


Let me just translate that: "I don't think Roberts was a good choice for SCOTUS. But despite that I felt that a man being given a life time appointment to a position that would allow him to have serious repercussions on american state and constitutional law for the foreseable future is less important than the seats held by some far right dems in Nebraska and North Dakota, who's positions as yes-men for the republican party would be up for re-election several times before Roberts even starts thinking about stepping down from the SCOTUS. Because the republicans could theoretically do the same thing to us if we had a majority the next time the SCOTUS appointments come up. Even though a majority pretty much by definition means they'd be unable to do the same thing we could have done. you know what I mean."

SWIG FROM THE BOTTLE.

In such circumstances, attacks on Pat Leahy, Russ Feingold and the other Democrats who, after careful consideration, voted for Roberts make no sense. Russ Feingold, the only Democrat to vote not only against war in Iraq but also against the Patriot Act, doesn't become complicit in the erosion of civil liberties simply because he chooses to abide by a deeply held and legitimate view that a President, having won a popular election, is entitled to some benefit of the doubt when it comes to judicial appointments. Like it or not, that view has pretty strong support in the Constitution's design.


Except for the fact that that all adds up to Russ Feingold being a fucking Moron without a lick sense in the empty windy cavity doctors call a "skull".

SWIG.

The same principle holds with respect to issues other than judicial nominations. My colleague from Illinois, Dick Durbin, spoke out forcefully - and voted against - the Iraqi invasion. He isn't somehow transformed into a "war supporter" - as I've heard some anti-war activists suggest - just because he hasn't called for an immediate withdrawal of American troops. He may be simply trying to figure out, as I am, how to ensure that U.S. troop withdrawals occur in such a way that we avoid all-out Iraqi civil war, chaos in the Middle East, and much more costly and deadly interventions down the road.


AS OPPOSED TO WHAT IT WAS ALREADY!? WE WERE RAPING CHILDREN WITH FLASHLIGHTS FOR GOD'S SAKE!? It's gotten far worse now, but IT WAS STILL QUITE FANTASTICALLY BAD AT THE TIME THIS WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN.

For the next bit, anyone who was playing a drinking game where they took a shot everytime Obama said something that was entirely made of bullshit, I suggest you pause for a while, it gets heavy here.

A pro-choice Democrat doesn't become anti-choice because he or she isn't absolutely convinced that a twelve-year-old girl should be able to get an operation without a parent being notified.


They do actually.

A pro-civil rights Democrat doesn't become complicit in an anti-civil rights agenda because he or she questions the efficacy of certain affirmative action programs.


yes they do. Actually.

And a pro-union Democrat doesn't become anti-union if he or she makes a determination that on balance, CAFTA will help American workers more than it will harm them.


Au contrare, mon ame.

Or to make the point differently: How can we ask Republican senators to resist pressure from their right wing and vote against flawed appointees like John Bolton, if we engage in similar rhetoric against Democrats who dissent from our own party line? How can we expect Republican moderates who are concerned about the nation's fiscal meltdown to ignore Grover Norquist's threats if we make similar threats to those who buck our party orthodoxy?


How do you expect to achieve your goals if you don't fight for what you believe in though?

I am not drawing a facile equivalence here between progressive advocacy groups and right-wing advocacy groups.


Actually you just did. It's that whole "moral relativism" thing that fundies bitch about, while lapping it up when FOX news does it. The far right is evil and wrong, it's always been evil and wrong, there is no real good that comes of a strong and unchecked far right. By your belief that getting along for the sake of getting along, being as it is the mainstream opinion of pretty much the entire democratic party, you enable the far right's murderous and hateful agenda by routinely and consistently letting it win by default.

Because seriously, it'd be nice to see the dems actually lose a fight they started, rather than not fighting a fight they could probably win, because if you at least lost something, we could probably learn how to win in the future. Not fighting however does nobody any good.

And Shot, and try not to fall over.

The consequences of their ideas are vastly different. Fighting on behalf of the poor and the vulnerable is not the same as fighting for homophobia and Halliburton. But to the degree that we brook no dissent within the Democratic Party, and demand fealty to the one, "true" progressive vision for the country, we risk the very thoughtfulness and openness to new ideas that are required to move this country forward. When we lash out at those who share our fundamental values because they have not met the criteria of every single item on our progressive "checklist," then we are essentially preventing them from thinking in new ways about problems. We are tying them up in a straightjacket and forcing them into a conversation only with the converted.


Suffice to say, it is one thing to have an open mind, it is quite another to let ravens nest in your skull. And bigotry against bigotry is and always was tolerance. You can't be okay with people who'll fuck you in the ribcage with a powerdrill if you object to being murdered, and we can't move our country forward if we let the country stay in neutral because some idiots at the back don't believe in newton's laws of motion and object strongly to the idea of movement in and of itself.

So take another shot.

Beyond that, by applying such tests, we are hamstringing our ability to build a majority.


Statement as fact is not actually fact. Take another shot.

We won't be able to transform the country with such a polarized electorate.


Why on earth not!? The repugs did okay with one. Take a shot.

Because the truth of the matter is this:


Translation: I'm about to wave my hands about, lie alot and hope no one actually thinks about the catchphrases and buzzterms I'm gonna throw out. because what I'm actaully about to say is not nearly as nice as the sounds I'm going to make saying it.

Most of the issues this country faces are hard. They require tough choices, and they require sacrifice. The Bush Administration and the Republican Congress may have made the problems worse, but they won't go away after President Bush is gone. Unless we are open to new ideas, and not just new packaging, we won't change enough hearts and minds to initiate a serious energy or fiscal policy that calls for serious sacrifice. We won't have the popular support to craft a foreign policy that meets the challenges of globalization or terrorism while avoiding isolationism and protecting civil liberties. We certainly won't have a mandate to overhaul a health care policy that overcomes all the entrenched interests that are the legacy of a jerry-rigged health care system. And we won't have the broad political support, or the effective strategies, required to lift large numbers of our fellow citizens out of numbing poverty.


Translation: everything that we need to we won't do. We have in fact decided that failure is an acceptable option in achieving all the things we do. That this is going to leave the entire country more screwed than a lottery winning nymphomaniac in a whorehouse is not their problem because even if they don't try, that's okay because they had already decided that trying wasn't going to achieve anything anyway.

And it's Hard, so quite bugging us, you plebes and your hatred of your corporations (which most of my pals run btw, though ignore that last bit)

SWIG!!!

The bottom line is that our job is harder than the conservatives' job. After all, it's easy to articulate a belligerent foreign policy based solely on unilateral military action, a policy that sounds tough and acts dumb; it's harder to craft a foreign policy that's tough and smart. It's easy to dismantle government safety nets; it's harder to transform those safety nets so that they work for people and can be paid for.


HOWEVER ABOUT IF YOU HAD A SURPLUS OF SOME KIND? WOULD THAT HELP THINGS ANY? HOW ABOUT IF YOU'D NOT LET BUSH SPEND THE SURPLUS WE HAD ON WARS AND CRAP AND STUFF? Good christ... Take another shot.

It's easy to embrace a theological absolutism; it's harder to find the right balance between the legitimate role of faith in our lives and the demands of our civic religion.


And the fact that the constitution, in the first fucking amendment no less, says that Religion isn't allowed to be advocated by the government to protect religion from teh repug vultures who are currently preying on both christianity and the government purse strings? how about you get constitutional on religion's ass, huh? Hows about that? Take another shot.

But that's our job. And I firmly believe that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, or oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose.


So you've lost, what? a couple dozen times in this essay alone then? And how does that make you feel? Not as drunk as the people who are going to take another shot I bet.

Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. A polarized electorate that is turned off of politics, and easily dismisses both parties because of the nasty, dishonest tone of the debate, works perfectly well for those who seek to chip away at the very idea of government because, in the end, a cynical electorate is a selfish electorate.


I can live with a cynical electorate, and an apathetic electorate, just so long as I don't have to put up with a government that, in the first time in the recorded history of democracy, actually represents that electorate's apathetic litte id.

And cynicism isn't actually a bad thing btw, so take another shot.

Let me be clear: I am not arguing that the Democrats should trim their sails and be more "centrist." In fact, I think the whole "centrist" versus "liberal" labels that continue to characterize the debate within the Democratic Party misses the mark. Too often, the "centrist" label seems to mean compromise for compromise sake, whereas on issues like health care, energy, education and tackling poverty, I don't think Democrats have been bold enough.


But you said... and the... So which fucking view point do you hold to!? Do you think the dems do need to be bolder, or do you beleive that the dems need to be responsive to the needs of far right bigots? Because now you've said both are your views, so you guys at home can take a shot.

But I do think that being bold involves more than just putting more money into existing programs and will instead require us to admit that some existing programs and policies don't work very well. And further, it will require us to innovate and experiment with whatever ideas hold promise (including market- or faith-based ideas that originate from Republicans).


Ah, so be bolder, and be republican. *head desks* (you can take a shot btw)

Our goal should be to stick to our guns on those core values that make this country great, show a spirit of flexibility and sustained attention that can achieve those goals, and try to create the sort of serious, adult, consensus around our problems that can admit Democrats, Republicans and Independents of good will. This is more than just a matter of "framing," although clarity of language, thought, and heart are required. It's a matter of actually having faith in the American people's ability to hear a real and authentic debate about the issues that matter.


If you haven't been quaffing, now's the time to start folks, that is pretty much an entire paragraph of wafting meaningless bullshit that says fuck all with an aweful lot of words.

Finally, I am not arguing that we "unilaterally disarm" in the face of Republican attacks, or bite our tongue when this Administration screws up. Whenever they are wrong, inept, or dishonest, we should say so clearly and repeatedly; and whenever they gear up their attack machine, we should respond quickly and forcefully. I am suggesting that the tone we take matters, and that truth, as best we know it, be the hallmark of our response.


But what if that's hard? What then Mr. Obama sir? (Swig)

My dear friend Paul Simon used to consistently win the votes of much more conservative voters in Southern Illinois because he had mastered the art of "disagreeing without being disagreeable," and they trusted him to tell the truth. Similarly, one of Paul Wellstone's greatest strengths was his ability to deliver a scathing rebuke of the Republicans without ever losing his sense of humor and affability. In fact, I would argue that the most powerful voices of change in the country, from Lincoln to King, have been those who can speak with the utmost conviction about the great issues of the day without ever belittling those who opposed them, and without denying the limits of their own perspectives.


Yeah. I know that Obama at least has some mild claim to throw King in to the conversation (BCUZ HE R BLACK) but it still leaves a sour taste in the mouth to compare a flaming radical of King's stature, a man who ate every single one of his meals coated liberally with pure awesome sauce, to the shower of wankers we call "democrats".

If it leaves a sour taste in your mouth, I'd suggest you take a swig.

In that spirit, let me end by saying I don't pretend to have all the answers to the challenges we face, and I look forward to periodic conversations with all of you in the months and years to come. I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up. And I, in turn, will always try and show you the respect and candor one owes his friends and allies.


And for my part, I can't really add anything to that. every weaselly meme the dems has put forth in the last 18 years was in that essay. Note that Obama out and out said that he was okay with the repealing of Affirmative Action. Okay with the seperation of church and state being eroded quite alarmingly along with the continuation of Bushian faith based schemes that are causing so much death and mayhem not just in america (though it's not exactly doing good things here), but in the third world as well thanks to the way we fund abstinence only programs in lieu of actual AIDS prevention programs. And he's also okay with parental consent laws that force young women to ask their rapist father for permission to abort his incestbaby.

He is, in short, exactly the last thing we need in a president, who will need to be someone who won't swallow puppies if he's threatened with name calling.

And that's without getting into just how much he lied outright through that thing, fucking hell...

But let me tell you this: when you vote in the primaries, and if you can't "throw your vote away" (as I hear the middle aged blogkids are calling it these days) on Kucinich, remember that Edwards and Hillary are worse than Obama.

And now finish off anything left in the bottle, not because what I said is bullshit, but because that last thought is just so fucking depressing really. E gads brain, he is the lesser of the other two evils, and yet is still so far from what is needed.

* This feels like a joke that's been made an aweful lot.

** Where "eggs" = "people", of course, otherwise the childish metaphor isn't quite as horrifying as it could possibly be.

2 comments:

Katie said...

was "omelas" an ursula le guin reference or am i engaging in some wishful thinking?

R. Mildred said...

was "omelas" an ursula le guin reference or am i engaging in some wishful thinking?

You are not engaging in wishful thinking and Omelas is always a Le Guin reference.