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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008

    Obama and Billl Clinton get unearned praise from progressives

    It’s feeling a lot like 1992 right now. It’s also feeling a lot like 1980. But which parallel is closer? Is Barack Obama going to be a Ronald Reagan of the left, a president who fundamentally changes the country’s direction? Or will he be just another Bill Clinton?
    Bill Clinton also ran as a candidate of change, but it was much less clear what kind of change he was offering. He portrayed himself as someone who transcended the traditional liberal-conservative divide, proposing “a government that offers more empowerment and less entitlement.” The economic plan he announced during the campaign was something of a hodgepodge: higher taxes on the rich, lower taxes for the middle class, public investment in things like high-speed rail, health care reform without specifics.
    Where is that energy efficient high speed rail and health care for ALL Americans?

    I don't understand positive reviews of Clinton's presidency, especially from a man like Krugman. He knows better. Everyone so much as inch left of center appears to be so mortally terrified of the death's head specter of a McCain presidency, all meaningful criticism of Obama's positions have stopped.

    Clinton is now a hero to people who were willing to eat his liver for dinner 11 years ago. IMV, Clinton was just another right wing disaster. If Obama governs along the same lines as Clinton - deregulating, privatizing, outsourcing, free trading, legislating to punish the poor, committing war crimes, running the usual aggressive, nonsensical American foreign policy of arming sociopaths, roll back, and whatever other chicanery the (newly privatized) spooks come up with, America will never recover from the Bush Disaster and will probably gurgle loudly then swirl down the nearest drain (leaving a little residue of hair, wax, foam and radioactive detritus over the drain bars.)

    It is deeply frightening because the average voter, even the ones who are enraged as well as ones who are most hurt by these right wing, corporatist policies, do not seem to grasp how things work. Obama has turned down an opportunity to educate the public about what is really going on. The fact that the current campaign involves any rhetoric whatsoever decrying 'big government" ( an entity pronounced dead by Clinton if you recall) alarms me.

    Who do these people think will regulate predatory corporate behavior in all its various forms? Who do they think will fix the levees and bridges? What happened to the days of accountable government, representative government? Where is democracy? How is it the right wing extremists and their reactionary religious enablers sold the idea that capitalism equals democracy when a even a quick glance at the American system makes it clear it does not?

    They sold it with the aid of right wing democrats and the media system.

    And why is their no discussion of deregulation as the reason behind the soaring price of oil/gas? The media is pushing the idea of scarcity as the cause when policy is the cause. Deregulation and "free" trade leading to speculation and a weak dollar.

    Of course oil is a finite resource. We had policies in place to deal with that over thirty years ago -and then the reactionary "revolution" of Reagan came along and dismissed those policies of conservation and federally spearheaded development of alternative energy sources and conservation as not manly enough for a country with a such giant testicles as Amerikkka on right wing, Ronnie kool-aid.

    The best I can hope for from Obama is that he will appoint a populist attorney general, restore the FTC and FDA to actual regulatory agencies and make good choices for the supreme court. The very first thing we need to do is break up the media conglomerates that are the star salesmen for the bad ideas, disinformation and bullshit, know nothing campaign rhetoric. But here Obama is endorsing spying on Americans and razing the wall of separation between church and state. Just like senile old fuck John McCain.

    Absolutely, McCain is much worse, though in the long run having one right wing democrat after another has played an essential role in destroying this country, in enabling it to deteriorate so badly that something like the Bush administration could occur..

    When every time the right attacks the democrat responds by being more like the right, we lose the key to controlling government on our behalf - counter balance, right?

    I mean that's how the system was designed by the inglorious, pony-tailed, slave humping, money loving framers - to create restraints on any one group or person who grabs too much power. That is a GREAT idea but is failing, in part because of the right wing democrats who, like a beaten housewife with black eyes and broken bones, won't fight back.

    Where's the opposition ? Where are the other ideas? Why is the progressive party, ostensibly progressive party, unable to generate ideas of its own? Why is Obama endorsing faith based charities? telecom immunity? Death Penalty? etc? I don't think the country is as right wing in its views as all that. Polls appear to agree with me. But there is grave confusion induced by a seriously fucked up propagandist media and no one seems wiling to take it on.

    Not to mention that the election tampering that goes on all over the US has got to be one of the great untold stories of this time in our history.

    While I grasp that McCain is much, much worse, I can no longer buy the argument that voting for the lessor of two evils will make the country better, stronger, more secure. The democrats need to put up an ACTUAL OPPOSITION candidate, one who reflects the interests of the people more than the corporate overlords who have declared war on humanity and war on planet earth.

    Progressive activists, in particular, overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama during the Democratic primary even though his policy positions, particularly on health care, were often to the right of his rivals’. In effect, they convinced themselves that he was a transformational figure behind a centrist facade.

    They may have had it backward.

    Mr. Obama looks even more centrist now than he did before wrapping up the nomination. Most notably, he has outraged many progressives by supporting a wiretapping bill that, among other things, grants immunity to telecom companies for any illegal acts they may have undertaken at the Bush administration’s behest.

    The candidate’s defenders argue that he’s just being pragmatic — that he needs to do whatever it takes to win, and win big, so that he has the power to effect major change. But critics argue that by engaging in the same “triangulation and poll-driven politics” he denounced during the primary, Mr. Obama actually hurts his election prospects, because voters prefer candidates who take firm stands.


    Obama isn't centrist. Obama is right wing. He can only be viewed as centrist through the lens of the far right. And Obama is not only right wing, he is more right wing every day. The republicans and John McCain are dangerous extremists who worship militarism and are so far outside any tradional idea of conservatism Barry Goldwater would roll over in his grave just to hear wife beating, tax cheating McCain smack his lips in public, but that kind of extremism in he republican party hardly makes Obama a progressive.

    Poll after poll after study show the majority of Americans want things - national health care for example - that the progressive party ought to support, but does not support. It does not support it because it is just as busy servicing corporate interests as are the republicans. Different corporate interests perhaps, but not THAT different.

    How is Mr. Obama progressive? What change will he wrought? I hear more of the same, the same corporate power over democracy, corporate power over the needs of people, wealthy corporate interests over the needs of working and middle class, corporate power over the environment, corporate value of free trade that enslave populations.

    Where is the change?

    I want the bastards who spied on me put on trial. I also don't want Bush's illegal activities covered up further by immunizing corporate whores in telecom. Nor do I want federal resources put into nuclear power when they should be going to solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, etc., when there should be a massive federal push for that.

    And green buildings. That would put the economy to work in a sustainable way. Put the federal shoulder to work pushing a green economy, not the old outmoded fossil fuel economy. The energy companies have made trillions. Must they make more at the expense of EVERYTHING? The washington duopoly seems to thinks so.

    I want the anti trust laws used to break up the propagandist machine of the MSM.
    I want single payer health care. (Just pretend you're Dick Cheney, tell the corporate whores in insurance to go fuck themselves and expand medicare.)
    I want massive federal drive to recreate the energy system.
    I want trade rules that stop slavery and environmental assaults in other countries.
    I want to reduce the pentagon budget by half.
    I want Roe V Wade protected.
    I want strong separation of church and state.
    I want a law passed that spells out that advertisements are not protected speech for Christ sake. Doesn't anyone in this country have any goddamn sense?
    I want the FTC restored and the FDA restored.
    I want REGULATION because it works and even more because it is necessary. Having corporations be the arbiter of all has been a disaster.
    I want the terrifying, expensive privatization of the military reversed and Glass Steagull reinstated.

    In fact I think it would be a good idea if all corporations had their charters torn up after seven years and their assets dispersed to their owners. If they want competition let them have it.

    The market forces so worshipped by Clinton and Obama do not work - OBVIOUSLY. We have quite enough billionaires. I read that 100, 000 families now control 40% of this economy. Bush has demonstrated that Big Government works wonderfully for whomever big government is designed to work for.



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