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Monday, July 25, 2011

The world is mad. (Various examples.)

Julian E. Zelizer, of CNN, asks: "Is Obama seizing the political center?" No, Obama is not. He'd have to veer pretty sharply to the left to do that. According to polls, the vast majority of the citizenry is concerned about job creation, not deficit reduction. A centrist would follow the people's will.
On economic policies, Obama has continually surrounded himself with moderate, market-oriented liberals such as Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner.
No, he has surrounded himself with immoderate, market-oriented conservatives such as Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner.
The president has continued President George W. Bush's policies that shored up Wall Street following the financial meltdown of 2008.
So following the example of George W. Bush -- the most extreme (and most unsuccessful) president of the modern era -- constitutes centrism?

Perhaps so. Now that the right is defined by the writings of Ayn Rand, Cleon Skousen, the John Birchers and other absurd figures formerly consigned (even by Reaganite Republicans) to the far fringe, where is the center?
During this year's debate over deficit reduction and the debt ceiling, Obama came out with a "Grand Bargain," a debt-cutting package that was far more dramatic than what was being discussed.

The move put him in an excellent position politically. He staked out a position as a deficit hawk, yet he did so through a deal he knew that Republicans were unlikely to accept.
No, he did not stake out a position as a "deficit hawk." Most people in this country have no idea what his position is or was, because perception is controlled by propaganda. If FOX and Rush say it didn't happen, it didn't happen.

Obama made the classic mistake of negotiating against himself. Even Dubya the Dumb was smart enough to avoid that error. At the start of negotiations, Obama made clear that Social Security and Medicare were on the chopping block. He took a Republican position -- and for what? He'll still be portrayed in the media as a high-tax liberal, so what has he gained?

Stupid. Unbelievably stupid.

Speaking of unbelievably stupid: Bernie Sanders' recent call for a primary challenge to Obama got some play on the conservative blog Hot Air. Dig the comments:
Lefties do NOT believe Obama is “too conservative.” How the hell do people keep falling for this sh!t?
Yeah. Right. "Hot Air" readers are your go-to guys if you want to know what "lefties" think.
And after all he has done since he became president, he is still not liberal enough for many leftist Americans. Scary, not Obama so much as those other Americans.
Wow. And just what has he done that was in any way "liberal"? He continued W's policies on TARP, tax cuts for the rich, Gitmo, and warrant-free electronic eavesdropping. His refusal to support a reinstatement of Glass-Steagal put him well to the right of John McCain, who sponsored just such a bill.
But to get elected, Obama had to have a bland, beta-male personality, and that’s what’s driving the left crazy. People like Bernie knew Obama was lying to swing voters in 2008 about being a moderate; they just thought he was also lying to them about being a beta male.
"Beta male..."? Huh? WTF?

I guess with right-wingers, it's all about their insecure male self-images. They see all of reality in terms of their dicks.
Socialist unhappy Obama isn’t pushing a “progressive agenda”?
Hmmmmmmmmmmm!… why do progressives cry foul when they’re called socialists?
Because righties have foisted upon the world an insane new definition of the word "socialist," one that would have had evinced a WTF reaction from every actual socialist from Robert Owen to George Bernard Shaw. Hell, today's rightists would have us believe that Ike was a socialist. Literally!
BTW In what world has O moved to the right? His game is smoke and mirrors, bolstered with bloviating.
I agree. He didn't move to the right; he lives there.
O’s Not communist enough for Bernie….
What’s scary is that the most liberal, the most socialistic and most communistic president America has ever had is TOO FAR RIGHT for Democratic congressmen.
Krugman rewrites history. In an otherwise good post, Paul Krugman writes:
OK, I’ve never won a tough election. But neither has Obama! The 2008 race was looking close until Sarah Palin and Lehman came along.
Actually, Obama did win a tough election -- the primary battle against Hillary Clinton. I suppose he deserves credit for that, if you can use the word "credit" to describe the filthiest campaign in Democratic history.

More to the point -- and this is difficult to admit -- but Palin was actually an asset to McCain. She was much better-liked then than now, especially by the Hillary voters, whom the Obots had been deliberately and systematically kicked out of the party.

On September 8, 2008 -- after the convention -- Gallup had McCain ahead 54-44. At the time, it was universally understood that Palin was an asset to the GOP ticket. Erica Jong explained Palin's appeal with this unlovely phrase: "White trash America certainly has allure for voters." That phrase was characteristic of the Obot campaign strategy: "Insult the electorate, all the way to victory!"

On September 12, 2008, the polls pegged the electoral college numbers at McCain 281, Obama 257. On that same date in 2004, Kerry was well ahead. And let's face it, 2008 should have been a gimme year for the Democrats, even before the Wall Street meltdown.

Progressives should have made an effort to win back female voters. Alas, Obots continued their strategy of "Insult your way to victory!" -- with most of the insults being directed at the Clintons and at women.

On September 16, 2008, the polls were looking very bad for Obama: McCain was catching up with him in New York. Talking Points Memo offered this classic analysis:
On the call, Stan Greenberg, who did polling for Bill Clinton in 1992 and now partners with James Carville to run the Dem polling firm Democracy Corps, gave a presentation to the donors that painted a somewhat bleak picture of the struggles Obama is having with aging white women in battleground states.
Translation: A lot of Democratic female voters would not forgive the insults lobbed at Hillary Clinton. They had been kicked out of the party. No way they would vote for Obama. Moreover, many independent female voters wanted to throw up when they saw all of those Obots wearing "Sarah Palin is a CUNT" t-shirts.

Nobody will admit this simple fact of history, but it's true: What we may call "the PUMA factor" was the only reason McCain chose Palin. Shrewdly, McCain hoped to capitalize on the fact that the Obots had alienated so many women. At the time, little was known about Palin; her rep as a tea party extremist came later -- in fact, she was then considered a moderate.

Progs (who cared more about expressing their Ids than about winning the election) kept piling insults on Hillary Clinton and on female voters -- even after Obama had sewed up the nomination. This was the most flabbergastingly stupid strategy ever devised. And it was the main reason why Barack Obama almost lost an election that any Democrat should have won in a landslide.

In short: Sarah Palin, just by virtue of being female, was an asset to John McCain. I do not enjoy making this admission, because I do not like Sarah Palin. But facts are facts. McCain was poised to win, and Palin would have been the reason for that win. If...

...if the Wall Street meltdown had not occurred.

Alas, the panic started on that same date: September 16, 2008. Bush's hapless response (tax cuts and an upraised middle finger to the evicted) tarnished the Republican brand even further.

Too bad voters paid more attention to their stereotyped perceptions of the major parties than to personal history. John McCain had warned about Fannie Mae's problems as early as 2006. Fannie and Freddie did not cause the meltdown, but they were part of the rot that had set into the system. In 2006, McCain said:
I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.
Barack Obama voted against the legislation. Worse: Newly-minted Senator Barack Obama quickly became the number two recipient of contributions from Fannie Mae. He also received massive contributions from Goldman, Lehman, and the rest of that crooked crew.

And now those same Wall Streeters who paved the way for Obama's victory, the same Wall Streeters who were happy to take government bailout funds, are decrying Obama as a socialist.

The world is mad. The world is mad.
I agree with you on most points here, but can we please bury the notion of "Obama... negotiating against himself"?

In typical usage, and seemingly even here, this phrase suggests that Obama wants something wholesome but screws up the negotiations by being too accommodating.

The rest of your post (properly, IMHO) validates the observation that there's nothing liberal about him.
I agree with most of your points here too, but note that Hillary Clinton won the primary but was deprived of her victory at a convention that did not count her delegates (or even finish a ballot). The actions during the primaries were nothing compared to the dishonesty at the nominating convention itself. I will never vote Democrat again because of that. As an aging white woman who has always been a Democrat, I found Palin to have no appeal whatsoever but McCain made a toasty protest vote. In an election where integrity seemed sorely lacking, McCain (albeit flawed) seemed to have more than the alternative.
The fish bowel world we're living in is corrupt and mad. But the fishies keep swimming in the polluted water, pretending things are crystal clear and grand.

Barack Obama is many things, none of them good, but the last thing he's ever been is a socialist. And yet this meme like so many other Fox generated, fair and balanced, 'truths' is repeated with nauseating regularity.

The propaganda has reached Orwellian levels, which has manifested itself in the current debt ceiling 'crisis.' This is another round of pretenders on parade, hair on fire and OMG, the world is about to end unless we cut every social program left over from the New Deal era. Because obviously that's what is bringing the house down, not the multiple unfunded wars or the $16 trillion the Fed generously flipped to domestic and foreign banks in their time neediness. Poor babies! To think that playing casino games, Las Vegas style, could have had such negative consequences. And, of course, the best solution is to straddle the American taxpayer with the bill and insist on austerity in all circles but the uber-rich [CEOs, hedge fund managers and the like].

That's socialism all right: public risk and private gain. Absolutely Marxist, no doubt about it.

But hey, it worked so well the first time, let's give it another spin on the dance floor. Only this time, we'll make sure we really stick it to the elderly, the infirmed, our Vets and children, and of course, the poor, formerly know as the middle-class [who have a nerve to keep multiplying, sucking up those unemployment benefits and food stamps].

But as long as we keep waving the flag and running prayer-a-thons, it'll all work out. Rick Perry told me so. And he ain't no damn socialist, that's for sure!

The world is due for the straight jacket. But the only one I see is being custom-fitted for the American public, not the key-clanking wardens.

Peggy Sue
And just what has he done that was in any way "liberal"?
Obamacare for starters...

"Beta male..."? Huh? WTF?

"Obama may be moving toward something resembling a doctrine. One of his advisers described the president’s actions in Libya as “leading from behind.” Ryan Lizza, the New Yorker, May 2 issue

WTF?...seems pretty clear to me.
One blogger has a theory (my apologies for the shameless self-promotion):

Origin of the "Obama is a socialist" meme
OtherOne -- OBAMACARE? SOCIALIST? That giveaway plan for the Insurance industry -- an "industry" which out of be wiped out of the health care equation altogether -- is, in your view, SOCIALIST? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING GOURD?

My rightwingers really don't have any clue as to what socialism means, do you?

You might want to read "To the Finland Station." It's a good history of Socialism, objective, considered useful by both pro- and anti-Socialists. At least you'll be in a better position to define your terms.
Another point. Free Trade. Obama may have run on an anti-NAFTA platform, but we know now that his words were lies. No other president in American history -- and I am talking about ALL of that history -- has pursued such an aggressively pro-free-trade policy.

And yet he's considered a socialist.

The world is mad. The world is mad. The world is mad. The world is mad.
"More to the point -- and this is difficult to admit -- but Palin was actually an asset to McCain. She was much better-liked then than now, especially by the Hillary voters, whom the Obots had been deliberately and systematically kicked out of the party."

Even I, a rabid Clinton voter, liked Palin; she had the makings of a GOPer reformer like TR but I wouldn't support now for all the tea in Wal-Mart.

oh, and you're, of course, on target about Oscuzz.
By far the best way to make an ignorant but reasonably intelligent and open minded person to come to terms with what socialism and what it is not is to direct him/her to Hal Draper's excellent "The Two Souls of Socialism". Anyone that says Obama is a socialist after reading that piece is either insane or extremelly thick.
Because calling Obama a socialist is so absolutely ridiculous, I have to wonder whether the term has become completely devalued in common conversation, not meant to be taken literally mother fucker, bastard, and other such delightful terms. The objection to that though is the real definition of socialism isn't malignant as in m-f. I guess it's more akin to the use of bastard, as being mostly untrue and always unfairly maligned.
Excellent post!
More evidence that the world is crazy. Glen Beck compares the dead Norwegian teenagers to Hitler youth:

The world isn't mad, just the AM talk radio conservatives and most of the cable news talking heads. Since there is nobody pushing back against the Obama the Socailst canard Joe and Jane Sixpack accept as the truth.

What we need on our side is a mad dog, frothing at the mouth, fact twisting bastard(s). Just like the republicans got on their side.
Actually Joe, I think the right wingers must know what Socialism really means.........since they give it to the ultra wealthy at every opportunity.
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