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Barack Hussein Obama: The Most Conservative Republican President Since Eisenhower

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Hm, let’s see here. During the first term of President Obama, we’ve got the lowest tax burden that we’ve had for the past sixty years. Does this sound like something a fiscal conservative would approve of? Absolutely.

During the first term of President Obama, 2011 saw the the lowest level of corporate taxation since 1972. Of course, it’s projected to go back to what was pretty much the average rate from 1987 to 2000, but no Republican president since Nixon can claim to have been such a friend to business when it comes to taxes. And let us not forget that despite the fact that America has the highest nominal corporate tax rate in the developed world, America actually has the second-lowest effective corporate tax rate in the developed world; please note the difference in the wording between the two. Of course, that’s not something that FoxNews would ever allow to see the light of day. But do such low corporate taxes sound like something a fiscal conservative would approve of? Certainly.

On the day that President Obama was sworn in, the Dow Jones closed at 8228 and our economy was in free fall. It would fall as far as 6763.29 before it began its long, slow climb. As of the time of this writing, the Dow Jones stands at 12,486.50, an increase of 34.21 percent since President Obama took the oath of office, and 45.85 percent from its nadir less than three months later. Would a fiscally conservative Republican president be boasting about such a performance by the stock market on his watch? You betcha!

During the first term of President Obama, government spending increased at its slowest rate since Eisenhower. Of course that doesn’t exactly match what Republicans have been saying about Obama’s “reckless spending spree”, so they’re doing their utmost to reject the Wall Street Journal-affiliated MarketWatch article by Rex Nutting, but I’ll go with what Politifact said about Nutting’s findings. Would such fiscal restraint be a “plus” in the eyes of a fiscal conservative? Oh, yes!

While the word “bailout” is verboten in modern conservative discourse (unless it’s used to insult liberals and Democrats), one can easily see Ronald Reagan not only approving of the bailouts (which were not bailouts, but loans) that rescued General Motors and Chrysler but also going on a publicity blitz (as he did with Lee Iacocca) to show the American people the record profits that GM was making only two years after the (wrongly named) bailout, not to mention the millions. Millions! Of jobs that were saved by the rescue of GM and Chrysler. But in today’s Republican party, Reagan would have been condemned as a tax-and-spend socialist, so we won’t count this particular accomplishment.

But enough about the economy; let’s talk other domestic issues. Under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security has been deporting a record number of illegal aliens. Granted, there are many on the Republican side who would deplore such a record, but there are many more Republicans who would exultantly advertise such an accomplishment; if the occupant of the White House were a Republican, that is.

Under President Obama’s watch, the past two years have seen greatly-increased prosecutions of Medicare fraud, and the government recovered record amounts: over four billion dollars, in each of those years. This was done by bringing fraud enforcement into the twenty first century. Here’s a more detailed description of this “War on Health Care Fraud.” What would any conservative worthy of the title think of such aggressive enforcement against Medicare fraud? They’d be shouting it to the rooftops, and probably using it as an excuse to defund Medicare (except for those who comprise their political base, of course). But one wonders how many conservatives realize that the increased enforcement was enabled by the Affordable Care Act they hate so much?

Then there’s President Obama’s prosecution of the war on drugs. Admittedly, most residents of Blogcritics (including myself) are against the war on drugs, but most conservative politicians and pundits (but not the Republican rank-and-file) are all for the prosecution of the drug war, if for no other reason than to provide fresh residents for the privately operated prison corporations that are perennial donors to Republican candidates.

Let’s not forget the small matters of ending the Iraq war (with a government in place that is still functioning, surprisingly enough), the killing not only of Osama bin Laden but also most of al-Qaeda’s leadership and leaders of other terrorist organizations worldwide. That in and of itself ought to cause any self-respecting conservative to do something that young men used to do with Penthouse magazines back in the days before online porn, but we’re not done yet! There’s the shifting of American military focus towards Asia and away from Europe in response to China’s increasing belligerence, particularly in the Spratly Islands region (which makes one wonder if we’ll someday defend communist Vietnam against communist China). There’s also the fall of the Qaddafi regime in Libya, which was accomplished with American logistical support but without the cost of even a single American soldier.

Yes, Barack Hussein Obama won passage of the Affordable Care Act (itself based on Republican ideals once strongly supported by the Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich, and someone named Mitt Romney), ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and ended the use of torture, but all in all, President Obama has been close to the ideal of what a conservative president would be. Obama’s first term has been in most ways more conservative than that of any president since Eisenhower. So why do the Republicans and conservatives hate him so much? He’s got a funny name, he doesn’t have an (R) behind said funny name, and he’s not quite as, um, pale as they’d like him to be. The right’s hatred of Obama has nothing to do with his policies, his accomplishments, or his failures, and has everything to do with the fact that he’s really different and he’s not one of them.

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • Clavos

    You’re absolutely right, Glenn. The only possible reason any American could hate Obama (not just Republicans! Anyone!) is because he has a black skin.

    Hell, even Jesus doesn’t measure up to Barry!

    I say we amend the constitution and make Bam Messiah for life.

    Poor Jesus Christ; he’s been totally eclipsed.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Any time you want to, you can try defending the conservative accusation that Obama’s just another tax-and-spend liberal who’s bankrupting our nation with big government and out-of-control spending.

    But that’s not what the evidence shows, now is it? Why, then, given Obama’s numerous accomplishments that ANY conservative would be proud to own, do conservatives hate him so? If you can give a different answer than I did, please do so, because right now that’s the only answer I see.

  • Clavos

    You’re right, Glenn, but you didn’t carry it far enough: everyone who’s agin him (including those steadily increasing numbers of Democrats), is a racist — there’s no other possible explanation for it.

    If god existed and were black, I’d be a racist.

    I’ve tried and tried and tried to figure out why I don’t like Obama, but he’s so perfect, the only possible answer is — I’m a racist.

    Phew! What a relief! Now I don’t have to pretend anymore I can hate everyone with a black skin with a clear conscience!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Glenn, for helping me out of the racism closet — it really stinks in there with all those ignorant Southerners crammed in there.

  • Clavos

    A little more about those racist Democrat rats who are abandoning their sinking ship and its God — er, Captain — I mean president!!!

  • Zingzing

    So what’s your response to anything in the article except the last three sentences, clavos? or even the rest of the content of those last three sentences? Or anything but the racism thing? Or are you just going to pretend to be insulted some more?

  • Zingzing

    And for the love of gawd, you really link to the post?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You completely – and I believe, intentionally – missed the point of the article. Based on the quite conservative achievements on his record, liberals and Democrats have good reasons to disapprove of him…but most of us will stick with him because we can see what a disaster the alternative would be.

    Conservatives, on the other hand, have little reason to hate Obama when it comes to his accomplishment, and YES, much of it has to do with racism – or haven’t you grokked the long-term effects of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”? Do you really, truly think that the influx of so many “negrophobes” into the Republican party wouldn’t have a lasting effect on the party as a whole, especially now that the strongest base of the GOP is in the Southern states where all those “negrophobes” lived?

    A Republican president with identical accomplishments to Obama would be hailed as a second coming of Reagan, and I think my article supports that statement. But why do they instead revile him with the worst epithets they can muster? Do you have a different answer than the one I gave? Do you really?

    No, I didn’t think you did…which is why you resorted to snide retorts and sarcasm. Can’t you do any better than that?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    Yeah, he linked to the NY Post, that paragon of journalistic integrity that’s so off the charts that they give sensationalism a bad name.

  • Zingzing

    Glenn, I wish you had left the last three sentences of your article out. If any conservative read it, they’d have to question their reasons for despising Obama so much. But by handing them an answer, and one that’s a bit old hat at that, all you’ll get is nasty responses to that little bit of the article. Frankly, I don’t think most right wingers object to his race or name as much as they do to the fact that he calls himself a dem. That’s it. There are two teams and you can’t root for both. It really doesn’t matter on most economic issues. The admin will say it wants to do one thing, and the opposition will say how dumb that is and that you should vote for more of them to have power. Doesn’t matter what the issue or the suggested action is. Something’s fine until the other side suggests it, then it’s the end of the world. Whatever.

    On social issues, Obama has been pretty good, I say. And that’s far more important to me. Watching politicians mess with economics is like watching a two greedy toddlers playing with a ball and never learning how to share.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    You’re right, I should have left those last three sentences out. But while they may be old hat, I strongly feel that they’re the right answer, if not the politically correct one. I wish I could take you Down South for a couple weeks – I wouldn’t have to say a word. All I’d do is let you look around and listen to some of the rednecks I know. You’d find that the wealthier and more educated ones are not racist, or are at least much more circumspect about letting their racism be known. But if you were to walk into any of the white bars – bars outside of the big city are still white or black and not much in between Down South – and sit down, knock back a few beers (no microbrews – that will get you identified as an outsider), and listen to the locals for a while…

    …and you’d see what I mean.

    But you’re right that I should not have included those last three sentences. I’ll remember that for the next time I write an article, to do it in such a way as to present evidence in a non-offensive way.

    But I’m just as likely to say “Aw, screw it!”, cry havok, and let loose the dogs of vitriolic discourse.

  • http://www.passionoftruth.blogspot.com Pam Messingham

    GOP and racism is alive and well. Look at what they did to Obama over Travon Martin. The President made a mere statement, linking all teenage Americans…and then BAM…Newt and Rush were calling Obama a racist. They insinuated that he just made a racist statement by saying: “If I had a son he would look like Travon Martin.” I have three sons and they all look like Travon. They are white. The GOP came out immediately and made it a race issue. Now, before all you GOP’ers start in on me, know this: Of course to the Martin family it looks racist. Blacks are used to that type of behavior from whites. Obama is BOTH…to side with either would be pointless and a lie. He is both races…with a perspective not many of us share. I have to agree with you to a large degree. His color is a huge issue. I also have to agree that he is more like a Republican than a democrat in his voting. I was pissed when he signed the NDAA act. I was ashamed, once again, of our government. Having a black President didn’t unite the country…it drew a dividing line. With the mentality of the the “Neo Con’s” (said with sarcastic intent) and their racism, (Heaven Forbid…They lost to a black guy!) they have done everything possible to breathe more racism into the country. Look at em go…they have waged a war on everyone: blacks, gays, women, muslims, or anyone they can. Now, I am not an Obama supporter. I didn’t want him as a president, not because of his blackness, but because I didn’t trust his inexperience or who I believed backed him. I didn’t like what the Democratic Party did to Hilary, sort of on the same lines of what the GOP has done to Ron Paul. I don’t like cheaters and people who don’t play fair, so if I write on the pros of Obama, it’s because they are his pros, nothing more or less. So, for me, it isn’t about being loyal to a party. It will take sometime before I can overcome the fact that Obama signed the National Defense Act…totally unconstitutional and against the people. Did he sign it because he was black? Did he give the military the power, against the constitution, to strike on our own soil because he is black? No. (Oh boy, did I just open myself up to the slams coming because he wants jihad? lol) My personal belief is it is because they see the revolution coming (a revolution I have forseen for the last twenty years)…they have to be prepared. I personally think they are all on the same team, just hand feed different values to the public…but that doesn’t make him the worst president, the most irresponsible president, or any of the other bullshit the GOP pumps out. I read an article the other day that blamed Obama for the gas prices because they were $1.92 a gallon when he took office. I laughed. It reminded me of when I worked as a paralegal and jurys were selected. People don’t know that each side picks the weak links, the easily fed/led. People have short memories. In 2008 I was paying almost four dollars a gallon…I don’t know where the rest of America was during this time. I laughed when they dropped drastically…I said it was in favor of the end of the Bush Administration. I can’t pin the gas prices, with a logical mind, on Obama, no more than I can blame the economy on Obama. People don’t want to see anything good he has done, and he has done good. They don’t want to see that he is a highly intelligent man, but sometimes I think they can’t see beyond the, what I call, “weed sucking mentality.” Is it because he is black? I agree, to a large extent, but so many will never agree, they can’t admit it…it shows their shallow ignorance…but to many…and I’ve heard it a million times…it’s because he is a “f***ing Nigger.” Abrasive? Yes. True? Yes. We’ve done a terrific job of dumbing down America, haven’t we? We have became a backwards, ignorant, easily fed nation.

  • Zingzing

    Don’t forget that I’m from the south as well, Glenn. If Obama were a republican, the racial sentiment against him wouldn’t be so pronounced, i’d bet.

  • roger nowosielski

    Aside from Clavos’s list, I find it more significant that the radical left has turned against him — Cornell West, Tavis Smiley, Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein. Not only are they are communists but some of them are black, so the race argument doesn’t hold in this case.

    Either these people are completely ignorant as to what’s possible or not possible in politics, or some of their criticism is justified. Considering their names, I’d like to think the latter is the case.

    In any case, if Mr. O “accomplishment” qualify him for having been thus far one of our most conservative presidents, it doesn’t speak well for him as the presumptive champion of the democratic ideals. An apter characterization would be that for all his efforts at trying, he had betrayed them.

  • Igor

    Obama is the kind of Eisenhower Republican that existed in the 1950s, who were what attracted me to the Republicans. At that time I concluded that the republican Party held the best hope for black people in America. And it did, at that time. I figured that the Dixiecrats were a millstone around the necks of the democrats. But then when LBJ cast the dixiecrats aside, republicans rather stupidly recruited them and created the “Southern strategy”, which everyone knew was a racist strategy. How dumb. They should have just let that political faction die, but instead they sought some short-term gain. Thus, they lost long-term viability.

    Had the Republicans chosen the more noble goals of their earlier principles, Barack Obama might very well have become the first black president, but as a republican, who would then be celebrated from coast to coast by all republicans as proving their essential point: that republican principles hold the most hope for all citizens.

    But, instead they threw it all away, and now all they are left with is a lust for power and no real idea of what to do when they have power.

    I think your last three sentences are alright, Glenn.

    Pay no attention to Clavos: he’s suffering an irony overdose.

  • roger nowosielski

    @15

    not communists

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    In any case, if Mr. O “accomplishment” qualify him for having been thus far one of our most conservative presidents, it doesn’t speak well for him as the presumptive champion of the democratic ideals. An apter characterization would be that for all his efforts at trying, he had betrayed them.

    Remember, most of my article was a look at Obama’s accomplishments from a conservative point of view. He accomplished some very good things from the liberal point of view, but much more from the conservative.

  • Igor

    After all, the President is elected on behalf of ALL the US citizens, not just a faction. It is a misuse of presidential powers to always pursue partisan goals. Perhaps these modern blood-lust republicans should take this to heart and abandon their rule-or-ruin partisanship.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    You were doing so well until you that last paragraph when you shot yourself in the foot. To paint all Republicans and conservatives with the same brush reveals you to be as narrow-minded and no different than the racists you decry.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    Pam, if you expect people to read such a large comment, you should use paragraph breaks.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    El B –

    1 – Yes, I shot myself in the foot in that last paragraph – I already admitted as much to zing who had already pointed it out.

    2 – The question is not whether my conclusion was ‘broad-brush’ and narrow-minded, but whether it is correct. Can you think of any other reason to explain the right’s hatred of someone whose accomplishments are so in line with conservative doctrine? Clavos can’t, which is why he’s not responding. Care to give it a try?

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    Because many are poorly informed and have no idea what they are talking about, but that’s not restricted to conservatives

  • Glenn Contrarian

    El B –

    Given that studies have shown that Fox viewers are the most uninformed, and given that it’s not restricted to conservatives, that still doesn’t add up to the almost-total hatred the conservatives have for Obama, given what he’s done that would be cause for any conservative to shout with joy.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    American politics in general has been shifting steadily to the right in recent decades, for the well-explored reason that conservatives are far less willing to compromise than liberals are.

    In thirty years’ time, Glenn, no doubt you’ll be able to write an article about a Democratic president with a raft of policies Dick Cheney would (have) be(en) proud of.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I really hope you’re wrong on that, Dread. Come to think of it, on most social issues except for abortion and the rise of the religious right, America’s continued to shift to the left. Witness the gains in LGBT rights and availability of health care. Before LBJ, there was no Medicare or Medicaid…and, if we get through the Supreme Court challenge, we’ll have affordable health care for most Americans.

    Besides, while you’re right about American politics since Reagan, the politics of the nations of the world as a whole have been shifting gradually to the left for much longer. I suspect that the case of America’s rightward shift is an aberration, and will not last too long.

    No, I feel that the danger isn’t America’s rightward shift, for all the tragedy it’s caused and will cause. The real danger is our educational system, for as our population is dumbing itself down, we’re increasingly unable to be politically united enough to face the challenges ahead – like global warming, for instance.

  • Baronius

    You can’t say that the spending through September 2009 was all Bush’s. President Obama passed an $800B stimulus package early in his presidency. That’s on him. Not just the extra debt, but the higher baseline from which Politifact starts the count. You can argue about the economic impact of that spending, and you can argue about Bush’s off-budget spending, but you can’t claim that Bush signed a bill into law in February 2009.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    You do realize, of course, that one third of the stimulus was tax cuts…and contrary to conservative doctrine, tax cuts don’t get rid of the deficit – just ask Dubya what happened to the deficit after he passed his tax cuts.

    Second, you MUST admit that America’s economy was almost in free fall when Obama took office. And just like when a plane is is falling out of the sky, you can’t bring it back up to altitude in the proverbial blink of an eye – you’ve first got to stop the dive itself, then figure out what’s wrong, and when the problem is corrected, THEN slowly get back up to altitude.

    Economics works the same way. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to fix in three years the economy that Bush took eight years to break. Check the chart in this article to see what percentage of the deficit is caused by what particular policy. Mind you, the light blue is the ONLY part directly attributable to Obama.

  • Baronius

    Like I said, if you want to defend the stimulus, feel free. But don’t pretend that it didn’t exist, and didn’t change the starting point for your measurement.

  • Igor

    Hey, Baronius: you’ve just been topped. Give it up.

  • Clavos

    Despite its self claims to the contrary, the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities is not non partisan, and does cherry pick its data.

  • Baronius

    Clavos, I wasn’t going to bother. But I guess that the newer participants might not know that at least 80% of Glenn’s facts are misrepresentations or from bad sources, or ignore the weight of counterevidence. I’m fine with being “topped” by a comment from Glenn, because I know how much it’s worth. At least I’ve had it read into the proverbial record that the ARRA was passed under President Obama.

  • Herr Profesor Igor

    The ARRA saved or created 2-3million jobs according to the CBO. That’s a Good Thing.

    Baronius: how do you ‘know’ that 80% of Glenns facts are misrepresentations?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Your source did not at all refute what the CBPP presented using the numbers supplied by the non-partisan CBO. In fact, your reference had this to say:

    No, what that ever-widening wedge represents is the tax cuts passed in 2010, plus the assumption that the Obama administration makes the tax cuts permanent

    Do you see the deception? Do you? Read it closely, Clavos. All of a sudden, the author of the article you linked to says it’s the OBAMA tax cuts – and not the Bush tax cuts – that represent that ever-growing wedge despite the fact that the wedge begins long before Obama was even a candidate for president!

    No, Clavos, the vast majority of that ‘ever-growing wedge’ represents the Bush tax cuts. If you look at the chart, as of 2012 – that’s TODAY, you know – the Bush tax cuts, the wars, and the economic downturn account for over half of the deficit! The part of today’s deficit that is due to the stimulus package is perhaps one-tenth.

    But what do Republicans want to do? They want to CONTINUE those Bush tax cuts, and they’ve railed against Obama’s determination to end our combat role in Afghanistan by 2014 (as they did when he pulled us out of Iraq). If the Republicans had their way, the slice of the graph that is due to the Bush tax cuts would be TOO SMALL. Why? Because Romney wants to cut taxes even further!

    (note to Baronius – be sure to ignore the link, because we all know that The Atlantic is a bad source – we know it because You Said So)

    You can claim partisan this and partisan that all you want to, but I’d really like to see you dispute the information in and of itself instead of simply dismissing it because you don’t like the people who said it. But we all know you won’t do that.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Waaaaay off topic – the founder of McAfee’s on the run in Belize. It’s a heck of a story.

  • Baronius

    Igor – Experience.

  • Igor

    In 2000-2001 the rationale offered by the Bush administration for the Big Tax Cuts was to deplete a huge budget surplus! Greenspan worried that the big surpluses coming out of the Clinton administration would create financial problems, foreign competition problems, and de-stabilize the economy.

    The Bush slogan was “give the surplus back to the people who created it, the taxpayers”.

    It was supposed to be a temporary one time thing!

    They not only depleted the Clinton surplus, they kept right on going and blew the bottom out of the economy. Once the rich sponsors of Bush got the blood-lust for easy treasury money they didn’t want to stop. And Bush wasn’t the kind of person who could say NO to the bullies on Wall Street.

    We must end the superannuated Bush Tax Cuts, or watch the nation go down the tubes. (But then, I suppose that too would please the rule-or-ruin republicans)

  • Maurice

    Clavos is a racist? He always be nice to my people.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I don’t think anyone on here – and certainly not the BC regulars – has ever called Clavos a racist. He’s not. Nor is he sexist. But that doesn’t mean that he really understands the driving forces behind many of those who support conservative causes.

  • Maurice

    See comment #3

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Maurice, it’s pretty obvious that Clavos is being quite sarcastic there. That was his way of pointing out the mistake I made of including the last three sentences of my article.

    Clavos might be wrong on a lot of issues, but he’s not a racist.

  • Independent

    Glen…try not to confuse the far right by pointing out facts. Anyone that thinks race has no part of this has their head in the sand…and I am white. I live in North Carolina and was told more than once that people were not going to vote for Obama because of his color. I am pretty sure that I was not told by the only people in the US that felt that way. Do I think that is the only reason? No…honestly my thought is that not only is his skin a little darker, but he is also smarter than all of them and that scares the crap out of them. How can this black dude be smarter than us, and at the same time be such a favorite of the citizens? Must be because he is not really a citizen….ever see the movie “Blazing Saddles?” It has truly came to life…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    “Independent”

    You and I are on the same page there – even when it comes to the resemblance to Blazing Saddles (it was a really poor attempt at whimsical satire, but you’d get my point). And I’ve often written about the influence of racism on the right.

    Clavos is not racist, but I still think he doesn’t get the degree to which racism has influenced the GOP (I’m also white and was raised in the MS Delta – long story – my family goes back to the Civil War there). There’s a reason why GOP rallies are almost completely lily-white – and why Fox News keeps panning back to the same one or two blacks who do show up to the rallies.

  • Les Slater

    The main point of the attack on Obama is to create fear and loathing. The Democrats do the same thing. We can see it reflected here by the blame and demonizing directed at Bush. It turns the election into an extreme case of lesser evil. It’s a good way to get the populace to keep voting against their own interests.

    Clinton represented the sharpest turn to the right in recent history.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Les –

    Except for the false equivalency about the demonizing of Bush – for he richly deserved it (as the families of 100,000 dead Iraq men, women, and children can attest following our illegal invasion of that nation) – the rest of your post is dead on, our elections are being made a contest of which is the lesser evil.

    And Clinton did open the floodgates of free trade (which the Cato Institute railed against Reagan for not doing), and the exodus of our manufacturing base began in earnest. And even though the repeal of Glass-Steagal was passed with veto-proof majorities in Congress, Clinton signed it, and so he owns it.

  • Les Slater

    Glen, I have no doubt that Gore would have done similar. The interest in Iraqi oil went far beyond Halliburton and Chaney. That war was primarily directed against France and the European Union, especially its currency.

    And don’t forget it was a Democrat that obliterated two civilian cities with atomic bombs.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    hey, Les. Long time, no see. Hope you are well

  • Les Slater

    Elbe, I’m very well, thank you. And you?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Les –

    You really, truly think Gore would have invaded Iraq? Come now! Bush was discussing said invasion ten days after he took office, and long before 9/11. Don’t fall into the false equivalency trap, for the Republicans of today are not the Republicans of Ronald Reagan’s time.

  • Les Slater

    And don’t forget after the Bush recoil from going into Baghdad Clinton aggressively maintained the no fly zone.

    The first Bush was thoroughly repudiated by wide ruling circles for his failure in Iraq. Both the younger Bush and Gore agreed with that assessment. The finishing of the Iraqi war was just waiting for an excuse. When the excuse came on September 11 the Democrats were fully supportive.

  • Igor

    @48-Les: Bush 1, of course, was right. He was successful: he organized a working coalition with Arab countries and drove Saddam back into his rat hole.

    Of course “the crazies” complained that he didn’t follow the blood lust and invade Baghdad, but then they were crazy. Too bad they got into power under Bush 2 and got full rein to demonstrate their utter craziness.

    “The first Bush was thoroughly repudiated by wide ruling circles for his failure in Iraq.”

  • Les Slater

    They are not crazy. The rule of capital has a different logic than perhaps you or I but it rules, not us. Those that play the role as agents of capital must conform to the laws of capital or be pushed aside and replaced with others willing and able.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Les –

    There’s no way you’ll ever get me to believe that Gore would have invaded Iraq. For one thing, look at what Republicans do today – if a Democratic leader says “let’s do this thing”, the GOP will oppose it bitterly…whereas at the time the GOP had both houses of Congress and Dems were trying to hang onto office for dear life – they didn’t dare oppose Bush after 9/11, for to do so was political suicide. If Gore had said “let’s invade Iraq”, the GOP would have fought it tooth and nail (to their credit). But their fight would not have been because it was a matter of right and wrong, but because it was something the Dems wanted to do.

  • Les Slater

    Glen-

    The precedent to 9/11 was Pearl Harbor. The Roosevelt administration pushed Japan to the point that they felt the necessity to attack. This was a cold and calculated move on the part of that Democratic administration. The Tonkin Gulf fabrication was yet another example of the shenanigans of Democratic administrations.

    It’s been very many decades that there has been no fundamental difference between Democratic and Republican administrations on foreign policy. Now there ain’t a hill of beans between them on domestic policy either.

    It’s easy to claim that a particular politician WOULDN’T have done something IF they were in power. The record of their parties is what we must go on.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Les –

    Your error lay in the fact that regardless of how Japan was pushed by us – and there are several sides to that story – it was JAPAN that attacked at Pearl Harbor. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, except in the mind of the one who wanted them to be blamed.

  • Les Slater

    It doesn’t matter who actually fired the first shot in WWII. The war was wanted by the U.S. all the while the Democratic administration was whistling the isolationist tune.

    We also must not forget that several prominent industrialists and politicians were not so shy about fondness of Hitler, this included JFK’s father Joseph P. And then the Cold War against democratic rights started by Truman.

    There’s too much of a pattern to be dismissed by appeals to legality or ‘so and so would not have done that’. The Democrats have just as much blood dripping from their hands.

  • Igor

    @50-Les: obsessiveness and blind self-interest does not preclude crazy.

    They are not crazy.

  • Igor

    30 years of radical right rule in the USA have proven 3 things:

    1- trickle down doesn’t work. The cream is always skimmed off at the top. Nothing is left to trickle.

    2-deregulation leads to instability and crashes. Hey sucker, we just bet your savings on the latest bubble.

    3-tax cuts for the rich and corporations does not produce jobs. They just take the money and run.

  • Les Slater

    I’m not saying that agents of capital can’t be crazy. What I am saying is that capital has a force and logic of its own irrespective of anyone’s desire or ability to control.

    It’s neither the individuals nor their collective efforts that are primary in the operation of the capitalist system. It’s the markets themselves; all its agents are but cogs and are quite interchangeable.

    Only people consciously organized in opposition to the markets can put a stop to this insanity.

  • Igor

    Economists have known for 200 years that capitalism is unique in that it’s boom/bust cycle is systemic, i.e., results from the internal organization of capitalism and not from externalities like war and famine.

  • Les Slater

    Igor –

    As a matter of fact war and famine now have more to do with the capitalist system than any other cause, including nature.

    You mention the past 30 years of radical right rule. That would have to include the Clinton and Obama regimes. Terms such as right or left lose their meaning in such context. I wouldn’t say they’re radical either. It turns out the bipartisan drive to shore up sagging profits, or more properly, rates of return on investment, has become the mainstream status quo.

    This phenomena has actually been going on for more than 30 years. I put the most significant date as August 15, 1971. In the broader sense it has everything to do with WWII. The U.S. did not really come out of the depression until the gearing up for war production. The main thing though that saved world capitalism’s ass was the huge destruction done to much of the world’s productive capability.

    It was the investments in rebuilding this destroyed capacity that gave rise to the post-war economic boom centered in the United States.

    This was very profitable for U.S. investment but eventually created powerful competitors. Somewhere around the mid 60s the relative economic power of the U.S. peaked. The legally declared gold exchange rate of the dollar was no longer sustainable.

    Along with going off the gold standard in 1971 the Nixon administration instituted a ‘wage/price’ freeze. The only serious intervention was to attempt to put a damper on wages.

    By the mid 70s it became quite clear that what we see happening now, would happen, on both economic and political fronts, including attacks on democratic rights.

  • Igor

    This is a strange statement: As a matter of fact war and famine now have more to do with the capitalist system than any other cause, including nature.

    What argument do you base that on?

    Intrinsic instability is the most prominent quality of capitalism.

    Bubbles.

    Bubbles.

    Recurrent bubbles are the signature of instability.

    Incidentally, we capitalists LOVE bubbles and instability because we win when extrinsic value is unrelated to intrinsic value: on both the win and the lose side.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor –

    You sound like an options trader.