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Can’t We Just Enjoy One Little Victory for Democracy?

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I felt nothing but national pride, genuine happiness, and even hope (!) watching President-elect Barack Obama’s acceptance speech last Tuesday night. “From now on,” I thought, “people will remember this as the last great racial hurdle in America, and we can continue to work to form a more perfect union.”

Even McCain’s concession speech confirmed it as the limping, sad grandpa quieted his rabid crowd of fanatics and praised Obama’s remarkable achievement in “inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president.” Gracious words.

And in that moment, all seemed well. I tucked myself into bed happily surprised with the American people, my faith in the progression of humanity temporarily reinforced.

Then my mind wandered a bit, considering the unlikely possibility that Ohio and California went red and the entire Northeast pulled an overnight 180. How would I have felt about the less-likely alternative occurring, especially considering that I voted (knowing full well that he would lose all 77 counties in my Midwestern deep-red state) for the skinny, 47-year-old black man with big ears?

The answer: I speculate I would feel less hopeful (don’t confuse my hope for society with Obama’s “Hope”) though not in the least disappointed in the American people, at least not in the way the blindly partisan people booing Obama at McCain’s concession speech were. Had McCain been elected, I’d forever consider America the timid eight-year-old, whiffing at a softball primed on a tee. McCain, in all likelihood, would do a good job leading the country he loves (a lot) but I would find no joy or solace in the fact that a debilitated old man with questionable judgment (see: Palin) governed my home, particularly when this year’s model is slyer, sleeker, and far more appealing as a leader.

But is this happiness only temporary? I suspect it is. The novelty of “America’s First Black President” will wear off in time, and Obama will probably return to the stock presidential position as “Somebody I Never See in Person or Talk To, Yet Gently Mock Via the Internet.” What happens then? This may eventually come back to bite America in the ass if Obama suddenly finds that his community organizer days and paltry few years in the Senate weren’t enough to prepare him for dealing with foreign heads of state, national energy crises, and international terrorism.

And then there is the daily reminder of the political color of my state and school. Bill Maher once asked this question lampooning college Republicans: “Usually you have to be older and married before you start hating life so much you try to blame the Mexicans for all your problems, don't you?”

I want so badly to agree with him. You know who I’m talking about, right? The ones who ate up The Reagan Diaries like Harry Potter and say all kinds of sweet things about the kids their age in Iraq. Today, their beloved grandpa comatose, they moped all over campus wondering how the West Coast and Northeast could be so stupid, and proud of every individual Oklahoma county decisively proclaiming its collective hots for Sarah Palin. Those kids won’t so much as sniff enough capital in the next four years to justify the feared “socialist” commander-in-chief taxing it.

But the worst is the assassination thing. They all “just know” that somebody’s going to make a stab at it. I think they’re secretly hoping it’ll happen, and the more they talk about it, the more feasible and even likely it seems. How could you wish the death of a president? The whole buzz-kill thought forces me to wonder why I got so jazzed up about mankind in the first place.

These are the myriad thoughts that have been tangling up my mind for the last month, compounded by the last few days. Frankly, I’m just glad the election is over and we have a solid chunk of time to relax while Bush ambles his way back home to Texas. Hopefully the army of conservative white kids I know (who seemed borderline apolitical until Obama captured Ohio) will ease up and cancel those knee-jerk booked flights to Quebec and Paris (I hear they’re pretty liberal over there, too) and everything will return to normal.

All in all, I've found the wave of fanaticism over the last month overwhelming. It very nearly soured a great victory for democracy, one prophesied more than 40 years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial by a man who knew too well the disgusting power of racism. He spoke with holy conviction that stifling August afternoon, saying “now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.” Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is now a reality. That a black man will become president of the United States in less than two months is wonderful, exciting, and inspirational. It’s unfortunate that some people can’t seem to find joy in it.

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About carney

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    I for one DO find joy. I just wish people would give him a chance before predicting a total f—up a la Carter. It seems the Repubs are just itching for his failure instead of hoping that he can actually do something good for this country. WHY would anyone want the country to go down the tubes just to prove they were right? Won’t they suffer, too? It would seem, wouldn’t it, that we would all benefit, if our country made some wonderful, positive changes that got our nation back on track?
    I mean, maybe, just maybe, we HAVE been doing it wrong for the past many years? Maybe, just maybe, having a really smart, thoughtful, creative man in the White House IS a good idea.

    Nahhhhh:)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It really would be awfully difficult for Obama to fuck up as badly as Carter. He’s bringing in a lot of the worst of the Clinton appointees like the senile and demented Madeleine Albright, but they’re still better than the fools Carter surrounded himself with.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Time for me to start an argument –

    Carter was NOT as f–ked up as you all think he was.

  • bliffle

    Glenn,

    I agree: the Bash Carter movement is really overdone. For one thing, Carter achieved the only peace treaty in the middle east (Israel-Egypt), and it still endures to this day.

    Also, Carter was better attuned to future needs for conservation and alternative energy.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Carney, what you’re talking about here is not any particular victory for democracy. Democracy wins just by having an election, whoever gets voted in.

    But what I’m long weary of is the obsession with race as you document it here in your own small and relatively benign way. The problem we’ve bought is that we elected not Barack Obama based on his actual personhood, record and policy views. We all went out to elect a Black Man – with little regard to anything he actually said or did. He went on about the bitter Pennsylvanians and even promised to intentionally “bankrupt” the coal industry – and he carried Pennsylvania.

    You might consider the possibility that just maybe some folks ain’t buying Obama because he’s a socialist who has spent a goodly amount of timing palling and making common cause with rabid haters of America. Plus, he has no experience in running anything ever. And he wants to increase capital gains taxes among others in the teeth of a recession. That’s fairly scary to anyone with any relation to reality.

    This election was not particularly a victory for democracy, but more a victory for Racial Symbolism. It’s all well and good that everybody gets to feel good about how not prejudiced they are. Heck, I shamefully admit that my Indiana 90 years ago was Klan central, so I can appreciate some representation of progress as Obama is the first Democrat to carry Indiana since LBJ in ’64.

    But considering the major problems the country is facing, I just can’t get much satisfaction with that business because it was done for dumb emotionalism at the expense of buying a pig in a socialist poke.

  • zingzing

    “…we elected not Barack Obama based on his actual personhood, record and policy views. We all went out to elect a Black Man – with little regard to anything he actually said or did.”

    that’s why no one watched the debates. speak for yourself, al. “we” didn’t go out to elect that black man, we voted for the person that best fit our views. so don’t spout that bullshit.

    “He went on about the bitter Pennsylvanians and even promised to intentionally “bankrupt” the coal industry – and he carried Pennsylvania.”

    more bullshit! hicks who cling to guns and god ARE bitter. and he didn’t say one damn word about bankrupting the coal industry. that’s just republican nonsense.

    “You might consider the possibility that just maybe some folks ain’t buying Obama because he’s a socialist who has spent a goodly amount of timing palling and making common cause with rabid haters of America.”

    the election’s over. you can stop with “socialist” and “america-hating.” it’s too fuckin late to make up bullshit. you obviously don’t know what socialism is, and if you think obama hates america, you’re just ignorant.

    prince rocks!

  • bliffle

    Dave is wrong, as usual. In recent months I’ve heard Madeline Albright at a couple of discussion forums and she’s as sharp as a tack. “Senile and demented” she is NOT.

    By now it must have become clear to even the most obtuse intelligence (Nalle, Clavos, Archie, etc.) that the Bush regime may entirely wreck the USA economy and our chances of survival.

    And those guys were bigtime cheerleaders and apologists for Bushes transgressions. Enablers.

  • Clavos

    we A little more than half of us voted for the person that best fit our views.”

    There. Fixed it for ya, zing.

  • bliffle

    I suppose that the Bush Enablers even have excuses for the SECRET $2trillion bank scam. Yes, that’s a “T” in trillion.

    read it and weep:

    Bloomberg

  • zingzing

    well, clavos, really, those that didn’t vote for obama didn’t vote for him, so they don’t count in the equation, and that’s the point i was making. al said that “we voted for a black man,” but that’s not true for a lot of us. i don’t give a shit. i voted for my views.

    now here’s where the “half of us” comes in: i’m glad more than half of us voted for a black man.

    but i voted for myself, not for a black man.

  • Clavos

    but i voted for myself, not for a black man.

    So did I, zing.

    Spin it any way you like, but almost half of the electorate did NOT vote for the ideas you voted for.

    Almost half.

  • zingzing

    clavos! that’s not what i was saying!

    al said that “we voted for a black man.” right?

    so if you did not vote for obama, YOU DID NOT VOTE FOR A BLACK MAN. if you voted for obama, YOU DID.

    but those of of that voted for obama (a black man), did not necessarily vote for a black man because he was black. we voted on the issues.

    al’s trying to make out like we didn’t give a shit about anything except the color of his skin, which is FUCKING FALSE. christ.

    that’s the damn point. stop being so obtuse.

    52%-46%, i know, i know. a little more than half of us voted for the black man that was elected.

    how the hell am i supposed to put it? IT’S NOT SPIN. we’re talking about two separate things.

  • Clavos

    OK, zing, I get it.

    Take your BP meds and calm down.

  • Baronius

    Carney – I can’t help but notice that most of my fellow conservatives have accepted the results of the election, although we’re worried about the actions of an Obama administration. We’re willing to work toward common goals. We aren’t hate-filled.

    Your description of covertly murderous right-wingers and their debilitated old candidate is pretty hateful though. And these Prop 8 protesters can’t accept it when democracy doesn’t go their way. And the Democrats have a lot to apologize for in their reactions to the prior two presidential elections. So you might want to reanalyze this whole “hate” thing.

  • zingzing

    heh. ok, clavos. sounds good to me. al gets under my skin. but he likes prince, which makes him 52%-46% ok.

  • zingzing

    those who voted for prop 8 are full of hate. it’s true. no person who has any humanity in them would vote to deny rights that they enjoy to someone else. it’s fucking pathetic and putrid. those that vote against it should have the same rights denied to them. everything they do sickens me.

    lalala.

  • Maurice

    It is thrilling to know that a black man can win the votes and trust of America. Even though my beliefs are more in line with Walter Williams than President Elect Obama I have to acknowledge my personal feelings of pride and power knowing that a black man has overcome.

    Many of my white friends (I live in RED Idaho) are uncomfortable and obsequious when acknowledging the election. I firmly believe Obama will be given every opportunity to succeed.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t understand why so many people keep referring to Barack Obama as black when he is half and half. I do understand how that makes him an even better symbol of the emergence of a long overdue more mature USA.

  • Baronius

    Zing, have you been hearing about the protests and arrests in California? The liberals suffered one defeat nationwide a week ago, and it overwhelms them. Some people are now claiming that the prop was confusing.

  • bliffle

    It looks like BushCo is executing a raid on the US treasury before leaving office like a Banana Republic dictator running from justice.

    Here, I’ll quote the whole Bloomberg article about The $2trillion SECRET bank giveaway scam!

    Bloomberg

    By Mark Pittman, Bob Ivry and Alison Fitzgerald
    Enlarge Image/Details

    Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

    Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn’t require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.

    “The collateral is not being adequately disclosed, and that’s a big problem,” said Dan Fuss, vice chairman of Boston- based Loomis Sayles & Co., where he co-manages $17 billion in bonds. “In a liquid market, this wouldn’t matter, but we’re not. The market is very nervous and very thin.”

    Bloomberg News has requested details of the Fed lending under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and filed a federal lawsuit Nov. 7 seeking to force disclosure.

    The Fed made the loans under terms of 11 programs, eight of them created in the past 15 months, in the midst of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    “It’s your money; it’s not the Fed’s money,” said billionaire Ted Forstmann, senior partner of Forstmann Little & Co. in New York. “Of course there should be transparency.”

    Treasury, Fed, Obama

    Federal Reserve spokeswoman Michelle Smith declined to comment on the loans or the Bloomberg lawsuit. Treasury spokeswoman Michele Davis didn’t respond to a phone call and an e-mail seeking comment.

    President-elect Barack Obama’s economic adviser, Jason Furman, also didn’t respond to an e-mail and a phone call seeking comment from Obama. In a Sept. 22 campaign speech, Obama promised to “make our government open and transparent so that anyone can ensure that our business is the people’s business.”

    The Fed’s lending is significant because the central bank has stepped into a rescue role that was also the purpose of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, bailout plan — without safeguards put into the TARP legislation by Congress.

    Total Fed lending topped $2 trillion for the first time last week and has risen by 140 percent, or $1.172 trillion, in the seven weeks since Fed governors relaxed the collateral standards on Sept. 14. The difference includes a $788 billion increase in loans to banks through the Fed and $474 billion in other lending, mostly through the central bank’s purchase of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds.

    Sept. 14 Decision

    Before Sept. 14, the Fed accepted mostly top-rated government and asset-backed securities as collateral. After that date, the central bank widened standards to accept other kinds of securities, some with lower ratings. The Fed collects interest on all its loans.

    The plan to purchase distressed securities through TARP called for buying at the “lowest price that the secretary (of the Treasury) determines to be consistent with the purposes of this Act,” according to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the law that covers TARP.

    The legislation didn’t require any specific method for the purchases beyond saying mechanisms such as auctions or reverse auctions should be used “when appropriate.” In a reverse auction, bidders offer to sell securities at successively lower prices, helping to ensure that the Fed would pay less. The measure also included a five-member oversight board that includes Paulson and Bernanke.

    At a Sept. 23 Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, Paulson called for transparency in the purchase of distressed assets under the TARP program.

    `We Need Transparency’

    “We need oversight,” Paulson told lawmakers. “We need protection. We need transparency. I want it. We all want it.”

    At a joint House-Senate hearing the next day, Bernanke also stressed the importance of openness in the program. “Transparency is a big issue,” he said.

    The Fed lent cash and government bonds to banks, which gave the Fed collateral in the form of equities and debt, including subprime and structured securities such as collateralized debt obligations, according to the Fed Web site. The borrowers have included the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    Banks oppose any release of information because it might signal weakness and spur short-selling or a run by depositors, said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs for the Financial Services Roundtable, a Washington trade group.

    Frank Backs Fed

    “You have to balance the need for transparency with protecting the public interest,” Talbott said. “Taxpayers have a right to know where their tax dollars are going, but one piece of information standing alone could undermine public confidence in the system.”

    The nation’s biggest banks, Citigroup, Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, declined to comment on whether they have borrowed money from the Fed. They received $120 billion in capital from the TARP, which was signed into law Oct. 3.

    In an interview Nov. 6, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said the Fed’s disclosure is sufficient and that the risk the central bank is taking on is appropriate in the current economic climate. Frank said he has discussed the program with Timothy F. Geithner, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a possible candidate to succeed Paulson as Treasury secretary.

    “I talk to Geithner and he was pretty sure that they’re OK,” said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. “If the risk is that the Fed takes a little bit of a haircut, well that’s regrettable.” Such losses would be acceptable, he said, if the program helps revive the economy.

    `Unclog the Market’

    Frank said the Fed shouldn’t reveal the assets it holds or how it values them because of “delicacy with respect to pricing.” He said such disclosure would “give people clues to what your pricing is and what they might be able to sell us and what your estimates are.” He wouldn’t say why he thought that information would be problematic.

    Revealing how the Fed values collateral could help thaw frozen credit markets, said Ron D’Vari, chief executive officer of NewOak Capital LLC in New York and the former head of structured finance at BlackRock Inc.

    “I’d love to hear the methodology, how the Fed priced the assets,” D’Vari said. “That would unclog the market very quickly.”

    TARP’s $700 billion so far is being used to buy preferred shares in banks to shore up their capital. The program was originally intended to hold banks’ troubled assets while markets were frozen.

    AIG Lending

    The Bloomberg lawsuit argues that the collateral lists “are central to understanding and assessing the government’s response to the most cataclysmic financial crisis in America since the Great Depression.”

    The Fed has lent at least $81 billion to American International Group Inc., the world’s largest insurer, so that it can pay obligations to banks. AIG today said it received an expanded government rescue package valued at more than $150 billion.

    The central bank is also responsible for losses on a $26.8 billion portfolio guaranteed after Bear Stearns Cos. was bought by JPMorgan.

    “As a taxpayer, it is absolutely important that we know how they’re lending money and who they’re lending it to,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Arlington, Virginia- based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

    Ratings Cuts

    Ultimately, the Fed will have to remove some securities held as collateral from some programs because the central bank’s rules call for instruments rated below investment grade to be taken back by the borrower and marked down in value. Losses on those assets could then be written off, partly through the capital recently injected into those banks by the Treasury.

    Moody’s Investors Service alone has cut its ratings on 926 mortgage-backed securities worth $42 billion to junk from investment grade since Sept. 14, making them ineligible for collateral on some Fed loans.

    The Fed’s collateral “absolutely should be made public,” said Mark Cuban, an activist investor, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team and the creator of the Web site BailoutSleuth.com, which focuses on the secrecy shrouding the Fed’s moves.

    The Bloomberg lawsuit is Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

    Last Updated: November 10, 2008 15:08 EST

  • Michael J. West

    Some people are now claiming that the prop was confusing.

    Perhaps people want to believe that voters in California didn’t really know what they were voting for. Because people don’t want to believe that voters in California are as hateful as they would necessarily have to be to know what they were voting for in Prop. 8, and to vote for it anyway.

  • zingzing

    the return of michael j. west…

    i fainted…

    retreat, michael! it will suck you in!

    and fuck california.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Fat assed Rush has set off against Obama saying “He hasn’t done anything yet, but his ideas are wrecking the economy.” What an asshole!

    Reps are now refering to the 700 billion dollar “bailout” as belonging to the Dems and Obama.

    Reps are lambasting Obama for his transition and administration choices – for going to former Clinton people.

    First: Both Bush Jr. administrations were and are rife with former Bush (Sr), Reagan and even going back to Ford and Nixon people.

    The Clinton administration is the only reasonably recent Democratic administration. Doesn’t anyone think that having people with experience in and around the WH a good thing? All you rightys carped all through the campaign about Obama’s lack of executive experience. If you think that remains an issue, isn’t it preferable that he bring as much “experience” around him as possible?

    Oh, Obama is NOT a socialist. A leftist? Yeah, probably. I really hope so. But, I bet you, as I’ve said before, he will govern much more from the center than you obviously expect. Of course, I may be forgetting that a number of you consider anyone politically to the left of Heinrich Himmler a socialist.

    Get over it. You guys fucking lost. You lost big. You did not lose owing to people voting for Obama’s skin color. You lost because the Reps have no credibility, no direction, and are politically and ethically bankrupt. You lost because Obama offered hope, all McCain offered was a fight. We’ve had to endure 8 years (which aren’t even over yet for crap sake) of your idiot president and his inept administration which threw is into an unwinnable and totally unnecessary war and in the process destroyed the economy.

    Your guys had their turn. They fucked up. Now it’s somebody else’s turn. If they fuck up, so be it. Then you can cackle and howl and watch the resurrection of the Reps, or even the rise of the Libertarians. A lot can happen in 2 years. But til then…

    B

  • zingzing

    damn, baritone. that second to last paragraph says it pretty well.

  • http://livefreelivewealthy.blogspot.com/ JAH

    Change comes from within first, america has fundamenally shifted more than the media and the ‘pundits’ realized….this election has shown that we are not as much a bunch of sheep as the ‘world’ thinks…..change has not come…change has been brought to the surface….as Marley says ‘only we can free our minds’…….

  • Baronius

    Baritone, we’re over it. We lost. We lost big. We had our turn, and we failed. Name one Republican who’s denying it.

  • zingzing

    oh, jesus, it’s so sweet! what is this? v-i-c-t-o-r-y? hmm… i’ve never tasted it. it’s good. this is going to make me fat, isn’t it?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Name one Republican who’s denying it.

    How about the author of comment 3 on this thread – who admittedly has waaaay too much free time, but still…!

  • Clavos

    As Baronius said, the Reps lost. But I don’t see how you guys can demand they “get over it,” particularly when I can clearly recall how you guys NEVER got over losing in ’00 and ’04, never stopping yer bitchin’ and whinin’, even for holidays.

    I’d say the Reps should do the same–just for the irritation value.

    Ducks and runs for cover, glancing fearfully behind and laughing maniacally.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “And these Prop 8 protesters can’t accept it when democracy doesn’t go their way.”

    Actually Prop 8 protesters can’t accept when a majority of voters attempt to pass unconstitutional amendments to the state constitution. It will be overturned in the courts. If not, once the old, religious types die off it will be overturned at the polls.

    Plus, it’s not that it was confusing. It’s that people were lied to because the out-of-state Mormons and others who funneled money into its passing knew they had to scare people.

    On behalf of CA, right back atcha, zing.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The supporters of Prop 8 knew they didn’t have anything to lose. McCain wasn’t going to win California anyway. On the other hand, here were millions of African-American and Hispanic voters who supported Obama but who were also socially conservative. (Although in the end, I believe a small majority of Hispanics actually voted No.) So why not encourage them to come out and vote?

    If it had been any other year, any other election, Prop 8 would have gone down in flames. Smart.

    El B, I’ve read the arguments about the constitutionality of Prop 8 (the whole ‘is it an amendment or a revision?’ bit) and I’m not convinced the courts will overturn it – not at state level, anyway, considering precedent.

    My main hope lies with the anti-gay-adoption amendment in Arkansas, which is so blatantly unconstitutional that I can’t see how SCOTUS won’t squash this malformed turd of a law. Which will, I hope, bring all the other 27-odd state constitutional amendments that discriminate against GLBTs crashing down with it. ‘T will be a Roe v. Wade moment, I’m tellin’ ya!

  • zingzing

    “On behalf of CA, right back atcha, zing.”

    hrm?

    oh. well, i only mean it to the homophobic bigots. so, fuck you, homophobic california.

    that better?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    It is with me, zing.

  • zingzing

    wonderbra.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The passage of Prop 8 is a perfect example of how direct democracy fails the people and especially in protecting the rights of minority groups.

    And Bliffle, does the hate never end? Bush is out, it’s over. No one is going to be held accountable with Obama in power. Learn to move on.

    Dave

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    Learn to move on

    the irony never ends.

  • Condor

    Obama? He just the president and like all presidents/politicians, he will act accordingly. The package rarely changes and I get the feeling that people still put great trust in the office, when there is really no history, or proof that the office has EVER earned that trust. Ever, maybe a few brief spurts of greatness, but only occasionally.

    For my money I would look at the Congress and the leadership there, and place the worry in that basket. I prefer a split ticket and I’m not a big believer in Reid/Pelosie. If Emanuel can manage the congressional tone, he would be providing a great service to Obama. And while Obama may be the seated president, I wonder how many senior congresspersons are really going to afford him the respect that goes with the office.

    We haven’t had a congressional-born president in a while. Since JFK. They have all been VP’s and Govs, granted some have served in Congress prior VP… but a not a strictly congressional president. A number have tried, but failed in the electorate. This will be interesting.

  • bliffle

    Move on? Never thought I’d hear those words in a Nalle recommendation.

    Regardless, this bloated bailout mentality continues, as if they are rushing to give away as much public money as possible before Jan. 20.

    And although BushCo may be gone then, the disastrous effect of their administration will linger on for many years.

    The Bush Enablers will linger on at BC and continue to write the bizarre rationalizations of aberrant behavior that have characterized them in the Bush regime.

    You would think that they would at least show some humility after the demonstrations of their poor judgements and unscrupulous arguments, but, alas, I don’t think we’ll see it.

  • Maurice

    Christopher #18

    I am a fair skinned black man. My wife is white. Our kids are considered black.

    Barack is a black man.

    Mulatto is a derogatory term to me.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    “And these Prop 8 protesters can’t accept it when democracy doesn’t go their way.”

    Actually Prop 8 protesters can’t accept when a majority of voters attempt to pass unconstitutional amendments to the state constitution.

    It’s not even that, Bicho. Prop 8 protesters can’t accept when the question of whether they have the same rights as other human beings is put up for a vote.

    And they’re right not to accept it.

  • Maurice

    Just to echo Dave’s comment #35:

    A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. – Thomas Jefferson

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Yes, democracy has its faults. It is inefficient and can be dangerous under certain circumstances.

    But the alternatives are generally worse. Yes, totalitarian governments are usually more efficient. There is generally less ambiguity. But, there is no less opportunity for corruption and the curtailing of citizens rights.

    Even a true oligarchy puts the rule of law in the hands of a few who are apt to be self serving to the detriment of others. It can be said that our government is an oligarchy which is more or less true on a day to day basis out of necessity. But, at least the citizenry has an opportunity every few years to make their voices heard. It doesn’t always work. Voices may be heard, but not necessrily heeded.

    Changes may be necessary in the manner in which we organize, run and change our governments at all levels during the remainder of the century. Any changes made should be judiciously considered. What with modern technology, opportunities for abuse of power become greater.

    As to Dems not “getting over” the 2000 and 2004 elections, I’d say we had good cause, especially in 2000 as the presidency was stolen from us. The 2004 election provided a continuation of the injustice of 2000, reinforced by the disenfranchising of thousands of Ohio voters which gave the election to Bush – an election stolen once again.

    B

  • Maurice

    Baritone,

    have you considered a representative republic?

    “I pledge alliagence to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands….”

  • bliffle

    #39 Maurice
    “…
    Mulatto is a derogatory term to me.”

    But why?

  • Maurice

    bliffle,

    it is an old word to describe things not racially pure. Certainly those described as such are looked down on as subservient (e.g. little mule).

  • Clavos

    You would think that they would at least show some humility

    Humility? You mean like you?

    I’ll leave that to Uriah Heep.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ #39:

    Maurice, I concur. Race being an entirely social construct (in the early part of the last century it was quite common for people to talk about ‘the American race’ or ‘the German race’), you are what you consider yourself to be.

    If Barack Obama considers himself to be black (and if most people also consider him thus), then black he is.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Maurice,

    Well, yes. I knew someone would bring that up when I used the term “democracy.” What I said regarding a “democracy” pretty much holds for our “representative republic” as well.

    B

  • Cannonshop

    #47 Agreed. “Race” is a great way to get people to go after each other when they don’t have a good reason, it’s also a great way for some people to talk themselves into feeling superior to someone else.

    Personally, I prefer condemning people for their actions and beliefs. It’s more interesting, more relevant, and far, far, more productive.

  • Brunelleschi

    Good writeup carney!

    Obama’s “Change” has already happened.

    The president isn’t a king, and he can only do so much. Obama is a party man and not a revolutionary, but what happened with this election IS revolutionary.

    America traded up and put another nail in the racism coffin. That’s change we should all be proud of.

    Millions of people that gave up on the same old political machine can now be proud to go out and buy a big American flag (made in China). haha

  • Zedd

    Maurice,

    I always figured you to be brown. Not even a little chocolate? Sigh. Imagined you to be a tall conservative looking brown brother with a mustache. Silly right. You are a Bryant Gumbel? Much luv anyway.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Zedd, you haven’t been paying attention again. Read Maurice’s #39…

  • Zedd

    Doc,

    That is what I was responding to. Bryant Gumbel is a lighter skinned Black man.

    I was saying I’ve always picture Maurice to be brown and am surprised that he is light. Boy you must think I am really dense. Bless you.

  • bliffle

    #45 Maurice

    “it [mulatto] is an old word to describe things not racially pure. Certainly those described as such are looked down on as subservient (e.g. little mule).”

    But why do YOU accept it?

  • Maurice

    bliffle,

    I accept nothing. I’m telling you I don’t like the word. My wife is part Native American. For some reason she doesn’t like it when I introduce her as my ‘squaw’. Funny how those old words can be annoying.

    Zedd,

    I look pretty much as you described. Plenty chocolate. A shade darker than Obama.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Maurice –

    A little sea story –

    My ship pulled into Perth, Australia, and there a “dial-a-sailor” program where the locals will have a sailor visit them. They ask for particular types of sailors, usually a certain race or culture.

    Strangely enough, they seemed to ask for those of Native American or African descent more than any other. I guess us white guys were a bit too boring. After all, we can’t dance and have no rhythm as my wife loves to point out….

    Just an interesting observation….

    (P.S. never try to out-drink an Australian!)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Maurice,

    My wife is part Native American. For some reason she doesn’t like it when I introduce her as my ‘squaw’. Funny how those old words can be annoying.

    If my wife had Native American blood in her, you’d never hear me use that word. You’d never hear me use that word anyway. In the Midwest, where Native American blood is very common, you learn that “squaw” means vagina. You never know where Native American blood runs, and I like my teeth….

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    For future reference, is there a ‘tongue in cheek’ emoticon that Maurice could use?

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    I firmly agree with what Lisa said in the first comment. I was thinking about this very sentiment today.

    When the hell can we move on from the whining and focus on how totally FUCKED up this country is right now. It is grim, so very, very grim. The Republican’s should be thanking Barack Obama for taking the job of prez during one of the WORST times in our nations history.

    The only bright spot at all is that gas is below $2 bucks. If the auto industry fails, which perhaps it should, we will finally be seeing those 8% (or higher) unemployment rates economists have been warning us about.

    I gravely fear we are in deep doodoo and it will be A LONG time before we see any light.

    The sky IS falling. We are doomed. Obama as president hopefully will help, but it certainly isn’t going to make matters any worse.

    Excuse me while I go dig a fucking hole to crawl in.

  • pablo

    bliffle #7

    Madeline Albright Pleasssse. The same witch who said that the death of over a million children in Iraq was worth it? The same monster who ordered the slaughter of kids at Waco? The same fascist pawn who works for David Rockefeller, and is in the CFR and the Bilderberg group.

    The blindness of liberals is truly amazing, Albright is the devil incarnate.

  • bliffle

    We are well and truly farcked by the Bush administration and their enablers, the co-dependents on the particular drunken Reagan Republican Reverie brewed up by Milton Friedman.

    And they keep doing it!

    And by co-dependents I do mean the Nalles, Clavos’s, Baronius’s, etc., who have continually defended the scoundrels, even as now they contrive distractions to divert attention from the compounding failures of all they hold dear.

  • Unimpressed

    So far, Obama’s personnel choices make him look like Clinton Light.

    Where’s the change that we can believe in?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    You know what? that tired argument is soooo damn lame-you have to have people who know how Washington works, if you have any hopes of changing it.

    and that’s a fact

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    The same monster who ordered the slaughter of kids at Waco?

    I think you have Albright confused with Janet Reno.

    And Bliffle, at some point you have to get over your reflexive desire to make everything in the world the fault of the Bush administration and come to terms with the real world. It’s getting tired.

    And Friedman? Good lord, he’s dead, and he was hardly the architect of the current mess. All of what’s been going on must have him spinning in his grave. Nothing like anything he believed in.

    Dave

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    And Dave, at some point you have to get over your reflexive desire to make everything in the world the fault of the Clinton administration and come to terms with the real world. It’s getting tired.

    And Dave this whole mess we’re in has been building a lot longer than the last two years.

  • bliffle

    Pablo,

    I said that Albright was sharp and not senile. I didn’t say that she had particularly good morals, in particular better than GWB, Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc., none of whom have shown any reluctance to kill Iraqi kids.

  • bliffle

    Unimpressed is unimpressed:

    “So far, Obama’s personnel choices make him look like Clinton Light.”

    I am similarly unimpressed.

    Obama should avoid Beltway Lifers, they cannot forever avoid their complicity in past crimes. The day of reckoning is nigh.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Lisa wrote (a week ago) WHY would anyone want the country to go down the tubes just to prove they were right?

    Dawn concurred, adding
    When the hell can we move on from the whining and focus on how totally FUCKED up this country is right now? It is grim, so very, very grim. The Republicans should be thanking Barack Obama for taking the job of prez during one of the WORST times in our nations history.

    That’s the positive side of the story, if you are a Republican. Now the Democrats have to clean up the mess the Republicans are leaving you all.

    The truly positive thing about the election of Barry Obama is that Americans were able to choose what they perceive to be a black man as their president and begin to put down the cross of racism that they have borne for five centuries. There is no taking that away, and that is something that those of you who love America in yor hearts should be joyous over.

    It would be nice if Obama was a Kennedy, and it would be even better if he was a Roosevelt. The problem is that he is neither. He has neither the skills nor the ability to deal with the catasclysm that over sixty years of financial and managerial mismanagement, along with 90 years of irresponsible policy choices by the American labor movement, is bringing you all. The fact that America is now a debtor nation, owing all around her, and owing the most to the worst bastards on the planet, is no help either.

    Two years of voting “present” in the United States senate does not get you the decision-making experience that four years of being governor of New York (like FDR), or even two years of being governor of Alaska (like Sarah Palin) would bring.

    While from my own point of view, Colin Powell was a lousy secretary of state and military commander, he would have made a far better choice for president than Mr. Obama. Even Sarah Palin, for all of her ignorance intellectual shortfalls, would have been a better choice.

    The situation in your country is grim, very grim, as Dawn says, and Obama cannot save you, even if this is what he wants to do. It’s time to look beyond the color of the man’s skin, and look at the leader you have chosen, assuming that he is not disqualified over citizenship issues.

    Truth is, you really never had a choice at all. McCain could not handle this economic/geo-political cataclysm you face, and neither can Obama.

    You guys have been screwed but good. The kindest thing one can say in this situation is. “G-d save America.”

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    My advice? Enjoy those Thanksgiving turkeys this year. Next year or two years down, you may be eating pigeons instead.

  • zingzing

    ruvy, how many times can you sit there saying the same damn self-satisfied crap? it’s getting dull. we’ve heard you say this before. you think our country is going down the tubes. we get it!

    do you whack off while you write this stuff?

    and what, oh wise man, do you think will happen to the israeli economy? i mean, the fact is that when we squeeze out a shit, you guys come and gobble it up with a happy, shit-eating grin on your face. at least that’s what you say (if not how you would put it).

    so what happens to you when your benefactor can’t help you out anymore? our government gives more to the average israeli citizen than it does to the average american citizen. you are a welfare state. so what happens when it’s gone?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I wonder, has Ruvy finally jumped the shark?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    we’ve heard you say this before. you think our country is going down the tubes. we get it! do you whack off while you write this stuff?

    I pay you guys a compliment and that’s all you have to say?

    No, zing, I don’t whack off while writing this. Most of my family still lives in the States. That means that they will be in the same hole you will. You think I like that? What kind of fool are you?

    If you “get it” and understand what I’ve been saying, then think about what you can do to deal with it effectively. You’re not an idiot, even though half the time you write like one. Jet is no idiot either. And of the lot of us, I’d say he has the most experience dealing with real crises, life threatening ones – at least that’s based on what I actually know of you. I could be wrong.

    In other words, what alternatives can you come up with that allow you to deal with a crisis that will overtake your country soon? That is something I cannot do.

    so what happens to you when your benefactor can’t help you out anymore? our government gives more to the average israeli citizen than it does to the average american citizen. you are a welfare state. so what happens when it’s gone?

    What happens is that we stop relying on phony benefactors, like the United States, and on our real Benefactor, the G-d of Israel, and on ourselves. Long before you guys came along pushing your solutions down our throats, we had developed an economy of cooperatives based on equality. Thst can be rebuilt. Now, what we need to do is develop an economic system that allows an equivalent to banks to operate without charging interest.

    We’ll have to change how we do things. But, as the baboon said to the lion in “The Lion KIng”, “change is good”. Hey! Even Obama would agree with that!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    By the way, zing, just so you know, I have checked into the positive changes that can be made here, changes that do not rely on America or its fast disappearing prosperity. I can’t do it all, but friends of mine are also checking into things.

    But these are not issues that I’d write about here at Blogcritics Magazine. They are truly local, and should stay that way.

  • bliffle

    I’m afraid so.

  • zingzing

    “We’ll have to change how we do things. But, as the baboon said to the lion in “The Lion KIng”, “change is good”. Hey! Even Obama would agree with that!”

    and that would be my answer to you as well. do you really think we’re all sitting over here saying, “aaaaahhhh, obama is our president now, we can rest easy!”

    you’re not an idiot but sometimes you write like one.

    and if you paid us a compliment, then i didn’t see it. oh, the “you’re not racists” thing? ok. fine. thanks.

    we’re searching for ways out of this, as is the rest of the world. we’re not the only ones going down the tubes. iceland is bankrupt, china is trying out their own bailout programs… nearly everyone is feeling the effects of this, and our economy is still in a relatively safe place compared to lots of nations.

    you saying over and over again, in quite a gloating, condescending voice, that “the usa is going to fail, fail, fail! i’ve seen it in prophecy!” is rather pointless. it doesn’t need to be said more than once. or maybe for a week. but, you’ve been going on for months, rarely adding anything new to it, other than numerology and silly word games you play with your torah.

    good luck to israel in dealing without us/un funding. seriously. because if the shit really goes to shit, you’ll see what that reality looks like. i’m not sure your economy can handle it.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    It’s like I said before Ruvy, keep throwing rocks at our hive and you’re going to get stung.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Plus, pigeons are considered a delicacy.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    “the usa is going to fail, fail, fail!
    It’s like I said before Ruvy, keep throwing rocks at our hive and you’re going to get stung.
    Talk about shooting the messenger!

    pigeons are considered a delicacy

    Not when you’re chasing the bastards for dinner!

  • zingzing

    we’re not shooting the messenger, we’re just tired of the messenger relaying his message for the 20th time. we heard you the first time. got it. ok?

    pigeons are too small.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I defy you to say that the next time one shits on your head in New York Zing…

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    we’re just tired of the messenger relaying his message for the 20th time. we heard you the first time. got it. ok?

    I got it. Have you? I’ll repeat this for your benefit. If you “get it” and understand what I’ve been saying, then think about what you can do to deal with it effectively.

    The only people on this list I’ve seen really do that are Cindy B., with her models of anarchism from 1936 Spain, and Dave Nalle, with his proposals for what he views as an intelligent plan to subsidize car purchases. The problem with his proposal is that it requires a body, Congress, to actually approve and fund, and that is not going to happen.

    But at least he tries! However, other than the examples I’ve mentioned above, I don’t really see that at all.

    The point is that you cannot rely on Uncle Sam to bail you out. You have to think this one through yourselves. Forget Obama! Forget your damned government! They won’t do you two shits worth of good! They’re broke!

    When I see more people with ideas like Cindy’s – not necessarily anarchist sociali$m – but alternatives that do not require either Uncle Sam’s help or a major change in human nature – then I’ll know that YOU have gotten MY point.

  • zingzing

    jet: “I defy you to say that the next time one shits on your head in New York Zing…”

    i’m sure there’s something funny there, but i’m searching for the context. what do i say (or not) the next time… was there a first?… someone… shits.. on my head… what?

  • zingzing

    oh, right, i get it.

    pigeons.

    “one.” not “someone.”

    excuse me.

  • zingzing

    ruvy, ok. very few of us are economists. i’m not sure how to right what’s gone wrong. things need to change at the top of corporations. and wall street needs less influence. but we’re entrenched in a system. the system needs some retooling, if we’re going to stick with it. throwing it off suddenly would be disastrous.

    but we all see the trouble without you laughing it up in israel, seemingly oblivious (at least when you’re in gloating mode) to the effects it will have on your own economy.

    this is all getting repetitious and it’s exactly what i’m tired of, so that’s all i’ll say on that, but if you want to go on about how you see us (and you) getting out of this mess, by all means, do.

  • bliffle

    “at some point you have to get over your reflexive desire to make everything in the world the fault of the Bush administration”

    No. Bush volunteered for the job. He declared himself “The Decider” and behaved like a dictator. So he has to take the responsibility for at least: 2 losing wars fought for no reason, and a busted economy and an exhausted treasury.

    Plus all the crimes he committed to get there.

    Even his election had the stink of ‘coup’ attached to it.

    Bush deserves every bit of the scorn and obloquy that will attach to his name and his reign.

  • Clavos

    Bush deserves every bit of the scorn and obloquy that will attach to his name and his reign.

    Why stop at scorn and obloquy?

    Let’s charge him with Mis- and Malfeasance.

    And if found guilty, let’s lock his ass away for as long as the law allows, and strip him of his pension.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And make him drive a Chevy Aveo.

  • Baronius

    Bliffle, is this what joy looks like on a liberal? ’cause it doesn’t look much different from fury.

  • Clavos

    Do I detect a certain level of experience there, Doc?

    Never even been in an Aveo, but I’ve seen them in parking lots; they look — well…basic.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Never had the ‘pleasure’ of driving one, Clav, but the Aveo is the cheapest car on the American market – and also, according to Consumer Reports, the worst.

    The few Chevys I have sat behind the wheel of were absolutely horrible things to drive, though.

  • Baronius

    I’ve driven an Aveo. It’s about as heavy as a bicycle, but with a *little* more power.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    yo zing!

    Remember the convo we had that ended at comment 84?

    I watched that same damned article that I linked you guys to all day at AOL, and at the end of the trading day, I saw that the Dow had dumped another 400 odd points. That’s 863 points in two days, over ten percent of its value. I should only lose weight so fast!!

    My wife (at my instigation) sort of asked how her father’s stocks were doing. There is nothing like a first hand report. This is what he wrote.

    Many years ago, all the beer parlors had “spitoons” on the floor so that their customers could spit their chewing tobacco in to. You asked about my stocks. Well, they are all in the spitoon.
    And everyone else’s stock is the same.
    Now the big car manufacturers here want the government to give them billions of dollars so that they can stay in business, making cars that nobody wants.

    He’s an optimist, by the way, not a pessimist. I don’t know if this crappy market is enough to scare him out of it. If I were him, I’d cash in my chips and stick the money under a mattress. But he’s not me.

    When he was a kid in the 1930’s he was dirt poor, like everyone else in North Minneapolis was. He crawled out of poverty slowly, investing in the market as he was able. It hurts me to think that as an old man in his eighties, he should be stuck in the same poverty hole he crawled out of, now that he’s too sick do do anything about it.

    It would be real easy to say, “life’s a bitch and then you die”. But I can’t afford to turn my back on my faith. I’d fall off the knife edge I walk on.

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