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Waiting For Obama

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A style is born. On October 5, 2010, weighing about two pounds, one ounce, in hardcover, given name: The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism. Its baby daddy Roger D. Hodge. hails from the left-elite camp — again!  Roger is not alone because other left wing stellar wordsmiths are lending their names to the cabal of Obama haters by penning books, online chatter and tribal council to bring Obama down. And the e-leaks read “President Interrupted.”

It started with the right, really. But the professional left is gaining ground. Once sipping the tea of contentment, laid back unready to slash and burn…yet. But now they are writing with as much vim and verve as one group can wield. They are calling Obama out as liar, as the root of mendacity in French “to lie.”  

What do the elite really want? Their own round table seat complete with Kool-Aid service where they can rant, spin and spend another trillion dollars? Copy-cat criminals, the lot of them, are at the root of these new tomes. Let’s see who can out-write, outwit and out-sell the most anti-Obama diatribes. Who knew it would come to a spitting-in-Obama-eye contest between left and right wingnuts over who will write the ugliest book on the first black president in the age of Obama?

The Obama presidency has become fair game. It was also a waiting game. Writers laying in wait for Obama well before the Ides of March to launch a cunning offensive from an iPad at an undisclosed location. Mission accomplished boys and girls.

Unfortunately, Hodge’s book just might be the Democrats and Obama’s undoing or the longest “Dear John” letter ever written. His book should come with a warning label: “wear black while reading,”  because it may be final nail in the Obama administration coffers.

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About Heloise

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/realist Realist

    The first nail into the Obama administration’s coffin was driven when Rahm Emanuel was named chief of staff. Once he had the hammer, he allowed David Axelrod to position the next nails for insertion. I could go on and on, for it takes many nails to seal a coffin, and the list of those is long and detailed.

    It didn’t have to be. If Obama had given job creation a tenth of the attention he gave the Republicans in his foolish efforts to achieve bipartisanship (an affliction he still carries), he and the Democrats would be routing the Republicans in the midterms instead of fighting to retain their Congressional majority. But you wouldn’t know this reading tomes put out by corporate stooges like Ingraham and Ifill.

  • doug m.

    ‘A style is born’? This kind of thing is nothing new. Idealogues are rarely happy with what happens in DC

  • kurt brigliadora

    Are you talking about books? cause if you are.. “Trickle up Poverty” is a must read! Its a real “eye opener”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Does one have to be an ideologue, Doug, to assess Obama’s performance as a failure?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Excellent link, Heloise, to an excellent interview with the author. The guy is sharp

  • doug m.

    Not at all. Surely you are not claiming Hodge isn’t one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not on the basis of that interview

  • Baronius

    Heloise is right. President Obama’s black.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    The day an elected politician pursues exactly, and only, the policies I wish him to pursue will be the day I realize that heaven does exist and I’m in it.

  • zingzing

    “The day an elected politician pursues exactly, and only, the policies I wish him to pursue will be the day I realize that heaven does exist and I’m in it.”

    or you could be an elected official. if this were heaven and you weren’t forced into compromise by the fact that you AREN’T A DICTATOR.

    but if obama is a “failure,” as roger is apt tp say, but not to explain, i wonder how clinton wasn’t. or how any other democratic president in my lifetime wasn’t a failure. (republicans are not failures, just idiots.) obama has pushed through meaningful reforms in both healthcare and wall st. he’s stemmed the flow of blood from the economy. the war in iraq, if it’s not over, is at least heading in the right direction, where that idea was once just a pipedream. $200 billion has been invested in clean energy. we’ve got two relatively young new female members of the supreme court.

    what did clinton do before his first midterm election? (or what did reagan do?) how is obama, who has done more meaningful shit in his first 18 months than any other president during the last 40 years, a failure?

    if you’re a liberal, or a progressive, or whatever, obama has been pretty damn good so far. (of course, if you’re a conservative, i could see how you’d be pissed, but i’m not sorry for it.)

    that he’s done it with such ridiculously bullheaded and drooling lockstep opposition against him is a goddamn miracle, but he remains, to the unimpressed like roger, a “failure.” how is that? he didn’t put on glasses, take off glasses, sprout a cape and turn into fucking superman?

  • Clavos

    …obama has pushed through meaningful reforms in both healthcare…

    Oh puleeze. Obamacare as currently constituted will result in more, not fewer uninsured people. In the wake of several large corporations (including John Deere and Verizon among others) announcing that they are considering dropping employee health plans under Obamacare, the WH has announced it will grant waivers to these corporations — so, now we have the administration backpedaling frantically from their own plan because it’s unworkable, the CBO keeps insisting the cost of the plan as currently constituted will break our economy, etc. etc. That’s certainly some impressive “reform,” alright.

    … he’s stemmed the flow of blood from the economy…

    Really? Which one? Certainly not ours. Unemployment is still at a post-Depression record high, the stock market is still down by 30%, the housing market is nearly moribund, banks are refusing to lend money in the face of all the uncertainty, and consumers (those who are still working) fear they may lose their jobs as well, so the GDP is again slowing — a number of economists (none working at the WH, of course) are now warning of the increasingly real possibility of a double-dip recession.

    …that he’s done it with such ridiculously bullheaded and drooling lockstep opposition against him is a goddamn miracle…

    That “opposition” is meaningless and powerless — the Dems have majorities in both houses — the administration isn’t skilled (or experienced) enough to seize that and use that advantage to its full potential.

    But, not to worry. He’s gonna get sent back to community organizing very shortly.

  • Baronius

    Zing – I think a fair reading would recognize President Obama for his economic policy and health care reform. The efforts on financial reform and clean energy were minor; the Iraq War is going according to Bush’s schedule; he wasn’t going to leave two slots on the Supreme Court empty.

    In Clinton’s first two years, he enacted NAFTA and failed in his health care reform efforts. Reagan, in his first two years, enacted his economic policy and escalated the Cold War. I think your defense of Obama’s first 18 months is driven by emotion more than facts.

  • Baronius

    You raise an interesting point, Clav. George HW Bush was nearly 70 when he was fired from the most high-profile job in the world. He went into seclusion. Carter, on the other hand, was still a middle-aged man when he lost the presidency. It drove him into the weird, bitter creature we see today. Clinton, of course, left on his own terms, but 2000 put Gore on a Carteresque path without him ever having been president. So, if Barack Obama were to become unemployed in 2013, what would the future hold for him?

  • zingzing

    “I think your defense of Obama’s first 18 months is driven by emotion more than facts.”

    i’ll say this to both you and clavos. you aren’t the audience for my remarks. not to say you can’t say anything about those remarks, but i didn’t expect you to like what he’s done so far, so it’s no surprise. he (and his legislation) is certainly open to criticism, but progressive criticism is that he hasn’t gone far enough, rather than he’s gone too far. and yet, from a progressive standpoint, his accomplishments have been rather impressive, if not all we could have dreamed of.

    as for clavos’ “That “opposition” is meaningless and powerless” bit, that might be true if it wasn’t expected for the gop to vote in mass against the more controversial bills. if the dems voted in mass along party lines, it would be meaningless. but they don’t, so it’s not.

    as for baronius’ “he wasn’t going to leave two slots on the Supreme Court empty” bit, that’s true, but did he filled them with two fairly young, liberal women with disparate backgrounds. and he’s got a good shot at a third nomination in the near future. he could help sway the court back our way. it’s all timing, of course, but so what? it’s important.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    If you’d take the time to read the one-page article as per Heloise’s link, it might open your eyes as to why “the progressives” consider Obama a dismal failure. But you’ve always been quick on the draw with your freely opinions and just as resistant to consider views other than your own. Just an observation, zing, no hard feelings.

    And who by the way are the progressives you speak of? Certainly you can’t be thinking of Handy as your prime example?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    freely expressed opinions …

  • Baronius

    Zing, note that my comment #13 was entirely without partisanship. I’m not arguing that Obama’s second-tier accomplishments weren’t good; only that they were second-tier. Personally, I think that Reagan’s breaking of the air traffic controllers’ union was brilliant, but I’m not going to list it as a first-tier accomplishment.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @14 who cares?

  • Clavos

    …if the dems voted in mass along party lines…

    They don’t have to, their majority was large enough to lose a few and still pass Obamacare.

    It’s not the fictional “opposition” that’s sinking him (not until November 2, anyway), it’s the ineptitude, flawed concepts and poor planning that are doing it.

    The economy is still sinking, and he (and his peeps) haven’t a clue as to what to do — if they did, it wouldn’t still be sinking…

  • zingzing

    “They don’t have to, their majority was large enough to lose a few and still pass Obamacare.”

    well, they did pass that. but that took some doing. the point is that you can trust the gop to walk arm in arm just about every time something controversial comes up, but you can’t expect the dems to do that. while i sometimes wish, for the legislation’s sake, they would, i’d rather have freely-thinking legislators rather than party-first robots.

    the opposition certainly exists and it certainly makes things very difficult for him. maybe the gop is better at the game. i dunno. it certainly looks like it right now.

    roger: “But you’ve always been quick on the draw with your freely opinions and just as resistant to consider views other than your own.”

    touche, but that’s what everyone does. you’re just as guilty as i am. so i’ll honestly have to agree with you, but i’ll turn the mirror around as well.

    “And who by the way are the progressives you speak of?”

    the progressives i speak of are the disappointed dems, i guess, although i’m not quite sure what the “you speak of” phrase is referring to. i’m not quite sure what handy’s position on all this is at this point.

    baronius: “I’m not arguing that Obama’s second-tier accomplishments weren’t good; only that they were second-tier.”

    well, roger, amongst others, seems to say that obama’s accomplished nothing. but it’s simply not the case. if you really look at it (from a progressive standpoint), he’s accomplished plenty, and if it’s not enough for you, well, that’s washington. maybe you came in with goals that were a little lofty and frankly unattainable.

  • Baronius

    “the point is that you can trust the gop to walk arm in arm just about every time something controversial comes up, but you can’t expect the dems to do that.”

    Yeah, that’s how the GOP got rid of the Department of Education, privatized Social Security, passed the flag-burning amendment, eliminated affirmative action, authorized the bombing of the Iranian nuclear program, created a flat tax, eliminated the teaching of evolution from our schools, reversed Roe v. Wade, enacted free trade with Latin America, built a wall along the Mexican border, expanded oil drilling in Alaska, passed a balanced-budget amendment and gave the President authority for a line-item veto, got rid of bilingual education, established abstinence-only education and elimiated condom distribution from American schools, cleaned up the art being funded by the NEA, got rid of the Federal Reserve System, and not only left the UN but drove it from our soil.

  • zingzing

    i’m specifically talking about their response to obama, baronius. sorry that wasn’t clear.

  • zingzing

    and most specifically within the senate. the house seems to be a little more open, because there’s always that next line of defense. but once something gets to the senate, it’s gop lockdown time.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Zing, #24: That’s because of the stupid filibuster-mania that now requires 60 votes for any action whatsoever by the Senate. The Senate is full of useless bullshit like that: a single Senator can anonymously hold up any nomination too. Insane.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I agree that Roger Hodge is a very smart man. But he writes as a polemicist, and tends toward hyperbole. He’s better writing about history than contemporary events.

    So I don’t agree with his overstated negativism about Obama. But he is right that the Citizens United decision is just about the worst thing to come out of the Supreme Court since sometime in the first half of the 20th century. The “personhood” of corporations is just a wacky concept. Obama ought to demagogue it for all he’s worth, and make the GOP defend it to an angry public.

  • Clavos

    If he can find an “angry public” that’s angry at someone (or something) other than him.

    Doubtful.

  • zingzing

    well, republicans certainly haven’t been busy making themselves look good. that’s the price they pay for concentrating all their power into making obama look bad.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    A couple of other points:

    As I have said many times before, I believe the economy would still suck and unemployment would still be high if John McCain, Ron Paul, or Hillary Clinton were president. The recession was that nasty and deep.

    We were hemorrhaging 500,000 or more jobs a month in early 2009. We have now had positive job growth in the private sector for seven straight months. Progress is slow and painful, but it is there. If there were a “magic bullet” for unemployment, why wouldn’t the president have already used it? There isn’t one.

    We probably do need a second big stimulus bill, but the asshole Republicans have effectively demonized the very word “stimulus.” If there is a double dip, look no further than that for the reason.

    I don’t understand referring to the financial reform bill, a fairly massive accomplishment, as “second tier.”

    When critics from the left discuss the Obama health reform bill, their complaint starts from the baseline that it is not a Canadian/European style national health service. It was never going to be that, so they were never going to be satisfied.

    The administration decided early on that the employer-based insurance company is so entrenched that ripping it up would be massively disruptive. So we got a variation on the current system.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    “Employer based insurance system” I meant.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Clavos #27:

    Just keep in mind that the Republicans’ negative poll ratings are way higher than the president’s, even now.

  • Heloise

    good points. I have given some thought also to what Obama would be best at if he were to not get a second term, even if he gets a second term he will still be young. I have a title for this but I am keeping it under wraps when the time is ripe.

    I think a turban and a turn at the “gaddi” or spiritual guru would suit him just fine. I mean he can practice the benevolent dictator, be loved and make lots of money and no one will question his will because he will in effect be a god.

    Yup, got it. Obama’s job after the Oval office? God incarnate. LOL

  • Clavos

    Just keep in mind that the Republicans’ negative poll ratings are way higher than the president’s, even now.

    Wonder why so many pollsters are predicting a GOP avalanche next week?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Gloat much?

    The poll and the election are measuring two different things: the general opinion of the public, overall; and the choices of the people who are most motivated to vote.

    In 2006 and 2008, Dems won seats in a lot of basically GOP districts. A lot of those will change back this time.

    Not everybody is pissed off, but it only takes 10-15-20% of the independents changing their minds.

    And they only have two choices in most cases. They may be holding their noses and voting against the party in power, without loving the other guys.

    Reagan in ’82 and Clinton in ’94 had approval ratings about the same and even slightly lower, and they went on to win 2nd terms handily, no pun intended.

  • Baronius

    A lot will change back this year, but it’s surprising how many pickups are expected in the Senate. As you noted, the Dems made their gains in 2006. If you look at the map, Republicans are likely to have a bigger win in 2012 (at least in the Senate).

    As for the presidency, it’s entirely up for grabs. Obama could easily win it, but a lot depends on the old Misery Index, the sum of unemployment and, God help us, inflation. But the Dow has been chugging back in anticipation of a Congress that will reimplement the Bush tax cuts, and depending on how big of an impact the current wave of European fiscal crises has, we could see more improvement than expected. Remember that the economists who overbilled the stimulus are the same ones underbilling the benefits of tax cuts.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Those aren’t new tax cuts, just the continuation of cuts already in place. Where’s their alleged stimulative effect? Where has it been the last two years?

    I am taking the unpopular view [just me and Alan Greenspan] that all the cuts should be allowed to expire. Maybe just put it off a year for higher incomes, and two years for middle incomes.

    Those same rates didn’t seem to hurt growth during Clinton’s second term.

  • zingzing

    republicans on july 2010 unemployment extension: “where’s the $30b?”

    republicans on tax cuts for the rich: “so, it’s just $700b?”

    hrm… wonder which side of their bread is buttered? and that’s some wallet-cushioning butter right there.

  • zingzing

    the strange thing is that most republican voters will see little to no benefit from those tax cuts. and that’s contrary to their nature.

    most dem voters will only see minimal benefit in extending unemployment as well. but that’s not so contrary to their nature.

  • Heloise

    Did your insurance premiums go up for no damn reason? Mine almost doubled. And I hear Wal Mart is about to offer cheap insurance next month. Hell, I might drop my employers one or add to it at this rate. I have some crap called a DMO and it is horrible. My premium is high and I pay full price for each doc visit until I meet a high deductible.

    In the old days I paid no premiums. The real reason health care system is mucked up is because we are a RICH country…believe it or not. That’s why health care is so expensive.

    Start by saving old people with surgery over 85, and you end up saving premies who were in the womb for like a damn month! That’s insanity but it happens because our medical docs have the technical know how.

    We R paying for this shit with our premiums. Bring on the death panels.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Extending the tax cuts for middle-income voters will cost more than $3 trillion over 10 years. Extending tax cuts for anyone will be done with borrowed money. Yes, it’s an election year, and I’m not running for anything, so easy for me to say.

  • http://heloise8.wordpress.com/ Heloise

    Hell, I was one of the first to predict Obama would win. I saw it on TV in a dream. I had no facts or polls to back it up either. Latest book “Radical-in-Chief” where Kurtz goes after Obama’s nappy radical roots. Can’t wait.

  • zingzing

    maybe you didn’t hear all the other voices saying obama would win.

  • Arch Conservative

    There’s no need to compare Obama to reagan or Clinton to ascertain what his chances in 2012 might be.

    It’s much simpler than that. If there’s any significant imporovement in the economy/unemployment situation his chances of re-election, along with those of the GOP Congress, improve significantly. If unemployment is still high and the economy is in the doldrums, Obama will be doing his 1984 Walter Mondale impression.

    Last point….why does everyone want to talk about the merit of cutting or not cutting taxes but no on wants to discuss cutting government spending?

    Why do families and private businesses have to do more with less but the federal government never has to?

  • Baronius

    Zing & Handy, I know you don’t believe that lowering tax rates can increase tax revenues, but you know that I believe it. It’s silly to pretend you don’t. Comments like 37, 38, and 40 are nonsensical. Conservatives believe that the best way to help the poor and balance the budget is by cutting taxes. If you don’t believe it, fine, but don’t pretend that tax cuts are motivated by greed.

    Yeah, you’ll find the occasional conservative who’s motivated by greed. You’ll also find some who say they are, when what they mean is that a profit-motivated economy benefits the most people. Just like you’ll find the occasional bearded Marxist, and some people who call themselves bearded Marxists somewhat facetiously. But pretending that I’m motivated by greed is as lazy as me pretending that you’re on the side of the terrorists.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Conservatives may believe a lot of things [possibly not all of them believe the same things], but you never respond when I point out that these are not tax cuts, but extensions of tax cuts already in place right now.

    So where has their magical effect been hiding since 2008?

    And was the 1995-2000 boom, with those same “high” rates in place, just an aberration? How do you know?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    As for cutting spending, it boils down to three things: Defense, middle-class entitlements [Social Security and Medicare] and aid for the poor [Medicaid].

    Guess which one will get targeted.

    Everything else is just small potatoes.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    #44: “not new tax cuts, but extensions of current tax rates”

  • Baronius

    “you never respond when I point out that these are not tax cuts, but extensions of tax cuts already in place right now”

    I didn’t think your point was especially provocative. If it’s a choice between next year’s higher rates, the current rates, or even lower rates, I’d choose the lowest. I think that would be the best thing for the economy. At this particular moment, we have a frozen credit market and low investor confidence. A shot in the arm would be great. A gunshot to the face would be terrible. I’d like to see tax rates drop for investment earnings.

  • Arch Conservative

    Cut taxes and spending simultaneous.

    John Kerry thinks that even if you had more of your own money you’d be too f-ing stupid to know how to use it to better take care of yourself so he votes for higher taxes on you while he does anything and everything he can to avoid paying taxes himself. He’s pretty much the poster boy for the Dem mindset these days….not the that GOP has been much better in recent memory.

    If I was god I’d give them all colon cancer…..except for Ron Paul of course.

  • http://heloise8.wordpress.com/ Heloise

    I don’t want to think about my taxes going up. I use a tax shelter to save for retirement and to reduce my take-home pay. I recommend it to anyone with a job. But be certain that it is a legit 403b and not a madoff affair.

    If this keeps up hell, I will have to ante up nearly 50% of it to avoid taxes.

    They keep your money and don’t pay you any interest. I hate that. And I am not about funding no damn war in some faraway caves and jungles of Afghanistan.

  • Irvin F Cohen

    Sorry to crash your party, but as to all this commentary…

    So much ado about so little “do”

  • STM

    Heloise: “The real reason health care system is mucked up is because we are a RICH country…believe it or not. That’s why health care is so expensive.”

    I live in a rich country too, where health care ISN’T that expensive. Go figure.

    I think it has a lot to do with how you go at it.

  • http://heloise8.wordpress.com/ Heloise

    STM I beg to differe. I don’t think doctors anywhere else in the world are raking in millions in income esp. anywhere but here and esp. if they are surgeons. No other country has richer health care on earth or richer docs/surgeons.

    I know I used to work for them, and was going to be one until I understood the advent of HMO, PPO, and PPDs which allowed for fraud and defrocking of decent doctors.

  • STM

    Wrong Heloise, doctors in this country earn as much as American doctors.

    Wages in Australia overall are generally higher than in America, which is probably true from top to bottom.

    That’s partly because it’s a very expensive place to live. An average family car will cost around $30,000 ($US30,000), made in Australia. You can’t buy even a half-decent house or apartment in Sydney for under $500,000 grand.

    But on health care, we have universal health cover. I pay for it in my taxes, the public hospitals are (mostly) pretty damn good, but you can have private cover too, which I choose to do, and then I get a tax break.

    You go to a doctor, the government pays a flat fee (from our taxes) to the doctor. For instance: My wife sees a specialist and pays $250 a visit and gets a government-paid fee of $180 back for the first few visits, then the full amount after that (also paid by the government). You just take your receipt to the Medicare office and they give it back to you in cash over the counter. Simple. Some doctors just swipe your Medicare card and then bulk-bill the government.

    Some doctors only charge that government-paid fee, others might charge a tad more meaning you are slightly out of pocket. Perhaps 10 bucks out of pocket for a GP visit or $50 for a specialist.

    I don’t understand why Americans think it’s so hard to do this; the truth is the medicos, private hospital providers, medical services providers and the health insurance companies in the US have got everyone by the short and curlies. The expense comes because all these interests in the US have been able to keep regulators out and have been able to set their own astronomical costs across the board for a whole range of medical services. Madness. Medicine is probably the one area where free-market principles should take at least a bit of a back seat (no one suggests doctors shouldn’t be provided with properv remuneration for their considerable skills, their huge responsibility and their years of study).

    I quite like the idea that everyone in Australia is getting – and is entitled to – high-quality medical care no matter their background or their ability to pay.

    You earn $50,000 a year, you’re going to be paying a lot less in your taxes for public health cover than someone on $500,000. But it all works out nicely.

    I also like the idea that I have at least one more right than my American kin: the right not to go bankrupt when I get sick thanks to judicious use of my tax dollar.

    It really does make a difference and it really does work pretty well.

    No one should think it’s free, though. I pay quite a bit in my tax for our public cover, and more on top for our private cover. It’s still better than biting your fingernails to the bone or stressing yourself and wondering whether an insurance company will cover you (what’s that if it’s not a death panel on occasion) at a time when you are most vulnerable.

    Governments should mostly stay right out of our lives. But there are occasions when they can do an immense amount of good – and universal health cover is one of those things where it’s right to be involved.

    Happy citizens are loyal and productive citizens, too.

    Oh, and we don’t have those so-called “death panels” here that the loony right in the US is so frightened of.

    The sicker you are, the more chance you have of getting looked after very quickly, that is – even if you’re at risk of death and there isn’t much hope of saving you.

  • STM

    Maybe the US government should have a really good think about how to spend Americans’ tax dollars. Now the Cold War’s over, mothballing half a fleet, grounding half the airforce and cutting the number of military oersonnel would be a good start. Just a fraction of that defence budget would provide decent health care for all Americans.

    And given that the kind of conflicts the US is now engaged in don’t require confrontation with another superpower (China isn’t that silly, they’re too happy getting rich on the rest of us), it no longer fleets of 2000 bombers at readiness, or 20 aircarft carriers sitting in dock just waiting for the call.

    But do you think anyone at the higher levels of government in the US will countenance a slight cut in defence budgets to keep Americans happy and healthy?

    Not in our lifetimes.

    Once again, everyone’s priorities are all arse-about.

    I say Obama didn’t go far enough on health. Like the Nike ad says: “Just Do It!”. If you’re going to suffer through a recession, at least come out of it with some legacy that’s for the good, not the bad.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Just a fraction of that defence budget would provide decent health care for all Americans.

    Tragic, isn’t it?

    According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2009 the U.S. accounted for 43% of the world’s share of military expenditures. China, meanwhile, accounted for 6.6%. Canada accounted for 1.3%, while Australia accounted for 1.2%.

    You’re right, too. They won’t be cutting this shit any time soon. Too much money in it.

  • STM

    Jordan: “Tragic, isn’t it?”

    Yep. But the loony right thinks that’s about interering with everyone’s lives. But what’s a redundant multibillion defence budget, then, if it’s not interfering in people’s lives.

    I say it’s a waste of America’s tax dollar, money that could be used to do some very good things.

    That doesn’t mean I support NOT tearing terrorists and mass murderers a new set of arseholes whenever possible.

    America has a right to defend itself.

    It’s just that the hard-headed kind of self interest in places like the Pentagon means America is still planning for wars it won’t have to fight, which actually costs a lot more than planning for the wars they are actually fighting (and successfully using strategies it hadn’t even though about until a couple of years back).

    You lose half the US Pacific fleet, half the admirals go too. There’s yer reason.

    And I’m talking slight cuts here, not massive ones.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I still maintain what I’ve always thought on the matter: if Americans didn’t have such a global military presence, they wouldn’t have such a “need” to defend themselves.

  • STM

    You can still have a global military presence … it’s just what kind of presence.

    The US doesn’t need the billions in defence hardware and the huge numbers of personnel that it used to need because it’s not going to be fighting a conventional war against another superpower. The Chinese aren’t dumb … they are getting wealthy by being nice to us all. You can still cover all your bases, pun intended, but with a rethink on how.

    Times have changed.

    There are ways to become smaller on this score, reduce costs and manpower needs, but still punch waaay above your weight.

    Special forces are one of the answers. Look at the Poms … they do it better than anyone, and have a fairly small conventional military that is very highly trained in specialist tasks and is still regarded by military experts as having “force projection” second only to the US. They are a long way second, but still …

    I wouldn’t suggest the US pare it back that much but it wouldn’t take too much of a cut to military spending for the US people to gain huge benefits.