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View Diary: Naiveté of Tavis Smiley & Cornel West Attack On Obama Danger To Poor & Blacks (275 comments)

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    •  That's a valid point (19+ / 0-)

      But West has always been, overwrought, shall we say, in his rhetoric.

      Perhaps I am too forgiving, but West was saying things that needed to be said, long before I had ever heard of Bartack Obama.

      •  West can be out there in his speech but that also (11+ / 0-)

        enables him to come out with gems like "Justice is what love looks like in public".

        I can understand politically why President Obama felt the need to distance himself from Jeremiah Wright but I thought Wright was on target and I don't like that politics works that way.

        I am far far to the left of the President so I like that both Cornel West and Tavis Smiley push him to the left (or try to).

        And I like the State of the Black Union. It had inspired me to action. Plus I learn so much.

        I think there is room for all points of view. And I agree that with Smiley and West it does seem a bit personal but to me they all do so much good (all 3, including the President) that I let a lot of stuff I don't agree with slide.

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:28:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't have to like West or Smiley (8+ / 0-)

          to see the basis of their criticism of Obama.    

          He has been a huge disappointment for many Progressives in America, and indeed, around the world.  

          This diary is a classic "shoot the messenger" rant, when the only real "message" is complaining that these two dare to be critical of the Dear Leader.

          A perfect turkey diary for the day after Thankgiving.

        •  I notice that OP does not directly engage (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          the arguments made by West and/or Smiley directly. A couple of straw men arguments alone does not cut it. Is it the arguments made by Dr West that the OP disagrees with or is it that Dr West is not entitled to criticize the President what so ever. IE STFU. That is not an argument. Dr West worked very hard to help the Presidents election in 2008. And Dr West has some serious problems with the President coming from the his leftist vantage point. And the left did not abandon the President. And now the election is over. President Obama can never run for President again. So I believe that Dr West has earned the right to have his ideas examined individually and not be tossed aside with ad hominum arguments.

          •  Obama passed ACA, what have West/Smiley done? (8+ / 0-)

            West and Smiley have failed. Their personal agenda against this President has made them petty and utterly lacking in integrity.

            They do not have the support of not even a noticeable percentage of African Americans or the poor in this country.

            •  ACA is a pretty bad example (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens, ZenTrainer

              of a progressive policy.  It could become one with fundamental "tweaks," but its forbears, which it closely resembles, can hardly be called "progressive."

              •  Whatever you may call it...it will give 30 million (8+ / 0-)

                people access to healthcare.... Could you or West or Smiley accomplish as much? I dare say not....

                Many of you just like the Republicans wanted this bill to fail.... Because it did not fit your idea of what is Progressive, well ask the people who can finally get healthcare when before they could not, if it's Progressive....

                Do you think the countless individuals who will live because of this legislation will run around claiming it isn't Progressive enough?

                I think many of you individuals have no idea about what it takes to get things done in government.... This President has done  what a hundred years of Presidents have not been able to do.... While you lob criticism from the comfort of your home.... Let me see you move Congress to pass your idea of a "Progressive" Healthcare bill....

                If you can't, ask Smiley and West to do it.... Or perhaps you can tell me who would be able to do it...give me a name, any name.... I won't hold my breath....

                •  we must really stop with (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  3goldens, ZenTrainer
                  Could you or West or Smiley accomplish as much? I dare say not....
                  such ridiculous arguments.  I for one am not the President of the United States.  In fact I hold no elected office and am of fairly modest income.

                  I won't deny the virtues of ACA, and it may well have been the best that could have been accomplished at the time, given the entrenched corporate interests in our own party, to say nothing of the gleeful intransigence of the other.  But to hold it up as an example of progressive policymaking is an exercize in goalpost moving (to the right) and historically ignorant.

                  •  that's "exercise" of course. (0+ / 0-)

                    Never could spell that word.

                  •  Nope, I dissagree. We cannot stop asking the (6+ / 0-)

                    question of possibilities.... Politics is the art of the possible....

                    With all due respect your response is a cop out, for if you are criticizing this President within the context of siding with the wreckless and woefully impractical criticism of messrs Smiley and West, one must ask the question if you or these two gentlemen or do you know of anyone who could have gotten passed what you wanted passed.... The answer by your response is a resounding no....

                    Therefore, when I asked the question could Smiley or West passed the ACA, it is futile to bring up the so called "Progressive" bill.... Because neither of them, leaving you out of the equation since you said you could not have done it, could have gotten that through....

                    In fact, you couldn't even name a single politician today who could have gotten it passed.... So yours is rhetoric without substance at this point.

                    The bill is not perfect, but again, politics is not the art of perfection, it is the art of the possible.... And this President achieved what none of his critics could have achieved.... This is substance, not rhetoric....

                    •  Again, no one responds to the arguments (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      3goldens, ZenTrainer, corvo

                      that West and Smiley are making. So the President gets a cookie for passing a Republican authored health care plan that was created as a poison pill to destroy health care reform by changing the topic to health insurance reform and giving big subsidies to the insurance industry?

                      Why don't you cite a specific argument they make and then disprove it. Quotes would be real nice too.

                      We wanted health care for the uninsured. Not extra customers for the insurance industry. And a lack of price controls. We wanted a program that would be friendly to the disadvantaged not corporate interests. We have what we have. And it is not the Presidents fault solely that we did not get a better program. But we did not see the President fighting for something that was not in the interests of the insurance industry. We do not want Obamacare to fail. We want it to be better. And how many Democrats ran on Obamacare? That should show you how proud they are of it. It was not a campaign issue at all. For either side.

                      So go read a book by Dr West. And then come back with some criticism. But not until you have actually read some of his work. Anything less is gutless character assassination.

                      •  You're wasting your keystrokes. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        3goldens, ZenTrainer, corvo

                        Smiley and West criticized the President, and they must be smited. They haven't fallen in line and dared discuss what the Democratic Party has deliberately ignored--income inequality and poverty...save for some lip service to silence the Left during the election race.

                        No issue of substance will be discussed here. The fire is stoked and it's a "Hate Smiley & West Fest" parte infinitum.

                        Nothing new here.

                        The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

                        by cybrestrike on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:49:39 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  You are defending an individual who (4+ / 0-)

                        has said this:

                        “I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West said. “It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white…When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening.”

                        You are talking about "gutless character assassination"? You wanna repeat that?

                        http://www.boston.com/...

                        The Republicans questioned this President's identity and so does this incredibly petty and disengenous individual. And I say this as someone who grew up respecting West.... It shows that there are people on the left just as extreme as the nut jobs on the Right....

                        Smiley has accused the president of ignoring the issues of the black community.

                        There will be approximately 7 million African Americans who will benefit from the passage of the Affordable Care Act by 2014.

                        Right now:

                        5.5 million African-Americans with private health insurance WILL KEEP  their coverage for preventive services without paying an extra penny at their doctor's office

                        More than 2.4 million African-American seniors with Medicare have received free preventive services such as diabetes screenings,

                        About 410,000 more African- American young adults who would otherwise be uninsured have gained coverage due to the law.

                        This law is saving lives and will continue to save lives by making health care even more accessible and affordable.

                        Behind each of these are statistics are stories of mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, friends and neighbors, who are healthier because of the new law.

                        Nearly 26 percent of patients served by community health centers in 2010 were African-American, and the Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to those centers in all 50 states.

                        http://www.blackamericaweb.com/...

                        Education:

                        President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which invests $5 billion in early childhood programs like Head Start.

                        Studies show such programs help kids stay in school longer, earn more money in the long term and have lower involvement in crime.
                        President Obama also expanded Pell Grants, which help low income students, pay for college.

                        And in terms of the President being a stooge to Wall Street, the very same Wall Street who raised hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat him:

                        Barack Obama has done what no other president had done before by enacting the Student Aid and Financial Responsibility Act, which makes college more affordable while ending federal subsidies to private lenders and replacing them with a Direct Loan program.

                        Incidentally, this bit of maneuver caused the banks to lose billions, by taking them out of the loop. Through this act, students are no longer held hostage to credit markets.

                        You along with Smiley and West are just exercising your right of free speech, it doesn't have to make sense. It is not unlike the hum that comes with electrical feedback, nothing but noise....

                        •  Did you read the article on Truthdig or did (0+ / 0-)

                          you just run with the out of context blurb of the Boston Globe? Link http://www.truthdig.com/...

                          So after you read the article in context you can criticize him. But if you are going to take a statement out of context then you are not making a legitimate argument.

                          I voted for Obama and donated money. I do not need to be reminded by the likes of you the accomplishments and failures of this president. The election is over and Obama has been reelected. By a wide margin and is in no danger of losing. So I am through with sitting in the back and shutting up. When you pro Obama zealots are wrong you are going to get called on it. Don't like it? Then don't ask me for any support in 2014. We will see if you guys can retake the House without us.

                          •  I wish many of you eternal Obama critics would (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Larsstephens, CrissieP

                            stop volunteering that you "voted for Obama." And even more, donated money.... Nobody really cares at this point. Everyone has voted for Obama.... even those that have been vilifying him from day one, perhaps even those on Fox.

                            By the way...that statement of Cornell West's cannot be taken out of context.... No matter how you spin it around.... But, I guess, as you say, you voted for Obama, so you can claim it's been taken out of context.... The statement is repugnant......

                          •  But did you read the article? If not just admit it (0+ / 0-)

                            and admit you really do not care for intellectual integrity. Is it so hard to follow a link and read a complete statement? How do you know what my position on Obama is? have I shared it with you? You just make assumptions and are quite happy not to consider that maybe you got something wrong.

                            I offer the fact that I voted for Obama to spare you from the making tedious arguments that are not germane to the topic. You do your positions no favors by avoiding the topic. Straw men I expect from Republicans, not Democrats.

                    •  Actually any Rethug could've passed it (0+ / 0-)

                      since it was based on a Rethug-authored proposal.

                      But since a Democrat proposed it, the Rethugs put all they had into defeating it, moving even farther to the right in the process.

                      •  See, here is where you are just offering stuff (4+ / 0-)

                        just to offer stuff.... For as much as it is said that the ACA is a Republican plan. There are big differences. The Republicans would not have passed this plan.

                        The Romney plan which is cited as being the bases for ACA is  also different:

                        1. Obamacare premium support and cost sharing subsidies help families with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty line, vs. 300% FPL under Romneycare.

                        2. OC bans lifetime and annual benefit caps and RC does not.

                        3. OC eliminates medical underwriting and pre-existing condition exclusions for all health insurance policies. Massachusetts did this in the 1990s and so there was no need for this to be addressed in RC.

                        4. OC requires health insurance companies to spend at least 80-85 cents of every premium dollar on medical costs as opposed to profits, marketing and overhead.  RC includes no such provisions.

                        5. OC allows young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance policies until they reach age 26. RC allows young adults to stay on their parents' plan for up to two years after they are no longer dependent, and no older than age 25.

                        6. OC requires that all health insurance policies cover preventive care services (ie: contraception) with no co-pays or other cost sharing. RC has no such protections.

                        7. OC requires that all Members of Congress and their staffs can receive federal health insurance coverage via the new state health insurance exchanges. RC did not make any similar requirement on Massachusetts state legislators.

                        8. OC improves Medicare for its beneficiaries by: closing the prescription drug "donut hole;" providing an annual wellness checkup with no cost sharing; lowering beneficiary premiums; and extending the life of the Hospital Insurance/Part A Trust Fund by about 8 years. RC does not address or improve Medicare at all.

                        9. OC instigates a significant effort to lower the health care system's administrative costs. RC has no such provisions at all.

                        10. OC instigates a series of reforms in the delivery of medical care services, including the establishment of accountable care organizations, medical homes, value-based insurance designs, penalties for excessive rates of hospital acquired infections and readmissions, and more. RC does not address delivery system improvements at all.

                        11. OC establishes a series of programs and initiatives to improve public health, prevention and wellness, including the creation of the first-ever national prevention strategy. RC provides funding for some existing public health programs, though no new public health or prevention initiatives.

                        12. OC requires every chain restaurant with at least 20 outlets to post on menus and menu boards the calories of every item on its menu. RC has no such public information requirement.

                        13. OC includes major new funding for community health centers and the National Health Service Corps to improve the nation's supply of primary care services. RC has no such provisions.

                        14. OC requires the establishment of a National Health Workforce Commission -- appointed, though blocked from convening by House Republicans. RC does not address health care workforce needs at all.

                        15. OC establishes major new provisions to combat health care fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. RC includes no provisions addressing fraud and abuse in any sector.

                        16. OC establishes new standards and a national framework to combat elder abuse, including violence, neglect, and financial exploitation. RC includes no such provisions.

                        17. OC requires that drug, medical device, and medical supply companies publicly report all gifts, honoraria, and other gratuities to physicians and other licensed medical professionals. RC includes no such provisions.

                        18. OC directs the Food & Drug Administration to create a pathway for the approval of so-called "bio-similars" or generic-like versions of biopharmaceutical drugs, provisions strongly supported by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. RC has no such provisions.

                        19. OC includes provisions to ensure that nursing patients and their families are able to obtain transparent information about the ownership and corporate responsibility of nursing homes. RC includes no such protections.

                        20. OC establishes a new 10% tax on indoor tanning services, which have been linked to the explosion in serious skin cancers, especially melanomas, among young women ages 15-35. RC does not address this epidemic.

                        OK -- 20 versus 2. You may have others which will add or subtract from either column. My verdict -- as a BIG fan of MA health reform -- ObamaCare wins easily.

                        http://www.boston.com/...

                        Ok, so in your mind the Republicans could have passed this plan and Obama is a Republican, or at least he is certainly not a "True Progressive".... Why didn't your kind of "True Progressive" do something about healthcare for decades before Obama came on the scene? .....Again, all hat, no cattle.... Talk, talk, talk....

                        •  look, if you're going to equate (0+ / 0-)

                          "Republican" with "not a 'True Progressive,'" and argue that 400% FPL vs. 300% FPL was a real categorical line in the sand between parties (always lead off with a strong argument? not in your case), then there's really nothing to discuss with you.  

                          Buh bye.

                          •  First off, I didn't ask you to join me in this (4+ / 0-)

                            discussion, and secondly, I pasted an entire list starting from the top of the list to the bottom of the list (you may have noticed the link) but it appears all you have as an argument is to pick at the first item of the list and use it to suggest the list is weak. You do this, of course, in order to protect your faulty assertion that "any Rethug" could have passed the healthcare law, so after seeing how the President's plan is different than that of the Republicans', your first instinct is to cover your eyes and claim that the items are weak....

                            Thirdly, your suggestion that the President has passed a Republican bill, still leaves the question.... Why didn't you "True Progressives" or Democrats or whatever you describe yourselves not pass a healthcare bill in the many decades before Barack Obama appeared on the scene?

                            Obviously, like most who love belittling the accomplishments of this President, you have no answer.... All talk.... You are quite right to bow out of a discussion based upon an original comment that was not directed at you in the first place.... Yes, buh-bye, indeed.....

                          •  Wow, so things like tanning beds (0+ / 0-)

                            represent fundamental differences between the proposals?

                            All your link does is point out differences, however trivial -- and most of them are trivial.  But the fundamentals are straight out of the Heritage Foundation.

                            I didn't ask you to join me in this discussion
                            Hate to break it to you, but that's not how this blog works.
                            Why didn't you "True Progressives" or Democrats or whatever you describe yourselves not pass a healthcare bill in the many decades before Barack Obama appeared on the scene?
                            Well, there hasn't been anyone remotely progressive in the office since LBJ . . . who gave us Medicare.
                          •  Disingenuousness reigns supreme.... It is amazing (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Larsstephens, sethtriggs

                            to me that out of this list of amazing provisions that will make treatment and the supply of healthcare more effective you have searched for the most inconsequential of these to attempt to make your argument that President Obama passed a Republican bill.... How amazingly weak....

                            Well, since you are unable to notice the important items on your own, I'll humor you and point out just a few differences in the Obama bill and the Romney bill. There are some similarities, to be sure, but the ACA could also be described as a patient’s bill of rights on steroids:

                            Obamacare bans lifetime and annual benefit caps and Romneycare does not.

                            Big difference for people with chronic illnesses

                            OC requires health insurance companies to spend at least 80-85 cents of every premium dollar on medical costs as opposed to profits, marketing and overhead.  RC includes no such provisions.

                            Big news in terms of managing cost and putting a restraint on insurance companies.... The Republicans would stay clear of that.....

                            OC requires that all health insurance policies cover preventive care services (ie: contraception) with no co-pays or other cost sharing. RC has no such protections.

                            Big news for women...Republicans would stay clear of that....

                            OC improves Medicare for its beneficiaries by: closing the prescription drug "donut hole;" providing an annual wellness checkup with no cost sharing; lowering beneficiary premiums; and extending the life of the Hospital Insurance/Part A Trust Fund by about 8 years. RC does not address or improve Medicare at all.

                            Big news for seniors, Republicans would stay clear of that....

                            OC instigates a significant effort to lower the health care system's administrative costs. RC has no such provisions at all.

                            Republicans would protest this in the so called interest of "freedom"....

                            OC instigates a series of reforms in the delivery of medical care services, including the establishment of accountable care organizations, medical homes, value-based insurance designs, penalties for excessive rates of hospital acquired infections and readmissions, and more. RC does not address delivery system improvements at all.

                            Monitoring costs, Republicans wouldn't like that....

                            OC includes major new funding for community health centers and the National Health Service Corps to improve the nation's supply of primary care services. RC has no such provisions.

                            Big news for aid in preventive care treatment.

                            OC requires that drug, medical device, and medical supply companies publicly report all gifts, honoraria, and other gratuities to physicians and other licensed medical professionals. RC includes no such provisions.

                            Help to weed out corruption, Republicans would laugh at such an effort....

                            And with all of this, you mentioned the item concerning tanning bed to make your argument that the differences are weak...unbelievable.... To say that your argument lacks integrity is putting it mildly....

                            By the way, I would like you to show me exactly where in the philosophy of the Heritage Foundation we would find these items....

                            Also, my pointing out that I didn't invite you to participate in the discussion was to let you know, you are free to withhold your opinion, especially when it is as disingenuous as you have demonstrated....

                      •  That doesn't even make any sense! (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Larsstephens, samddobermann

                        If it's something that Republicans authored, and would support, then why did none of them vote for it? Why is it that Republicans are lockstep against it?

                        Why did R-money run the hell away from Romneycare for that matter?

                        And I'll tell you why this ACA is doing good things already: the government is muscling in by buying one of the insurance companies with the appropriate licensure so that people can obtain the same coverage as Congress. Due to the reach of the government, the risk pool is sure to be large and the premiums sure to be affordable.

                        That is huge. Keep in mind the ban on preexisting conditions and the already-in-effect rules on medical loss ratio.

                        That was an end-run around the loss of the public option (which conservatives didn't want to vote for because SOCIALISM!).

                        This sort of thing would've never come up from a Republican president nor would it have originated from a primarily Republican Congress and you know it. The status quo of people going into bankruptcy because they had to pay cash for medical services was just fine with Obama's predecessor, and it certainly was fine with the insurance companies.

                        I can actually remember life under Republican presidents. These kind of advances never came up, like equality for women's pay, or actual cuts to defense, because they were not supported by Republicans! They never came up!

                        That is why Smiley and West are wrong on this. Where was their little shaming tour when Bush was wrecking the country? Why is this tour suddenly after Obama is president? I totally get their legitimate critiques of Obama. I get it. But Washington is not a one-man show and there's a ton of education that has to be done before we get the progressive outcomes we want. Look at what happened on the $716 billion Medicare "cut," for starters. Look at the large number of people who still believe in supply side!

                        I sure as hell am glad I'm not President. But I know this, Obama is the right person at the right time for this job. And as I've said before, he's accomplished more to help regular folks like me than any of the so-called progressive champions in these past four years.

      •  Cornel West is a fraud. (16+ / 0-)

        "Saying things that need to be said?"  What does that even mean?  And why is "saying things that need to be said" more valuable than having the courage to make the sacrifices necessary to serve as President and create the opportunities to solve real problems?

        I don't know much about Tavis Smiley. My impression is that he's a run of the mill progressive with the requisite one-dimensional ideology. He's fairly harmless. But West?  He's a fucking fraud. Rap albums?! What the fuck is that?  It's a fucking joke is what it is. He's probably mad that Obama appointed Summers, the guy who rightfully bounced West's ass out of Harvard.

        •  I think you're being hyperbolic here (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oracle2021, ZenTrainer, Chi, grimjc, 3goldens

          It seems you have an agenda in the manner in which you've written this story.

          These men are entitled to their opinion.  They're also entitled to make a buck on their profession.

          You've all but accused them of being limousine progressives e.g. "what have they ever done for the black community".  

          The aspect of your criticisms that I don't like is that it extends the meme that we shan't dare criticize the President because he is our first black President.  And that he must not appear scary to frightened white voters.  That doesn't play well with me.  

          Now that the President has no more elections to face, I think the constraints on holding him accountable should be loosened.  I happen to think that from one frame, West's criticism of the President is in some respects valid. I also think the President in his first term purposefully chose not to engage with the black community directly.   The Great Recession hit the black community hard and they have been among the groups to have seen the least benefit in the recovery.  The President could have done more to acknowledge the challenges being faced by African Americans.

          From another frame, I think it also suited the President's purposes to have strong criticism coming from the left and from people like Smiley and West.  Maybe it made your precious white voters smile that African American 'thought leaders' were being ignored by the President.  

          West and Smiley are going to do what they are going to do.  And the absence of political and intellectual validation for the black community will continue.  

          You can either say politely that you disagree  with their views or methods or you can continue your own style of character assassination of thought leaders in the Black Community.  

          --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

          by chipoliwog on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:52:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who's being hyperbolic here? POTUS (7+ / 0-)

            Stands for President of the United States and those are his constituents, even the ones who didn't vote for him.
            This is why he lost his majority in 2010. People like Tavist and West, LGBT groups and every other Democrat group that didn't go to the polls in 2010 because of the most misguided boycott in history.
            Anyone who persuaded another not to vote because President Obama wasn't 'Black' enough, didn't move fast enough on DADT or the myriad other reasons people used to stay away and hand this government over to the Tea Party and all that came with them, deserves to be chastised.
            That is not Hyperbole!!

            "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

            by Cruzankenny on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:03:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  sure it is (0+ / 0-)

              You're admitting that the President was elected by a coalition and not a solid base.  

              That means the President has to do what is necessary to ensure that the coalition holds and is motivated to work for him.

              You have the blame reversed here.  

              --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

              by chipoliwog on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:19:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Where did "Blame" enter into this? (0+ / 0-)

                The fact people did not come out and vote Democrat in the 2010 elections is fact. The repercussions were severe. There is no reason to assign blame, but there is evidence of cause and effect.

                "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

                by Cruzankenny on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:29:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're the one complaining and BLAMING! (0+ / 0-)

                  You have cast aspersions on those that didn't come out and vote and you have blamed them for the repercussions.  

                  It doesn't work that way.  Those seeking power have to get the votes.  They do that by inspiring the electorate.  2010 wasn't very inspiring to a lot of people.  

                  --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

                  by chipoliwog on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:45:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Excuse me, but voting is both a Right and a (0+ / 0-)

                    Privilege.
                    It is the voter's responsibility to vote, regardless of being inspired or not.

                    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

                    by Cruzankenny on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:43:07 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Maybe so, doesn't change reality (0+ / 0-)

                      In order for our democracy to work, voters must vote. But that is not how it works in reality.

                      When you can recognize how things really work, then you can understand how Obama has been so successful against goliath opponents and simpletons alike.

                      In this case, you get votes by motivating people to vote either through fear or through inspiration.  

                      At some point, people stop being motivated by fear like fear of Republicans and demand that their candidates support their vision for our community.

                      --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

                      by chipoliwog on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:24:35 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Dr Cornell West has been one of the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grimjc, corvo, 3goldens

          leading intellectuals in American thought for decades. He is an important philosopher and social thinker. He was one of the creators of the academic disclpine in the US of African American studies. He is a great academic.

          How is being President of the most powerful nation in the history of mankind a sacrifice? Did we admire the "sacrifice" Bush made for 8 years?

          Has this President used wisely the opportunities to affect real change for ordinary people? The record would indicate that his support for working people also means never asking the wealthy or privileged to sacrifice  just a tiny bit.

          We are still holding people illegally at Guantanemo. We are still bombing illegally with unmanned drones. Social Security benefits may be cut in terms of future growth and age elligibility. Nothing has been done for climate change.

          •  Leading intellectuals?! Please. (7+ / 0-)

            To call Cornel West an intellectual is an insult to intellectuals. He's a fraud. Full stop.

          •  bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens
            Dr Cornell West has been one of the leading intellectuals in American thought for decades.
            Has this President used wisely the opportunities to affect real change for ordinary people?
            I'd say indeed he has. You seem to think that people are helped by sticking it to the rich. I think it is more by providing services and opportunities. Health care is really big. Getting the Consumer Financial Protection Agency up AND running, doubling gas milage, retrofitting over 150k homes of low income people, even to the extent of new furnaces where needed reducing their utility costs way into the future are really really big especially for the lower 70%; the ordinary people.

            Then there are increased Pell grants, extra funding for inner city colleges .... The list goes on and on.

            By aiming to help the lowest income groups you help a larger percentage of minority people without painting a target on anyone's back.

            West resents not being called upon to be an important advisor to the President and Smiley resents not BEING Barack Obama. Did you know he ran for elected office, got beat and obviously resents someone that seemed to easily succeed.

            I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

            by samddobermann on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:29:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know if you're black Armando (21+ / 0-)

        but calling someone a "republican in blackface" and before that stating that Obama is scared of "free black men" is fighting words. If someone told me I couldn't take the opinions of free black men, I would punch them in the face.  The worst thing you can call a black person isn't nigger - its Uncle Tom.  That is by far the worst insult a black person can hear.  This isn't just colorful language... its a dog whistle for black people.  Its something specifically tuned to our ears. And its the most vile insult he could fix his mouth to say.  When someone calls you an uncle tom, you don't make nice with them, ever.  

        And I think after a while, black people have had enough.  I have to listen to Rush Limbaugh call him a nigger and Cornel West call him an Uncle Tom?  Enough.  West needs to moderate his language or get off the stage, because I think most black people I know have had it with people insulting the president.  Criticize the president but don't personalize it.  

        To put it simply - Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are assholes.  I'm sure we've all met people like this in our personal lives.  These are people who may be right, but as every progressive should know or learn, being right is only half the battle.  These two men aren't leaders, no matter how much they want to be.  

      •  And he probably could have made valid arguments. (6+ / 0-)

        However, West allowed his "emotions" and his "pride" get in the way.  My father used to say when an individual has no comprehensive retort or rebuttal to a challenge, they devolve to name-calling like "Republican in Black Face"  He could have said the same shit about Harold Ford and Artur Davis when they were fouling up congress with their DLC noxious presence, but West considered them small fry compared to what he was going after - bringing down a Black President.

        "Washington, DC: Where Corrupt Officials are discovered daily."

        by The Truth on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:19:37 AM PST

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    •  Exactly. Smiley and West made their criticism of (32+ / 0-)

      The President personal.

      "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

      by LaurenMonica on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:19:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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