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View Diary: Hillary to decide in 2014 (532 comments)

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  •  If Hillary runs and wins and then wins a 2nd term (8+ / 0-)

    We will get to look back at the period between 1988 and 2024, 36 years, and see that members of only 3 families held the presidential office.  

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 08:02:48 AM PST

    •  maybe Jeb could winnit (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Satya1, sprogga, Subterranean

      same same. 2024, Michelle for 8. 42 years.

    •  only fitting since less than 200 families dominate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suka, Satya1, 4Freedom

      the entire US economy.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 08:13:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh Lenny, you sarcastic rascal you. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask, Subterranean

        One of the cool things I liked about Obama in the early days was that at the time before he declared for 2008, his net worth was in the realm of the rest of many middle class families.  His main source of wealth even at that time was probably from sales of his first book generated by interest in his 2004 convention speech.

        What went wrong?

        I think it is too simplistic to suggest that he was corrupted.  But I think we can never underestimate how sold out our federal government is to corporate interests, especially Congress.

        In any case, I would like us to continue to put forward candidates for Congress and Prez of more humble means instead of people who not only are already multi-millionaires but seem really comfortable with that.

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 08:30:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  meant to say (0+ / 0-)

          "suggest only that he was corrupted."

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 08:34:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  nothing went wrong (6+ / 0-)

          Obama can't do anything without a party behind him, and the Dem party simply is not progressive, and hasn't been since the 70's.  The Dem party gets its campaign contributions from the same corporados that the Goppers do (literally, in most cases). If we elected Bernie Sanders, or dug up the reanimated corpse of FDR himself, nothing will change, because neither party will be behind him. The Dem party knows who butters their bread--and it's not us. It has zero interest in advancing a progressive agenda. Period.

          Too many of us seem to embrace the "Great Man (or Woman)" theory of history, in which we will all be saved by a single knight in shining armor who heroically charges onto the field and slays the dragon for us while we cheer from the sidelines.

          There is no knight in shining armor. (shrug)

          If progressives are going to win, we will have to do it ourselves, by years or decades of slow hard tiring organizing. And the Dem party will not be on our side in that fight. We will win DESPITE the Dem party, not BECAUSE of it.

          Too many of us, alas, don't want to get our hands dirty with real organizing, and want to pretend that voting for the knight in shining armor (whoever that is) is all we need.  It's not.  (shrug)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:00:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with nearly everything you say there (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sylv, Subterranean

            and I place most fault by far with the corruption of Congress and its corporate masters.  But I think Obama still made some moves at times when he was too trusting of advisors who were also sold out to corporate interests.  And in general, I'm still very much an Obama supporter.  

            How much to we work within the Dem party and how much outside of it?  I've been into both.

            BTW, a couple of my most treasured bookmarks are about the "great man theory" in politics:

            Gary Younge in The Nation (my bold):

            Getting Obama into the White House was the beginning of the process, not the end. In the context of his campaign, the balance of forces in American politics and the demands of those who elected him, these frustrations make sense. Outside it, the leap from disenchantment to accusations of betrayal owes more to emotional and cognitive dissonance than political critique or strategic intervention.

            Broadly speaking, this outrage flows from two camps--those who placed too much faith in what he might do and those who placed none.

            From the first, there is the anguish of the infatuated suitor scorned. I loved you, I followed you, I believed in you and this is how you repay me. This is little more than projection. Obama never claimed he was a radical. True, he did offer hope and inspiration. But I don't recall him saying that within a year the entrenched interests of American capital, the lobbyists, corporations, Fox commentators and militarists would throw their hands up in surrender at the flash of his smile and the lilt of his rhetoric. His decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan, for example, is definitely wrongheaded. But to qualify as betrayal he would have had to have promised something else, when the truth is this is one pledge he kept and many of us wish he hadn't.

            From the second group, there is the self-satisfied smirk of the pundit for whom the itch to say "I told you so" has become too irresistible not to scratch. Absent any other coherent political or electoral strategy that might get us from where we were to where we need to be, they got their disillusion in early to avoid the rush. Refusing to see any potential in the mobilization of huge numbers of young, black, Latino and union workers who took part in his campaign, they understood the energy and excitement as little more than a moment of mass delusion. Like a broken clock, they just had to wait until the moment when they could pronounce themselves correct. In the words of Friedrich Engels, "What childish innocence it is to present one's own impatience as a theoretically convincing argument!"

            While these two camps are driven by different impulses, they have two important things in common. First, they share a right-wing assumption, made famous by Thomas Carlyle, that history is made by "great men" rather than the far more complex interaction of people, time, place and power. Their ire is trained on one man and one alone. Not a system, institution or kaleidoscope of forces but Obama. If he were better, things would be different. If he tried harder, he could succeed. Such charges betray a devotion to a man and reverence for an office that is indecent in a democracy and incompatible with left politics.

            Ezra Klein in The American Prospect, "The President Doesn't Matter" (my bold):
            Forget the president. Not totally, of course. The president matters. But not as much as you think. Not as much as you've been led to believe. The centrality of the executive is something of a convenient fiction in American politics. Convenient for the media, which can tell the story of national affairs by following a single character. Convenient for the party that holds the White House, which can outsource the messy work of constructing an agenda to one actor. Convenient for the party that does not hold the White House, which can create an agenda out of simple opposition. And convenient for voters, who can understand politics through the actions of a discrete player and offload their dissatisfaction onto the failures of a hapless individual.

            But the "great man" theory of the presidency is not convenient when it comes to actually creating change. Again and again, presidents disappoint. They fail to pass health-care reform or Social Security privatization. They don't ease partisanship or break through gridlock. They prove impotent in the face of immediate crises and leave long-term challenges to fester. And so we tire of them, resolving to replace them with more presidents. Better presidents. Presidents of the other party, or of the same party, or of no party at all. Businessmen like Mike Bloomberg, insurgents like Ralph Nader, charismatic leaders like Barack Obama, self-professed mavericks like John McCain.

            Executive leadership is important, of course, but the continual failure of our presidents should be lesson enough that it is not sufficient. The executive is but one actor in a sprawling drama. Consider this: Comprehensive health reform has been attempted or considered by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. It cannot be that they were all dunces, or weaklings, or incapable legislative tacticians.

            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

            by Satya1 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 10:03:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Perfectly appropriate in a plutocracy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Satya1

      to have oligarchs rule.  

    •  That would be: (0+ / 0-)

      1. Bush
      2. Clinton
      1b. Bush
      3. Obama
      4. Rodham

      By my count.

      The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

      by Pacifist on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:12:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and so? (0+ / 0-)

      we currently get to look back at the entire history of the United States of America and see that only rich, male whites were ever elected President (until Obama).

      Whoever gets elected will be a member in good standing of this country's wealthy-elite. That wont change regardless of whether it's Warren or Clinton or Paul or Christie.

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