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  •  Why don't you just give up then? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm saying this to you, but it's really addressed to all the pessimists on this board (of which I am one).

    If we're so sure Obama's going to lose because he's black - a very real possibility - then what's the point of going on? Why bother, since this country's fucked anyway? Why try, since it won't make a difference because voters in this country are too stupid/racist/religious/etc? Why comment on it other than to bring the silly liberal Pollyannas down?

    Obama '08. Good for the Party, Good for the Country.

    by SouthernFried on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:05:18 PM PDT

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    •  Who's talking about Obama losing? (0+ / 0-)

      For what it's worth, I think Obama is going to clean McCain's clock.  And I'm very pessimistic about American politics.  It's going to be the ugliest election of my lifetime, which is saying a lot, because once it becomes clear some time around Halloween that Obama is going to win, the racists will drop any pretense of euphemism and will just start yelling, "N**ger! N**ger! N**ger!" non-stop for the last 10 days.  It might even start before then.

      So I'm confident Obama will win.  I'm not at all confident about what he'll achieve once he's in office, but I do think he'll win handily.

      I'm just commenting here about the comparison with the 1980 election, which is just utterly different from 2008 according to any rational standard.  The elections aren't similar at all (no incumbent, probably no significant Independent candidate), and Obama is about as different from Reagan as rhetorically-gifted candidate can be.

      Honestly, Mario Cuomo was about 100 times more similar to Ronald Reagan as a candidate, and I don't remember anyone remembering Cuomo as "the Democrats' potential Reagan" of the 1980s.

      My guess is that people here are trying to persuade themselves that the 2008 election will signal the end of Reaganism and the Washington Consensus, and are casting around for comparisons that will justify that belief.

      "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

      by Pesto on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:40:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just curious but (0+ / 0-)

        why so pessimistic about Obama once elected?? He should have sizeable majorities in both the house and Senate, and, imo, he has an uncanny ability to find middle ground and work from there. Do you not have faith in Obama himself??

        •  Finding middle ground is the last thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          host

          our society needs at this point.  We need radical change, and our system of government has evolved pretty specifically to make that as difficult as possible.

          That's not surprising -- no system wants radical change, because that kind of change threatens the system's stability and continued existence.  But it's also the fact that Obama, from what I've seen, is uninterested in radical change.  He wants competence and a sense of unity, which would be much better than Bush or McCain, but that's hardly a radical restructuring of power in the US.

          If we're going to get radical change -- or even something like the New Deal, which wasn't as radical as a whole lot of other programs on the table in the US at the time -- we'll need a massive people's movement that threatens social stability.  Capital will need to face an existential threat, and to take the threat seriously enough to be willing to concede a significant amount of power in order to ensure its continued existence.

          The only tiny sliver of hope I have -- and it's a lot of the reason that I favored Obama over Clinton -- is that Obama's campaign organization is big enough to spark that kind of movement...provided it turns on him after the election.  I give that about a 1 in 50 chance.

          The President's job is to protect and empower American (corporate) hegemony overseas, and to manage the national security state.  That's the job Obama is applying for.  Whatever his personal preferences, that's the job he'll do once he's inaugurated.  Unfortunately, that job hurts and exploits the vast majority of Americans, and hundreds of millions of people around the world, all to the benefit of a small elite largely in this country.  Obama can't and won't change that.  If it changes, it'll be because we all made changing it the only alternative to watching the society descend into chaos.

          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

          by Pesto on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:20:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pesto, great post, but most are too far right (0+ / 0-)

            to even comprehend what you are talking about. They don't grasp that Obama got this far because he is offered a a "crumb" by those who hold most of the wealth and power, just as patrician FDR was offered as a crumb. We need a Huey P. Long....it's more like 1927 in Louisiana, in the US today, than it is like it was in the US in 1980.

            The most powerful and wealthiest fear a populist backlash, and Obama is as far as they are willing to go, to keep such a backlash from happening, and it appears to be enough....for most everyone who posts here, anyway... The truth is, that Obama is about the least "change" that the controlling interests can get away with, and still keep a pacified mass of largely unquestioning cattle. In Sept., 1935, when it appeared that Huey Long might be a political threat to FDR, in the 1936 presidential contest, he was duly dispatched, with a bullet. SSA.gov knows where the politcal pressure that founded it, came from, and it wasn't from FDR.... http://www.ssa.gov/...

    •  To be fair (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pesto

      the points he raised for Obama not being Reagan were all legitimate and having contesting viewpoints is healthy, especially when they're presented with logical assertions.

      I believe the general similarities are of Reagan, like Obama, needing to debunk the "he's risky" perception. For me, the differences lie in the reasons for the perception of their riskiness. Where its the unknown, experience, and ethnicity for Obama, it was rightwing extremism and the fear of ceding power to an ideologically more conservative republican for Reagan. So while Reagan was a known quantity, you can easily argue that only added to the risk of putting him in office.

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