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  •  I don't see this at all. (23+ / 0-)

    The truth is Obama is not much different from any other hyper-incrementalist, hypocrit, coprporate lackey P.O.S. politician who says what he needs to get elected (often counter to his previously stated more unguarded 'single payer') and governs in a 'don't piss too many people off of any stripe and do anything at all costs to protect the powered and moneied classes of washington and corporate america.

    What I see is a canny politician slowly pushing things in the right direction and a lot of people proclaiming his betrayal before the story is over.

    Best Wishes, Demena Economic Left/Right: -8.38
 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

    by Demena on Sat May 16, 2009 at 02:22:52 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  hmmm. (12+ / 0-)

      canny?  meaning, hyper-incrementalist, hypocrite, corporate lackey?  yes.  i would have to agree.  

      look.  i don't fault politicians.  we get the politicians we deserve and who reflect who we are as a nation.  and unfortunately we are a nation where almost have think 'teh gay' is evul, over half outright deny decades or even over a century of non-partisan scientific inquiry (global warming and evolution), a third of the country thinks the apocolypse is nigh and are looking forward to it, and a good number of people instead of imagining a nation where everyone is middle to upper middle class and comfortable but not extravagant would rather imagine a time where they are the filthy rich who gets to screw everyone else and 'keep them in their place'.  

      as bill maher said last night, somehow america (for the most part but not exclusively) seems to have decided that we are not only willing but embrace a philosophy of willingness to lie, cheat, steal and generally fuck over anyone for any reason for money.

      until that changes i am not sure the rest isn't just window dressing and swapping the well worn deck chairs around the titanic.

      No falsehood is so fatal as that which is made an article of faith. - Thomas Paine (-5.75, -4.65)

      by whoisjohngalt on Sat May 16, 2009 at 03:15:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Better to go down in flames demanding (14+ / 0-)

        a pure agenda to push down the throats of the evil right... just how successful will that be... come out all guns blazing with a loud super progressive-liberal agenda aggressively promoted from day one...? How nice it would feel and how ineffectual in the end.... but hey it may reassure some doubters to the left of him... maybe...

        But he would be mired in much worse pettifogging blowback silliness from the right and get nowhere. Doing a "strong leader" from above and or Cheney-sneaky circumventing legalities... is that what we need to fix things??

        Building consensus in a Democracy is not as quick and easy as the Bush-Cheney wanna-be "president for life" methods with the big media shilling for them all along as well. Building an irresistible political momentum does not end with a successful election. It is incremental for Obama, it has to be otherwise it's just a left version of Bush-Cheney. Maybe he could ram things through, some things... but would they stick, would they last, would he have broad support for it? Would he guarantee that the Republicans would be able to manufacture enough shit to come back in 2012? He is in it for the long haul for lasting results... Rome was not built in a day and it's not just the past 8 years he has to get us past but really the past 40, Carter and Clinton did not fully erase the darkness of Nixonian and Reaganite legacies...

        Better to go down to glorious red flag waving defeat in 4 years with little lasting change? Sure keep thinking that way, better than having to deal with complex realities... ahhh year zero approaches to problems... gotta hand it to the Khmer Rouge guys.. no shilly-shallying there... 100% eyes on the prize... as the crow flies blasting through any opposition... Glory Glory all hail the revolution... lalalalalla they make the Bush-Cheney Egg-breaking omelet-making seem very cautious... Surely Obama can prove his independence from corporate lackeyhood by breaking many more, much bigger eggs for the ultimate progressive omelet...?

        Maybe you don't like chess? Better to declare checkmate before moving a singe piece and ordaining a winner? The game has to be played on many levels and it is not a quick shoot-em up rush reward process.

        It's true that in 3 years... incremental may not have done as much as we'd thought or hoped and maybe he will seem more like a puppet than a string puller... but he is not just a blue version of Bush Cheney imperial presidency. If he is stymied by the Corporate interests or forced to compromise with them it does not mean he is automatically their lackey. He does have to build widespread and popular understanding and support for what needs to be done while doing what is possible now to be able to do more tomorrow... a tall order with the media led widespread ignorance and indifference among too many Americans... but there are plenty of others, more than enough who are thirsty to know more real things and to be a part of the change. If he dictates from the top, that is just more of the crypto indirect dictatorship the US has had for far too long. The only way deep change is possible is to move deliberately and build widespread support, and revitalize democracy in this country, not easy with so much deliberate fog and misinformation being sprayed at the new administration from so many places, not to mention the ire of disappointed impatient purity types elsewhere...

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

        by IreGyre on Sat May 16, 2009 at 03:55:22 AM PDT

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        •  don't get me wrong ... (9+ / 0-)

          i am not a far left ideologue.  there are plenty of things i think compromise is essential on.  i am disappointed at many appointments and often times what seems to be a reluctance to change the 'basic premises' that seem to have and continue to handicap where our nation is headed.  corporations and free for all market capitalism is not only not the answer to all of our problems it is in fac the cause of many of them.  debating and giving equal credence to all arguments and sides in the debate even when some of them are entirely specious, fear based and born of complete ignorance is PART of the problem.  you want to debate whether cap and trade will effectively help the increasing polution/global climate change problem or something else will, or how much pollution is necessary for industry or how long it might take to switch from a carbon economy to a non carbon economy i can have those debates but you cannot and should not accept as a valid part of the conversation any party that says 'nope, not real, cows fart and we exhale so CO2 is just fine and dandy'.

          a study of history shows that many times a civilization has made sweeping progress it was usually a strong leader draging their 'nation' kicking and screaming to better times.  now maybe that isn't possible anymore or even desired.  maybe the system of checks and balances (otherwise known as the system of gridlock) is a good way to keep check on the lesser impulses of our human nature.  i don't know.  i would just like to see a president that says on somethings where what is right is pretty clear ... like DADT and gay marriage ... look, i know some disagree but i would like to put this country 25 years ahead of schedule and not wait until, like with women and blacks, we eventually admit that equality is equality even if for those we might not like.  you are free to be a personal bigot but the government is not allowd to be no matter how many individuals exercise that particular right.  

          who knows maybe i am an idealist.  i would like a government that says we are going to keep you safe (as is possible in an unsafe world) from your neighbours (police/fire), safe from foreign agression (military/dhs), keep you as healthy you yourself allow us to, educate you to the extent of your capacity, protect everyones civil liberties and personal freedoms equally but unobtrusively as possible, and be the referee that makes and enforces stringent but fair rules that serve to protect those who have not (including the environment) from those who have (including corporations) who might and often do seek to exploit them for only short term gain.  

          and maybe a keen understanding of and reliance on science and history wouldn't be so bad.

          is that too much to ask?

          No falsehood is so fatal as that which is made an article of faith. - Thomas Paine (-5.75, -4.65)

          by whoisjohngalt on Sat May 16, 2009 at 04:15:56 AM PDT

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          •  Indeed. (4+ / 0-)

            "...a study of history shows that many times a civilization has made sweeping progress it was usually a strong leader draging their 'nation' kicking and screaming to better times."

            As it was in the grandest experiment of civilization, that BEST shot at self-governace by even the poor, (given 'spacial' advantage) that was the United States of America (which Paine named).  There were MANY British sympathizers during the Revolution.

            (This is not to say that MANY indigenous cultures were not happily "self-governing", but the Powers of the "Old" world were coming...)

          •  Obama is not going to "pass" (8+ / 0-)

            health care reform, that's up to Congress, and Congress is indebted to the big health related industries.  WE are going to pass health care reforms, but only if we stop acting like victims and continue to bombard Congress with our demands.

            Obama isn't responsible for changing our culture WRT equality for GLBTs, we are.

            Obama isn't responsible for starting wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, he's stuck with the mess, which has been going on for 7 years, and hasn't been solved in 4 months.  (OMG, he's such a sellout loser bush clone)

            Obama is up against a very powerful corporate culture, made stronger over the last 50 years by the cabal that includes Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush administrations, and he hasn't dismantled it in 4 months. (OMG he's such a sellout loser bush clone)

            Have we been so badly damaged by the neo-cons that we can't strap on a few pair and take responsibility for our country?  Are we stuck in victim mode, waiting for "Big Daddy" to run to the playground and slap the bullies around?  

            This Is A Democracy.  It would not have become a Corporatocracy if citizens had kept their eyes on the ball, shopped less, and voted their interests more.

            None of what's happened in the last 50 years belongs exclusively to Obama, it belongs to us.  Could we possibly stop whining for a while, and start pushing our agenda all by our own little selves?  

            Probably not, it's easier to feel helpless and put upon and betrayed by the evil overlords.  No wonder democrats can't maintain power anymore.  We're losers, with a loser mentality, and a gift for eating our own.  

            Cheney will be back, probably in 2012, courtesy of the left.  It's easier to be stomped on than it is to take responsibility for ourselves and our country.  

            They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

            by I love OCD on Sat May 16, 2009 at 06:12:04 AM PDT

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          •  BUT a strong leader often CAN be strong (5+ / 0-)

            and succeed only because there is a consensus among enough people and especially people in the right places who can see what must be done and how it must be done. The most successful strong man does not have all the answers, guiding everyone else who rely on his every word to the point of developing Mao, Chavez, Adolph style cults of personality... Bush-Cheney were on that road... rewarding parrots and reliable flunkies and making life very difficult for those who did not play ball or stood in the way.

            A successful leader relies on others like him who are working in parallel and will be reliable truth tellers not yes people. A leader can be totally in the right or know what the best solution is but just loudly proclaiming that it is the right way and just going ahead with it will not work if the ground work is not in place and if there is too much resistance. All or nothing approaches usually end up with nothing. Some would rather no loaf than half a loaf soon and a real chance to work for the whole loaf later...

            I accept that you are not an ideologue and I don't see anything above that I would really disagree with but I think that given the slime storm that the right tinged media is ready to dump on anything our president does or says I think being careful now makes sense. I think that even a strong leader can be careful and take time to bring enough people around with accomplishments and a rational track record that will make many more things possible in the long run.

            The nut wing part of the media is aiding and abetting an unprecedented level of weapon and ammo sales with bizarre accusations and characterizations just because of the identity of our chief executive... Should he do a more classy swagger and maximum leader act to top Bush's version of that just to egg on all the would be regicides out there? He will not be quite as effective if he does not live out even his first term... and beyond personal safety he has to defuse the improvised explosive memes that are being rigged up around every right wing sacred cow.

            Yes, a strong leader can often assert themselves in very proactive ways... but that is more often due to knowing when and where he can do it successfully. Some leaders have bulled their way in the right direction and lucked out with stunning success, for a while at least, but the blind spots in the plan will eventually trip them up. The Bush admin swagger macho wanna bes tried to act like forceful leader types and tried to make what they wanted succeed by relying too much on bluster, lies and PR in their attempted end run around reality. But we, if not they, eventually found that they could not invent the result they were trying for.

            I believe Obama is still setting things up and listening and letting the first phase of cleaning house in all the departments be completed. Deciding ahead of time what they will find and acting without enough info or a fleshed out plan relies too much on luck to succeed.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

            by IreGyre on Sat May 16, 2009 at 06:13:44 AM PDT

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            •  i certainly agree... (0+ / 0-)

              with many of your points.  i am just afraid that there is too much 'disinformation' and not enough 'information' (and a desire for such) in our nation.  too much 'distraction' and not enough 'attention'.  too much 'self interest' and not enough 'common interest' ... short term thinking vs long term thinking ... you get the idea.  if we are the people 'we' have been waiting for what if 'we' kind of suck?  what if we aren't smart enough, informed enough, or care enough to push the rock up the corporate hill?  what if we aren't Sysiphuss?  Ok, now I am just getting weird but you see my point.  And by "we" I do not mean just you and me ... I mean all of us ... and that includes the 33% of us who deny science, bitch and moan about catching 'teh gay' etc etc etc.

              No falsehood is so fatal as that which is made an article of faith. - Thomas Paine (-5.75, -4.65)

              by whoisjohngalt on Sat May 16, 2009 at 06:22:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Which is why the only way to succeed is to (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cotterperson, KayCeSF

                keep the campaign going in many ways... One major weakness of democracy in the US is that it is too hands off and not participatory enough... overkill during campaigns and then too many people go back to the rest of their lives in between..

                We can't all be full time political junkies but keeping politics local and more inclusive, involving more people will pay off in making the people at the top more representative... the people they represent, too many in the US, sit back too much and let daddy and mommy take care of things out of sight and mind... and they don't want to see or are not allowed to see much beyond the fluff stuff of pets and clothes and other celebrity junk news or the ravings of the paranoia beat in the media. The only people who care in enough numbers to show up on the corporate radar are the ones whose participation as an audience of the entertainment news outlets... and that includes politics as scripted entertainment with faux controversies and diversionary memes that are good for boosting the audience numbers... and avoiding actual problems that big money likes just the way they are...

                So it's the future of blogs and the internet that could evolve us into a more involved electorate...
                And that would help people vote for more direct, correct information and less disinformation and half baked truths... their votes being their increased attention to and validation of more truth based non passive medias. Big media will follow the money and the audience and changing demographics, technology and politics may just make them better.

                But the wider campaign must continue in many ways.

                Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

                by IreGyre on Sat May 16, 2009 at 07:03:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Do we have a top comments category (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          for "most delusional" and "most able to blame everyone but Obama"?

          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

          by joanneleon on Sat May 16, 2009 at 04:48:54 AM PDT

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          •  how about we wait on the blame for a bit? (7+ / 0-)

            I think most people try for a more sane approach of not automatically giving a free ride forever to one side or the other or automatically subscribing to the most blame laden interpretations of every act, utterance and policy within days of any new administration...

            No trust or too much trust? how about something more nuanced than a pass-fail dipstick test? Will all the appointments turn out to be pandering sellouts? or maybe more like carefully chosen people who will defuse the obvious roadblocks and allow the most important things to get done along with much else...

            I don't have total faith in the magic hero man but I don't have bottomless suspicion and derision for any sign of not passing an instant sniff test either...

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

            by IreGyre on Sat May 16, 2009 at 05:35:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  that sounds emminently reasonable ... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              golconda2, mkor7, Edgewater

              unfortunately each time we do that with a new president (or most any other elected offical) from either party we get a tiny bit 'half assed' non progress progress and alot of the same old same old Corporatism.  

              Reagan lessened protection for the "little guy" and increased the influence/power/protection of corporations.  So did Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2.  Now, did some of them pick one industry to pander to more than another (say military or agribusiness or banking/investment) but in the end they know that votes don't count, money does.  You can lie and bamboozle your way to votes (and $50 donations) but the people who give you the big cash expect results.

              No falsehood is so fatal as that which is made an article of faith. - Thomas Paine (-5.75, -4.65)

              by whoisjohngalt on Sat May 16, 2009 at 05:44:36 AM PDT

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        •  IreG thanks for this thoughtful & well-reasoned (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          comment. n/t

          We will restore science to its rightful place....We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil .... All this we can do. And all this we will do.

          by puffmeister on Sat May 16, 2009 at 10:08:09 AM PDT

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    •  Obama has done stuff (10+ / 0-)

      Some of the things Obama's administration has donw to date would have caused Progresives to scream bloody murder if it have been done by a Republican President. I'm thinking about all of the reversals on State Secrets, Military Tribunals, more gobs of  money to banks, not letting endagered species get in the way of energy companies, and thoughtless approval of more blowing the tops off mountains. I think Progressive were naive in thinking we could just seat back and let Obama take care of everything. He has too many big money players riding him, and unless Progressives convince him there is a real political price to be paid, we will loose out to them whenever there is a conflict of interest.

      •  I keep hearing this.... (7+ / 0-)

        He has too many big money players riding him,

        But he is less beholden than any recent president has ever been.

        He still has to walk a balance while he moves the line.

        Best Wishes, Demena Economic Left/Right: -8.38
 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

        by Demena on Sat May 16, 2009 at 04:00:48 AM PDT

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        •  Exactly. I think Obama is a good man, (10+ / 0-)

          of reasonable ethics and virtues.  

          The People's "little" money may have put him where he is, but there's a lot more money to be had NOW, with many FEWER to please for it, and temptation, coercion, and even threat is now swirling around him.

          Let's hope his mettle, or character, is truly reflective of his many supporters.  Let's hope he calls upon them, and utilizes their strength.

          And let's hope those supporters are healthily wary, but patient.  Because some things TAKE TIME to... set up, and do properly, and Obama is no slouch.

        •  your argument is that ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          he is "less" in the pocket of corporate-whore america?  i am not sure that is exactly a compliment.  since when do poor, downtrodden powerless corporations need the protections of government?  to keep them safe from that dangerous environment out to get them?  mother nature out to screw them at every turn is she?  or maybe it is the poor (middle class) and the really poor (the poor) who are out to get corporate america?  and what them with no resources or power to protect themeselves ... and being such honest brokers with the highest ethics and long term good in mind they are so hamstrung i am amazed they have survived in such trying and tumultous times even with the almost absolute protectionism of the government.

          No falsehood is so fatal as that which is made an article of faith. - Thomas Paine (-5.75, -4.65)

          by whoisjohngalt on Sat May 16, 2009 at 05:15:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (5+ / 0-)

            that is not my argument, it was a devaluation of yours.

            My point is that politics is the art of the possible, of finding the way from A to B.  So far I see a lot of successes for Obama and things moving in the right direction.  Maybe it is two steps forward and one step back, but that step back has always been reclaimed so far.

            Politics is putting ideals into practice and there is always something lost, suspended on the way.  I see high ideals being put into practice albeit very slowly.  Given the fragility of the global situation in so many fields revolutionary type politics are likely to be counter productive.

            Remember it is another ecosystem up there.  The rich, the powerful, they are at each others throats just as much as they are at ours.  Obama seems to be doing a masterful job of playing everyone, including us, off against each other so far.  He really does seem to be something remarkable.  I'm not a 'worshipper' but he is damned interesting.

            Best Wishes, Demena Economic Left/Right: -8.38
 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

            by Demena on Sat May 16, 2009 at 05:57:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well i can at least agree ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Demena, bigchin

              that while the rich and powerful agree on screwing all of those not in that club (and keeping that club as small and as increasingly disparate as possible) at least we can be thankful for the fact at least some of their energies have to be directed towards protecting themselves from each other.

              I guess otherwise we would be much worse off.  =)

              No falsehood is so fatal as that which is made an article of faith. - Thomas Paine (-5.75, -4.65)

              by whoisjohngalt on Sat May 16, 2009 at 06:03:21 AM PDT

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      •  i guess maybe now we can feel some sympathy ... (0+ / 0-)

        for the Christian Right ... or any other large passionate voting block that has been given so many appealing promises with one hand and been repeatedly smacked in the head with the other (you know, not each and every time on each and every topic...i mean you have to take a break half the time to keep that other hand in the cookie jar).

        of course, i don't feel too much sympathy. =)

        No falsehood is so fatal as that which is made an article of faith. - Thomas Paine (-5.75, -4.65)

        by whoisjohngalt on Sat May 16, 2009 at 05:12:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  this is precisely right ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        i understand some things take time and consensus building ... but when you even waffle and compromise on things that are "relatively" straight forward (especially from a selling it to the public stand point) i beging to suspect it isn't "8 dimensional chess" and more "spineless corporate lackey".  i mean how hard would it be to say "while the legislature contemplates repealing DADT and while we are in a special war that requires special skills i am not willing to lose highly trained, skilled and respected by their followers, military personnel?  or we should stop blowing the tops off mountains until we know exactly how much damage we are doing?  or i have decided to put someone in charge of enforcing environmental laws and protections who has NOT been the leading lawyer for the single most pollution and law violating corporation in the history of mankind?  

        No falsehood is so fatal as that which is made an article of faith. - Thomas Paine (-5.75, -4.65)

        by whoisjohngalt on Sat May 16, 2009 at 05:34:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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