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View Diary: Budget Battle Royale! (310 comments)

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  •  But who holds the Presidency? (4+ / 0-)

    Who holds the houses of Congress? Certainly not the left. We need to wake up. Obama is not and never was anything close to a leftist--the mistake was supporting him in the primaries instead of supporting Kucinich who would at least have been in a position to negotiate for us. Instead we gave everything to the Wall Street candidate and then we complain when he turns out to only be able to move right.

    •  What do you mean "need to wake up" (3+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      liberte, the tmax, Argyrios
      Hidden by:
      Latins for Peace

      He was always a centrist candidate. He ran on bipartisanship, and I recall him talking about working with the other side many times.  If you voted for him thinking he was a far left candidate then you should have done more research. It seems that you are the one who needs to do the "waking up".

      Is he perfect? No of course not. Am I 100 percent happy with him? No of course not. Kucinich (aka Ron Paul of the Democratic Party) is not electable. Running him for President would be a major trainwreck as well as a futile effort. He is right where he belongs and I imagine he will be staying there.

      •  once again, this is a terrible argument (13+ / 0-)

        "you voted for him because you were mistaken"

        in that case why vote for him next time? Don't you see why the argument is weak?

        •  Not saying "mistaken" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          the tmax

          I am saying the person put unrealistic expectations on them. Not my problem that a person was unable to see that Obama was a centrist candidate. Maybe it is because I am from Illinois, but his record has always been very clear on this.

          •  not your problem? (7+ / 0-)

            That's the way to get a government that actually represents we the people and the Law. If it's not your problem why are you a Democrat? why even vote? So any pol who is 'centrist' in the fictitious political ideological spectrum is therefore worthy of support? It is your problem, it's all of our problem unfortunately. Unrealistic expectations of having a representational Republic where our laws and system are upheld at a time when they are being destroyed 'by the fierce urgency of now' does not seem unrealistic to most people.  

            That's why the Dude won, he advocated audacity and bottom up, he empowered people to believe they could change this FUBAR mess. I say if you knew what he was up to you should have not voted for him and let others know that we were getting the old bait and switch. i guess you think real democracy is unrealistic. Centrist my ass, only in the cooked up political bamboozle we have as an electoral system these days.  

            'But elections are not enough. In a true democracy, it is what happens between elections that is the true measure of how a government treats its people.'  Barack Obama  

        •  Forgot to finish (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE, dsb, the tmax

          I knew he was going to be a centrist candidate. It was unrealistic to think this guy was going to be an uber progressive candidate. I voted for him because I realized he would be able to get shit done. He has done this. I also liked that fact that he listens to those he served and saw that he did so here in Illinois. That is why I voted for him and will be doing so again.

          It would be totally unproductive to put someone like Kucinich into office. Nothing would pass. Like it or not, Kucinich does not represent the beliefs of many in this country. Hopefully this changes, but right now it is the reality we are in. We need a person like Obama to start this change. Just look at the HCR bill, if it works (and I believe it will) and people start seeing benefits, they are going to be willing for more reform.

          These things take time, we cannot just will it to be. I wish we could but it is not possible. You have to work with the situation you are in. Do not get me wrong, I am totally willing to criticize Obama. Certain actions I am unhappy with. But to act like this guy is completely unconnected with the American people and now a Corporate Stooge in the Walker tradition is silly. Politics and Policy are are rarely All or Nothing.

          I guess my question is, what did you see from Obama that would indicate he would be a hard left progressive? Or am I misreading your statement.

          •  not hard left, but at least center left (7+ / 0-)

            here are some examples

            "I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies -- they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process."
            "A mandate means that in some fashion, everybody will be forced to buy health insurance. ... But I believe the problem is not that folks are trying to avoid getting health care. The problem is they can't afford it. And that's why my plan emphasizes lowering costs."
            "Global warming is not just the greatest environmental challenge facing our planet -- it is one of our greatest challenges of any kind. Combating global warming will be a top priority of my presidency, and I will attend to it personally. Putting a price on carbon is the most important step we can take to reduce emissions."
            "I will protect the tax cuts for the middle class, but I will repeal the unnecessary tax cuts for oil and gas companies and for the wealthiest Americans."
            •  Its not a matter of left or right anymore (6+ / 0-)

              Its a matter of what is sensible and in the best interests of the citizens of this country.  Neither party's leadership seems capable of even clearing that hurdle these days.

              When leaders on both sides can't get off their lazy asses long enough to get sensible health care reform or spend their time planning to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while funding 3 wars for oil, its not defined as "right" or "left", but totally immoral, corrupt and screwed up vs. even more immoral, corrupt and screwed up.

              Is that harsh?  Sure, but if someone thinks breaking laws, theft and deliberately impoverishing large segments of the American public is ok, we'll they're not right or center, they're just really fucked up.

              •  This is why people vote (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                the tmax, neroden

                for Republicans. Honestly, it is.

                All they want is for SOMETHING to get done. They don't want somebody who's an ideologue. And frankly, most Republicans don't come off that way, not during the campaign. They talk about making choices, and fixing things, and doing what it takes to make things work.

                But they NEVER get into specifics. NEVER. And their priorities are WAY different than most of the general public. Once in office, that becomes PAINFULLY clear.

                People understand that sometimes fees need to go up. Taxes need to be raised. The govt has a lot of ways to do that, and many of them don't have to hurt the average guy a whole lot.

                But drastically cutting services because you don't want to increase taxes by $2/mo/yr/quarter, or because you don't want to raise a fee by $20 is ASININE. And to cut taxes by a tiny amount because you THINK it's going to 'put money in people's pockets' is even MORE asinine.

                Giving me another $2/wk isn't going to change my life. But if you give me $2/wk, chances are you're giving the richest more like $200/wk or more.

                If I don't need it that much, THEY sure as hell don't.

                If you can't give me a chunk at once, DON'T EVEN BOTHER. Really. I'd much rather you give EVERYBODY $1000 than change a tax rate.

                It will equal out in the end, and the guy on the lower end will be MUCH more grateful than the millionaire.

              •  Truth. If anything "honest informed adults (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Betty Pinson, neroden

                vs lying greedy children." Left vs Right has been a meaningless paradigm in this world for a long time now. The French Revolution is long over, Marx had more data than phrenologists but not more grasp.

                It's always been about a relatively few ruthless, greedy bastards screwing everyone else. Technology and propaganda just lets the formal aspects of how it's done change. But it's the same doing in the end.


                Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                by Jim P on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 02:24:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, in the French Revolution (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Calamity Jean, Brown Thrasher

                  the "right wing" were the monarchists, the believers in the divine right of kings; the "left wing" were the supporters of democracy.

                  I don't think things have really changed that much.  I think "honest informed adults vs lying greedy children" IS left vs. right in the taxonomy of the French Revolution.  Monarchists were always lying greedy children, but particularly in the mismanaged government of the "ancien regime".

                  Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

                  by neroden on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:49:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Obama has mostly gotten Republican shit done. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brown Thrasher

            Check with the ACLU, Amnesty International, any of the major unions, any of the major women's rights groups, oh, hell, any left wing group, and you'll see exactly what Obama's gotten done.

            The HCR bill?  2014.  I repeat: 2014.

            Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

            by neroden on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:47:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Electability is irrelevant (5+ / 0-)

        This is serious business here. The oligarchs are eating us up and we shouldn't be worried about cosmetics and star appeal. Of course a centrist candidate will be elected by saying precisely nothing of substance. The point is to have a powerful political coalition that pressures politicians. Having a candidate, any candidate, who represents our issues is essential. Obviously no on is going to vote for Kucinich because he will be demonized by the MSM who work for the corporate elites. But we can empower our champion to negotiate for us about who gets in the cabinet and so on. That's my point. I'm interested in realpolitik and the way the progressive has shamefully acted in this country has cut them off from power. And I'm not saying that would be the only way to go--maybe Kucinich is irrelevant--but some sort of concerted and organize left-action is the only way to have power. To put a hurt on someone is the essence of realpolitik. Organizing is the only way we can do that and solidarity will bring strength.

        One thing should be fucking obvious by now is that this way that the left has followed is utterly futile and directly counter-productive.

        •  Organizing progressives is very important (0+ / 0-)

          And believe it or not, plenty of places to become involved and work with fellow progressives exist. In fact, you are on a website right now devoted to that very thing.

          Sitting and talking about Oligarchs, "Star Appeal" and Cosmetics will not get you or I very far. Its just like a Paultard rambling on about "Constitutionality". You Even threw in a media conspiracy for good measure. To top it all of you talk about corporate "elites". Most people will see this rant and think of it no different from some tinfoiler complaining about the Zionist media conspiracy supporting the NWO trying to keep so and so from being elected in order to bring the Amero blah blah blah. Obviously the much easier answer is that the candidate just does not resonate with the majority of Americans.

          First of all, he is not demonized by anybody. He is just too far left many Americans. Obviously Republicans do not agree with him and that is too be expected. However he is too far to the left of the very important swing voters. I do not dislike the guy, his recent behavior and potshots not withstanding.

          Obama won because he ran on uniting us together to better our country. You may or may not believe that he has done this. However, sitting on KOS and essentially saying "See I TOLD YOU WE SHOULD VOTED FOR DENNIS" is not really accomplishing anything. It appears that you then follow up with saying that you do not have any group with which you channel your energy into making an effort to furthering our cause. I wholeheartedly disagree. Plenty of groups exist in which you can become involved. So, I really do not think your argument that the left wing is "unorganized" is very valid.

          One of the reason's that Obama won was because he was able to organize people (including people on the left like you and I) to work together. Has Obama disappointed us in some ways? In my eyes he has but these disappointments are to be expected. Like it or not, he is President of this entire country, which is split down the middle. He will never be able to please everybody, but frankly I think he is doing a pretty good job. Shit, if you would have told me he would pass a health care reform bill when he was running I would have thought you were crazy. Is that bill perfect? No. But it is the first step.

          Certainly he deserves the chance for four more years of work. The guy has only been in in office since 2008, its not time to throw him under the bus yet.

          •  We can agree to disagree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden

            First of all there is such a thing as an oligarchy--in fact there almost always is in any society including ours. Elites are there and if you look at the data you will see where the money is flowing and if you look at recent books on the subject you will see why and how that was accomplished starting around 1978.

            There is an "elite" conspiracy in the MSM in a sense. You get with the program or there are hundreds behind waiting to be part of the group--this seems pretty straightforward and I don't have time to argue about it. But the range of opinion and what is called "fact" is relatively narrow in this country. For example, during the lead-up to the Iraq War government pronouncements were taken at face value while experts like Scott Ritter were deliberately excluded from the MSM.

            Also, data show that public opinion, fickle though it is very far to the left of what you think it is and what the mainstream says it is--this has often been brought out on DKOS, btw. People were, for example, fairly open to the single-payer and other progressive options and most people are not interested in tax cuts for the wealthy. I think that the basic progressive agenda as articulated on this site is, in my view, not far away from what most voters could agree with if it weren't for wedge issues, tribalism, racism, homophobia and the endless confusion about everything that is the very specific agenda of the MSM and the political parties and their corporate sponsors.

            My point about supporting leftists, if you are a leftist, is that there power can be focused.

            As for your notion that the President is doing what he's meant to do, ok, American politicians are power-brokers not leaders. And our President is reflecting the real power relations in society. What I'm suggesting is that these relations can and should be changed by focusing solidarity and common action by the left. I don't think the current institutions are doing very much--so we disagree. I agree we should not throw him under the bus--it isn't his fault that we have not organized effectively--however his patrons are the financial elites and we must patronize others who can, in turn, negotiate for us.

            •  Polls, Kucinich (0+ / 0-)

              Didja ever notice all the polls that get reported on that are about how people characterize themselves (i.e., as liberal, moderate, or conservative)?  You never hear about what they actually think or what their positions are, just what word they use to describe themselves.

              As for Kucinich, he's just not that appealing a candidate.  If BHO had Kucinich's politics, he still would've won.

              The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

              by Panurge on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 06:43:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  BTW: 4/4/11 We Are One event (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson

          The We Are One Event. Plenty of marches all over the United states, full of progressives. I am marching today. Hopefully you are too!

        •  "Electability is irrelevant"?? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE

          You've gotta be kidding me.

          Ask George McGovern, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis or John Kerry about how "irrelevant" electability is...

          The Republican Party is Michael Douglas. The Tea Party is Glenn Close

          by Jank2112 on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 01:24:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You got Hubert in the wrong list (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden

            He was highly electable and lost by a narrow margin in an extremely difficult year.

            As for the others it doesn't matter. Clinton and Obama administrations (they were so electable because they were, well, elected) saw major setbacks for those of us who claim to be on the left at least those of us concerned with class struggle. Culturally those Presidents were better than the alternative but that's it. So I don't think electability is very important. What is important is political power--the ability to influence leaders who are, after all, only power brokers--power is not necessarily have anything to do with elective office. Richard Nixon was the last progressive President and he had to veer left because the left had power in those days--they still could put a hurt on the oligarchs and pols. No longer true today.

            •  McGovern was our Goldwater. (0+ / 0-)

              Too bad the Dems didn't see that.  But then no one could see it in 1973.  

              OTOH, everybody ought to have seen it by 1981.  But by then the Dem behavior pattern was already established, I guess.  If the Dems had just stuck with the McGovern platform (and healed the rift with Big Labor), who knows where we'd be now?  Don't tell me the GOP would've had power all this time--eventually the American electorate would've given the Dems a turn.  Surely more would've gotten done under Carter if the Dems had been more unified.  But even then it was "what if the Dems screw up health care reform??  Better not take the chance..."

              The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

              by Panurge on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 06:48:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  No (8+ / 0-)

        he had a centrist RECORD and is a Centrist. On the issues he ran hard progressive. Healthcare reform and everything else. Then he set about breaking those promises as fast as he possibly could. He lied. He's a liar.

        That doesnt mean your point about him always being a moderate isnt absolutely true. But it does mean that he intentionally misled people who wished to be misled. That is a character tell in my book.

        A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

        by cdreid on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 01:32:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I really don't think he misled people (0+ / 0-)

          but people heard what they WANTED to hear.

          Just like with the GOP. They all talk in relative vagueness. People read into that whatever they want.

          People elect Republicans PRECISELY because they don't give specifics. If any of the GOP governors had said what they're doing now, there's no way they would have been elected. NO WAY.

          They SAID they were going to fix the budget holes. To most people, that means some cuts, possibly some tax increases, and working on getting jobs in their state. In no instances did the majority of people hear that and think 'they're going to gut the state college system' or 'they're going to fire half the teachers' or 'they're going to sell the highways'

          If they had said THAT, they would NOT have been elected.

          In a nutshell, all politicians are vague. All think the situation they're going to inherit is better than it is. All think that the legislature will work with them.

          And in almost every case, it's WORSE, and the legislature won't do much of anything to help.

          •  Youre wrong (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greeseyparrot, neroden, niemann, Feanor

            i didnt think he misled people at first. I thought a lot of people saw (and his fanboys still do) what they wanted and practiced whatever form of doublethink required to provide themselves a hero figure.

            But on healthcare reform, the rule of law, Iraq, war in general, constitutional rights and so much more he came out specifically in speech after speech and hard with pure progressive policys then literally went out of his way to make sure those things never happened. That was when i went from a tepid supporter to someone who abhors him as a liar and backstabber.. just like his ideological father/brother, Bill Clinton.

            A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

            by cdreid on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:01:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Warrantless spying on Americans (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              niemann, Feanor, cdreid

              was a simple early example of Obama lying to the public.  Deliberately keeping Gitmo open until Congress could pass a law to help Obama deflect blame for keeping it open was a nice one, as I seem to remember something about closing Gitmo on "day one".

              Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

              by neroden on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:52:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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