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Remember the heady days leading up to the November, 2008 election?  It looked to the nation like there was a clear-cut alternative to the dark days of the George W. Bush administration.  The newly chosen candidate of the Democratic party had promised to bring change to Washington, to bring new faces to Washington ("you can't have change with the same old faces" he said), to bring openness and accountability back to our government. He had ridden a groundswell of antiwar opposition by saying he had been right on Iraq and the other leaders had not. As a person, moreover, he seemed a polar opposite to Bush:  brighter, younger, more articulate (at least with a teleprompter), able to use the Internet to advance his cause, and again promising change and transparency.  But something happened, almost within  48 hours of the election results coming in Barack Obama flip- flopped his position on FISA.  In the last few days, we have seen two more major flip-flops (I know that Obama Bots are riled by that term, but that's what major policy shifts amount to):  first, the reversal on publishing the photos of torture; second, the reversal on military tribunals.    

Let me begin by saying that I worked hard to elect Obama.  As a long-time progressive Democrat, I campaigned for him, I gave money to his cause, I took time off from family and friends to talk to other voters to bring them around to voting for Obama, I cheered at Obama rallies, and I celebrated like many others here when he won.  But surprisingly soon, red flags begin to raise their ugly heads.  

To me, one of the first such red flags was the selection of Rahm Emanuel to be Obama's Chief of Staff.  Emanuel is a well-known commodity:  he's a typical Chicago politician, a major DLCer (a group of people I despise since they are really mostly Republicans in Democratic garb).  Emanuel, moreover, had been dead wrong in his overall strategy for the Democratic party when he had chided, criticized and attacked Howard Dean for his "50 state" strategy.  My feeling then and now was, how could Obama put beside him as his right hand man a DLCer who had attacked the man more than anyone who had led to Obama's victory?  That feeling still remains.

A second red flag led from the first:  why was Obama stiff-arming the "democratic wing of the democratic party" in appointments to his cabinet and administration?  Why was Howard Dean, for instance, never really considered FOR ANYTHING (but the pro-insurance, pro-keep-health-care-pretty-much-as-it-is, inexperienced in administering a large department-- Dr. Sanja Gupta-- was selected by Obama to serve as his Surgeon General)?  Remember that? I think it tells a great deal about Obama's real plans for health care reform, but that story comes later.  Another victim of the DLCer-minded Obama (for that's what he has turned out to be) was General Wesley Clark. Remember Clark had come to Obama's defense during the campaign (and been bashed by the Obama people for what he said) and had actively campaigned for Obama against McCain?  Given his distinguished military background, Clark would have been an ideal candidate for a high position such as national security advisor to the president or even as an ambassador to an important country. But no, nothing for Clark at all and to top it off, Obama decided to keep George W. Bush's man on the job at Defense.  Let me repeat, Obama kept a died-in-the-wool Republican, Robert Gates, W's pick, on as probably the second most important person in our government.  (Now maybe readers have an idea why I called this Diary--"New President:  Same Old Shit?).  And it turns out, of course, that under Gates there has been very little change EXCEPT an expansion of the war in Afghanistan and carrying the war to Pakistan.

Let's continue looking at Obama's picks because they reveal a lot about the man (who I must say, we KNEW AND STILL KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT).  Remember who Obama wanted at Commerce? Richardson even though it was common knowledge that Richardson was under investigation for possibly committing illegal acts.  His second choice:  Judd Gregg.  Again, a very illuminating choice.  Gregg is a hard-core, very right-wing Republican senator--who proved his stripes by even voting against Obama's own stimulus package.  

Remember who Obama wanted to spearhead his "health care reform" plans?  Yes, none other than Tim Daschle, the ethically-challenged, tax-dodging former majority leader of the Senate who was raking in millions of dollars as a lobbyist from the very insurance companies and pharmaceuticals that oppose any meaningful reform in health care.  After Daschle crashed and burned, who has Obama turned to carry out his "reform"?  None other than Max Baucus.  Baucus, if you check him out on the Internet-- like Daschle-- is a major recipient of campaign funds from the current health care fiasco upholders.  It was Baucus (and Obama) who said that "single payer" is off the table.  It was Baucus, as Obama's point guard on health care reform, who in the last week or so had doctors and nurses arrested for daring to stand up at his Senate hearings and saying:  why not consider single payer?  And it was Obama HIMSELF who called a White House Conference about 2 months ago and FAILED TO INVITE a single proponent of single payer.  Of course, as a politician in Illinois, Obama had once supported "single payer" (the guy will say anything to get votes) but now was not even remotely considering it as a policy option.  The man who had proclaimed to the world that he would listen to everyone, that he could "reach out" could not even find the time to listen to progressive voices from his own party on single payer.

There have been numerous other Obama picks that could have been made by W.--like John Brennan, torture advocate, whom Obama first selected to be his CIA Director but had to back down because of the uproar.  But again Obama showed his true stripes by picking Brennan to sit in the White House as his Deputy National Security Advisor. Or how about Obama's recent pick as top general in Afghanistan--General McChrystal?  McChrystal, it might be recalled, was the man at the center of the Pat Tillman controversy, accused of having fabricated the account of Tillman's death and then whitewashing an investigation into his death. The Tillman family itself seems appalled at Obama for now nominating this ethically challenged general to a higher position and has asked publicly for his background to be reviewed.  McChrystal, as S. Hersh and others have pointed out, was also the leader of a hit-man like assassination unit that has no accountability to our government at all.  Andrew Sullivan also has reported that McChyrstal virtually told the Red Cross to f---k off from looking at torture allegations in camps under his control:

"Once, somebody brought it up with the colonel. 'Will [the Red Cross] ever be allowed in here? {Iraq in the early years)' And he said absolutely not. He had this directly from General McChrystal and the Pentagon that there's no way that the Red Cross could get in: "they won't have access and they never will. This facility was completely closed off to anybody investigating, even Army investigators." ...


So Rahm, Daschle, John Brennan, and General McChrystal are fine with Obama.  What about a true progressive, like Dawn Johnsen, whom Obama initially tapped to head the Office of Legal Counsel at the DOJ (Jay Bybee's old stomping grounds)?  You guessed it. In the last few days, Harry Reid has been quoted as saying that her nomination is in jeopardy (despite the Democrats having almost 60 votes in the Senate) and probably will be yanked.  Obama's reaction:  silence, nothing, nada.  No call for support for her at all.  Apparently, it was enough for Obama to give the progressive wing of his party the ILLUSION of being selected (Obama is very big on illusions and hope), that was enough of a sop to the people who helped to put him in power.

I could go on to speak at length about other Obama flip-flops.  Obama's flip on FISA occurred with extraordinary rapidity, almost within the time the election results came in.  Remember this:

Bill Burton issues a statement, October 24, 2007, reaffirming Obama's position and pledging to support Chris Dodd's filibuster on FISA:
"To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies."


But we all remember how this ended with FISA, don't we?  Yes, Obama ended up taking virtually the same position as the Bush administration on this issue.

Or how about NAFTA?  Remember the very close contest for the Democratic party nomination between Obama and Hillary Clinton?  Remember when candidate Obama needed votes and support in labor union-rich Pennsylvania and possibly Michigan (it was unclear what would happen to that state's votes)?  Candidate Obama made airy-fairy statements like this:

"I would immediately call the president of Mexico, the president of Canada, to try to amend NAFTA, because I think that we can get labour agreements in that agreement right now. ...And it should reflect the basic principle that our trade agreements should not just be good for Wall Street; it should also be good for Main Street."


Also recall that one of Obama's chief economic advisors was caught up in a flap in Canada for saying that Obama was just making these promises to cozy up to union voters and that countries like Canada and Mexico shouldn't take Obama's words seriously? Team Obama publicly reprimanded the economic advisor but it turns out that he described the situation for what it was.  Obama later himself even said this about his own words on NAFTA (same source):

"Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified"

Well, Mr. President, we've heard a lot of "overheated" rhetoric from you in that case, rhetoric that you obviously didn't believe in but used to mislead people to get votes. In fact, years earlier on April 5,  2006 at the opening meeting of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, Senator Obama had spoken in glowing terms about that project and opening new trade through agreements just like NAFTA. Here are Obama's own words embracing unfettered free trade:

I want to thank Bob [Rubin] and Roger [Altman] and Peter for inviting me to be here today. ...We have all known for some time that the forces of globalization have changed the rules of the game—how we work, how we prosper, how we compete with the rest of the word.

We all know that the coming baby boomers’ retirement will only add to the challenges that we face in this new era. Unfortunately, while the world has changed around us, Washington has been remarkably slow to adapt twenty-first century solutions for a twenty-first century economy. As so many of us have seen, both sides of the political spectrum have tended to cling to outdated policies and tired ideologies instead of coalescing around what actually works.

That is what I hope we will see from The Hamilton Project in the months and years to come. You have already drawn some of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles.... So I know that there are going to be wonderful ideas that are generated as a consequence of this project.

I think that if you polled many of the people in this room, most of us are strong free traders and most of us believe in markets... ."

SOURCE: (emphasis added)

Obama cleverly hid this statement and position from the press (not hard to do from these people) and the public but now we know he's an unabashed freetrader which is one of the Golden Rules of the Goldies. His campaign statement in Pennsylvania were pure BS, purely designed to get votes against the tougher Hillary. In all of this, it's a situation of  "New President; Same old Shit".

Don't believe me? Then have a look at these other major areas of concern:

1)  Iraq. It turns out that Obama's "withdrawal" plan looks very much like Bush's.  There will be a "residual force" there for an unspecified time period. Here's what Bush's ex-press secretary said about the situation:

[Obama] "should acknowledge his campaign criticisms were wrong. ...With some minor changes, he really is following the same path President Bush pursued."  


2)  Torture and the unwillingness of Obama to execute his pledge to uphold the Constitution and follow the law.  
It is now crystal clear that major US laws and the Torture and Geneva Conventions were violated by Bush and Cheney and others acting within the Bush administration. Cheney has admitted as much.  Yet now, Obama is carrying water for these torturers and torture enablers.  

I've written several Diaries with lots more information on this subject (like this one ) so I won't expand on this issue.  But let me just add the thoughts of DK's own superb McJoan (whose last name is McCarter) who was interviewed by Der Spiegel on this subject recently:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Obama is reluctant to push for more investigations or a truth commission. He wants to turn the page.

McCarter: There should be more investigations, not just about how the torture policies were conceived and implemented, but also about how that policy played into the (George W. Bush) administration's efforts to find justification to go to war with Iraq. There have been credible reports in the media resulting from the Senate Armed Services Committee report that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi and Khalid Sheik Mohammed were both tortured for intelligence about ties between al-Qaida and Iraq -- in other words, to secure false confessions. There are other issues that need to be explored as well, such as the illegal, warrantless wiretapping of Americans and the politicization of the Department of Justice. There should be criminal investigations into those activities. I think a truth commission could have real value in illuminating for the American people what the Bush administration did in our names. But in order to deter future executive crimes, there should be a criminal investigation and, potentially, prosecutions.


One other commentator deserves to be brought in here--Stanley Kutler-- the University of Wisconsin, Madison History & Law Professor Emeritus who did so much to expose Nixon's abuses of powers:

President Barack Obama dramatically changed course twice on May 13 when he announced he would not release photos of American military personnel "abusing" detainees, reversing the Pentagon’s statement on April 26 that it would comply with a court order—with the president’s own prompt and emphatic support for release. And thus the second reversal: the president would "do business" in Washington in the "old way," and with the in-your-face exercise of presidential actions reminiscent of his predecessor. In returning to old ways, Obama has done business with the most unreliable of his "friends" and the worst of his enemies.


3)  The Military Commissions:Within 24 hours of flip-flopping on the torture pics, Obama also flipped on the military commissions at Gitmo.  Here is the Executive Director of the ACLU's Anthony D. Romero's take on this:

"We need President Obama to reassure Americans that these troubling signs are not indications that he's willing to compromise our fundamental principles. He must permanently end the flawed military commissions that allow evidence gleaned from torture, hearsay and coercion and are an assault on due process and the rule of law. These proceedings cannot be "modified" or "improved" – they must be scrapped – as in R.I.P."


The New York Times today is even blunter about Obama on both the issues of the pictures and that of the military trials:

President Obama’s decisions this week to retain important elements of the Bush-era system for trying terrorism suspects and to block the release of pictures showing abuse of American-held prisoners abroad are the most graphic examples yet of how he has backtracked, in substantial if often nuanced ways, from the approach to national security that he preached as a candidate, and even from his first days in the Oval Office.


4) Obama brings pressure on U.K. to alter torture policy:
This issue is treated at length by the observant Glenn Greenwald over at and also by the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan.  But since we find the ACLU's Romero on a roll let's stay with him:

On Feb. 4, the British High Court ordered that documentation of the torture and rendition of Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed must remain secret – not because releasing it would endanger national security, but because of a "threat" made by the Bush administration that disclosure would endanger intelligence sharing between the U.S. and Britain. The High Court said it was "difficult to conceive that a democratically elected and accountable government could possibly have any rational objection to placing into the public domain such a summary of what its own officials reported as to how a detainee was treated by them and which made no disclosure of sensitive intelligence matters."
With the "threat" still in place, the Obama administration's reply, thanking the U.K. "for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information," spoke volumes. Not only did an administration that prides itself on transparency and accountability fail to condemn the withholding of information about an already well-publicized rendition program, but it applauded it without qualification.

Same source.

5)  Obama Administration takes same court position as W:
Again, here is Mr. Romero:

Next was a Feb. 9 San Francisco federal court hearing in another case involving Mohamed in which he and four other rendition victims, represented by the ACLU, are suing a Boeing subsidiary for organizing the rendition flights that facilitated torture. A lower court threw out the lawsuit last year, indulging the Bush administration's improper use of the "state secrets" claim. Given Obama's stated commitment to transparency and opposition to torture and rendition, observers thought it was a given that his Justice Department would pull the plug on the over-broad state secrets claim in this case. Shockingly, a Justice Department lawyer stood up in court and fully adopted the Bush administration's position. To date, no torture victim has had his day in court.

Same source.

So too, Senator Russell Feingold (Dem-Wisconsin) a frequent and outspoken Iraq war critic well before Obama was, and the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act came out with this statement attacking Obama's position:

Statement of Sen. Russ Feingold on the Obama DOJ's brief in Jewel:

I am troubled that once again the Obama administration has decided to invoke the state secrets privilege in a case challenging the previous administration’s alleged misconduct. The Obama administration’s action, on top of Congress’s mistaken decision last year to give immunity to the telecommunications companies that allegedly participated in the warrantless wiretapping program, will make it even harder for courts to rule on the legality of that program.


But then, Russ Feingold is known for standing up for the principles he believes in and is not known for shifting positions on the war, on torture, on the importance of the Constitution and its being upheld, on FISA and a host of other issues. And you know what?  The people of Wisconsin (including lots of Republicans and Independents) love and respect Russ Feingold.  He'll be up for his 4th term as a Senator in 2010 (unlike the 4 years served by Obama, 2 of which were spent on campaigning for the presidency).  In short, Russ Feingold proves that a candidate can be popular who takes thoughtful but tough positions and sticks with them, even in a battleground state like Wisconsin.  

  1.  Obama takes single payer "off the table":

I've made extensive comments about Obama, single payer, and Max Baucus already.  But have a look at this devastating analysis of Obama's health care "reforms" from the Black Agenda Report's Executive Editor, Glen Ford:

President Obama has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress advocates of single-payer health care. He has choreographed a grand theater of faux-change, in which he "seeks to create a façade of unity along lines that do not threaten corporate power." The goal is to "sidetrack, possibly for decades, the most broadly supported idea in American politics, today." This "requires elaborate reconstructions of reality," starting with "methodically erasing single-payer advocates from the picture, with the enthusiastic collaboration of the corporate media." Thus, Obama and compliant Democrats on The Hill stage "summits" and "public roundtable discussions" on health care from which majority U.S. opinion is totally excluded.


And that's just the synopsis of Mr. Ford's article; it's well worthy having a look at all of his article.  (thanks to comment writer Psalongo for pointing out this website to me).  

7)  Obama cuts funds to Black Higher Education

Again from Blackagendareport:

Barack Obama encourages people to believe that he deserves to be remembered as the "Education President." However, Obama will definitely not go down as a friend of historically Black higher education. Historically Black colleges and universities – HBCUs – take a $73 million hit in Obama’s educational budget. The cuts are even more disturbing, since education as a general category is a big winner in the president’s economic stimulus plan.


Interestingly, there were a number of posts/comments to the above article and the following one from Eric is typical:

Mr. Obama by a continued train of abuses against Black
America has proven that he is an enemy to African American
life in the USA.  We must declare our independence from any
vicarious satisfaction that some have by his occupying the Whtie
House.  Clearly his White House is for Whites only!

Mr. Obama has continually distanced himself from Black America by
word and by deed.  The pattern is clear.  If you are Black, get back,
get back.  

We must get in the street and loudly voice our disaproval
We must demand that the CBC serve us and not Obama. We must
register as independant voters.

This cut to higher Black eduaction was foreshadowed by his
appointment of Arn Duncan.  His basket ball friend and proponent of
privatizing public education.  If Arne will not educate our young ones,
Obama will certainly not educate their older sisters and brothers.


Same source as above.

It appears that there is a seething amount of anger in the black community for policies followed by Obama, a subject that I have never seen discussed in the mainstream media or even in progressive blogs on the internet.

8)  Obama's Bush-like position on Wall St.

Need I go into detail about this?  Timothy Geithner's pathetic record is well-known.  He was even appointed and served in the New York Fed under Bush.  He wrote Tarp along with W.'s Paulson with whom he had worked.  Geithner's a Goldie, Paulson was a Goldie, and Obama's a Goldie friend  and friend of "Bob" (Robert Rubin) who was head of Citibank and Goldman.  If you don't believe me, Google "Hamilton Project" and see the laudatory speech Senator Obama made to "Bob" the head of Goldman Sachs.  Bush and Obama have the same position to the Wall St. fiasco:  give the banks and big financial firms as much $$ as they want.  At the same time, Obama is screwing and undermining the auto industry and the people who work in it, especially in Michigan.  I'd write more but Obama's record in the financial bailout but frankly it gives me heart burn.


Many other instances exist of Obama and his administration flipping, in almost every case taking a more conservative, Bush-Cheney-like position.  I'll let posters comment on them because this diary is getting long.
But it adds credence to an insight by perhaps America's most famous writer and best essayist:  Gore Vidal.  In his American Empire series of historical books, Vidal once made the claim that America has really only 1 political party:  the corporate party and it has 2 wings--Democratic and Republican.  At the time I read that, I chafed but now I know the wisdom of Vidal for pointing this out long ago.

Let me conclude this diary with something equally startling that substantiates my theme:  "New President:  Same Old Shit?"  Conservatives are now crowing that Obama's flip-flops actually show the wisdom of George W. Bush and Cheney and rehabilitate the dynamic duo. Hard to believe?  This is from Commentary Magazine Online's Abe Greenwald and his story: "Obama Flips Rehabilitate Bush:  It's a Good Time to be George W. Bush":

Let's face it, this is shaping up as George W. Bush's best month in years. The last time the 43rd president enjoyed this kind of vindication was when a bedraggled Saddam Hussein was pulled from a hole in the ground by American soldiers in 2003. All of Barack Obama's efforts to cast the Bush administration as an immoral stain on American history have not merely collapsed, but collapsed on the heads of Bush's most public and vocal critics.

And speaking of Dick Cheney: Not only has he proved to be an important and articulate defender of the Bush administration's national-security policy; his repeated interviews and statements have done Bush the service of drawing fire away from the former president. Bush not only looks wise these days; he looks modest and thoughtful as well. And Cheney's (denied) request to declassify more CIA interrogation memos explodes the myth of the "most secretive administration in American history."

On Iran, the Obama administration is veering from its stance of bottomless "respect" and "perseverance." This week Obama set early October as a "target" to determine whether Iran is really deserving of all that extended goodwill.

Finally, there's the strange and frankly unsettling image makeover of the Saudi royals. The Bush family's alleged intimacy with an extremist monarchy formed the very backbone of the anti-Bush industry. Yet, upon taking office Barack Obama commented on the bravery of King Abdullah and went on to virtually adopt the Saudi Peace Initiative as American policy. The administration is also seriously considering sending released Guantanamo detainees through the Saudi "jihad rehab" program.

President Obama, and the country at large, is finding out that George W. Bush's most controversial policies were not born of ideological delusion, American arrogance, or missionary zeal. They were imperfect but sound (with the exception of our ties to Riyadh) responses to complicated threats.


Ouch!  It was really painful to read that and apologies to you readers for putting you through that torture--but it had to be done.  It is with profound sadness that I say and write this, "New President:  Same Old Shit?"  

NOTE:  Some who think "shit" is profanity might prefer this:

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Originally posted to fflambeau on Sat May 16, 2009 at 10:34 PM PDT.


With respect to President Obama and his administration,

47%162 votes
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| 340 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Obama is not Bush (14+ / 0-)

    however, he's making serious policy mistakes, and we should call him out on it. I hope you've already e-mailed the White House with what you said here.

    Want to send me to Netroots Nation 2009? Add your support HERE!

    by slinkerwink on Sat May 16, 2009 at 10:43:54 PM PDT

  •  Barack Obama did not save the Universe (20+ / 0-)


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

    by yet another liberal on Sat May 16, 2009 at 10:44:43 PM PDT

  •  But he did get Cheney out of his bunker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To shoot at his own feet.

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

    by yet another liberal on Sat May 16, 2009 at 10:45:52 PM PDT

  •  oh well electoral politics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, Lying eyes, Jane Lew

    are what they are.....myself i will stick with the ?s... are who are you where do you come from......check history.....are you a priveleged child?, are you in power?, are you totally in tune with the history of this country or do you just enjoy the outrage of privelege?   ,.. i do not know but for now i will hang with the prez, who gets it

  •  Yes and no (8+ / 0-)

    Lots of people will probably bitch about this... they will list all the good things Obama has done/is doing.  Things Bush would never have done.

    Thats fantastic.

    But that doesn't excuse these latest decisions, and 180s on different positions.

    I hope everyone here is ready for our healthcare reform to be a big pile of nothing, because it sure feels like we are being prepped for that  in a few months.

  •  New Diary--SAME OLD SHIT? (13+ / 0-)

    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

    by RandomActsOfReason on Sat May 16, 2009 at 11:12:05 PM PDT

  •  You shoulda voted for McCain (13+ / 0-)

    Then things would really be different. Another diary with the same old, same old shit. What a bunch of whiners!

  •  the proliferation (15+ / 0-)

    of diaries like this illustrate why this site needs an enema. Seriously.

    Just write the man if you are that displeased with his policies. Or stage a protest at the White House. But diary after diary of this stuff?? Geesh.

    -7.38, -5.23 I survived the Purple Tunnel of Doom, no thanks to DiFi. I will remember this, though. Ugh!

    by CocoaLove on Sat May 16, 2009 at 11:21:29 PM PDT

    •  It is called DEMOCRACY (7+ / 0-)

      What you thought our job is to just kiss Democratic ass all day while they sell us out to the special interest AGAIN? You need to get your head in the game and your lips off the butt cheeks. Subservient yes men have done enough to get us into this deep pile of crap. The lobbyist are still working over our leaders, we suppose to counter their influence not just bask in the glory of a party victory.

      •  criticism is fine (7+ / 0-)

        But some of the people don't support Obama and are shit stirrers who want him and the movement to fail. Nothing he does will please that group.

        It amazes me that long-time members are falling for this crap.

        -7.38, -5.23 I survived the Purple Tunnel of Doom, no thanks to DiFi. I will remember this, though. Ugh!

        by CocoaLove on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:41:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What He Does (8+ / 0-)

          Explain how the specific problems detailed in this diary should please us.

          Because this diary's not about other things Obama's doing that please us. It's about the important business of changing the things Obama's doing that (ought to) displease us, especially the things that Bush might have done.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sun May 17, 2009 at 01:10:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Who is this you speak of? (4+ / 0-)

          Republicans maybe. The rest of us just want justice against those who committed war crimes, an end to our presence in Iraq, a well regulated financial industry that isn't given trillions of our dollars when they screw up, health care, etc.

        •  Sorry but the emperor has no clothes! (8+ / 0-)

          What movement are you talking about?
          Look, I think most would agree there are 3 main things the voters wanted Obama to address. They are the economy, the wars, and healthcare.
          On the economy he has given wall street a blank check to access the nations entire wealth. At the same time he slips in words to the rest of us on mainstreet to be reponsible and he will help us in his stimulus package through a reagan like trickle down approach. We've seen just how good that works out for most americans.
          On the wars, he's expending that in Afghanistan and what he offers in Iraq seems almost similar to what bush would have done.
          On healthcare, he hinted at single payer to get some votes but he wants no part of it now.

          The man is not guided by anything that would support a movement. Had he had any core principles he would not have done some of the 180s.

          •  How bout this... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, freakofsociety

            Seems I recall that the bailout for the banks was passed under Bush with the support of most of the Dems. What we've seen added from Obama is some accountability for those trillions.

            On the wars - he's doing EXACTLY what he told us he would do in the campaign. Many don't support that approach. But its hardly a surprise or a flip-flop.

            Same on health care - the plan he proposed during the campaign didn't come close to single payer. He promised "universal coverage" and my hope is that enough in Congress will support a public option that we'll be able to get that. But we should be railing at the Blue Dogs about that - they're the obstacle, not Obama.

            •  So given what you just wrote (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              is that any better than what we would have had under mccain.
              You think had he articulated explicitly what you wrote that he would have won?

              •  I'm not sure (0+ / 0-)

                how McCain comes into this.

                But yes...Obama is doing exactly what he promised to do in the campaign. Can you point to a discrepancy on those three issues you cited?

                Lightyears different than it would have been with McCain.

                •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                  On wall street accounability, where is it? I've heaqrdf talk of this but the banks have access to trillions of dollars. Has this rhetoric of accountability helped the ordinay citizen in terms of credit cards, mortgages, etc?
                  I guess if he just says it without it meaning anything, he's not fli-flopping.

                  As for the wars, he did mention he would focus on Afghanistan but the war in Iraq appears to in the same direction bush was headed. We are spending more now in fact than under bush.
                  Add to this, did he also mention he was gonna step up the war effort in Pakistan?

                  As for healthcare, he did say he preferred single payer but wasn't sure if it was feasible. Given that, why not encourage single payer advocates to come to the healthcare forum recently held.

                  Look, I am tired of excuses from democrats.
                  I don't like repugs but at least they go after their agenda with no excuses!

                  •  let me also (0+ / 0-)

                    add that Obama said he would employ more diplomacy in these wars. Where is  it?

                  •  Well, lets start with (0+ / 0-)

                    the results of the stress tests made public. Then there's the cap on salaries for CEO's of companies that take the $. Oh, and how about the fact that so many of the banks are upset about the regulations that they're scurrying to pay the $ back asap? Do you know who much sits in the TARP fund right now?

                    And yes, he was clear about only removing "combat forces" from Iraq in the short-term and leaving a "residual force" there. I remember people railing about that during the campaign.

                    And Obama stepped up the war in Pakistan????? That's a rather interesting take on things. Has nothing to do with the fact that the Taliban forces are within miles of taking over the capital????

                    I think he was pretty clear during the campaign that single payer was not feasible. And the reality is that he's having trouble just getting a public option included. His big mantra on healthcare was "universal coverage."

                    What I am tired of is people claiming he campaigned on something he didn't. I don't mind the criticism - in fact I think its warranted - just as it was when he said things like this during the campaign.

                    But to cry crocodile tears that somehow he's flip-flopping...I don't think so!!!!

    •  You want critics of the politician (4+ / 0-)

      in the whitehouse silenced? Not to speak in public forums?

      The term is Dittohead. or wingnut. Look it up you fanboys fit right in.

      Murder is Fun

      by cdreid on Sun May 17, 2009 at 02:47:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a party called the Green Party where (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      these left wing nuts (reverse RedStaters) could hang out.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:39:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Patriotism (10+ / 0-)

    We love our country, the previous administration almost succeeded in destroying it, and we have no patience for the remedy to be slow and steady.  Obama has not turned out to be FDR, and that rankles.  He's not Bush, and that's a relief.  But, he is, sadly, less than I expected.

    This last week has been very tough on me politically--my cynicism has returned, along with my undemocratic thoughts.  Those demons scare me--but maybe our system needs to be changed.  Maybe a parliamentary one is better--maybe filibusters have to be eliminated, maybe dems need to decrease the size of its tent.  These are interesting times--and like it to be boring.  I fear our constitution has outlived modernity.  

    Good night Kosco--good night America?  Hopefully I'll awake with more optimism--I don't plan on watching any Sunday morning tv lies--that should help.

  •  Obama !=Bush (6+ / 0-)

    However your first mistake was thinking he'd be leading the way on progressive issues. Obama never claimed to be a progressive, he never campaigned as a progressive, and he never promised to govern as a progressive. If you wanted a progressive you should have voted for Kucinich.

    Your second mistake is in believing Obama is different from any other politician. All politicians make promises on the campaign trail they have no intention of keeping. The question is which promises are the ones he truly believes in?

    Obama is a moderate and a pragmatist as advertised. We got exactly what we voted for.

    Now is the time to investigate, prosecute, and imprison the former Bush regime. -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Sat May 16, 2009 at 11:22:45 PM PDT

  •  Good Diary. Should have posted it on Monday. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey
  •  For some reason (11+ / 0-)

    some people cannot comprehend that the timetable for leaving Iraq is set...combat troops out by 8/30/10,and all troops out by 12/31/11 as set forth in the SOFA agreement with the Iraqi govt.

    I have had to repeat this a dozen times but some folks continue to mis-lead and say that there is no specified timetable for our exit.
    It is like a Bush mis-information campaign or something.

    As for the President selecting Max Bachus to ''spearhead '' the healthcare reform...WTF? He happens to be the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee...the President has nothing to do with his selection to that post.

    As far as Dawn Johnsens nomination...Obama is supposed to do what exactly? He has not gone to the public for any of his nominations..they rise and fall on their own.

    As far as Wes Clark, he is not even eligible to be Secretary of Defense by law until he is retired for a couple more years.

    Your diary is the same old shit...full of holes. Cannot even put together a factual rational case.

    •  Hawkjt (9+ / 0-)

      #1:  with regard to the "timetable": exactly what prevents Obama from reneging on this (as he has on a whole host of other issues?).  I'll even give you the reason he will in 2011:  national security. His plan is not a whole lot different from Bush's.  He just renamed the troops that will be left behind.

      #2: The press has repeatedly stated that Baucus is leading the president's health care reform initiatives.  Do a Google if you don't believe me.  What could Obama have done?  Obama could have selected another politician who is more attuned to single payer (David Obey, for instance, Head of the House's Appropriations Committee).  

      #3:  Your explanation of Obama and Dawn Johnsen simply reeks.  No need to point out the nonsense (and the fact that Obama himself defended the lame Judd Gregg).

      #4:  Maybe, but Wes Clark could have gotten a different high position not blocked by law.  Countless possibilities.

      You DID NOT respond,  I note, on the torture pics, on Howard Dean, on the military commissions, on Obama putting (probably illegally) pressure on the UK on torture etc.  

      •  Did it ever occur to you that Obama does not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, freakofsociety

        or did not want Wes Clark?  Did it ever occur to anyone that it is Obama's decision to make?  Did it ever occur to you that maybe these men don't see eye to eye, or may not care for one another?

        Just because we love Clark, does not mean Obama does.

        just sayin'....

        And for the torture pictures, I am for putting it out there, because we tortured and nothing can be done about it.

        But Obama is trying very hard to broker Middle East peace, you think it would help having all these pictures on every Arab television station, when Obama is trying to make the people not politicians the people of these countries BELIEVE him that we will be an honest broker now?  We need these countries to rid al-quida, we need these countries to help us, flaming pictures on every Arab television station does not help our argument.  Those images have KILLED our reputation internationally.  I am for justice and criminal charges being brought against the Bush Administration, but though I am against withholding these photos, I understand Obama Administration's argument.

    •  Hawkjt is correct on ALL POINTS... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, freakofsociety

      especially the Wes Clark appointment, Clark himself even said he was not eligible numerous times on various cable chatter boxes.

      I will state this.  The diarist does have a compelling argument, but this is one that we should have a year from now, not less than 4 months in office.  Next, I am sure that Obama would love to do everything on his agenda, but when you sit in the Oval Office and the information and evidence is one that you can not change overnight, the argument changes.

      Everyone here must remember, Obama inherited some grave issues left unchecked or destroyed by the Bush Administration.  And all these democratic senators that we don't like, it is time to primary them out if everyone is outraged at the "Max Bachus', Joe Liebermans, Ben Nelsons", until then we all have to deal with these people.

      Lastly, everyone on here KNEW that Barack Obama is a pragmatic politician.  HE is one who does reach across the aisle and try to work together with the common.  So, if anyone has issues with his approach, look at his polling numbers.  It is the independents, moderates the put him in office in droves, along with others.


    Not everyone who is a liberal or a progressive agrees with you, so screw you and your litmus tests. What you call flip flops, I call making a different choice based on new information or conditions, which we on the left complained that Bush never did. I don't want Obama to be for the left what Bush was for the right because Bush destroyed the right and left the GOP in shambles. If you think Obama is the same as Bush all I have to say is FUCK YOU! If you think you know so much better then you run for President. I'm sure you wouldn't even get as close as Dennis Kucinich. As far as I'm concerned any President who keeps the far left and the far right in coniption fits is probably doing the right thing. I swear I've never seen th the winners of elections act like such losers. As for me I'll wait at least six months before I pass judgement on the enormous clean up job this man has to do. And do it with apparently very little support from his party or his base because they would rather bitch and moan and accuse him of being Bush III.

    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold-Yeats

    by TexasMango on Sat May 16, 2009 at 11:55:39 PM PDT

    •  Careful, TexasMango "bitching" could be viewed (5+ / 1-)

      by the resident web site's preacher--Herr AmbroseBurnside--as profanity.  You also use the term "I swear..."  I hear your comments but I hope that you can understand that I am disappointed, especially in the past week, by Obama.

      •  Rule isn't the the same for comments (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Savage, pico, pgm 01, math4barack

        or boy oh boy, DK would be filtered al the time.

        Don't take anyone seriously that says one thing and does another--that's the worst sin of all...Claire McCaskill

        by begone on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:15:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hey Asshole (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, freakofsociety, pico, math4barack

        The site rules prohibit profanity in diary titles.  You've been told this numerous times above and yet you persist with your bullshit.  This is simple, replace the "I" in SHIT with a "!"  Everyone will still get it and you won't be in violation of the site's owner -- Herr Kos -- rules.

        "Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted." A. Phillip Randolph

        by Savage on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:17:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey pathetic fuckwit (0+ / 0-)

          If you cant add anything to the debate how about shutting the fuck up?

          See how fun profanity is? See how fun personal attacks with no rationale behind them are?

          Now put away the koolaid and go try to learn to think for yourself. This diary was very well written and Ambrosetherepublican as well as a few of you koolaid drinkers should have been TR'd for hijacking.

          have a nice day now

          Murder is Fun

          by cdreid on Sun May 17, 2009 at 02:55:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You are causing DKOS to be blocked (5+ / 0-)

        By school, public, and some corporate sites that employ profanity filters for web content.  These entities employ a web filter, and when someone uses a profanity on the DKos FP, the filters block the ENTIRE SITE.

        The rule exists to stop DKos from being permanently blocked.

        What don't you understand?  Change the fricking word to Sh-t or something like that. The commenters are not hating on you, they are objecting for very practical and concrete reasons.

      •  I swear I'll fucking quit <snark> (4+ / 0-)

        Look, I don't like everything Obama does, but 1) He never said he would prosecute torture during the campaign, NEVER. 2) I actually agree with him about not releasing the photos. It's going to take a long time to undo all of the crap from the previous administration and quite frankly the one before that. President Clinton (who I for the most part love) signed that God awful Phill Graham bill that dismantled the Glass-Steagall Act that lead in large part to this economic crisis. Timing matters in politics and all of this NOW, NOW, NOW is wearing on my nerves.

        I don't think some of you are thinking about what some of the stuff you want would take away from. You think the GOP is obstrutionist now? You think healthcare and energy reform are a hard task now?Wait for the inditments, the lawyers, the pleading of the 5th, the lawsuits, the counter lawsuits, the hostility from the CIA and the military, the media feeding frenzy, congress people (Reps and Dems) being called to testify and on and on and on. We are talking Watergate/Iran Contra/Lewinsky on steroids. Do you think the country could take that now? You think Bush and Cheney would go to jail or something? Please, let's be grown ups here. That shit's not happening. All that would happen is that Obama's entire agenda (healthcare, education, energy reform) would be swallowed whole, the now demoralized GOP would be reinvigorated, the rancor and the bitterness would be at a fevor pitch and ultimately the people responsible would not go to jail. Plus war crimes tend to be procecuted once a war is over. These wars are ongoing and Obama needs the military and the CIA on his side.

        I get the frustration on somethings, but we have to think with our heads as well as our hearts. This Obama=Bush stuff is emotional childishness. Dear God, he can't clean up this mess that has been left for him over the last 30 years, not just 8, in 4 months or even 4 years. He'll need two terms and probably another Democratic President after him. I'm not asking you guys to cut him some slack, I'm asking you to get real. I'm asking you to act like you know what it's like to want to maybe even need to do something, but the timing isn't right, not the environment. Even to create the right environment takes time. Obama knows what the country most wants from him and he's going to have to do it before he can do anything else. He's the President, not a king.

        Things fall apart; the center cannot hold-Yeats

        by TexasMango on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:51:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Our system has been CORRUPTED (4+ / 0-)

      The sooner you wake up and realize this the sooner you will realize you don't stop putting pressure on our elected officials. We will get sold down the river unless they fear the retaliation and we already see that going on. The election is over, now comes the hard part of getting them to follow through on promises. Obama was an outsider who could not possibly know all these people he is appointing. That gives a lot of other people the power to control the form policy will take. One man can do so much it is our job to pick up the slack and make whoever is making these calls accountable.

      Other than that the lobbies are still as powerful and getting what they want, wake up and smell the influence.

    •  yeah, whatever mango said goes for me too (3+ / 0-)

      If you think Obama is Bush III, go fuck yourselves.

      Sheesh, what an asshole - Molly Ivins -7.25 -8.15

      by mydailydrunk on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:26:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of Course It's the Same (5+ / 0-)

      If these bad things don't change, why should the bitching be any different?

      When Obama specifically says one thing, then does the opposite, that is of course a "flip flop". If it's not to you, then it's your judgement that's defective, because the flip flop is objectively true.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun May 17, 2009 at 01:12:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks DocGonzo (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cdreid, DocGonzo, Indiana Bob, thethinveil

        for your comments and support.  I think a lot of Obama supporters are living in shock especially after this past week.

        It will probably only get worse because the jobless rate continues to climb, deaths climb in the 3 war areas etc.  Things to look out for:

        1.  I think Obama will pick a real centrist if not conservative Democrat to the Court that will please Arlen Specter and Joe L.;
        1.  and will continue to berate and downgrade single payer.  
    •  Probably one of the most childish comments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have ever read.

      If a person says during a campaign that they support X, then, when elected, say they oppose X, that is a flip-flop.

      If a person X says that politician Y is wrong about Z, and then, when elected, uses the exact same language that Y used in supporting Z, then, in that instance, X=Y.

      In that instance.

      The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes - Robert Jackson's addresses to the Nuremberg Trials

      by Indiana Bob on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:24:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, but we got what we wanted (6+ / 0-)


    So what do we do?

    I honestly don't think there's much we can do except make a lot of noise.

    Fight him like we fought Bush (sigh ...).

    William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

    by Inky99 on Sat May 16, 2009 at 11:57:31 PM PDT

  •  This is good for McCain n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Sheesh, what an asshole - Molly Ivins -7.25 -8.15

    by mydailydrunk on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:11:44 AM PDT

  •  Finally, someone did this right. (5+ / 0-)

    Don't forget about mountain top removal, though!

    Secrecy? Letting torturers off the hook? Military Commissions? Trillions to Wall Street? Mountain top removal? Change we can believe in, my ASS!

    by expatjourno on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:18:48 AM PDT

  •  Jesuit Kossacks (5+ / 0-)

    Fflambeau went to a lot of effort to write this diary, and then the comments thread gets hijacked by a discussion by the usual suspects about whether or not the title infringes a rule.

    I get so pissed off with all these holier than thou pie fights based on one person or another's interpretation of the house rules.

    It's like the Jesuits debating the bible or Hassidim the torah, where the sense of the whole the whole is lost in the discussion of the minutiae.

    Give it a rest Dudes

    •  Well, no: (6+ / 0-)

      the idea is to make sure that people who want to read this can read this.  It's not a moral objection as much as a practical one.  Remember that if you're ever trying to access the site during a work break.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:34:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really, Pico I just think you are spouting (0+ / 0-)

        bull____t to cover your actions and comments.  You and the others involved mostly didn't like the CONTENT of the diary and therefore attacked it in the only way you could:  by the title.  But I don't care, the diary is now on the rec list and more people are reading it and commenting than before.  

    •  Rules (5+ / 0-)

      There's only like five rules on this whole site, and dude broke one of them before he'd even made it to the first sentence of his diary. It has been pointed out to him with careful reference to the exact rule, and all he has to do to fix it is change one letter in the title.

      Edit, Correct, Preview, Save: Thirty seconds of effort, and that particular fracas would disappear like a puff of smoke, and the diary would no longer be breaking one of the very few rules that exist about diaries. This is not the fault of the people pointing out the rule that has been violated.

      And while we're at it, if you think Jesuits don't hold and understand the whole of the whole within their heads at all times even as they study the smallest parts, then you must have run into some really unexpectedly crappy Jesuits.

      "I play a street-wise pimp" — Al Gore

      by Ray Radlein on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:39:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hear you Senilebiker (0+ / 0-)

      but I think it brings up equally important issues of censorship and what constitutes profanity, so I am not so disappointed.  What is sickening is that some of these critics clearly had an agenda and that was to suppress this diary.  Hence your "Jesuits" title.  But the Jesuits too had different faces:  yes, they led the inquisition but they have also been part of a long-standing tradition of scholarship within the Catholic church.  

  •  I reccd the diary (6+ / 0-)

    because I basically agree with your point of view about the shape the administration is taking, but I do find your tone in the comments to be a bit obnoxious.  And making the requested change in the title would have been a simple concession to make.

    But good for you for laying it all out.

    You can be active with the activists, or sleep in with the sleepers/ While you're waiting for the Great Leap Forward --Billy Bragg

    by andrewj54 on Sun May 17, 2009 at 12:36:36 AM PDT

    •  Thanks Andrew (3+ / 0-)

      I really did not know the policy and am glad that Hunter clarified it.  I have no problem with the policy and thank those at DK for putting it on the rec list.  

      •  I certainly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        expatjourno, fflambeau, thethinveil

        wax obnoxious upon occasion, so I am not really one to call you on it.

        And standing for your point of view in the face of other people's obnoxiousness without descending into it youself can be very challenging.

        Anyway, I do think, as I said before, that you assembled a lot of facts that needed to be viewed all at once, and that is good.  I could quibble with this or that point, but viewed together, it does give us a surveyable picture of the shape of things, and makes it harder to dismiss people's bitterness and disappointment over this or that individual decision as emotional or irrational.  Obama's administration is crystallizing, the dust is settling, and it isn't looking good for progressive causes.  Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised.  We might be, although probably not as often as we'd like.

        You can be active with the activists, or sleep in with the sleepers/ While you're waiting for the Great Leap Forward --Billy Bragg

        by andrewj54 on Sun May 17, 2009 at 01:59:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This needs to be articulated (0+ / 0-)

        Thank you

  •  Central idea of diary is indefensible. (11+ / 0-)

    Obama = Bush on Iraq ?

    Obama = Bush on Torture ?

    Obama = Bush on Health Care ?

    Obama = Bush on Abortion Rights ?

    Obama = Bush on Climate Change ?

    Obama = Bush on Energy ?

    I don't even have to list the arguments why these claims aren't credible. The differences between Obama's history on these items and Bush's history are as great as the differences between night and day.

    Another weak diary makes the recommended list.

    A not tiny part of Daily  Kos is making it even more clear that it is not part of the reality based community.

    •  I love the fact that it has lovely right wing (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Yoshimi, missLotus, NLinStPaul, begone

      framing and phrasing as well.

      Candidate Obama made airy-fairy statements like this

      What is this crap? NAFTA? Really?  There are lots of words there, but they mean nothing, show nothing and prove nothing.

      There is the real world and fantasyland. In fantasyland the president gets all of his nominations because Democrats outnumber Republicans.  In the real world, a pair of Nelsons, Specter and a shitload of Bluedogs block anything to the left of George Bush.  Obama has a Supreme Court nomination to think about and so yeah, some of his progressive choices will be sacrificed so that the nominee to the court might actually be center left.  The same fools block health care the environment and everything else. Believing in fantasyland will not get things done, and neither will attacking your allies, yet at least once a day we have one of the circular firing squad members posting a useless rant with no answers, just rage against the man.

      The crap about Iraq is lovely too.  Of course there will be forces left behind.  It was always stated as combat forces leaving, but there will be a smaller force there for a while, we still have troops in Japan and Germany!

    •  Math4barack, you couldn't have read the diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, thethinveil

      because you list several things in it (abortion rights, climate change, energy) that I do not even comment on.  Obviously, this is just a "cut and paste" job from you.  Now THAT IS WEAK!

    •  Agree, this site has turned into a leftist versio (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Yoshimi, freakofsociety

      n of FreeRepublic or RedState lately.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:42:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why do you feel betrayed on Wesley Clark? (5+ / 0-)

    It's hard to filter the cases of Obama misrepresenting himself from your own unfounded personal hopes.  Clark is not even eligible to be Secretary of Defense nor was there ever any indication that Obama was eyeing him for that job.  On the other hand, the CW during the campaign was always that he would ask Gates to continue as Defense Secretary.  

    Obama was clear about more troops in Afghanistan, so you can't really claim to be deceived by that.  In fact, your hope seems to be that he was not honest when he said he would do so.  So you don't really mind that he misrepresented himself during the campaign, you just wish he did so to people who support different policies than you do.

    I would say this though.  Someone else wrote a diary that we should focus more on the issues and what we want to change and less on evaluating individuals and it was sensible.  There is no reason not to continue all these policy debates just because the election is over.  And one thing Obama presented in the campaign that I do think was truthful is that he's open-minded.

  •  I temporarily feel slightly better. 22 morans (5+ / 0-)

    on this site (at this point recommending this moronic diary) is much better than 500 or 1000 morans.
    It could degenerate into that. Apparently, the low bar and the weak nature of competitive diaries because it is 3:00 a.m. Saturday night make it less difficult to make the recommended list.

    And we all know the history of this particular diarist.

  •  We Know All This (11+ / 0-)

    The question is what are we going to do about it?

    Obama was never going to be a liberal, a progressive, or anything close to it in office. His real virtue is that he isn't completely closed to ideas, so some of the worst criminal behavior of the Bush Administration has stopped and probably won't recur until the country elects another corrupt President. Likely a Republican corrupt President, but that's not entirely certain.

    This is, of course, a shame. It is, of course, a tragedy for the country and possibly the world. We are not on the right track and we won't be able to get on the right track unless some actual changes occur. That means at least having some major liberal initiatives passed through Congress and signed by the President. But, as of right now, we are still headed for a disaster.

    For example, we have no hope of solving the healthcare crisis without single-payer. And, without solving that we have no hope of solving the fiscal crisis in our government. And without that we have no hope of solving the economic crisis on any reliable and long-term basis.

    So we have to change this, and the only way to change it is to force the Obama Administration and the rest of the sluggish federal government to change course. That can't happen with pleas. They don't have to respond to pleas, no matter how reasoned, no matter how impassioned, no matter how justified. They only have to respond to the threat of being thrown out of office.

    That's why the Democratic primaries next year are crucial. We have to find and run progressives in those primaries. We have to end the political career of at least one Democratic House member in order to have any impact. We need to defeat one of them in their primary. Unless we do, there is no reason for the Democrats in government to pay any attention. But throw one of them out the door and that will change.

    You want Obama to do the things he said before the election that he was going to do? Send a Democrat from Congress to the benches. That will do the trick.

    •  Now this I agree with, this is constructive (4+ / 0-)

      Get him some real progressives to replace some of the Blue Dogs and that would make things a lot better. He'll have more trouble from the Dems in red states then from the GOP. To all my Nebraska peeps: Ben Nelson must go!

      Things fall apart; the center cannot hold-Yeats

      by TexasMango on Sun May 17, 2009 at 01:05:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree with you TexasMango (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Ben Nelson is one of the worst.  When does he run again and is there a realistic possibility of someone more progressive taking him on in a primary?

        •  That's the wrong question. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yoshimi, freakofsociety

          is there a realistic possibility of someone more progressive taking him on in a primary?

          The proper question is whether there's a realistic possibility of someone more progressive winning the general election.  Primaries for purity in party-negative districts and states was one of the factors that put the Republicans in the crap-hole they are today.  It pretty much destroyed the GOP in the northeast.

          Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

          by mistersite on Sun May 17, 2009 at 06:37:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Up to a Point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            While winning the general elections is important, it's a short-term goal. There are more important things than winning a particular general election.

            One of those things is how the bulk of the elected Democrats react to a primary loss. If they see a fellow Democrat go down for being too conservative, it may make them think twice before casting conservative votes.

            As a whole, of course, I want to see more progressives elected across the board, including more progressive Republicans elected when possible, or Republicans replaced by Democrats (as long as the Democrat in question is noticeably more liberal than the Republican they replace). But that's on the whole, not for any specific election. In some cases, the Democratic Party would be better off with a Democrat out of office, especially if it sends a strong message to the politicians in office how the public feels about the issues.

            At what point does it help to elect Democrats if we never see any Democratic policies enacted? If we don't see an end to wars, lower military spending, single-payer healthcare, better terms for international trade, etc.--what's the point? Electing Democrats has to translate into Democratic policy at some point.

            So far, I've seen little evidence that electing Democrats has made a difference.

    •  I partially agree (4+ / 0-)

      the sticking point continues to be the Senate, where you have a private club of 100 members, most have been there a long time.  The near miss of Lieberman was not enough of a shock, so next time the primary will have to succeed and the voters need to elect this person.  The Senate does not have nearly enough Progressives in it, and the Democratic caucus has a few too many conservatives.  Shaking up the House will do some, but shaking the Senate will have a major impact.

      •  Very perceptive post, pgm01 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justina, pgm 01, cindiloohoo

        I fully agree with you on the Senate. Jay Rockefeller, Nelson, Baucus, Feinstein, and lots more should go.  We desperately need more progressives in the Senate, that is critical.

      •  I Agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think there are some boneheaded Democratic Senators that could be replaced by better ones. I'm not sure who's up in the next cycle, but it's worth looking at whether any of them are vulnerable in their next primary.

        •  Reid himself is up Liberal Thinking (0+ / 0-)

          Don't know if anyone from the progressive side is ready to primary him in Nevada, but wouldn't that be nice?  I think he might lose to a Republican ala Daschle.  

          •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not sure about him. On the one hand, he hasn't been especially helpful on a lot of issues. However, I don't think he's been as big a block to getting things done as Pelosi has been. Of course, he didn't face the question of whether to allow impeachment to go forward.

            A good challenge would be one that got liberal points of view out. That might not unseat Reid, but it might help educate the public about where Democrats (and the country) really should be headed.

  •  Don't fogrt about his ridiculous conservation pix (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, Salvor Hardin

    Salazar, lawyer that worked for polluters to head DOJ enviro dpt, allowing mountain top removal for coal, screwing the polar bear, etc.

    •  Thanks for the comment, Gallatin (0+ / 0-)

      as I mentioned elsewhere, my speciality is not the environment.  I've seen both types of comments on Salazar--good and bad.  Someone was on Amy Goodman's show recently and gave him a pretty good appraisal.  I don't know enough about him to say much else.  But in general, I think it's fair to say that Obama's picks have been below what we thought they would be.  

      Thanks again.

    •  MTR wasn't Salazar. EPA isn't in Interior. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's an independent Agency within the Executive.

      Practicing Law without a License is my 3d favorite Crime.

      by ben masel on Sun May 17, 2009 at 03:27:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  His pick as an advocate for the environment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Ignacia S. Moreno to be Assistant Attorney General for the Environment is a lawyer for GE, the largest superfund polluter in America.

      I have seen little that indicates that Obama is not in bed with corporatist interests.  And, rather than have people tell me that Obama's "long game" is different from what I can see of his actions, I would like to know how Obama differs from a centrist republican, especially economically.

      I have come to the conclusion that Rockefeller Republicans have taken over our party and are systematically ensuring that liberal and progressive voices will have no input to public policy and law.

      Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

      by Fossil on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:06:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He screwed a polar bear? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, freakofsociety

      Is Michelle angry?

      Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

      by mistersite on Sun May 17, 2009 at 06:38:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When Michael Steele says (3+ / 0-)

    "Even when I appear to make a gaffe there is a method to the madness" He is full of shit.... but If Obama is the same man that I voted for, which I still believe he is, Then I truly think that although he makes some public decisions that on their face don't make us liberals jump for joy, that he is being cautious and methodical in the choices he does make... Washington politics are very adverse to change and too much change too fast could give the Republicans a lot of Ammo... I just think the President is working for "Us" behind the scenes while trying to calm the fears of the rest of them. If I'm wrong then I'll be the first to yell it from the mountain tops but I'd say it's too soon to know one way or the other.... and either way we are still 100000% better off then in we ended up with Old Man McCain and his Religious Whack-Job VP - Pick

    Cum unto me, send me your Rich, your brainless, your bigoted mobs. So that we may claim righteous indignation and cast dispersions on your poor

    by Buddhist Brother on Sun May 17, 2009 at 01:21:07 AM PDT

    •  I hear youBuddhist Brother (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buddhist Brother

      and completely agree with your remark about McCain and Sarah P.  But isn't it rather disgusting that we have such limited choices?  

      •  You have to fight the system (0+ / 0-)

        from the inside... I feel a lot better about our chances for true change now then I have for along time. If we can get rid of a few more republicans and a couple of the Moderate Dems then maybe our true agenda will get some credence instead of this "Center-right" mentality that has hung on to the political scene like a big red blood gorged tick.  

        Cum unto me, send me your Rich, your brainless, your bigoted mobs. So that we may claim righteous indignation and cast dispersions on your poor

        by Buddhist Brother on Sun May 17, 2009 at 01:45:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Blah blah blah blah (4+ / 0-)

    your title alone made lose all credibility..

    the pure left is as guilty as the wingnuts

    this country is in the middle

    This year we can declare our independence...Barack Obama

    by PalGirl2008 on Sun May 17, 2009 at 01:47:17 AM PDT

    •  PalGirl2008 I hope you read beyond the title (0+ / 0-)

      and that you can provide some criticism about specifics (there are lots in the diary and lots of opinions by outstanding thinkers like Stanley Kutler).  

      •  I read the diary... (3+ / 0-)

        I agree with some of the criticism, I disagree with some..

        what I find unacceptable though is the over dramatization and the hyperventilation going around. It reminds me with the wingnuts writing the right wing blogs.

        I despise the notion that what Bush fucked up for 8 long years needs to be fixed in months..nay..weeks.

        -I may not agree with blocking the release of those photos...but the difference with Obama is that I can see where is he coming from.

        - I don't like military tribunals, but I can't find any other viable solution beside a renewed version of them.

        - and finally.....If I was presented with a chance to do health care reform and energy reform...or..prosecute Bush and his gang in what would be a circus like atmosphere that will distract from the above goals....I will pick the former hands down....and believe, if Obama goes down that road, his reform agenda will be derailed.

        Do I trust Obama? absolutely...because I had no delusions to start with about his progressive credentials..I am way to the left of him, and I accept that this is who he is...pragmatic, let's get things done kind a guy , even though what he accomplishes may not be exactly what I would like...

        I am also under no delusion that change comes fast or abruptly....change most of the times is incremental...and I like what has been done so far ...and hoping for more..

        but ..saying Obama= Bush stupid and idiotic, and makes me not take the poster of such drivel seriously

        This year we can declare our independence...Barack Obama

        by PalGirl2008 on Sun May 17, 2009 at 02:49:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep, it's only, you know, torture (4+ / 0-)

          Not something important like health care "reform" without single payer.

          Bush was bad, but Obama is Wise and Good.  Therefore it is ok that he violates court orders, excepts broad state secrets arguments. It is ok that we don't see certain documents and photos, because we trust him and he is good.  Sure, he argued about transparency, but the only reason that he isn't doing that now is that he has Really Good Reasons, and I trust him and bow to his Wisdom and Goodness.

          FUCK THAT!

          We live in a democracy, and when leaders do shit like this, they need to be criticized.  Sometimes, to be effective, that criticism needs a little jolt.  When Obama makes arguments using the exact same language as Bush he needs to be called out.

          The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes - Robert Jackson's addresses to the Nuremberg Trials

          by Indiana Bob on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:06:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks Indiana Bob (0+ / 0-)

            maybe we should call you "Fighting Bob"  too!

            Great comment.  

            •  Great Diary (0+ / 0-)

              The Obama worshipers will object, but you really give some good detail on these issues.

              The thing is, I certainly want Obama to succeed.  I will probably vote for him again in the Primary if he is challenged.  I do like his intellect and his ability to talk frankly to us about some of these problems.  He has many ideas I really like.

              But to be silent when he does bad things is just plain dumb.

              By the way, read Frank Rich today, if you haven't already.

              The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes - Robert Jackson's addresses to the Nuremberg Trials

              by Indiana Bob on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:38:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks Indian Bob (0+ / 0-)

                for your thoughtful comments.  I agree with you that Frank Rich (read him every day and also store his columns in my computer) is excellent and not just today.  Have a look at Glenn Greenwald over at Salon today:  he's devasting on the same issues I raise. Like you, I too hope that Obama can succeed.  I'm sorry to say this but I think he really is so young and so inexperienced that he really did not come to government with a core of ideas to base his decisions on.  The DLCers have taken advantage of that and he is being coopted by them.  

                •  I read Greenwald daily (0+ / 0-)

                  He has been really good on just about every topic.

                  Of course, when he was slamming Bush, he was a hero here.  Now he is criticizing Obama, he has made it onto many folks' enemies list.

                  It is good to see those on the left criticizing Obama.  I think that is the difference between us and right-wingers.  And it is not "circular firing squad".  Unless Obama hears from us he will not have any reason to consider our positions.

                  I think Rahm is the one who is orchestrating this stuff.  He hates true liberals.  He is concerned with politics, nothing else.  The thing is, he has it wrong.  

                  But thanks, I am saving this one to use as a guide to battle with the Obama worshiping crowd.

                  The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes - Robert Jackson's addresses to the Nuremberg Trials

                  by Indiana Bob on Sun May 17, 2009 at 10:31:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  the country (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, Salvor Hardin

      put W in power for eight years.

      So I don't put a lot of stock in the fact that the country is in the middle.

      The minority can be right.

      You can be active with the activists, or sleep in with the sleepers/ While you're waiting for the Great Leap Forward --Billy Bragg

      by andrewj54 on Sun May 17, 2009 at 02:01:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who is "the pure left"? (4+ / 0-)

      People who support the Constitution, including the treaties that become part of it when they are ratified? People who support the rule of law? People like Ronald Reagan who negotiated and signed the Convention Against torture, which bans torture and makes it a crime in ALL circumstances? People who don't think mining companies should be able to blow the tops off mountains and dump the rubble in the streams below? People who object to the doctrine that the executive can claim a state secrets privilege to suppress evidence without ANY judicial review?

      And who are the Kool-Aid drinking, Obama-ass-kissing hypocrites who believed all those things when Bush was president but now that Obama has adopted the exact same policies Bush followed -- or worse -- call the people who didn't change all their beliefs just because we now have a Democrat in the White House "the pure left"?

      Secrecy? Letting torturers off the hook? Military Commissions? Trillions to Wall Street? Mountain top removal? Change we can believe in, my ASS!

      by expatjourno on Sun May 17, 2009 at 02:51:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not to mention -- where's my unicorn?! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe B, freakofsociety, HeadnHeart

    And let's not forget -- President Obama got a dog, and...

    George W. Bush had a dog!

    Obama named his dog Bo. Bush's dog? Barney. Hell, Barack, couldn't you at least have picked a non-B name?

    Obama has two daughters, and...

    George W. Bush has two daughters.

    They both have wives!

    They even lived in the same house.

    It gets worse, folks.

    Obama, like Bush, has taken a liking to dark suits and has been seen often traveling abroad.

    Look, Obama bashers or those who feel let down: This is America, and you don't need some smartass like me to remind you that you're entitled to your opinions and can feel free to voice them in any forum you desire.

    On the other hand...


    The words "President Obama" still bring a smile to my face, and while I don't always agree with him -- and thank goodness for that, frankly; if I agreed with him, or any politician, 100% of the time, I'd be convinced I was living in a totalitarian state -- I think he's doing a fantastic job.

  •  Expect to see more 0bama cheerleading (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    from the Freepers & RedStaters that post on here at DKos

  •  The Feeble Left (5+ / 0-)

    is the reason Obama is running like mad to the right. He is reflecting where the real power is. The left side of the political spectrum is ineffective and there are reasons for that ineffectiveness that lie not in repression but in a lack of understanding by nearly all the major leaders and bloggers on the left of politics, i.e., it is a contact sport rather than a debating society. The other reason is that leftists in this country actually swallow the MSM mythological framework--there is very little skepticism on these pages about the history of the past few decades as reflected by the official myth-makers particularly the ideology of American Exceptionalism. There is little hard-headed realism that says "show me the evidence" for official definitions of events--in fact skepticism about some matters will get you expelled from DKOS or at least hounded by attack dogs that patrol discussions here; the left learns nothing from events and refuses to look into the "deep politics" of situations and why is that? If you read history you can see the hard-headed struggles for power why should our time be any different? I challenge you to dig deeper--not be content with the usual cant showed here. Look for patterns because they exist in any system particularly life forms and their organization both inner and outer. Connecting dots is not a cardinal sin even though it is all but banned in "polite" leftist discussion.

    The fact is that people in power in this country are like any other people in power anywhere in the world at any time will kill. torture, terrorize and so on both in order to keep that power and to simply assert it.

    •  Banger, I hear what you are saying (0+ / 0-)

      and historically you are correct in saying that the left in the US is weak (compared to Western Europe in particular) but that is because it has been bashed so many times by our government.  Who would have thought that Obama would continue that trend.  I also think that the right--the GOP is now weaker than at any time in my memory.  The real tragedy in Obama's refusal to support a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute torture is this: he has a chance to put a stake in the heart of the far right and is not doing so.  That only strengthens the far right as shown by the quotation from commentary that ends my diary.  

      •  Power works (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        History in this country has shown that when publics are formed they can be effective in dealing with those in power. The Labor Movement comes to mind. They struggled and fought and lost most battles but, in the end, they won because they had guts, grit, and the willingness of many to put their lives on the line. After that, the movement gradually faded but many of the reforms are still here with us today though are fading rapidly. Unless the left side of the spectrum makes an effort to a) organize with a mind to create serious difficulties for the powerful, i.e., disrupt the system, and b) de-hypnotizes itself from the myth-making machine of the media in general (not just the "news" biz), I don't see how politicians can do anything other than what they are doing now.

  •  Diary edited to include Blackagendareport (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matrix Dweller

    information.  It is a website I was not familiar with until Psalongo pointed it out to me.  It would appear that there is a good deal of anti-Obama sentiment within the black community; a story that is verboten in the mainstream media and also not touched on in most progressive blogs and sites.  

    •  That website might be credible if it weren't 100% (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, freakofsociety, NLinStPaul

      anti-Obama and if it had more than 1 or 2 comments per

      Don't take anyone seriously that says one thing and does another--that's the worst sin of all...Claire McCaskill

      by begone on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:01:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But maybe your posts tells more about where you (0+ / 0-)

        come from, begone, than anything else.  What does number of posts have to do with credible?  It may have to do with popularity but not credibility, an error which shows you are, how shall I say, a bit confused?  By the way, the comment on Black Education had 8 posts and I don't recall when it was written.  

        •  How about we focus on the 100% anti-Obama (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, freakofsociety

          aspect, then? Or the fact that you state that, "It would appear that
          there is a good deal of anti-Obama sentiment within the black
          community"--from seeing this particular "untalkative" website.

          You are quite a disingenuous, condescending fellow.

          Don't take anyone seriously that says one thing and does another--that's the worst sin of all...Claire McCaskill

          by begone on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:15:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not at all begone (0+ / 0-)

            I have not, nor have you I would think, done a content analysis of that website to determine that it is 100% anti Obama.  By the way, the story there on Obama's health care "reform" program had 13 very thoughtful and very extensive posts.  Not bad for a small website.  But you are again confusing popularity with credibility, an issue you refuse to talk about.  

  •  I understand your frustration (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, freakofsociety

    but Obama has time after time stated that he can't change things overnight. The US is like a huge ship that will take a while turn around.

    He can't move all our soldiers out of Iraq tomorrow. That would create chaos. But at least he has started the process.

    Same thing with gitmo.

    Same thing with just about everything.

    If Hillary Clinton had won, she would have been in the same predicament. Bush left quite a mess.

    •  Yes it's true mnguy66 that Bush left a huge (4+ / 0-)

      mess and it's also true, as you state, that Obama cannot do things overnight.  But remember on Gitmo and on the commissions he is reversing positions he took in March of this year.  This is not rocket science.  The Dean of the Yale Law School (who knows much more about law than Obama) says the solution is simple:  try everyone in the regular court system and farm some of the people out to other countries.  Remember that lots of the more than 230 inmates at GITMO were simply caught up in sweeps, or were recruited by paid bounty hunters who were more interested in a financial reward than in any accuracy.  

      Health care reform is also not rocket science.  We already have single payer with Medicare.  It works, people by and large like it.  Why not just expand it?  It's not that it is difficult or that the solution to the problem is complex.  It's this:  there are political disincentives to change (like the $$ coming to Obama and Max Baucus from the insurance companies that benefit from our very warped health care system).  

      And somehow, I feel Hillary had and has more fight in her than Obama. Remember that after she started hitting her stride and started to pummel Obama with his weakness (he really has no fight in him) she did not lose, as I recall, a single election.  

      •  That's not my recollection re the commissions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As I recall, he announced that he was suspending them in order to complete a review of the process.  I don't recall him ever saying that they wouldn't be reinstituted with appropriate safeguards.  There is no question but that the new procedure removes some of the worst aspects of the Bush-era tribunals, which tends to suggest that it's NOT simply the "same old shit."

        •  Wrong, Leevank (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matrix Dweller

          Here is what Obama himself said about the Military Commission Act in this speech:

          Remarks of Senator Obama: The War We Need to Win
          Washington, DC | August 01, 2007

          What's more, in the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantanamo, we have compromised our most precious values. What could have been a call to a generation has become an excuse for unchecked presidential power.

          I also will reject a legal framework that does not work. There has been only one conviction at Guantanamo. It was for a guilty plea on material support for terrorism. The sentence was 9 months. There has not been one conviction of a terrorist act. I have faith in America's courts, and I have faith in our JAGs. As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions. Our Constitution and our Uniform Code of Military Justice provide a framework for dealing with the terrorists.


          emphasis added

          •  Not wrong! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Your comment said, "But remember on Gitmo and on the commissions he is reversing positions he took in March of this year."

            The statement you quote in response to my statement was from August 2007, not March 2009.  I don't deny that he seemed to take a different position in the campaign, but it's hardly unprecedented that Presidents, upon taking office, decide that things are a little more complicated than they seemed as a candidate.

            I don't know what March position you were referring to, but the Washington Post's version of the intent of the suspension back in January seems identical to my recollection of what he's said as President:

            The instruction came in a motion filed with a military court in the case of five defendants accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The motion called for "a continuance of the proceedings" until May 20 so that "the newly inaugurated president and his administration [can] review the military commissions process, generally, and the cases currently pending before military commissions, specifically."

            . . .

            The legal maneuver appears designed to provide the Obama administration time to refashion the prosecution system and potentially treat detainees as criminal defendants in federal court or have them face war-crimes charges in military courts-martial. It is also possible that the administration could re-form and relocate the military commissions before resuming trials.


            •  Even Ari Fleischer is claiming that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Obama is taking Bush-like positions.  Face it, Obama as a candidate (2007 speech) made clear statements that he would do away with the Military Commissions; in March of this year, he took partial steps to that effect; and just this past week he reversed himself completely.  That's not just my analysis but that of Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan and the New York Times of today.  Have a look at it.  Face up to facts:  Obama has reversed (or if you prefer flip-flopped) on this position and a whole host of other ones too.

              •  That's because Ari Fleischer is an ass wipe (0+ / 0-)

                and the fact that you are placing so much important on something Ari Fleischer said really shows a lot about you. He was talking about Bush's military commissions. You should have paid more attention. He's changed Bush's military commissions. I don't know why you thought he was going to do away with all military commissions because he said nothing of the kind. I'm glad to know that you take Ari Fleischer's opinion so seriously.

          •  Not much of a reader, are you? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Rejecting the Military Commissions Act, the law passed by Congress putting in place a deeply-flawed system of military commissions that operated basically as kangaroo courts, is not the same as rejecting the idea of military commissions in general.

            This country has used such commissions and tribunals on numerous occasions in the past, and with the appropriate safeguards for the rights of the defendant - safeguards President Obama seems to be putting in, if what I've read is true - they can provide a completely fair trial.

            But don't let that get in the way of your relentless demand for complete purity.  You've basically become a fundamentalist at this point.

            Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

            by mistersite on Sun May 17, 2009 at 06:42:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is not Karl Marx, never will be, get over (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:


    Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

    by Joe B on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:43:51 AM PDT

  •  Recommended-- Too Many Times. (3+ / 0-)

    In attempting to inadvertently recommend this post twice, I ended up by un-recommending it. Much to my shame.  

    This post is important. As a one-time strong Obama supporter, I am appalled by his reactionary actions.

    It is shameful that Obama, so intelligent and articulate, has turned into a parrot for the Bush Administration.

    Given the economic crisis and the two wars produced by the Bush administration, American needed a great president -- another FDR -- to restore some semblance of democracy.  Obama, having chosen to cast his lot with the banksters, war mongers, and private health insurers, has forfeited a potentially great place in American history.

    After American voters so decidedly rejected the policies of the Bush-Cheney administration in November of 2008, we are visited with the same policies in a more attractive and articulate garb.

    We are now witnessing a true American tragedy -- hope betrayed.

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care and unions.

    by Justina on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:56:44 AM PDT

  •  Unless I've pulled a Rip van Winkle... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Yoshimi, freakofsociety

    President Obama's been in office for four months. Did some of you really think he would magically wipe away eight years of catastrophe his first days in office?

    Apparently so.

    Has the instant-gratification society in which we live now reached the point of hysterical insanity?

    Apparently so.


    It goes without saying that you Obama bashers are free to speak your mind in any forum you deem appropriate, but perhaps you could spend your time more fruitfully and start your Kucinich/Chomsky '12 rallies now and stop wasting our time.

    •  But Bender, on the issue of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      military tribunals, Obama has had plenty of time to think through the issue and do something.  He made speeches in 2007 condemning the Military Commisions Act.  He said he would do away with and instead rely on the constitution.  In March, he took some steps that led people to believe he was going to do that.  Last week, he did a 180 degree turnabout.  This is not rocket science.  Harold Koh, the Dean of the Yale Law School (whom Obama has tapped to be chief legal advisor for the State Dept) has written articles on this (interesting that as a law professor at Chicago Obama has never written anything, perhaps a first for that school).  Koh who knows a lot more about the law than Obama has a simple solution:  1)  farm some of the people at Gitmo out to other countries (lots there are NOT hardcore and were swept up in the net or as a result of paid bounty hunters); 2)  give the rest trials in our regular court system.  

      With regard to the pics, what's so hard about that?  Obama himself said the pics are not as inflammatory as those from Abu Graib prison.  If so, how can they be a threat to national security?  Moreover, there are news reports out from the McClatchey chain of papers (Miami Herald) to the effect that people in Iraq see nothing wrong with the release of more pics and do not see them as likely to imflame the populace.  

      •  I guess we'll just respectfully disagree. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, Yoshimi, freakofsociety

        My feeling is that the presidency is an overwhelming -- almost unbearable -- challenge for any one person, be h/she Democrat or Republican.

        George W. Bush stole his way into office, but on September 11, 2001, was given a chance at greatness. He had my support and probably yours, too, at least in that instant, seeing how our country was facing terror that most of us had never witnessed in our lives.

        He failed, of course, miserably and what he did over the course of the following seven years will leave him among the Buchanans and Hoovers of U.S. history.

        President Obama has been in office for four months. He inherited a mountain of problems and so far seems up to the task. Have I agreed with everything he has done? Of course not. I didn't agree with candidate Obama 100% of the time, either.

        What bothers me, though, are those who possess tunnel vision: the knee-jerk reactionaries on the right, who already are opposing Obama's yet-to-be-named Supreme Court justice, and the left-wing loonies who are upset because Obama is not addressing "their" issue -- whatever it may be -- in a way they find proper.

      •  This is my primary problem with the wait and see (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TJ, fflambeau

        crowd - most don't know what they are commenting on or if they do - Obama has already made a policy or took action aka he has already done the thing that is being criticized.

        So wait and see and hope he comes around and changes his position and actions????

        Is that what people mean?

        Because if he is going to realize he is doing something wrong - how would he know without us letting him know.

        When you see someone trying to build a campfire without kindling - do you just sit there and watch them struggle while you freeze to death? Because you know they need more time.


        No you show him how to build a fucking campfire and help out.

        I see you diary as a how to for mister Obama - where he can correct course and make change for the better.

        When people say wait and see - it is counter-productive and they do themselves and democrats a disservice.

        We need to organize and let our voice be heard - a great thing - actually the great thing about a democracy is that there is a discussion between the government and its people.

        Going mute and hoping the government figures out what you are thinking is hogwash.  

        "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

        by thethinveil on Sun May 17, 2009 at 06:54:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Time and tide wait for no man (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He has so little time precisely because Bush fubared everything.  Maybe it's unfair that he can't take his time on the economy or whatever, but that's the way it is.  And he should have known it before he became prez.

      Besides, it would be nice if some of his flip-flops actually went in our favor, instead of the other way around.

    •  No (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, freakofsociety, icebergslim

      Did some of you really think he would magically wipe away eight years of catastrophe his first days in office?

      But there is a big contingent looking for any excuse to say "I told you so."  They'd rather be right about their views of Obama before the election than have Obama succeed.  In a similar vain to "I hope Obama fails."

  •  Sorry I should have read all the comments first (0+ / 0-)

    I thought everyone was up in arms about SH_ _ ...until I saw the author's note that it had been changed to that from,  that other S word.

    Profanity just shows a vocabulary deficiency in most cases. It is not something to get all upset about. Unless I was still 6 years old, in which case it would be "Uh oh! You said a bad word! You are gonna go to 7734!" I outgrew that. We need to get over trivialities like this.

    •  Profanity is a vocabulary deficiency? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What are you from the fifties or maybe the nineteenth

      Is a more colloquial form of expression that actually very effective in promoting closeness.

      The higher register english -  predominately and formerly of the upper classes and for use in formal settings.

      It says more about a persons background and relationship to the reader than it says about a persons vocabulary.

      Sorry Linguistic major here.  

      "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

      by thethinveil on Sun May 17, 2009 at 06:59:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess James Joyce and Ulysses (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        show a complete "vocabulary deficiency" then, in NoHarmFarm's view.  Joyce and a host of great writers (and no, I do NOT claim to be one of them).

        •  The NoHarmFarm is right about one thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That your diary title should have taken up over 75% of the comments on the thread - but then again you should have just changed it right off the bat - Ambrose isn't the best ambassador for that though - admittedly - and I don't agree with the site filters at institutions but they are a reality nonetheless.

          But you are right - they had no response for you - all they could do is sling insults your way and talk about how this will be the downfall of the site.

          Which makes me laugh because I thought when DK stopped promoting progressives and progressive ideas it would be the downfall of the site.

          What is the point of holding on to power if you are not doing to use it for the better?

          I guess in the future DK will be know for being in favor of whatever as long as it is popular. Which is kind of depressing in the lack of integrity it would show.  

          "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

          by thethinveil on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:46:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Clark not eligible to be SecDef (3+ / 0-)

    Prior members of the military must be retired for at least ten years for SecDef and many other DOD posts. This fact was frequently noted when Cabinet picks were being made.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:10:29 AM PDT

  •  David Obey on Afghanistan (0+ / 0-)

    From a John Nichols column at the Capital Times on David Obey, head of the House Appropriation's Committee and Number 3 Democrat in the House in tenure:

    "David Obey, who is being honored this weekend by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin for his four decades of service to the republic, is a living exemplar of this state's progressive tradition.

    Consistently more concerned about policy than party, Obey has clashed with Democratic and Republican presidents, and he has found himself at odds with Democratic and Republican leaders of the House.


    The congressman is skeptical about war-making and military adventurism. It was especially heartening that, when asked if he envisioned Congress cutting off funding for the president's Afghanistan project, he said: "If it becomes a fool's errand, I would hope so."
    The congressman takes seriously his oath to defend the Constitution, especially the system of checks and balances designed to corral the executive branch's imperial tendencies.

    And he knows -- as Robert M. La Follette and the first progressives did -- that the job of the federal government is to take the side of the great mass of Americans, rather than the powerful elites that write large campaign checks and hire slick lobbyists.


    Now Obey is in a position to do great things. As chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, he is in a position to stand up for economic and social justice, and for peace.

    He has begun to do so, penning a stimulus plan that -- before it was watered down by the Senate -- set smart priorities for infrastructure development and job creation.

    He has gotten fundamental issues right when others have been wrong, battling for pandemic preparedness funding against Republican assaults on public health initiatives.

    He has challenged the worst excesses of a bloated defense budget.

    Obey is not always right. He does not always succeed.

    But he is the right man in the right place at the right time.

    That does not happen often in Washington.


  •  Link to the David Obey story (0+ / 0-)

    Forgot this in my earlier post:

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