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Very, Bad, Indeed.
I have read numerous diaries, from numerous well known progressive  commentators, such as Cenk Uygyar, who posts here frequently, blasting Obama for any number of things, like "selling out his followers," "not fighting for health care reform," "not supporting Gay Rights by not fighting against DADT," "not fighting for global warming legislation," and on and on.
It is one of the great issues of DailyKos about the spectrum of Obama bashing / categorical support should take place. Should we support his mild liberalism? Or just throw him under the bus, "the way we have been thrown under the bus," etc. etc. Personally, I believe that things can get bad in the USA, very bad, inconceivably bad, and before we start bashing, we should think twice with a long-term perspective on our situation.
I will turn to history and a book I have recently read, "The Nightmare Years," by William Shirer, and the Spanish Civil War, to clarify the issue.

The battle for justice, freedom and peace never ends, just like the Dick Cheneys of the world, who profit from global destabilization and continuous warfare, will never stop fighting for their agenda. The anti-choice, forced birth movement has not abated, and the racist, anti-immigrant movement is now stronger than it has been in decades.  All emphasis in the following quotes are mine.

Almost all progress has been through a ratcheting process, with occasional jumps forward, and plenty of significant backsliding into the reactionary darkness. I wanted to quote William Shirer's book, "The Nightmare Years 1930 - 1940" at length about the Spanish Civil War as it gives a true, historical perspective of just how bad things can get, and how the successful European fascist movements closely mimic the reactionary tea bag, anti-intellectual movement, and the Republican fascist agenda. I will quote a rather long passage, but it paints a frightening anomaly of the political situation in the US today.

"The Spanish Republic, which had done so much in the bare two and a half years since its birth to liberate Spain from its medievalism, already was tottering to a fall... The balloting turned out of office the men who had founded the Republic.. and who had brought Spain abruptly... into the modern world."

"The stranglehold of the Church was broken. Church and State were separated, religion disestablished... Women were given the vote for the first time and equal rights in all matters. Divorce, which the Church had forbidden, was made relatively easy, and civil marriages were recognized. Minimum wages were established and the state recognized the right of the workers to organize... The army, which with the church had been a pillar of the monarchy, was brought under the direct control of civilian government..."

"All these changes and reforms and many lesser ones, hurriedly legislated within a couple of years, were the equivalent for an American of those brought about in our country by Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D Roosevelt over a period of a quarter of a century."

"The Republic began to be undermined not only by the reactionary politicians and their backers, the Church, the wealthy landowners and capitalists... but most outrageously of all, by the anarchists, whose mass following among the workers and peasants the Republic in two short years had done so much to liberate...

"So the fledgling Republic,in its first two years, knew who its enemies were - on the Left and the Right. It sought to curb them, but the mild, tolerant liberals and socialists who ran it could not bring themselves to be drastic enough to render their foes once and for all of overthrowing it...

All that fall and early winter, after the liberal government fell and was replace by a rightist bloc, I reflected gloomily on the swift decline of this still very young Republic, so splendid in its ideals, so inept in guarding its strength,  so innocent of the threats of  of its determined enemies..."

All italics are mine, forgive me my paraphrasing.

500,000 people died in the Spanish Civil War (see the shocking film "Pan's Labyrinth" which captures the spirit and brutality of the war). Today, Spain is one of the most liberal countries in Europe. It took 50 years to reverse its rightist rule.

Today we see ultra-rightists who oppose the division of Church and State, women's rights on almost any level, the teaching of science over religious doctrine, supporting drastic, racist ideologies, and the support of fascist doctrines aimed at drastically increasing the wealth of a tiny portion of our society, railing against labor unions and minimum wages, now running for our highest political office. See the polls that show the fine liberal Russ Feingold running behind in his Senate reelection bid if you want to know how extreme the political climate is.

We should take history into account before we stridently denounce the mildly liberal leaders in our country because the are not the end-all and be-all in our desire for a progressive society, a goal that will probably take decades to achieve, and a constant struggle to maintain.

Originally posted to shmuelman on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 05:19 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Um, unfortunately (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, DaleA, Mike Taylor

      One can take very different lessons from the Spanish Civil War.

      the mild, tolerant liberals and socialists who ran it could not bring themselves to be drastic enough to render their foes once and for all of overthrowing it...

      What advice is this giving Democrats, pray tell?

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:25:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's a shame how fast the Dems & left (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hooper, ajr111240

      turned on Obama.

      Man graduated from Harvard, not Hogwarts.

      Does nobody remember how bad it sucked to have the GOP in charge of Congress and the White House, not to mention the USSC?

      LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:11:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Death to the anarchistic left!!!!!!!! (24+ / 0-)

    I am not of the impression that there is anything in the least "mildly liberal" about running interference for war criminals and turning the economic system over to those disaster capitalists who plundered it in the first place, for example. I'm pretty sure that the left is as strident as it is BECAUSE they have a good idea of how slippery the slippery slope can get.

    Comparing the left to anarchists (read strident commies) is little different than a Glenn Beck talking point. I would beware making analogies of that sort.

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

    by nippersdad on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 05:32:02 PM PDT

  •  Very good points. (8+ / 0-)

    Pres Obama may not be very liberal by European or Canadian standards, but he's probably about as liberal as can be elected in your country in this day and age.

    So I agree: he is very worthy of your support!

    Exspectamus et vigilamus: quod nolite somnamus.

    by tapu dali on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 05:35:15 PM PDT

  •  Your point is perfectly valid (22+ / 0-)

    however...

    1. most progressives have no need for the warning because we are well aware of what we are up against
    1. Criticism of things we believe are being done wrong, said wrong or whatever are criticisms. They are us participating in the political discourse and sharing our personal beliefs about what should be done and said.

    Yes, some bash but the vast majority of us are engaging in the very necessary process of providing constructive criticism for policies and positions that we believe need improvement. Far too often this is attacked as a bad thing. It isn't. Further, and even worse, far too often the people speaking their beliefs and engaging in this constructive criticism are attacked as somehow being traitors or treated as if they/we aren't aware of the consequences. Somehow we are ignorant of the fact that the other side are bad guys with worse policies waiting in the wings. That's just insulting and unnecessarily so.

    I generally don't engage in this stuff because it is pointless and tiring. But it is tiring to be insulted all the time by the assumption that somehow we don't know the stakes or somehow we aren't supposed to speak our minds in our free and open society or somehow it is going to our fault if the Democratic Party loses this or some other election.

    It's like the Nader thing in 2000. One way of looking at it is that Democrats losing in 2000 was the fault of those Democrats that voted for Nader instead of Gore. And this is the dominant meme. It's their fault.

    The other equally perfectly valid way of looking at it is that it is the Democratic Parties fault for losing their own voters to a third party candidate.

    Some Nader voters were people that would never vote for a Democrat no matter what. We aren't talking about those folks. We're talking about Democratic voters that the Democratic Party lost that year through their policies of the previous years and their rhetoric of that campaign.

    Democratic voters that the Democratic Party lost.

    If the Democratic Party loses some of its voters again this year it will be the fault of the Democratic Party for losing its voters not the voters for being lost.

    Peace,

    Andrew C. White
    Stephentown Democratic Committee Chair
    Rensselaer County NY Democratic Executive Committee Member

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 05:42:33 PM PDT

    •  Beautifully put. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White, neroden, Willa Rogers

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:11:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am pretty leftest, and was an unashamed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb, Lucy2009

      Nader voter. I could not in good conscience vote for Gore, with his center-right, phony moralism and Republican Lite message.
      My point was, and obviously poorly made, that the stakes may be much higher than we expect. Before someone promotes a negative, vituperative message about the Obama administration, i.e. no difference between it and say the growingly radical GOP right, they should understand the real ramifications.

      "How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity." William S Burroughs

      by shmuelman on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:39:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course there is a huge difference (5+ / 0-)

        very few of us on the left that criticize the administration or the Senate think otherwise (though admittedly some folks engage in hyperbole and others appear to blind themselves to the obvious) but for most of us that argument is a strawman because it has nothing to do with our criticisms.

        I could and did vote for Gore but have never blamed Nader voters in 2000. Folks that voted for Nader in 2004 I consider a lost cause but I understood, even while arguing against, Nader voters in 2000.

        The Obama administration has made some serious mistakes and the beltway mindset is completely screwed up. I understand completely why folks get so enraged by the current administration continuing horrid policies from the past administration. It is incredibly hard to argue against their position.

        The Republican crossed the line of too radical long ago. This year is frankly no different. More extreme? Yes. But they were already too extreme so it makes no difference. The problem is the Democratic Party following them too far down that path.

        We are saveable. They are not.

        But we can't be saved if we don't speak out against wrongs continuing to be done.

        I'm voting Democratic. I'm working my tail off to ensure my town and my county vote Democratic. But I won't for one instant stop criticizing Democratic leadership (or followership) when they do and say the wrong things.

        Peace,

        Andrew

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:24:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well said, ACW. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, Andrew C White, GeeBee

      I'm more than a little tired of self-appointed pragmatists telling liberals that change is hard and takes a long time. I mean, seriously, do you think this is news to anyone?

      I've worked for liberal causes and candidates for over twenty-six years, and I know exactly how difficult it is to get liberal candidates elected and liberal policies enacted.

      I also know that we achieved what may prove to be a once-in-a-generation opportunity in 2009, and I think it's been squandered six ways to Sunday by both the White House and Congress leadership.

      So please, stop lecturing me about how change is hard. I know damn well how hard it is, and I also know that Democrats could've done a better job of making it happen if they hadn't repeatedly shot themselves in the feet.

      The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

      by Orange County Liberal on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 09:24:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We ALL need to get on with the work to be done (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, Socratic Method

    in the next month. All this yammering at each other gets us nowhere.

    Go make phone calls.

  •  The Spanish Civil War occurred in a context (9+ / 0-)

    of rising European fascism.  Other countries also were soon torn by war and overcome by dictatorships.  So it's absurd to blame this on the two years of rapid reform of the Republican government.

    Further, one of the most basic wishes of the much maligned progressives is simply to see the irresponsible and criminal acts of the previous administration curbed, investigated, and punished.  Instead, however, it seems this administration's policy is to shield the wrongdoers, increase secrecy and continue amassing more powers for the Executive.

    It doesn't matter that Obama himself won't be misusing those powers; his successor might.

    Silvio Levy

  •  "The battle for justice, freedom and peace never (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, Andrew C White, Willa Rogers

    peace never ends"

    And that even includes those whom we supported.

    I'm not afraid.

    Enough already. Stand up and fight. If you lose, you lose, but at least you tried. That's all I ask.

    by gooderservice on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:08:33 PM PDT

  •  I believe Pres. Obama has liberal goals (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, Lucy2009

    but thinks the best way to achieve those goals and make them stick is to do it incrementally to minimize the backlash.  

    Spanish society was confronted by wholesale change and the fascists were able to gain support by arguing that the Republic was changing Spain too quickly.  

    One of the causes of the overthrow of the Shah in Iran was a too rapid change in modernizing a society that didn't necessarily welcome it.  

    Pres. Obama has disappointed me because he has shown no interest in prosecuting the criminals from the Bush administration.  However, I'm still prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt because he may have made a calculation that, given the other stuff that had to be dealt with right away, the country wouldn't be able to handle the guaranteed Gooper howling in the streets if he'd done anything.  

    Just look at the mileage they made out of reading the underwear bomber his Miranda rights or the insane reaction to giving Khalid Sheik Mohammed a perfectly normal criminal trial in downtown Manhattan.

     

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:17:11 PM PDT

    •  We're not calling for much social change (8+ / 0-)

      Seriously, what progressives are currently asking for is not remotely like the amount of change the Spanish Republic brought about.

      - A health system similar to Canada's? - Restoration of taxes similar to Eisenhower's? - Civil liberties protections enshrined in the Constitution in 1789, and in the UN Charter in 1945? - Equal rights for women, which has been demanded since 1848? - A slow cutback on military spending to pre-Cold-War levels?

      This is not radical social change.  It just isn't.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:29:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course the change you want isn't (0+ / 0-)

        similar to the Spanish Republic and it isn't radical.  In any event, it isn't necessary to look as far back as the Spanish Republic.  Look at the social upheavals of the '60s.  The right wingers are still reacting against that.  

        The point is to make changes bit by bit so society gets used to them and a backlash doesn't get a full head of steam.

        Look at the teabaggers reaction to what's already happened.  Imho, your country is possibly in an extremely fragile state and it wouldn't take a lot more right now to see them taking Sharron Angle's second amendment remedies seriously.  

        We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

        by Observerinvancouver on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 09:01:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong on so many levels (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          basquebob

          I could just as easily use your "don't upset the teabaggers!" argument as a reason to not vote for Obama - certainly his very election has upset them more than any other recent action, and some of them have already taken up arms.

          Second, the genuine fear on the right (not the manufactured teabagger bullshit) is from people afraid of losing their homes, their retirement income, not being able to educate their kids, not having affordable health care when they need it, and a lot of other issues where an aggressive, progressive program would satisfy a lot of their fear and resentment. The "go slow" approach you endorse is just going to keep them angry for years or decades to come.

          You seriously expect backlash from people who finally have some sense of security in a good-paying job, able to pay their bills and get care when they're sick, and are seeing their kids become well-educated, with affordable higher education their future?

          If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the administration.

          by badger on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:20:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  adsf (0+ / 0-)

          the teabaggers are a tiny minority of Americans. Unfortunately the MSM has given them so much "attention" that many have come to believe that it is a bigger movement than what it really is. BTW, the MSM giving them all that attention is not an accident but it surely does distort some perceptions. More sobering should be the fact that about 40% of Americans have not heard of or know what teabaggers are as per a recent poll.

          As bad as things are in Nevada and as badly as Harry Reed's name has been trashed all over the place the fact that Sharron Angle will most likely loose should also tell you something.

          "The role of the major media under our system is to promote the corporate agenda against all others. " ~ Gooserock @ KOS

          by basquebob on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:30:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bad for progressives = Bad for Americans (9+ / 0-)

    The ideas and policies of progressive liberalism have benefited this country for a long time.

    I don't see this as a "us vs. them" situation, even if "them do not quite appreciate the benefits of things like Social Security, child labor laws, environmentalism, etc.

    Pushing back on either Republican or Democratic politicians when they fail to embrace sound policy is a long tradition in America. Any party or administration that thinks it shouldn't be that way should open a history book or two.

    •  It's Far More Stark. Politics Doesn't Accept Hard (5+ / 0-)

      scientific, health and environmental factuality anywhere in the spectrum outside the far left.

      The Obama incrementalism --assuming he believes in AGW -- will take decades to build a consensus to stop accelerating the damage to global habitability. There's serious evidence right now that the game could be over at the Obama / centrist pace of change, again assuming they even accept the kind of policies needed at any time.

      United States conservative economic deregulation has now caused two global depressions (depending on how you count this crisis). The progressive spectrum is a lot more concrete than some political preference squabbling.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:39:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Between a rock and a hard place. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        basquebob

        These are hard times for progressives ideas.

        On the environmental front, the best hope I see are in the scientific advances I read daily (mostly at this wonder site, Science Daily). Huge advances in improving solar energy, carbon sequestration, green energy production, etc. More funding, though, is needed.

        As an aside, there is one developing technology that in the wrong hands (and there are so many of those hands), could be a big problem to a free society. We are getting close to a quantum computer. Every single encryption today could be broken.

        "Too many secrets," as the line went in the underrated Robert Redford movie Sneakers.

    •  My point - Don't forget your enemies! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucy2009

      That means also understanding your friends. I consider it a major progressive victory that Rahm is gone from the White House.

      There are some real crazies out there, and they are getting national traction.

      "How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity." William S Burroughs

      by shmuelman on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:42:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are conservatives (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        basquebob

        Yes, we understand who the enemies are.  They are conservatives.  Unfortunately, that is not limited to the GOP (oh how I wish it was.)  Instead, some of us are stuck deciding whether to vote for either of the two conservative candidates:  GOP or Dem.  After watching conservadem antics I'm hesitant...even resistant to the idea of voting for them just because of the D.  They are afterall the architects of this looming disaster...supporters of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy for example.

        This election is like going into a job interview with a resume that only says how much the other candidates suck.

        by Celtic Pugilist on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:01:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama, and the Blue Dogs aren't mildly liberal, (6+ / 0-)

    they are considerably corrupted with corporate money. Yea, sure, they may not be as liberal as I am. HOWEVER, I remember quite clearly what Obama said, and his intent, and his passion while campaigning. He was either pulling our leg to get elected (not cool), or he is leading in a considerably less liberal manner than he promoted while campaigning.  

    In part, that is due to the corruption of our system. Obama got alot of money from small donors, but the big lions share came from Wall Street. He owes them big time, and he's paid them back in the last couple of years to our extreme detriment.

    Now it's time he pay us back. If he doesn't, I suspect he may have some real electoral challenges in 2012.

    With that said, the 2010 elections are for Congress. We just need to all keep that in mind, and make our voting decisions based on that.

    The choices are clear, the repercussions unpleasant.

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

    by Lucy2009 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:19:58 PM PDT

  •  Timing Is Everything. It's a Month Before Electn (6+ / 0-)

    so the griping's tabled till November 3rd.

    The reason we're becoming a disaster for the American people and for much of the rest of the world is because of mild liberalism.

    The data's in. We know that conservative and mildly liberal economic and environmental health polices cause us to take down the global economy and planetary habitability. In the case of economics we've seen 130 years of severe under-regulation, 50 years of proper regulation, and 30 years of under-regulation.

    The US is not Spain. When we crash our economy we rock the entire world economy. When we keep accelerating climate change we're going to damaging property around the world and contributing to the deaths of many millions.

    Mild change that doesn't get us to carbon neutral for a few decades, or doesn't stop us from causing depressions for decades to come, is no change at all.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:34:39 PM PDT

    •  Actually, the mildly liberal policies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      basquebob, Lucy2009

      I think are at least working to turn around the Depression in the US. I think we need more of it, but it is going to be tough, long battle.

      "How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity." William S Burroughs

      by shmuelman on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:44:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with both you and Gooserock. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        basquebob

        We need a terminated, REAL handle....Gooserock is right on that point. This namby pamby style liberal legislation ain't going to get the job done. It's going to take real, and structural change from the foundation up.

        However, you are also right that Obama and the Dems have brought us back from the brink, they did make a huge change in HCR. NOT what alot of us wanted, but it is different, and it will help alot of folks, and there is the student loan bill, etc. All of it totally insufficent considering the magnitude of problem, but.......  all of it a start and so much better than nothing and the GOP.

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:24:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Spanish Civil war is not a very good analogue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    basquebob, VClib

    to current situation. The extent of societal changes during Spanish republic was enormous. Changes that occurred or could occur during last 2 years in US are smaller by huge margin. Franco rebellion was the reaction of the conservative part of the society to these changes just like Tea Party movement is.
    Civil war was between socialists/anarchists and Franco supporters, liberal reformers by then were out of power and largely irrelevant.

  •  I was going to go out and vote for Iowa Justice.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dithered

    ...because I had hope, but now I'm just too scared to do anything but hide under my bed and tremble in fear.

    The destruction of marriage is scorched earth politics.
    They can pry the wedding rings from our cold dead fingers.

    by banach tarski paradox on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:53:31 PM PDT

    •  Sometimes, fear is good thing. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345

      People who are fearless generally lead short lives.

      Hiding under your bed is another thing. I don't know exactly what I wrote to give the impression that I was advocating that.

      "How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity." William S Burroughs

      by shmuelman on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:00:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I prefer that voting be a celebration of hope. (0+ / 0-)

        I prefer that folks point to the change happening all around me as evidence that change is somehow possible, to give me hope.

        Fear demotivates, demoralizes, and disengages.

        Fear just makes me feel helpless.

        The destruction of marriage is scorched earth politics.
        They can pry the wedding rings from our cold dead fingers.

        by banach tarski paradox on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:07:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Voting isn't a celebration (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mike101

          It's a responsibility, like feeding your kids, showing up to work, paying your taxes, or maintaining your house.  We don't do these things because we're celebrating.  We do them because if we don't, bad shit will happen.  If you don't participate in your society and your government, bad shit will happen.  No joke.

          "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

          by Triscula on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:48:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ok, I'm back under my bed again. (0+ / 0-)

            We don't do these things because we're celebrating.  We do them because if we don't, bad shit will happen.  If you don't participate in your society and your government, bad shit will happen.  No joke.

            Let me know when the election is over and it is safe to come out, ok?

            Damn!

            Where did all these dust bunnies come from?

            The destruction of marriage is scorched earth politics.
            They can pry the wedding rings from our cold dead fingers.

            by banach tarski paradox on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:52:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think that's the correct thing to do at this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      banach tarski paradox

      time. Lord knows what lurks outside the front door!!!      

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:25:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't recognize this place (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    banach tarski paradox

    if there wasn't a diary or two or three lecturing progressives who they perceive may be unhappy enough with Obama to sit out the election or even vote Republican. There are people who criticize the President and other Democrats for the ways they have or have not worked towards liberal goals. Reading that kind of criticism does not turn Democrats into Republicans or progressives into conservatives, and I doubt it has any effect at all on GOTV, considering that voters who read diaries here are likely to vote and will vote for the Democrat anyway. There is no one here trying to throw Obama under the bus. In other words, criticizing the President on DK is probably not a very effective way to affect this election, but it is a good way to rile up a bunch of people and make Daily Kos a miserable, contentious, unwelcoming place.

    How about this: if someone here wants to criticize Obama, Pelosi, Reid, or any other official, then respond on the merits of their argument. They are just people wanting better government, same as you. Don't worry how it will affect the election. It won't. Suggesting they hold their tongues and fall in line, however, may very well change this site into something less diverse and less representative of the liberals out there on the Internet.

    I'm starting to develop an immunity to this kind of anti-criticism post. They never, ever convince me to change how I feel about the Obama administration's policies and competence, but I am frequently tempted to abandon Daily Kos rather than feel bad after every visit.

    •  Here is where I disagree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucy2009

      There have been plenty of posts here throwing Obama under the bus.
      As the anxiety level about this election increases, it has certainly decreased.
      I am not against criticizing Obama. My biggest criticism is that he did not beat the living shit out of the Republicans when he had the chance, and now the Democratic Party will have to pay.
      But on the other hand, there better be an acknowledgment that the tea party movement, which is shilling to move the Republican Party even farther to the right than it is today, is an extremely dangerous force, and those people are getting national attention.

      "How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity." William S Burroughs

      by shmuelman on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:07:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then by all means (0+ / 0-)

        keep attacking the commentators I respect and generally agree with. I'm sure it will accomplish something. I'm not sure what, but I'm pretty sure it won't be good.

        Obama isn't running. It's a midterm. I'm going to vote for my Democratic House Rep (best there is) and a Democratic candidate for Governor who has a slim chance to win. Nothing Obama has or hasn't done could keep me home or change my 2010 vote. If I had a ballot with Blanche Lincoln on it, I'd still go vote, but probably I'd leave that race unmarked. There are people who have a dilemma like that, but the people HERE, at Daily Kos, are not the kind that will stay home. Under no circumstances could I be persuaded to vote for a tea party candidate and I doubt there is anyone else here who could be.

        Now, 2012 is an entirely different story. If something doesn't change by 2012, there may well be a dilemma. I don't think lightening up on Obama now is going to produce the kind of change I need to see in order to vote enthusiastically in 2012.

      •  Right, they have abated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger

        In other words, Progressives are doing their jobs, while the "supporters" and "defenders" still drag shyte like this to the top of the rec list 3 or 4 times per day while polishing off a large bag of Cheetos and half a bucket of carmel corn.

  •  Cat Food Commission portends a grim future (5+ / 0-)

    President Obama's Cat Food Commission will dump a plan right after the election to cut Social Security and Medicare "entitlements" to "reduce the deficit."  If the Commission Democrats allow these recommendations to Congress to come out, only 41 blue dogs voting with the Republicans could put cuts to retirement benefits and a raise in the retirement age to pass the House.  I believe the President will sign this, and that will be the end of the Democratic Party for generations after everyone figures out what happened.
    I expect the President to go hard right after the election in the spirit of "bipartisanship."

  •  I believe you are seeing the other part of the CW (0+ / 0-)

    for the elections.  The first is, of course, the Republicans are going to win and take Congress.  The second is that it is the Liberals/Progressives fault.  

    Already you hear the calls that President Obama is too liberal and his policies are too far to the left of most Americans.  That the left believes he is too far right is drowned out by the wisdom that this administration is too Liberal.

    If the Republicans do well (even if they don't take the House and Senate), the second meme insures that there is cover if/when more conservative policies are advanced in Congress.  After all, if Americans wanted a more Liberal government, they would have voted for more Democrats! And since they couldn't provide the White House with larger majorities in Congess, they are not deserving of his support.  The president must move to the right to ensure his political survival in 2012.

    Desite Nancy Pelosi's abilities as Speaker of the House (and she is formidable in that position), if she is fighting for her political life, how much and how many Progressive pieces of legislation can she submit? And gods help us if Boehner is Speaker.

    This would also fit quite well with the last meme "President Obama is really a moderate Republican" if he runs more to the right after the midterms.  

  •  If Spain did in two years what took 25 years (0+ / 0-)

    in USA then the last 25 years in the USA is what the fascists did to Spain in the next two years. The sad footnote to history is that when WWII ended Franco's regime did not get killed by the Allies. I wonder if 400 years of animosity between England and Spain sealed that or if Franco's opposition was seen as too communist.

    •  Franco's opposition (0+ / 0-)

      was too communist.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:26:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Was that before or after the West turned its back (0+ / 0-)

        on Spain and only Stalin needed the anti-fascist propaganda Republic support offered? If Western nations had supported Spain against the Luftwaffe terror bombings, London might have been more prepared for the coming raids.

      •  That's not entirely accurate (0+ / 0-)

        if at all. Eisenhower wanted to take Franco out but Churchill refused. The main reason Churchill refused was because Britain was bankrupt, they still had to deal with the war still going on in the Pacific and Churchill told Eisenhower that he could not ask the British people to sacrifice even more. There is no question that if Franco's Spain would have been more actively involved in supporting the Axis in WWII that the allies would have invaded it too.

        The fact that Franco was an anti-communist sure did help him from getting invaded by the allies but it wasn't the primary consideration. Regardless of whom ruled before or during the civil war in the republican side, if the allies would have invaded Spain they would have had the ability to shape the type of government and who ran that government as they did after they liberated the other parts of Europe.

        "The role of the major media under our system is to promote the corporate agenda against all others. " ~ Gooserock @ KOS

        by basquebob on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:59:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  During the “consensus building” stag (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, Wamsutta, mike101, basquebob, debedb

    there were a lot of us trying to explain just how evil this republican opposition is, which of course was blown off as hyperbole by the Obama "consensus building" fan base. We had to listen to the "reach across the aisle" shit for over a year. What’s funny now is, the same people who started out pushing the "consensus building" shtick are now telling the ones who tried to tell them just how evil the republicans are (newsflash) just how evil the republican are.  It would have been nice if they could have figured that out a year and a half ago, we might have been able to use some political leverage (instead of "looking forward") and produced something good enough to run on.
    Now the ones who were wrong want to blame the ones who were right. That kind of thinking always produces unpleasant results.

  •  Thank you for this diary ! (0+ / 0-)
  •  If McCain / Palin had won , would it (0+ / 0-)

    have been any better ?  Most likely we wouldn't have even been around to talk about it.

  •  an important lesson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb

    The United States isn't Spain in the 1930s, nor is it Germany. But for any who have read the history of the period the parallels are ominous.

     A middle path is best, but we've strayed from the rule of the law. That's a very slippery slope.

  •  Drastic Enough. How do you miss it? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger

    Seriously, how do you highlight

    but most outrageously of all, by the anarchists, whose mass following among the workers and peasants the Republic in two short years had done so much to liberate...

    in your effort to bitch at people who's basic argument I believe is summed up very well by everything that surrounds that text..

    The Republic began to be undermined not only by the reactionary politicians and their backers, the Church, the wealthy landowners and capitalists...

    "So the fledgling Republic,in its first two years, knew who its enemies were - on the Left and the Right. It sought to curb them, but the mild, tolerant liberals and socialists who ran it could not bring themselves to be drastic enough to render their foes once and for all of overthrowing it...

    We need to realize that the 'reactionary politicians' and 'anarchists' would not exist without the 'backers, Church, wealthy landowners, and capitalists.'  We also need to realize that the 'backers, Church, wealthy landowners, and capitalists' have their claws in our party too, and that will not end until they bring themselves to be drastic enough.

  •  Historical comparison FAIL (0+ / 0-)

    Why don't you bring up late Weimar Germany as well?

    "I've never believed that government's role is to create jobs . . . So this week, I've proposed a six year infrastructure plan."

    by Paleo on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 04:43:46 AM PDT

  •  John Fund, (0+ / 0-)

    a WallStreeter was gloating on TV last night.

    He is looking forward to dismantling all safety nets or entitlements.

    They are spending 'my money' he says.  He knows better than that. Workers have paid for Social Security out of their pay and the match of the employer is considered part of our pay.

    The republicans are saying it isn't fair to use Social Security against them.  When have they ever been fair?  People need to know that they will privatise if the republicans win.

  •  Shirer is full of it. (0+ / 0-)

    And so is this diary.

    The anarchists didn't destroy the Spanish Revolution.  They made it, but found the world united against them when they succeeded.

    The Spanish "Civil War" was nothing of the sort.  It was an international intervention against the successful anarchist revolution.  Franco was being driven out of the country when the Nazis and Italian Fascists came to his aid.  And that wasn't all of it.  Soviet Russia intervened too, ostensibly on the side of the Republic as allies of the anarchists, but in fact, they arrived to destroy the Revolution and institute a Capitalist state.

    George Orwell was there as a militiaman fighting for the "Trotskyist" POUM militia.  He watched the tiny Communist Party of Spain do Stalin's dirty work in smearing both POUM and the CNT, disarming them, and eventually imprisoning them.  He also watched how Capitalist powers, like the British who supposedly supported the Republic, engage in gunboat diplomacy in Barcelona to intimidate the Left.

    Check out Orwell's Homage to Catalonia for the details.  If you want to understand Orwell's hatred for state socialism, this is where you'll find the roots of it.  He loved what he saw in anarchist Catalonia and describes it as a sort of paradise.  He hated the Soviets for what they did to destroy it.

    Second, applying the Spanish situation to the U. S. is absurd.  Who is going to intervene as a more technologically advanced, militarily powerful nation on behalf of Fascists here?

    Concern about a Fascist takeover here are not unreasonable, but blaming the Left, and anarchists in particular for it is absurd.

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