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I am lucky enough to have a good job that pays well, as does my wife.  This means I am not directly affected by the unemployment issues we are seeing now.  That doesn't mean I don't see it on a regular basis...  Statistically speaking 3-6 people in my apartment building are unemployed.  Two of them live next door: one lost his nursing job of 15+ years when his hospital closed, the other lost his high-end retail job of 8 years...  They are great people whom I hope have a LOT of savings, because I would hate to lose them from our little community...

After the 2008 election I was so hopeful.  I got one of the huge Shepard Fairey 'Yes We Did' posters, and hung it proudly on a wall in our home.

I'll be taking it down later this week...

I have really tried to "keep hope alive" when it came to Obama and the Democrats.  I really believed all the soaring rhetoric of the campaign and truly thought this country was bound for greatness again.  Then, as the illusion of the rhetoric and the truth of reality began to diverge on so many promises I started to get cynical...

Now that Obama has completely caved on the Bush tax cuts, I am pretty much done hoping for any campaign promise to be honored.  I have ceased to expect Obama to fight for anyone but the rich.

There was a time when I would have literally jumped for the opportunity to shake this President's hand.  At this point, I might do it if he came and visited my office - but I wouldn't go out of my way to make it happen.

Every morning I come face to face with that "Yes We Did" poster, and as time has passed, I have become more and more apathetic towards it, and have now come to the point where I no longer want to have it hanging in my home.

I don't write a lot here, but I read dkos religiously.  I read it during the Bush years when we had to keep our heads down and read about all the fucked up things our government was doing.  After the election I was so looking forward to reading about all the great things our government was doing...  Sadly, it just feels like the Who song "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."  I still am reading about how crappy our government is...

So I am going to take down the poster and likely continue to grow ever more cynical.  I'll keep reading dkos religiously, but I likely will no longer be hopeful with regards to reading about our government doing something great when I first open the page in the morning.

Originally posted to redux on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:07 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. - Mark Twain

    by redux on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:07:47 PM PST

  •  Our system is corrupt and caters to the rich! (7+ / 0-)

    The game is rigged folks! George Carlin was correct!

  •  Don't lose hope. Obama will be gone soon enough. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra77, El Tomaso, imperturb

    I believe we'll still get a progressive champion in the White-house. I think after the Obama exprience many democrats including myself will scrutunize sharply whoever it is we vote to represent us in national office in the coming future. I truly believe there's a democrat out there with the soul of a Bobby Kennedy who will rescue us from the liars and theives that have destroyed our country.  

    •  When? 2016? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      El Tomaso, imperturb, New Earth

      We're either getting Obama or a Republican in '12. And it's almost certain the Republicans will take control of the Senate.

      A lot of bad things can happen in that time. And how long will it take to even partially undo them. You see this was supposed to be our chance to undo the evil of the Bush years. But the Bush policies have largely become the new bipartisan baseline.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:26:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama is gone in 2012. Only the devout don't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gooserock, El Tomaso, Succulent Filth

        See what's coming.

        •  No Base. I Think the Situation Will Be Clear to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Demi Moaned

          The Reality Party of Real World Factuality --the looney left-- by late spring, early summer, that there's no winning combination of voter blocks for him. He'll always take 90% of blacks but he could easily not get the 2008 percent of turnout among them.

          By summer 2009 there were accurate warnings and forecasts of 2010 arising loud and clear across the country, and on this site. If the same trends for 2012 develop, there will be thousands and thousands who see it on time, in time.

          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 Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:37:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the problem I see (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Demi Moaned, Voodoo king

          Obama's gone either way, and we'll get a republican... There's no dem that can win in 2012 except for possibly Hillary because she could possibly stoke the party.

          We'll likely be talking about "madam president" only it'll be the one from wasilla.

          "If liberals really hated America we'd be voting republican"

          by New Earth on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:37:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Probably, but where does that leave us? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gooserock

          Hoping for 2016 while the looting and Shock Doctrine is raging around us.

          I have no belief that there will be an effective primary challenge of the President in '12. The reasons given here seem convincing.

          "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

          by Demi Moaned on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:40:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Hail Mary Pass Was Thrown By Obama Himself (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Demi Moaned

            He mused about single term.

            If he saw that trends were hopeless in late spring to early summer, the question is what would he do with that information.

            The hail mary pass is that he would coordinate with some Dem who could be competitive and would not sell the Court for 30 quadrillion pieces of silver.

            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 Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:43:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  yes, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Demi Moaned

        2016, but that's not all that far away.  unless the economy revitalizes dramatically under the republican watch (highly unlikely), 2016 will become an election of enormous consequentiality, with big changes in the offing.  a democratic party that rediscovers it's raison d'etre could win that election and preside over real change.  

        •  That's our best hope (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          imperturb

          But so many bad things can happen in six years. Who knows what the new normal will be then? ... what catastrophes have forced us to accept that 'things are different now'.

          "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

          by Demi Moaned on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:45:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  i basically agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Voodoo king

      and, paradoxically, the basis for this belief is that this administration and congress have been visionless, timid and incompetent--in short just plain bad.  if they've done a really bad job, it is at least possible to hope that a future democratic administration and congress will do a good job.  by far the scariest interpretation of democratic failure is that in fact the democrats have done as good a job as possible.  if that is true, we are toast.

  •  Me too. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Tomaso

    United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

    by Cassandra77 on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:26:37 PM PST

  •  The Future Is Not Soon, It's Far Off, and Indepen (0+ / 0-)

    dent of the party.

    Like the mid 60s rightwing, what's needed is independent organization, developing a machine for message, education, motivation, turnout --and most crucially, candidate creation.

    Then vote D on election day, but spend all your time and energy independent working on what will eventually fill up the elected party.

    That includes busting ass to re-elect Obama if he doesn't take himself up on his musing about being a one term guy. We lose the WH in 12, we lose the court and the constitution till the middle of the century.

    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 Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:40:56 PM PST

    •  don't you think (0+ / 0-)

      we've already lost the court and the constitution until at least the middle of the century?

      "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

      by jlynne on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 11:49:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been looking at the terms of this deal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dordogne

    It's clear that there was no way that either the House's 250K legislation or Schumer's up to a million dollars income legislation would not have passed.  There were not the votes in the Senate.  Even those who are very, very angry at Obama acknowledge this reality; it's just that they wanted him to look like he was fighting harder, perhaps ready to take the argument to the mat with a larger, stronger Republican party next year.  

    Not sure what all the caterwauling's about, considering the alternatives.  NO ONE thinks he would have prevailed on the 250K, not even Weiner or Bernie Sanders.  

    He was faced with either letting all the tax cuts lapse - which even the majority of Dems in Congress couldn't agree to, or agreeing to something so he could try to salvage something financially.

    I'm not sure this is such a bad deal for him in the long run.  It's extremely distasteful that it includes tax cuts for the uber-wealthy, but it's a fact that he was not going to get the Republicans or the conservative Dems to back down on this issue.  So what to do?  Well, he had a choice between going to war with Congress next session, or extracting concessions now that they would not be willing to grant to him in the next session, namely the unemployment extension.  Added to it is the payroll tax holiday, and added to that is the continuation of relief for families with students.  The package comes to about $300 billion in relatively stimulative concessions.  There's also a 100% deduction on business startups.  

    Rather than pout about Obama's concessions, I think we should watch and see how this plays out.  The tax cuts are extended to 2012.  If the jobs picture improves and the economy picks up again we're looking at an interesting conundrum for the Republicans in 2012, the fact that they pushed through a deficit enhancing compromise in 2010.  What happened to all the deficit hawks?  Well, when they're running in 2012 they won't be able to claim fiscal responsibility, will they?  They're the ones pushing for the tax cuts, so their deficit argument goes out the window.  In the meantime, the stage will have been set for another showdown over the unemployed because the unemployment benefits only run through January 2012.  There will be strain on the social security system, which may create the environment for requiring payroll deductions for Social and Medicare past the current cap of 106,800.  

    •  I'm sorry, I can't see it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlynne

      To me, it speaks of what we wish could be, not what is and probably will be.

      Obama wasn't my first choice, and I voiced heavy concerns - he seemed too "centrist" for me, but like most everyone else here, I couldn't help but be lifted at the inauguration by the hope that what he was saying was the truth of him.  Even my mother voted for him, saying she trusted he would fight for the "common people."

      Whether he's doing it because he believes this is the best way - or because someone is figuratively (or literally) holding a gun to his head - it makes no difference to me anymore.  He's thrown us under the bus too many times now... in word and in deed.

      My husband's been unemployed for 2+ years.  My contract position was in-housed, and while I got the job, it meant taking a $25k/yr cut in salary.  I'm back to making what I made when I was 20 yrs old - and it bought a heck of a lot more back then!

      There's nothing in this bill that's going to help us, save for a puny 2% payroll tax savings which will be taken out of my SS checks when and if I can ever retire.

      We've cut out nearly all discretionary spending.  Cell phones will be canceled by next month and we'll be on basic cable.  I've already stopped taking one medication.  Even with this and the rest we've done, I don't know if it'll be enough to live with the small paycheck I bring home.  The "home" will be the next to go, which with me at 54 and hubby at 58, scares me to death... not to mention worry about my dogs and cats.

      We've lost nearly all our retirement money under Bush, and nothing's gotten better for us or anyone around us since Obama's taken office.  Our healthcare went up, my meds went up, my insurances have skyrocketed, food and utilities have all raised.  And yet, we have no inflation?

      We've done everything "right" all our lives... but damn, gotta make sure those rich #*$S get their extra millions.

      I've been so depressed I actually had to talk to hubby about helping me thru a depression that has me unable to justify the cognitive dissonance of continuing to live.  After they've taken everything we worked a lifetime to save, it's like they just want to put people our age on an ice floe and forget about us.  How dare we not go ahead and die!

      Don't kid yourself - Obama has caved on everything the Repugs wanted.  He WILL cave on Social Security, too.  I have no illusions any longer.

    •  I'm sorry, but losing a 3% (0+ / 0-)

      tax cut when you've been unemployed for 2 years is kind of irrelevant.

      Losing a 3% tax cut when your employment earnings don't put you above the federal poverty line is also kind of irrelevant.

      Losing a 3% tax cut when you earn more than $100,000 is also not all that relevant.  

      For those increasingly few people still employed and earning something more than $22,000 for a family of 4 and less than $100,000, losing that 3% will pinch in the short term, but it will pinch a lot less than losing their foodstamps, medicaid coverage for their children, and social security for their retirement.

      This is nothing more than a huge FU from the greedheads to the peons, and setting this precedent is only going to ensure that things get a hell of alot worse.  

      Anyone working for the American people would just let the cuts expire and veto anything other than a permanent tax increase on the wealthy.  But then he's not really on our side, is he?

      "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

      by jlynne on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 11:47:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is it relevant that the unemployment comp (0+ / 0-)

        is being extended?  How about the increase in the EIC and the student loan deductions?  How about the startup deduction for businesses?  Don't get me wrong - I think the situation sucks and wish there had been a better option - but I'm wondering how this would have played out if he'd gone to the mat and all I can see is the best he would have done was lose the tax cuts for everyone and unemployment insurance for millions, which would have contributed to the economic disaster this country is facing, not to mention incalculable harm to those relying on the unemployment comp.  It would have been politically disastrous, with the Republicans free to bash him for two years and call the downturn his fault and that of the Democrats.  

        In following this debate, the subtext has always been that Obama needed to make a good show of fighting back, but that eventually he was going to lose UNLESS he simply allowed the tax cuts to expire.  But if he'd done that there is no way the Republicans would have agreed to extend unemployment compensation or to some of the other provisions he wanted in exchange.  I don't know what other deals are possibly in the works, either, so am waiting and seeing.  Did he have some concessions on DADT?  On START?  I don't know, but maybe.

        •  There is still (0+ / 0-)

          a Dem majority in both houses until January.  They could have passed those things independently if they really wanted to.  But it's just easier to sell out to the Rethugs and now they've put everything at risk.  

          We either tax the wealthy, or we throw an increasingly large percentage of the peons under the bus.  It's that simple.

          "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

          by jlynne on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:13:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure, it would have passed the House (0+ / 0-)

            but all it would need was a hold by a Republican Senator and a filibuster and that would have been it.  No votes.  No unemployment comp.  Simple as that.

            •  The 3% collected on the (0+ / 0-)

              expired tax cuts could have been used to subsidize benefits for people losing unemployment benefits.  We could have come out ahead financially and had the political plus of watching the Rethugs filibuster measures that even their voters supported.

              "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

              by jlynne on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:41:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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