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As I was reading Eugene Robinson's op-ed In budget wars, the GOP demands the impossible I came across the line:

Obama, I fear, is about to repeat the pattern.

and that reminded me of the classic "Killing Me Softly with His Song."

In particular the lyrics

I heard he sang a good song
I heard he had a style
and so i came to see
and listen for a while

and there he was this younge boy
a stranger to my eyes
Struming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
killing me softy with his song
killing me softly with his song
telling my whole life
with his words
killing me softly with his song

reminded me of President Obama. President Obama's words are great. He says all the right things, close Guantanamo, end the war in Iraq, stimulate the economy, universal health care for all, . . . And along comes his actions.

Is he better than a republican president, well as Sara Palin would say "You betcha." In death is being better really important.

As Robinson says:

Ryan pays lip service to the need to maintain and strengthen America’s safety net, but nothing in his plan suggests he really believes in the idea of collective responsibility for those in need. His favorite author, the laissez-faire extremist Ayn Rand, would be proud.

Progressives who do believe that a healthy, prosperous nation is more than a collection of self-interested individuals have a duty to respond. From all indications, the plan for debt reduction and entitlement reform that Obama plans to announce Wednesday will include a mix of sensible spending cuts and modest tax increases — something that everyone should be able to live with.

But mark my words, the response from the ideologues of the far right won’t be to sit down with the president and negotiate a middle course. They won’t even pretend to look for common ground. They’ll insist on spending cuts in the 2012 budget that go far beyond even the outrageous demands that Republicans made for the current year. As leverage, they’ll have a crucial upcoming vote on raising the debt ceiling to avoid a catastrophic default. Think they won’t try to use it?

Politically, Obama gets to be seen as sensible, pragmatic and more interested in solutions than political gamesmanship. But step back and look at the bigger picture. Why are we even talking about spending cuts, rather than increases, when the economy is still struggling to climb out of one of history’s worst recessions? If rising medical costs are the real long-term problem, Obama’s reform law took the first steps toward a solution. Why aren’t Democrats saying the obvious: We need to go farther down that road — at least to a government health plan — rather than reverse direction.

And so it goes.

The President is "Killing me (all of us) Softly."

Originally posted to Pony Progressives on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Protest Music.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

    by LWelsch on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:53:31 AM PDT

  •  Don't follow leaders (organize) (5+ / 0-)

    [...] the pumps don't work cuz the vandals took the handles.

    Tipped and recced.

    "Space Available" is the largest retail chain in the nation.

    by Free Jazz at High Noon on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:03:47 AM PDT

    •  As Maureen Dowd Pointed Out (3+ / 0-)

      in Blowin’ in the Idiot Wind

      In Hajdu’s book, “Positively 4th Street,” Dylan is quoted saying that critics who charged that he’d sold out to rock ’n’ roll had it backward.

      “I never saw myself as a folksinger,” he said. “They called me that if they wanted to. I didn’t care. I latched on, when I got to New York City, because I saw (what) a huge audience there was. I knew I wasn’t going to stay there. I knew it wasn’t my thing. ... I became interested in folk music because I had to make it somehow.”

      “Folk music,” he concluded, “is a bunch of fat people.”

      Unfortunately Dylan was and still is singing for the money.

      Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

      by LWelsch on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:08:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, but he's done some music that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LWelsch, IndyRobin, Floande, hairylarry

        opened my eyes and got me thinking about power (personal-political) at a young age (his mid 60s work, primarily). I'll thank him for that, always.

        And the best work holds up! "Tombstone Blues" remains as good a soundtrack for the Bush II years as it gets.

        And so it goes, indeed! :-)

        "Space Available" is the largest retail chain in the nation.

        by Free Jazz at High Noon on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:14:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thought I recced: a virtual rec, then, LWelsch (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LWelsch, hairylarry

      I like the man, but we have to organize with, through, or around this Presidency: whatever is most expedient based on the issues as hand.

      Madison means more to me at the moment than whatever the Prez is telegraphing or trial ballooning.

      "Space Available" is the largest retail chain in the nation.

      by Free Jazz at High Noon on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:09:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On the Bright Side... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LWelsch, begone, Pluto, Floande, hairylarry

    Republicans have painted themselve into a corner with the Ryan plan, which might appear "bold" to the punditocracy, but appears insane to most sane people, and cowardly (for different reasons) to the insane people on the far right.

    And forget about the Republicans making a serious attempt to leverage negotiations over raising the debt ceiling: the financial sector would be devastated beyond belief--the word "Armageddon" would not overstate the case--if there was even a hint of the possibility of default on U.S. Soveriegn debt.  

    The Tea Party loses big to Big Banking, which--ironically--is Obama's strongest ally in this fight.  Politics makes strange bedfellows, but I guarantee this will be nothing like a replay of the recent game of "chicken" over a government shutdown.  

    For once, the financial sector HAS to be on the left side of this issue.

    "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?" Nick Lowe

    by LHB on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:26:13 AM PDT

  •  Killing me Easy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LWelsch, hairylarry

    When my parents retired, they became Snow Birds and spent their winters in Arizona.  One of our children expressed concern that each of them would be driving a car by themselves and my mom said that was OK because she wanted to listen to the new song Killing me Easy With His Song.  

    Given the diaries on DKos the last few days, I have to say No one here is going down EASY!

  •  The thing is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the lyrics to Killing Me Softly were written as a result of seeing Don McLean perform live and expressed how the lyricist felt as if McLean had taken her feelings and put them into words. From my perspective at least, Obama's words are nothing like that.

    "R's big lie: Too much govt spending created Grt Recession, and cutting spending will get us out. O and Ds refuse to rebut the lie." -- Robert Reich

    by Sagebrush Bob on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:42:20 AM PDT

  •  Reply to all (0+ / 0-)


    Thanks for the diary. Food for thought is always good.

    I'm pro Dylan. I cover a lot of his songs. I never thought he was opposed to making money with his music. He worked hard to make money with his music. More power to him.

    But his songs stand on their own. He changed the dialogue. He opened eyes. And he continues to do so even if he is a tool of the capitalist media conglomerate.

    I'm singing in the Astate Delta Vox this year, a Jazz and Pop choir at ASU. We sing a version of "And So It Goes". Not my favorite. So what? (Now that is one of my favorites.) The song is still entitled "And So It Goes". It's a song about taking risks for love.

    Roberta Flack wrote "Killing Me Softly" in response to a Don McLean concert. This is the first I've heard that but I can believe it. Don McLean is that kind of performer and it is the nature of great music to reach out and touch you emotionally.

    I am indebted to Don McLean for writing "The jester stole his royal crown in a coat he borrowed from James Dean." Because of that lyric I wear a jester's cap when I sing Bob Dylan songs. (See how I'm tying this all together?)

    And just like the Dylan songs Roberta Flack's lyric must stand on it's own and reach people as they hear it. It is not limited by what Roberta Flack thought when she wrote it. It is the nature of songs and poetry to transcend their intentional meaning and reach beyond their intended audience.


    Hairy Larry

    Please join the Protest Music Group where we sing truth to power.

    by hairylarry on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 12:56:28 PM PDT

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