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This started out as a comment in Democrats Ramshield's excellent diary today, specifically to a comment by drnononono.  I thank them both for the inspiration to write this diary.

Like many people here, I was there in the '60s and '70s, going to rallies in D.C. and elsewhere.  Trying to obstruct the operations of local draft boards and more, some of which I won't talk about.

Like many people of my generation, "life" took over.  A career doing what I loved doing and a family kept my mind on other things.  My involvement in politics continued at a fairly low level - never missing an election, working for candidates both local and national.  I remained a loyal Democrat, having been involved in elections since way before I could vote because my father, who was actively involved in the Democratic party.

I was very tentative in supporting Obama at first.  I had been burned too often by Democratic politicians and disappointed by the weakening Democratic Party as a foil against the conservatives and Republicans.  But eventually, I gave in and threw my support to Obama wholeheartedly.  Aside from the prospect of having our first black president, he seemed to provide a chance - yes, a hope - that things could change for the best.  He seemed like someone who could finally break the spell of conservatism.

There were some troubling signs, however.  The first was his saying that Bush and Cheney were not bad people in The Audacity of Hope.  After that, he talked about Reagan in positive terms.  But I put that aside thinking it's just politics.  That seems to be an excuse many continue to use for Obama's actions to this day.

After his election, it didn't take long for me to be disappointed, starting with the stimulus package and the give-away in advance to the Republicans in the form of tax cuts, which comprised about a third of the stimulus.  When, despite that, the Republicans unanimously but one voted against it, it was clear Obama couldn't work with them.  And when Mitch McConnell said his main goal was to make sure Obama was not reelected, it pretty much sealed it.

The next big disappointment was how he handled - or didn't handle - health care reform.  His not-publicized meetings with AHIP and PHarMA were very disappointing and reminiscent of what Bush and Cheney did in letting industry draft legislation.  The real kicker, however, was when he threw the public option overboard without a fight.  That pretty much did it for me.

The fiasco of the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich and his cave-in to Republicans using extension of unemployment benefits - which Obama himself put on the table - was no surprise at that point.  He didn't take a truly strong position on the tax cuts despite the fact that this was one of his signature campaign promises.  His MO came clear to me at that point, namely that he would express his preference, but never really fight for anything.

And then there was the weak Wall Street reform, the appointment of a economic team that helped bring about economic disaster and were clearly Wall Streeters, not Main Streeters.  The refusal to prosecute those who clearly played a part in the economic disaster as well as those who fraudulently got us into the Iraq War, the continued support for policies on spying and torture, escalation and extension of the Afghanistan War, and his refusal to put on those walking shoes for the Wisconsin Unions just added to the disappointment.  

Throughout, Obama continued to try and win favor from Republicans, despite being spat on repeatedly.  He precapitulated repeatedly and bent over backwards to accommodate them to no avail.  I wondered if he was going for sainthood rather than a second term.  I also thought he was weak, naive and a bad negotiator.  But after seeing the same scenario replayed again and again, and knowing he isn't stupid and especially with a law degree he must know something about negotiating, realized something else must be going on.

My best explanation for Obama's behavior over the last 2+ years, is that he's using the Republicans as cover to advance a moderately conservative agenda.  The beauty of this is that, in addition to moving things to the right, he can blame the Republicans for it.  Of course, this conclusion also means that he pulled a bait and switch of historical proportions.  In other words, my initial tentativeness at supporting him was justified.  As I learned over the years, all these people but a rare few are just politician snake oil salesman whose main, if not only concern, is getting elected and reelected and who will use any expedient measure to do just that.  Obama is no different.  

So I'm back to where I started in a sense, not trusting the politicians as I learned in the '60s and '70s.  A friend lent me Chris Hedges' book, The Death of the Liberal Class, which as depressing as it is, was an eye-reopener.  Although not his focus, he put the Obama administration in context.  Just more corporatists dancing to the tune that the moneyed class plays. Obama just another Democrat joining in the dance.

I'll write off my "love affair" with Obama to temporary insanity.  I was taken in despite the fact that I knew from past experience not to trust these people who claim to have the masses' interests at heart.  The "accomplishments" of Obama's tenure take on a very different look once the love affair is over.  He provides some crumbs to the middle class and poor, but gives the cake to industry and the moneyed class.  Some of those crumbs are important to some people (including myself), but the bigger picture tells the real story.  

So, thank you, President Obama.  You have put me back on track - one that is in collision or orthogonal to yours.  You've re-radicalized me. I am re-energized.  Now, I just need to find the right train to carry me from here.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Don't be too hard on yourself, modern marketing (6+ / 0-)

      is very powerful.  The US should be knee deep in protests, but marketing has been keeping us pacified so far.

      Obama is "a good man" to many democrats like Bush was "a good man" to republicans.

      by The Dead Man on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:00:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For many, I don't think it had (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, The Dead Man, mookins

        anything to do with "modern marketing."  It's been a desperate search for forty years to find a viable Democratic POTUS candidate who was a Democrat.  Had that marketing worked better, enough Democratic primary voters would still have believed that Bill Clinton had been a good Democratic POTUS and we wouldn't have wanted more of that and nominated Hillary.  We wanted and needed hope and change -- Obama said, "I'm that man."  We are not responsible for giving him the chance to demonstrate his claim.  He is responsible for being a liar.

      •  that works until ... (0+ / 0-)

        it stops working.

        Hint (which I know you don't need): L-O-N-D-O-N.

        Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 01:58:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good Diary (5+ / 0-)

      Chris Hedges analysis about the direction of this country seems pretty accurate to me. I believe he's right when he suggests that we stop supporting the Democratic party as it is and build our own movement. It's going to take time and chances are things are going to get a lot worse in the is country before they get better, but I think the left in this country needs to cultivate a real Social Democratic narrative and set of solutions so that when the sh&t really hits the fan, we can present a real alternative to the Corporate fascists who control the 2 major parties.

      "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle"

      by terhuxtim on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:05:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're gonna HATE the direction of the country (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod, flhiii88

        under the Supreme Court as it will stand for the next generation if we let a Republican get the White House in 2012.

        Vote Obama if for no reason other than to protect the Supreme Court from a hard-right conservative majority for the next 25 years.

        •  They're LOST for the current generation (4+ / 0-)

          It doesn't matter what we do within the context of supporting one of the current corporately-owned political parties. They are both going to generally enact policies that continue the slide toward stronger forms of plutocracy.

          The ONLY hope is for enough of us to physically disrupt the machinations of Wall Street and K Street. Throw a cog in the fucking machine and break it. Force the discussion to come to the street.

          The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Time to change the rules of the game.

          "Respect for the rights of others is peace." -- Benito Juarez, president of Mexico

          by Blue Boy Red State on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:04:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  An idea about this... (0+ / 0-)

            I don't know much about finance but have heard that prior to the Great Depression the majority of the people were widely invested in the stock market.  We have the same situation now with so many people having 401Ks.  This leads to a real lack of shareholder accountability in running companies because they have many small holders.  Is there a way to get a Progressive Proxy Agent that we could trust to vote our shares for us as a collective?  Someone like a Nader or an Elizabeth Warren?

        •  what part of (0+ / 0-)

          "It's the economy, stupid." Bill Clinton do I need to explain to you?

          Austerity budget = drastically increased unemployment and reduced / negative economic growth. I think the US will be lucky if official unemployment is only 15% with real unemployment north of twice that by November 2012.

          We may even have scattered civil disorder (nobody expected London to go off, either) by Election Day.

          By election day, Democrats will have controlled the Senate and White Hou
          se for 4 years and the House for 2. The Democrats get to own the economic disaster in progress. It's called accountability.

          The only source of new political support I know of for Obama is Wall Street. They'll buy Obama the election if it is possible to do so.

          Vote for Obama or don't. Donate to Obama or don't. GOTV for Obama or don't.

          He is still going to get buried in a 1932-style landslide (not surprising, his economic program didn't work when Hoover tried it, either) unless The Squid can buy him a miracle. Maybe they can.

          But when you try to tell someone to vote for Obama because [insert batshit crazy GOP nominee here] who's afraid of being homeless by Election Day that the GOP will appoint Satan to the SCOTUS, what's that person going to say to you?

          What can we do through the political process that might actually work? Save as many real progressives as we can. If nothing else, as the potential core for a new party to replace a pwn3d Democratic Party.

          Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 02:17:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Bill Maher did an excellent job of framing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        politicjock, DavidHeart, blacksnake

        Americans as Socialists in denial who therefore get a very bad and crappy form of Socialism - he said we love our Medicare and Social Security and Fannie and Freddie and  corporate welfare but we won't admit it whereas

        The Europeans who don't fight the label "Socialism" have  national health, free college, retirement, long vacations, free daycare, etc.

        I thought he made an excellent point and one that should be picked up and carried by others.

    •  you had me so excited until your last sentence (3+ / 0-)
      Now, I just need to find the right train to carry me from here.

      why are you waiting for someone else to lead you, accumbens?  why don't you lead?  

      right now, i am learning economics in college (at 37 with a full time career) so i don't have to just wait for some asshole politician to fix this shit our country has gotten itself into.  it's gonna take me a few more years but i'm working hard.  when i finish learning i am going to use it.  

      not everyone can squeeze in years for an economics degree, but all of us can figure out something we can do.  we don't have to wait around for the next train.  we can be the train that attracts others to join!  that's what be radical is.  it's being a leader.

      What would Jesus do if he found a briefcase filled with money tucked under his seat at a movie theater?

      by Anton Bursch on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:52:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep - completely agree with this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You're dead on, Anton Bursch. Change begins with each of us - now.

        "Respect for the rights of others is peace." -- Benito Juarez, president of Mexico

        by Blue Boy Red State on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:05:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "We are all leaders." IWW motto (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        prfb, UnionDaughter

        Agreed, Anton.

        And beware of what they're teaching you in those Ec classes.  Most of it is bullshit, no more founded in fact than some religious myth.

      •  Leaders need followers... (0+ / 0-)

        We can't all be the train, some are passengers.  Why don't you share your solutions and be a train for others instead of being so self-righteous?

        •  i was attempting to encourage accumbens (0+ / 0-)

          sometimes people who are capable of leading don't ever try because they are reluctant to presume that they should expect others to follow them

          sometimes what these leaders need is for someone to tell them that they can lead

          as for who is a leader and who is a follower... leaders are merely people who's actions inspire others to act.  anyone can be a leader.  and with 300 millions aimless wanderers in this country, anyone with the balls to act first should, because if they don't then there probably won't be any action.

          i am acting.  I have been.  but, just like anything complex, you gotta learn to fly before you jump off a roof.  I'll be ready in a few years.

          What would Jesus do if he found a briefcase filled with money tucked under his seat at a movie theater?

          by Anton Bursch on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:33:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry I misread you.. (0+ / 0-)

            I've been so angry lately......been snapping at dragonflies!

            Saw "economics" thought Future Hedge Fund Manager...saw "be a leader"  thought "Be the Change".  

            It is very cool that you're studying economics from a progressive standpoint, I've been wishing I understood it better myself lately.

  •  So what does this mean exactly? (0+ / 0-)

    You wont vote for him in 2012?

  •  Are you voting for him in 2012? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Whether or not you'll be voting for the Democratic candidate for President in 2012 is the only thing that interests me.

    •  To respond to you and jj32 ... (4+ / 0-)

      Right now, I am not inclined to vote for Obama, although I might vote for someone else depending on who else runs (not a Republican, conservative or Libertarian).

      Although I don't buy it 100%, Hedge's relates a quote by Phillip Berrigan to the effect that, "If voting mattered, they'd make it illegal."  There's a lot of truth to that and even more as time goes on.

      Frankly, the only argument I see for voting for Obama is the implication for the Supreme Court.  But I am not convinced that if reelected he would necessarily nominate another liberal leaning person.  I could see him nominate another Kennedy type - middle of the roader.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:16:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well he's NOT going to nominate a RIGHT-winger (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flhiii88, RageKage, UnionDaughter

        whereas you can be CERTAIN a hard right-winger is what we'll get from a Republican president.

        If that's not reason enough to get you to the polls for Obama in 2012, I don't know what to say to you.

        And it's not just Roe vs Wade.  It's every bit of legislation that comes up to the Supreme Court for the next generation.  Every bit of labor law.  Every bit of social legislation.  Everything that matters to America's future would be adjudicated by a hard-right conservative majority Supreme Court.

        Please, please vote for Obama in 2012, even if you have to hold your nose AND get drunk first to do it.

      •  Do you believe in write-ins? n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Berrigan was quoting Emma Goldman. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.

        Emma Goldman

        An update from David Graeber (paraphrased):

        How many voters does it take to change things?

        Trick question.  Voters never change anything.

        I've been re-radicalized as well, but by the euphoria that the fall of Lehman generated in me not disappointment in Obama who always struck me as a tool of the elites.

        This time around, I'm completely skeptical of the idea that good can be accomplished through the State, so anarchism is the route for me.

      •  oh please. (0+ / 0-)

        i don't care who you vote for.
        and i don't care that no longer support him.
        i did not read most of your diary because it was all about you, you, you and you and then you again.
        and i don't expect you to read a diary all about me, me  me and me.
        who cares.
        it's like going to Ikea and having to listen to every single person in the four mile check out line go on and on and on about who they are, who they like, what the did when they were young, how they grew up, what they eat, blah blah blah.

        so, what i'm commenting on is your nonsense comment that obama would hire a gop like judge.
        kagan and sotomeyer vote with Ginsberg.
        they are not GOP. they are NOT conservative.
        can you guys not make your point that you won't vote for him and don't like him WITHOUT making crap up at the same time?
        it's not that hard.

        meanwhile, i have come to the conclusion from reading posts that the average age here is definitely 65 and over.
        that is just an observation, so don't get all riled up.

        "Oh changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Mom ♥ 12.25.2007 ------- A true sportsman is a hunter lost in the woods and out of ammo. ~Robert Brault

        by Christin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:37:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seems to me your two diaries are quite (0+ / 0-)

          self-centered and much longer.  So yes, I didn't read all of them.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:28:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Flood of Obama money to DKOS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Another Obama ad appears for me in your diary as I write this. I noticed a surge of them after his latest capitulation on the debt that lead to the credit downgrade. He's pouring huge amounts of cash into DKOS.

    I also notice a flood of pro Obama comments on the site that coincides with the ads. Coincidence? The dissent is fading away. That's my observation anyway.

    In the beginning it was about getting the truth out, now it is about hiding the truth with spin to get Obama reelected.

    Step aside Obama --Hillary 2012

    by Freedom Of Thinking on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:07:59 AM PDT

    •  Just imagine the Supreme Court (4+ / 0-)

      if Obama DOESN'T win.

      Imagine every bit of important legislation being adjudicted by a hard-right conservative Supreme Court for the next 25 years.

      And then get your butt to the polls for the Democratic candidate for President, who will be Barack Obama.

      •  because dems in the senate (0+ / 0-)

        won't fillibuster a hard right conservative? and/or repubs will confirm anyone left of center?  This is a lame argument, imo, because of the makeup of the senate in 2012.

        •  Obama must be replaced because of Supreme Ct (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The new weakened Obama against the emboldened Republicans will prevent a liberal judge.

          You are nuts if you think the new Tea Party Republicans will approve a liberal judge. It will be a conservative judge or no judge, guaranteed.

          Step aside Obama --Hillary 2012

          by Freedom Of Thinking on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:44:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  are you going to pull 10M middle-class jobs (0+ / 0-)

        out of your ass that don't require expenditure of public funds? Goldman Sachs isn't going to do it, that's 1500x Obama's projected campaign budget not including the actual stuff people will be building. And defeats the purpose of their political agenda.

        That's what winning for the Democrats in 2012 is going to take.

        Remember why Hoover lost in 1932 with similar "Wall Street first" response to a Depression? That's what we were set up for before the austerity budget.

        You can scare the informed voter segment about SCOTUS. The average citizen is a lot more worried about paying the rent or a mortgage if that person still has a home than about whether President Bachmann will appoint Satan incarnate to SCOTUS.

        How do you propose to convince that voter that re-electing Obama will keep a roof over her head? (No, lying won't work.) It is normal for people to be worried about basic survival these days and things are worse for millions of people than they were when Bush left office.

        The national Democratic Party is going to suppress turnout in 2012 far more effectively than the GOP ever dreamed possible. People are going to believe that the economy is going to continue to turn to shit, that their politicians will continue not to give a fuck, and that the elites will profit massively no matter who wins.

        What's ahead regardless of who wins, assuming continued Wall Street control of America's finances?

        Go read the London Rec List diaries. BTW, England has gun control.

        Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 03:01:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dissent is fading? Here at DK? Really? LOL!!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flhiii88, Christin

      That doesn't even pass the laugh test.

      I think those scared to fight Republicans should just say so and work to overcome your Obama-obsession. Everything is his fault. Nothing can be done unless he does it. Happiness and satisfaction for this group depends on him alone. In this alternative universe, Republicans can be overcome by words and drama.

      Best of luck to you folks. Those of us rooted in the 21st Century, who are fighting for survival, not trying to relive the good ol' days, will be working hard to defeat Republicans. We correctly identify the real problem. work in the real world to persuade others to correctly identify that problem, and then change their voting habits. We have no need to hide in an echo chamber.

      "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

      by sebastianguy99 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:52:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama turns your good Dems into capitulaters (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RageKage, blacksnake

        An example of why Obama is the problem; He can control the other elected good Democrats like Pelosi and make her capitulate. A Democratic President would not suppress Pelosi, a Republican president could not control Pelosi and other good Dems.

        Step aside Obama --Hillary 2012

        by Freedom Of Thinking on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:51:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Democracy is messy. Leave the fighting to fighters (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I accept some don't have the stomach for the fight we are in. It's sad that we have to fight on both flanks, but if that is what people force us to do, so be it.

          But don't come complaining to us why politicians ignore the left of the Left and head for the mythical mushy middle. You should want to grow the ranks, not shrink them.

          "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

          by sebastianguy99 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:30:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  here are your fighters right here! (0+ / 0-)

            Your kind of people! People who you can stand shoulder to shoulder with and march on to victory!

            A just-released study by the Center for Responsive Politics shows that President Obama is relying more on Wall Street to fund his re-election this year than he did in 2008, according to CNBC, which obtained an advance copy of the report.
            . . .

             "Individuals who work in the finance, insurance, and real estate sector are responsible for raising at least $11.3 million for Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee," the report says.

            , . .

             Obama has even added new Wall Streeters who did not work for him in 2008, including former Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine, Evercore Partners executive Charles Myers, Greenstreet Real Estate Partners CEO Steven Green, and Azita Raji, a former investment banker for JPMorgan.

            Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 03:09:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  omg! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      here, i have some more tin foil for you.

      do not know what google ads are, for real?
      holy crap. and your CT gets recc'd.

      "Oh changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Mom ♥ 12.25.2007 ------- A true sportsman is a hunter lost in the woods and out of ammo. ~Robert Brault

      by Christin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:39:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The irony of your username. (0+ / 0-)
  •  This is the best summary I've read here about (2+ / 0-)

    the Obama presidency.  Excellent!  Tipped, recommended, and saved for future reference...

  •  Very well said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was tentative in 2008, became enthusiastic, I know others who felt the same.  All of us were concerned because we had been through the 60's and 70's.  I gave in to "hope."  He is what we have right now, but I, too, am re-radicalized and looking for that same train.  We start, however, in a place I can get to by car-Wisconsin.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:01:03 PM PDT

  •  FWIW (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't think it hurts to have push back from the outside...working from the inside takes a bit longer and is sometimes unsuccessful and unsatisfying...unless you're a Teabagger, but, of course, they took over their precincts and their agenda is detrimental to society.

    People need to feel as if they are important in any consideration or legislation formed in D.C., and especially now when it couldn't be more clear that we are facing a national crisis.  They haven't been listening.

    "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

    by valadon on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:14:03 PM PDT

  •  There Were Plenty of Signs He's a Conservative (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    strangedemocracy, NyteByrd1954

    before his election.

    I voted for him over Hillary because I felt he'd fight a broader national campaign and arrive with a bigger majority to start.

    But with either of them it was a pure hail-mary pass to hope they'd have the same conversion experience the moderate FDR had when he saw the true state of affairs before swearing in.

    Didn't happen; ok 1 for 2.

    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 Aug 06, 2011 at 12:16:56 PM PDT

  •  The worshiping of Ronnie Ray-Gun made the (0+ / 0-)

    hairs on my neck spring up as well.  So many of us just don't know what to do about this....

  •  Feel your pain... (0+ / 0-)

    LIke you, I was suspicious from the start...Bush tax cuts convinced me that he was at a minimum a bad President and would screw us over during the debt ceiling debate.  So I determined to ignore the whole thing and try to enjoy my life.  But then he had to come out and threaten people's Social Security checks....I became engraged and remain furious.  I have a great friend who used to work as a computer programmer.  He has been unemployed for three years and unable to find permanent work of any kind and is 5 years from retirement.  His wife is disabled and when he cannot find temp work her check is all they have to live on.  As a black man, he once had such great hope in this historic President.  It was heartbreaking when he called me with this news.  

    Why did he make this threat?  To scare Republicans in a brilliant chess move?  Naw.  It did wake everybody up, but he did this to scare us into capitiulating on SS and Medicare.  Asshat.  A real leader would have never scared this own people and played this game of "create a crisis" to try to usurp the legislative power of the purse.  He would have used the Constitution, the bully pulpit, Executive Order or whatever it took to shut this game down.  At a minimum he would have threatened to stop Congressional checks, not the checks of the needy.  This was a game of his own choosing.  

    So, I've heard that Nader is thinking of finding a primary candidate.  I've heard arguments both for and against primarying him, with some validity on both sides.  I think we have to see who, if anyone emerges to challenge him and assess the situation then.  It seems to me quite likely that the Republican party may split this time and have at least one other third party challenger themselves.  Ron Paul seems likely and the teabaggers may get Perry to do it also.  It might be an opening for a true Progressive ticket, who knows?

    More importantly for now, I'm looking at the situation in Congress.  We have a Tea Party caucus dedicated to saying NO to everything Obama proposes and with that we may be able to stop him from doing anything really bad, like the Columbia trade agreement.  This may actually give us a more powerful position than the traitor Blue Dogs did.  

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