Skip to main content

Kos just posted an article titled Obama is Winning, Period, and I tend to agree with this assessment, but I have to follow it up with a big fat so what?

To paraphrase something Harvey Weinstein said a couple weeks ago when Rachel Maddow asked why the big funders on the Democratic side weren't pouring money into Obama's campaign the same way they did in 2008, money makes a difference, but sometimes you have a candidate that just can't win no matter how much they spend. And despite all the things that Obama has stacked against him, Mitt Romney appears to be that candidate.

Would we be worse off with Romney as President? From his tax plans to his talk on health care to his recent trip abroad, all signs point to yes. But with polls indicating that Congress will likely stay in Republican hands, and the Senate may be up for grabs as well, are we missing the real story?

While the money in the Presidential race may not end up having a major impact, the impact will certainly be felt more strongly when it comes to races at lower levels. And with the country polarized as ever, and the GOP tacking ever further to the right and taking uncompromising lines, even if Obama gets elected, what will he be able to accomplish with a divided Congress? Will we get more progressive tax policies? Will we get a strong jobs bill? Will we rebuild our rapidly deteriorating infrastructure? Will we fix our broken educational system? Will we implement a sustainable energy policy? And if we do get any of these things, will they be enough?

The answer to that last question may hinge on the most important question of all. It is not a question of Democrats or Republicans, but a question we have struggled with since the founding of this country. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison spoke of it. Abraham Lincoln spoke of it. Woodrow Wilson spoke of it. But perhaps it was Teddy Roosevelt who said it best:

At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will.
The truly important question in not who we want to be President, or who is going to win, it's whether or not we the people are going to continue to accept a system that provides misplaced incentives and creates conflicts of interest for our public officials between doing what is right by the people, and doing what is in their own personal interest, whether it be in the form of securing campaign donations or other personal benefits.

And so I ask, are We, the citizens of the United States of America going to reclaim a democracy of, by and for the people? For if we do not, it does not much matter who the President is.

Originally posted to Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 01:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Hippie.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

    by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 01:55:12 PM PDT

  •  Well there is that whole SCOTUS thing (27+ / 0-)

    If you want to see Citizens United overturned your going to need a better SCOTUS. And with Romney at the helm you can be 110% guaranteed it'll get worse, not better. Yeah, some parts of democracy are broken, horribly so. But just tossing in the towel and saying, "Fuck it", isn't a great strategy.

    Many people thought Bush was "the kind of guy you wanted to have a beer with". People are beginning to realize that Romney is "the kind of guy you want to pour a beer on".

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 01:58:36 PM PDT

    •  yes, there is that whole SCOTUS thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      puakev

      and there is also that whole possible Constitutional amendment thing. agreed on tossing in the towel...whose strategy is that?

      The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

      by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:11:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Frank - I think you are right (3+ / 0-)

        that the real impact of Citizens United will be down ticket in races for the House and Senate and at the state level. In fact, if the race for POTUS isn't close heading into October I think that you will see the independent groups change focus to the House and Senate. From the GOP perspective it is imperative that they keep the House.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:36:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but your diary read like another (0+ / 0-)

        "We're screwed and there's nothing we can do about it"

        Many people thought Bush was "the kind of guy you wanted to have a beer with". People are beginning to realize that Romney is "the kind of guy you want to pour a beer on".

        by ontheleftcoast on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:53:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i know i've been mia for a while (0+ / 0-)

          but haven't we talked enough for you to know that's not the case? i am in fact working on doing something about it, and if it comes to fruition, it may just end up being the thing that prevents us from getting screwed and worse.

          the reactionary left makes me want to give up even more than the reactionary right though. maybe i should just go back to writing political satire.

          The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

          by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:49:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  sigh... I just want to scream sometimes.... (6+ / 0-)

    changing things is hard work...

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

    by Statusquomustgo on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:11:43 PM PDT

    •  The GOP wants it to be HARD (5+ / 0-)

      that's why they spend time enacting all that bullsh*t legislation at the state level, so we have to waste our resources having to defeat it via recall or special initiative elections or court challenges.

      Make no mistake - they have CALCULATED exactly how to gum up the works of democracy in order to get their way!

      For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

      by dagnome on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:30:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  of course, if i wanted to rig an election (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Statusquomustgo

        it wouldn't be by conspiring with thousands of voters to get them to vote more than once...it would be by passing laws that would make it tougher for people who I thought would vote for the other side to vote, or challenging those votes, or by manipulating the electronic voting software.

        The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

        by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:48:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Actually it matters a great deal (8+ / 0-)

    who gets elected, but you knew that before you wrote this.

    Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

    by jsfox on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:22:43 PM PDT

  •  This Election Will Be The Consummate Test.... (4+ / 0-)

    $6 BILLION dollars is expected to be spent by November 6th.  Guess which candidate will receive the lion's share of that money?

    Despite that, I still expect democracy to prevail, & President Obama to be elected for a second term.  But in the meantime, there is nothing wrong w/ amending Citizens United.

    If they can't pull off a win w/ Citizens United greasing the skids, Republicans are dead in the water for generations to come.  

    •  That is so obscene. And, as SC Justice Potter (0+ / 0-)

      Stewart opined, "I know it when I see it."

      I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that. [Emphasis added.]
      —Justice Potter Stewart

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:14:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the GOP doesn't change, (6+ / 0-)

    it will be unable to elect another president. A string of Democratic presidents will fundamentally change the Court, and that, together with the actions of the presidents, will mean everything.

  •  It will all depend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet

    I know these last three and a half years the GOP have made defeating Obama in Nov as their goal. If he wins but they have full control of the Congress will they be able to break bread with each other?

    It depends if the TP wing will still have that uncompromising attitude. They know Obama will have nothing to lose cause he would be term limited, but their constituents maybe getting impatient with them if they still see that nothing is getting done for the country; they'll start worry about their own reelection and the leadership in the GOP will worry about their majority in 2014 if Congress is gridlocked once again.

    Another big factor will be if the Senate will get rid of the 60 vote majority to pass anything. Even if they win back the Senate the republicans will not reach the 60 mark, so it will have to involve the leadership in getting the rank and file in line to pass something.

  •  why are you here? If you honestly believe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Larsstephens

    an Obama victory is a "big, fat so what," why don't you go volunteer at your local soup kitchen or play with the local Green Party or something else instead of wasting your time here?

    The "big fat so what" was most emphatically NOT a "so what" after Obama's first week of office, when he reversed the Bush administration's ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or even provide abortion information.

    I suspect a lot of you guys (mostly young I suspect) really truly don;t care very much about the difference between Obama and Romney as far as access to abortion and birth control for women, at home (god help us) and abroad, but surely, anybody even the slightest bit of consciousness regarding environmental issues must recognize that the key to reversing the horrendous effects of overpopulation on Mother Earth and on human culture worldwide is reproductive choice for women internationally.

    •  I'm here for something more important (0+ / 0-)

      than who gets elected President. The differences between Obama and Romney will be inconsequential if we do not reframe the conversation and give the people control over their democracy again.

      The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

      by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:42:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  or perhaps not inconsequential, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        puakev

        the influence of special interest money over our democratic processes is central to all others.

        The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

        by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:49:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It doesn't matter who is President? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GWinkler, Rooe

    Ask the over 6,000 American families who lost a loved one to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars if it doesn't matter who is President.

    Or the nearly 50,000 American families whose loved one was injured in those wars if it doesn't matter who is President.

    How about asking the countless dead civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, since 2001, and their families if it doesn't matter who is President.

    That's just the carnage of the US Armed Forces and civilians in the two nations our country invaded under the direction of President George W. Bush.

    Now, tell me again, how it doesn't matter who is President.

    * * *
    I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
    * * *
    "A Better World is Possible"
    -- #Occupy

    by Angie in WA State on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 03:12:13 PM PDT

    •  It doesn't matter who is President. (0+ / 0-)

      At least not as much as it matters who control Congress, or even more importantly whether or not our public officials have a greater incentive to do what's best for the people vs. what's best for a select few (say, oil tycoons and defense contractors).

      Hindsight is of course 20/20, but really we can't be certain things would have been all that different under a Democratic President. Regardless though, the point of this was to say that even if Obama gets re-elected, which it looks like he will, there are more important issues that we need to be talking about because his re-election alone isn't going to get us where we want to go...and you are helping me prove my point. You want to prevent something another Iraq or Afghanistan? It all starts with campaign finance reform.  

      Good to see I got your blood boiling a bit. We're all on the same team here though, so there's no sense in lashing out against each other.

      The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

      by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:03:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What do you suggest as way to 'reclaim (0+ / 0-)

    democracy for the people'? 'Second amendment remedies'? Or you have some brilliant plan that you refuse to share b/c it will become compromised?

    •  well i am working on remedying the second amdmnt (0+ / 0-)

      Scalia's liberal interpretation of it really bothers me. The second amendment does not say anything about an individual's right to bear arms.

      As for the plan, it involves a coalition of organizations left right and center working to find common solutions to common problems based on common values. There are some real players involved, and with any luck you'll be hearing more before the end of the month.

      The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

      by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:13:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and, your suggestions to reclaim democracy (0+ / 0-)

    are . . . ???

    •  I'm getting to that you'll hear more soon n/t (0+ / 0-)

      The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

      by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 03:45:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ah. i see. so, you can't answer the most (0+ / 0-)

        important point in your whole piece b/c . . .

        you ran out of time?

        it increases suspense?

        or you want to spread the indoctrination out like glenn beck did/does?

        •  not exactly (0+ / 0-)

          I cannot make any announcements until I have something to announce though, but a number of organizations are coming together to work on this, and we'll hopefully have something before the end of the month.

          The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

          by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:32:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  from reading your history, your answer (0+ / 0-)

            sounds familiar -- & like it came right out of mitt romney's mouth:  i can't say anything for certain (insert topic being asked about here) at the moment, but i'll check into it & have someone on my staff get back to you.

            btw, how's that outreach to redstate going -- the one a kossack suggested try, since you claimed your real purpose here at dkos was to win over conservatives who weren't hardcore teabaggers . . . ?

            •  skeptics be damned (0+ / 0-)

              think what you want, done enough research on conservatives...and now i think enough talking to liberals who want to piss in the pot too.

              Rebuilddemocracy.org, rootstrikers.org, indecan.org, agreater.us...watch for these and more orgs like them to rally around a central message and plan of action.

              as one of the lawyers on our team would say though, thanks for the fish.

              The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

              by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:59:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  for someone who professes such passion for (0+ / 0-)

                democracy, blah, blah, blah, you certainly have no stomach for the fight & choose to take your toys & run home when the discussion gets too close to the truth.

                that reminds me of mitt romney, too.

  •  I'm starting a hedge fund... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Lee Speaking

    so I can rob rich people of the money they took from us and I am going to use the ill gotten gains to fund shelters, food banks and all that.

    Seems we can't tax the fuckers, but as Madoff and the other hedge fund fuckers showed, you can rob them blind.

    As a nation, the U.S. consumes the most hot dogs per capita. So you'd be wise to never underestimate our powers of denial.

    by jbou on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 03:35:21 PM PDT

    •  just don't do anything illegal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbou

      or at least don't get caught ;)

      The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

      by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:14:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Plaudits on the subtlety of trolling. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alain2112, Larsstephens

    The question of the presidency is hardly decided, and it serves no one but Mitt Romney to pretend it has been.  Nor is it remotely relevant to say "we still might lose" because one election isn't everything - obviously.  You can win an Olympic gold medal and still be hit by a car the next day.  If these are your sincere thoughts, then they are utterly trivial, unhelpful, and without incisive reflection.  But if their intent is to make us complacent in the immediate struggle, I give you credit for competent work.  Not brilliant, but competent.

    Republicans hate you more than they love their children.

    by Troubadour on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:06:45 PM PDT

    •  well Kos himself said Obama is Winning Period (0+ / 0-)

      So take it up with him. But you're right...I've long said never underestimate the right.

      Way off the mark on the second half though. Is it trivial, unhelpful or without reflection to say what happens further down the ticket is at least as important as the Presidential race and will be impacted more by the spending of special interests? Or that the central issue is of the influence of money in politics, which cannot be fixed by either party?

      These are my sincere thoughts, and I do not see how this breeds complacency in the immediate struggle, but merely shifts the focus to a different perspective.  

      The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. -James Madison

      by Frank Lee Speaking on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:39:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site