Skip to main content

Cross-posted from Voices on the Square...
Welcome to You're Doing It Wrong, a weekly column taking the Powers That Be (PTB) - whether they be political, media, or business - to task for poor information, poor framing, and poor leadership.
This is an extraordinary piece by John Cusack with Jonathan Turley that needs to be read by everyone, and especially by those of us who consider ourselves progressives and/or liberals. It's long, but it's well worth the read. Printed in its entirety at Voices on the Square with permission from the author, John Cusack.

***
By John Cusack

Now that the Republican primary circus is over, I started to think about what it would mean to vote for Obama…

Since mostly we hear from the daily hypocrisies of Mitt and friends, I thought we should examine “our guy” on a few issues with a bit more scrutiny than we hear from the “progressive left”, which seems to be little or none at all.

Instead of scrutiny, the usual arguments in favor of another Obama presidency are made: We must stop fanatics;—he’s the last line of defense from the corporate barbarians—and of course the Supreme Court. It all makes a terrible kind of sense and I agree completely with Garry Wills who described the Republican primaries as “ a revolting combination of con men and fanatics…the current primary race has become a demonstration that the Republican party does not deserve serious consideration for public office.”

True enough.

But yet…

***

You can read John Cusack's post in its entirety over at Voices on the Square...

Originally posted to poli's pages on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Rebel Alliance and Progressive Policy Zone.

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

  •  Tips for holding feet to the fire! :D nt (24+ / 0-)

    A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

    by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:01:53 PM PDT

  •  Quite interesting. They both nail something (12+ / 0-)

    many who would normally support the democratic party, especially those on the left, are undoubtedly struggling with now.  It seems like such a common sentiment that I wonder how many of us are out there.  The Rubicon has been passed for alot of us, myself included with the continued empire building, war making, lack of accountability, and civil liberties erosions.  Make him earn it?  I wonder if it's entirely too late for that.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:18:18 PM PDT

    •  i think it may be too late... (13+ / 0-)

      indeed... but this post by Cusack lays out the best description of why i, someone who has been a lefty Dem for decades, have some big problems with the Obama Admin and what they are.

      i have yet to read a better descriptive piece...

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:21:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The party has been stolen and the thieves (6+ / 0-)

        who took it are pretending it was theirs all along.  
        So to speak anyway, if one ever really believed in that sort of thing.

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:27:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Different from Clinton, how, though? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, PhilJD, shaharazade

        As a far left radical (and proud of it) I have had some serious issues with the Democratic party since Clinton, which is the first election I was old enough to vote in. This embrace of authoritarianism and empire is nothing new.
        So I ask you, what has Obama done that is worse than what Clinton did? Is any of this creeping authoritarianism actually new?

        •  it's been codified. nt (6+ / 0-)

          A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

          by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:36:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Could you provide a link? (0+ / 0-)

            I would be interested in seeing a comparison of the Obama vs. Clinton presidencies.

            •  i don't have a link at the ready, but (5+ / 0-)

              the signing into law of the NDAA is way more authoritarian than anything Clinton signed into law, civil liberty-wise...

              A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

              by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:55:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  also the non-prosecution of war... (7+ / 0-)

              crimes...

              A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

              by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:55:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well I can see why trials wasn't the best (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OIL GUY

                option.

                His presidency was embattled since day one. How would it have looked if the President immediately initiated what would look like to at least have the country partisan war crimes trials?

                ***********

                Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

                Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

                SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

                by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:00:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  *half not have n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  ***********

                  Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

                  Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

                  SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

                  by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:01:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  the best option for who? i think (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  allenjo, chuckvw, PhilJD, triv33

                  that's part of the point Cusack and Turley are making, and it's one i agree with...

                  A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                  by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:35:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  if you are accusing a politician of doing (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    poligirl, OIL GUY

                    something politically expedient, well...

                    color me shocked.

                    ***********

                    Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

                    Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

                    SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

                    by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:45:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  well yeah, except that the politically (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      chuckvw, PhilJD, triv33

                      expedient thing in this case was very bad for the country; very bad for the rule of law; very bad in the eyes of the world; and very bad for the treaties we are party to... but hey - Obama saved his political behind, so all's good right?

                      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                      by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:49:26 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh c'mon, what about the families... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        poligirl

                        .... of all those people killed by Obama's drones? If you were in their shoes, wouldn't you be thrilled that your loved ones were killed by an intelligent, thoughtful, charismatic guy like Obama rather than a crazy man like Bush?

                        "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

                        by ratmach on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 05:49:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  I think a big reason Obama.... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poligirl, SethRightmer

                      .... didn't go after Bush is because he wanted to make sure the options Bush had available to him remained available to Obama. Whether those options were immoral, illegal, EVIL... really didn't matter a whole lot.

                      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

                      by ratmach on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 05:46:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  How would it have looked? (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poligirl, allenjo, Shahryar, PhilJD, triv33

                  It would have looked like the rule of law was being upheld.

                  How would it have looked if the President immediately initiated what would look like to at least have the country partisan war crimes trials?
                  And it would haven't been "partisian," it would have been upholding the rule of law, which supposedly is non-partisan.
                  •  to us, sure. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gooderservice

                    we, unfortunately, are not in the majority in this country.

                    I can't imagine how trials would have played on the nightly news shows, the sunday talks shows, and in the 24-hour media proper.

                    He would have been pilloried. Personally, I think his presidency would have been over before it started had he started in with the trials stuff.

                    but for the record I would have loved to see them behind bars.

                    ***********

                    Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

                    Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

                    SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

                    by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:44:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  the reason we're not in the majority (4+ / 0-)

                      is because we kept doing what we were supposed to do as our civic duty - voting for the candidate and letting it stand at that.

                      we stood by instead of rising up as the media got more tabloidesque and dumbed down  the majority of the populace.

                      we stood by instead of mounting serious pressure on our own party as it slowly but surely got us to where we are now...

                      the time to stand up is anytime. but it would've been a helluva lot better had we all not bought in to the GOP/Dem paradigm that Turley and Cusack talk about, and stood up earlier...

                      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                      by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 04:04:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  but seriously, what other paradigm is there to (1+ / 0-)

                        buy into?

                        Find it and I am there, till then this is all we got...

                        ***********

                        Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

                        Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

                        SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

                        by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 04:07:43 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  none. we need to start creating (0+ / 0-)

                          a new one... which means as uncomfortable as it may be, we have to shed our allegiance to the old one...

                          A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                          by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 06:03:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  I hear you, but I disagree. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poligirl

                      And I'm not just laying this at the feet of Obama.  I hold all the Democratic leaders at fault.

                      I can't imagine how trials would have played on the nightly news shows, the sunday talks shows, and in the 24-hour media proper.
                      I can imagine serious great/good leaders explaining to the American people what the laws are, how they were broken, and what they're going to do to bring people to justice.

                      I'm not even sure I would have minded if in the end, Bush and Cheney got pardoned.  But it's up to our leaders to uphold the Constitution, lead the way, show people what's right, what's wrong, what won't be tolerated.

                      I think too much time and effort is spent worrying about what the clowns on the cable shows and network shows say.  They need to be taught.

              •  Well, that's old hat (0+ / 0-)

                What sitting president has EVER prosecuted anyone from a previous administration? I'll give you the 2012 NDAA as being simply terrible, but a judge did strike down the most appalling part (not that that exonerates Obama at all) and I recall some executive orders from Clinton that were as bad, although they were never used.

                Anyway, not trying to argue that Obama is in any way in the right here. Nor saying that Clinton's actions excuse Obama's. Just trying to get some perspective on how bad things are in comparison. I was also a bit more of  a radical in my twenties than I am today, and therefore probably a little harder on Clinton than I am on Obama.

                •  for war crimes that were admitted to... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PhilJD, triv33

                  by many of the players - for something that blatant wrong and immoral? i doubt many if any presidents have had to deal with something that brazenly wrong.

                  A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                  by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:50:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's a question (0+ / 0-)

                    Should President Truman have been tried as a war criminal? I doubt that anything that has been done by any President since could rival Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even prior to that there was the targeting of civilian populations in the fire bombings of Dresden and Tokyo. Those happened on FDR's watch.

                    Nothing human is alien to me.

                    by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:55:59 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  targeting a president for something done... (0+ / 0-)

                      in a declared war with a specific country, as loathsome as it was, is a lot different from torturing. if Truman had given the go ahead to torture our POWs, then yes, he should've be tried for war crimes... but that didn't happen.

                      but your hypothetical is an apples oranges situation. the massive civilian casualties caused by our own drone bombing right now are wrong, and should not be happening, but i don't believe they rise to the standard of war crimes.

                      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                      by poligirl on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 10:09:56 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Not new, the only things that are really new are (6+ / 0-)

          the blatant laws, Acts, and organizations that have been created since Bush and expanded under Obama.  Other than that, it's creeping out of control.

          "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:42:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If nothing else, Clinton didn't drink (6+ / 0-)

          the bipartisan koolaid.

          When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

          by PhilJD on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:14:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I too was dismayed (5+ / 0-)

          about Clinton and the DLC yuppie capture of the Democratic party. New Democrat's, Reagan Democrat's Third Wayer's what ever you want to call them they certainly are not democratic or Democratic. I think I took the Change and Hope bait because I thought Obama was not part of the Clinton Machine.

          I was wrong this administration is nothing but the same lot of sociopathic yuppies on steroids, and then some. Clinton paved the way but his administration did not out do the Bushies in either foreign policy or the economy. He held the door for the Bushies. They didn't call him Poppy's other son for nothing.  NAFTA, Glass-Steagal, daily flyover's in Irag as well as draconian economic sanctions, out sourcing, privatizing, deregulating? don't see why saying Clinton did it too, makes it okay. This administration has taken this anti-democratic direction to  to the max. They are so arrogant don't even bother to feel our pain.        

    •  Yeah, they are really struggling (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sviscusi, uciguy30, Don midwest

      It really explains the zero primary challengers Obama faced.

      •  I'm talking about people like John Cusack (7+ / 0-)

        and me and many of my friends who are struggling to decide whether to vote for Obama or not.  What does that have to do with primary challengers?

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:39:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I live in that I-4 corridor of Florida (7+ / 0-)

          supposedly the  most important swing part of the state, and I have heard very few people here saying they are voting for Obama. Too many I have chatted with are not voting at all.

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

          by allenjo on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:02:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Me, too. I know of no one who voted for (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BigAlinWashSt, allenjo, poligirl

            Obama in the general in 2008 who are voting for Romney in 2012.

            But I do know a lot of people who are skipping the presidential vote and only voting for Congress and local elections.

            •  i do however know several McCain voters... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice, ratmach

              who are voting for Obama this time around... telling ain't it?

              A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

              by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:51:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Obama's lost the lefty vote... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                allenjo, poligirl

                ... but he can always count on a few conservatives to take up the slack. Yeah, pretty telling.

                "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

                by ratmach on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 06:02:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How are you defining "Lefty"? (0+ / 0-)

                  Most of the "lefty's" I know are going to be casting a democratic ballot, even if its more a vote against the GOP rather than a vote for Obama.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:00:02 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  i think he means the lefties who... (0+ / 0-)

                    are standing on their principles... and you may not see it, but there are a whole lot of them... and i'm sure there are plenty of folks who consider themselves lefties who are going to vote too...

                    A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                    by poligirl on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 10:15:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Are you suggesting (0+ / 0-)

                      that Lefties who vote a Democratic ticket aren't "standing on principle?" That they are in fact unprincipled? Isn't it possible that they consider opposing the Right wing's drive for National Political dominance to be a first principle?

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:28:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  his new base? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ratmach, poligirl

                "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

                by allenjo on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 06:12:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, Obama HAS promised.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poligirl

                  .... to keep a stockpile of bottled hot water for dehydrated babies, should the need arise.

                  "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

                  by ratmach on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 06:19:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  yep - Reagan Democrats... color me... (0+ / 0-)

                  surprised...

                  A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                  by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:20:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, I talk with a bunch of people... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poligirl, allenjo, BigAlinWashSt

            ... who live in Florida. Of the ones who voted for Obama in '08, not one of them plan on voting for him this time. Only one plans on voting for Romney, but the rest are gonna sit it out. And of the Republicans and independents who are gonna vote for Romney?.... almost none of them are doing so enthusiastically, almost none of them LIKE Romney. But when you ask them, "Oh, so you might not bother to vote at all?"  They all, to a person, say what amounts to "Wrong! I absolutely WILL vote against Obama, even if I have to crawl to get there!"

            I thought Obama was a smart guy. But I'm beginning to wonder. He's been going on and on for the past few months about how the Repugs are bringing in so much more donations than the Dems. And he just keeps begging and begging his former supporters for money "so we can get our message out there."  But he just doesn't seem to understand that the lack of donations is a HUGE SIGN.... a sign that many, many people have given up on him. So what makes him think these same people are suddenly gonna jump out of bed on election day and run to the polls?.... I haven't the slightest idea.

            "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

            by ratmach on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 05:59:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  the zero primary challengers is (7+ / 0-)

        better explained by the knowledge that Obama is backed by everyone who holds the power and money in general terms, and has mounted an impressive charm offensive winning over many rank and file Dems. any run against him would've been smacked down hard.

        the puppetmasters may not love Obama (though i think they do), but they certainly wouldn't have let anyone speaking the truths in this article anywhere near a victory of any kind.

        A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

        by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:41:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or the non tin foil hat explanation (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          uciguy30

          that Obama's overwhelming popularity among liberals meant there wasnt much support for a primary challenger.

          •  right. the charm offensive. i mentioned (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, gooderservice

            that...

            A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

            by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:56:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I know of no liberals in my personal life... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poligirl

            .... who support Obama. NONE. I don't mean people who CLAIM to be "liberal". I mean people who live and breath it, who refuse to support a person just because they have a "D" next to their name.  Obama is NOT a liberal, not even close. So why, WHY should a liberal support a moderate 90s-style Republican?

            "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

            by ratmach on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 06:06:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because the alternative is worse (0+ / 0-)

              No one likes that answer but there it is.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:12:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  so we just keep buying in to the... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ratmach

                broken system with its false dichotomies and we keep watching things gets slowly worse and worse.

                basically, what you're saying is there's just no use trying to leverage some weight for change cuz in the end, the system is all we're gonna have so tough shit for us.

                now, if everybody rose up against the broken system, we might get somewhere, but as long as there are plenty of lefties who will just go along with the system to get along, no chance will happen. ever.

                A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                by poligirl on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 10:21:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Do you actually believe this? (0+ / 0-)
                  basically, what you're saying is there's just no use trying to leverage some weight for change cuz in the end, the system is all we're gonna have so tough shit for us.
                  "Basically" I didn't say anything remotely like this. The above is a reflection of your own subjective view.

                  It's important to actually examine differing viewpoints, rather than caricaturing them.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:34:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, very sadly, Obama didn't face any (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl

        primary challengers.  The partisan Dems with all the money would not have allowed that to happen.  They were too weak.

  •  we all loved Jonathan Turley during the Bush years (13+ / 0-)

    now he's as inconvenient as our President's old speeches.

  •  Another choice quote: (9+ / 0-)
    Hope means endless war
    Why do I doubt we'll be seeing THAT on an OFA bumper sticker?

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:25:23 PM PDT

  •  I hear this sort of thing all the time from (4+ / 0-)

    people who got their hearts broken by Barack.  They thought he promised them something, and now they are mad that he isn't who they thought he was.

    I remember the main thrust of BO's portrayal of himself during the campaign as someone who would seek consensus, and kick ass in Afghanistan.  Then Fox News informed everyone that he was a Muslim Che Guevara.  I figured the Idiot Right would buy that, but I have to admit I was a bit surprised that the Left did too.

    Obama beat Clinton on “I’m against the war and she is for it.”
    He did run against the war in Iraq.  And then he would immediately remind people that he was going to totally kick ass in Afghanistan.

    Then he got elected, cut deals with the Republicans (like he said he would), escalated Afghanistan (like he said he would), and then the crying started.

    I voted for BO in the last general election.  I will vote for him in this one.  I never wanted him to be my boyfriend.  The lesser of two evils is still less evil than the alternative.

    Your request has bad syntax or is inherently impossible to satisfy. --httpd_err400form

    by Bob Novak Douchebag of Liberty on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:32:59 PM PDT

  •  I'm still voting for Obama. /nt (1+ / 0-)
  •  the law is supposed to be better than us (9+ / 0-)

    except when it is politically inconvenient.

    Cusack:
    Right. So, in that sense, the Bush administration had set the precedent that the state can do anything it likes in the name of terror, and not only has Obama let that cement harden, but he’s actually expanded the power of the executive branch to do whatever it wants, or he’s lowered the bar — he’s lowered the law — to meet his convenience. He’s lowered the law to meet his personal political convenience rather than leaving it as something that, as Mario Cuomo said, the law is supposed to be better than us.

    Turley:
    That’s exactly right. In fact, President Obama has not only maintained the position of George W. Bush in the area of national securities and in civil liberties, he’s actually expanded on those positions. He is actually worse than George Bush in some areas.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:39:04 PM PDT

  •  Mr. Cusack makes a few points (7+ / 0-)

    but I fundamentally disagree with some of the comments at VOTS about withholding votes and whatnot.

    Its true, Obama has expanded the executive branch's powers far beyond what any good lefty ever thought he would. Am I upset? Sure am.

    But what evidence is there that Mr. Romney would reverse that trend. There is none. And I would dare venture a guess that presidential powers would expand greatly under him and Ryan if they were given a chance to hold this nation's highest office.

    Not only would they continue the trajectory toward more power for themselves, they would do their best to dismantle social security and medicare, and all other sorts of other social safety nets. If the republicans retain the senate and house, they might not increase the debt limit. They would repeal HCR (and say what you will, but its something, and without it I wont get health insurance any time soon), and reverse the small to modest gains this country has made in the years since the downturn.

    this election, for me, doesn't come down to who is more likeable, or even who has the best policies positions. It comes down to who is going to crash this country headlong into a tree when at the drivers seat. obama has show he at least the capacity to drive the damn car without getting his passengers killed. Rmoney's record as a politician? 100x more dismal than that. Look at the way he left Massachusetts. After the miracle that Dukakis worked in that state, he turned it into a burning train-wreck.

    I'd prefer not to have him and his ilk in the drivers seat. I am not in love with Obama, no, but at least he has a track record. At least I know progressives can pressure him, and he will listen. Romneyhood? Not so much.

    So Obama 12 baby.  

    ***********

    Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

    Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

    SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

    by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:46:25 PM PDT

    •  no one is saying Romney would be... (4+ / 0-)

      better or different on this at all...  unfortunately, either way we're in an authoritarian country now and no matter who is elected, that's how it will remain. unless outside the system forces can get it together and mount pressure...

      and i'm in a very red state, so my presidential vote won't count at all either way...

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:53:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  very few people, if any, will (4+ / 0-)

        have the power, clout or motivation to change any of that.

        Our government will remain authoritarian until WE wake up and change it for ourselves. And even then, its an uphill battle.

        Thats my two cents, at any rate.

        ***********

        Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

        Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

        SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

        by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:57:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but keeping on voting for the PTB (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shahryar, gooderservice, triv33

          when they are going down this path that they are on is doing the opposite of changing it for ourselves...

          real change is uncomfortable and will require leaving some things that we saw as normal or even helping behind when it's not helping anymore...

          A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

          by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:45:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  what to do then? (2+ / 0-)

            Politics is a zero sum game.

            All I know for sure is that one of these two men -- Willard "Mitt" Romney or Barack Obama will win the presidency. There is no middle ground, no objection vote, no third party. I have 1 of 2 options. One will win, the other lose. Thats it.

            I am not excited about either of those options, but given the two Obama is the best pick for me.

            After the election (because shit wont get done with nov 2012 breathing down our necks) I will work to push Obama left. But right now, I just want to keep my country out of the jaws of complete, utter and total insanity. We are already half way there. If you want the other half, don't vote for Obama.

            ***********

            Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

            Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

            SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

            by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:50:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i'm in Louisiana fcol, my vote won't count (4+ / 0-)

              anyway, either way...

              but Obama won't be able to really be pushed to the left after the election - there's no gain anymore for him to please those trying to push...

              either way, the country is screwed. with either one winning, the rule of law loses... or rather has already lost...

              A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

              by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:55:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think he will (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                poligirl, gooderservice

                unbound by the prospect of re-election, I think Obama will migrate way left.

                Then again, my political "crystal ball" has always been a little fucked up.

                ***********

                Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

                Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

                SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

                by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:58:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  see, i don't believe he was ever very left at all (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  allenjo, triv33

                  so he won't just become left after the election... he's made me into a total cynic, but i can understand your hope... i hope that you are right; i fear that you are wrong given the way the past 4 years have gone...

                  A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                  by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 04:07:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  but see the point is (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gooderservice

                    even though there is just a possibility that Obama will migrate left...will the possibility be there with Romney?

                    And no, I am not addressing this question specifically to you poligirl, since you live in a red state you are free to vote whatever way your heart dictates. I am speaking directly to the people who live in swing states.

                    Will Mitt move left like you want Obama to? I think we all know the answer to that.

                    ***********

                    Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

                    Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

                    SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

                    by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 04:18:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There is a slight possibility, true (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poligirl, Shahryar, triv33

                      If it's close here in WA, I'll vote for him based on that slim hope...

                      But my prediction is that we will find ourselves right back in "grand bargain" country. It's what the bankers and Wall Street want. Sequestration - the clusterfuck brought to us by bipartisan village grownups - hits before the SOTU...

                      With Erskine Bowles being touted as the most likely pick for Geithner's job and the strong possibility of another war this fall, I think we are in for a pretty tough four years.

                      Perhaps from the moral and intellectual collapse of both something better will grow...

                      Or perhaps in 1216 the wise ones on dkos will be telling us that we have to vote for Hillary because Jeb is the evil one incarnate... She'll likely vow to close Guantanamo and get us out of Afghanistan...

                      "I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it." - Ray Bradbury

                      by chuckvw on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 05:07:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  i don't think either will. that's the reason... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Shahryar, triv33

                      the paradigm is useless to we the people now...

                      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                      by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 06:08:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  So he moves left, but the senators and (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poligirl

                  of course the representatives are up for reelection in two years.  So it doesn't look promising.

            •  That's your way of looking at it, (6+ / 0-)

              and admittedly probably most within this site and the democratic party.  But as the article by Cusack suggests, there are alot of people out there who have a Rubicon that's been crossed.  That's a powerful thing, like it or not.  

              "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

              by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:59:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well, its cold hard fact BigAl. (0+ / 0-)

                One of those men will be president in 2013. Not just my way of looking at it, but cold hard fact.

                And if a line has been crossed, for you or anyone, fine. Don't vote or vote for someone else. But for me, I see one winner and one loser. And I am not withholding my vote because i don't want to take my chances with a thug in office.

                Some of you live in red states, fine enough. protest vote till your heart is content. I live in a blue state and I am voting for Obama and down ticket dems. I don't agree with everything the dems have done, not even 80% or even 50% of what they have done, but I can tell you one thing: I sure the hell agree with them more than republicans. The choice is easy for me.

                ***********

                Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

                Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

                SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

                by rexymeteorite on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 04:06:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  but it's also cold hard fact that... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BigAlinWashSt

                  neither care much for the rule of law nor the foundation bequeathed to us by our founders...

                  A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

                  by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 06:09:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  crossing the Rubicon for most civil libertarians (8+ / 0-)

    If a government does not investigate and prosecute its own accused war criminals, then other countries have the right to do so...........or so we thought.

    Turley:
    The greatest problem is what it has done to us and what our relative silence signifies. Liberals and civil libertarians have lost their own credibility, their own moral standing, with the support of President Obama. For many civil libertarians it is impossible to vote for someone who has blocked the prosecution of war crimes. That’s where you cross the Rubicon for most civil libertarians. That was a turning point for many who simply cannot to vote for someone who is accused of that type of violation.

    Under international law, shielding people from war-crime prosecutions is itself a form of war crime. They’re both violations of international law. Notably, when the Spanish moved to investigate our torture program, we now know that the Obama administration threatened the Spanish courts and the Spanish government that they better not enforce the treaty against the U.S. This was a real threat to the Administration because these treaties allow other nations to step forward when another nation refuses to uphold the treaty. If a government does not investigate and prosecute its own accused war criminals, then other countries have the right to do so. That rule was, again, of our own creation. With other leading national we have long asserted the right to prosecute people in other countries who are shielded or protected by their own countries.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:52:10 PM PDT

    •  yeah, strongarming Spain was a bad... (4+ / 0-)

      move. Obama did not have to do that. he could've stayed out of it and his hands wouldn't have been able to be dirtied by the American Corporate Media. but Obama chose to pressure Spain...

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:57:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The town next to me, the mayor and (6+ / 0-)

    the sheriff broke many, many laws, the people knew it, but the mayor and sheriff and all the culpable staff were never prosecuted.

    Then it was election time, and all the citizens of the town voted for a new mayor and sheriff.

    Sadly, though, the new mayor and sheriff with tons of evidence in their hands of the illegal actions of their predecessors decided to Look forward, not backwards.

    Ain't that a kick in the butt.

    (Silly townspeople -- they thought the new regime would instill the rule of law and hold people accountable.  Boy, were they foolish.)

  •  just following orders is a defense after all.... (5+ / 0-)
    one of the most important international principles to come out of World War II was the rejection of the “just following orders” defense. ---
    It’s a very important point, because that defense, if it is allowed, would shield most people accused of torture and war crime.

    Cusack: That also parallels into the idea that the National Defense Authorization Act is using its powers to actually not only put a chilling effect on whistleblowers, but actually make it illegal for whistleblowers to bring the truth out. Am I right on that, or is that an overstatement?
     

    Turley: Well, the biggest problem is that when the administration was fishing around for some way to justify not doing the right thing and not prosecuting torture, they finally released a document that said that CIA personnel and even some DOJ lawyers were “just following orders,” but particularly CIA personnel.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 04:26:40 PM PDT

  •  Cusack and Turley (5+ / 0-)

    are voicing in this article what most liberals are facing. Where is that line? My offline liberal community is deafening in it's silence and I hear no support of what this administration is doing. 'Better then the Mormon' when you get to the point we have regarding our rule of law and every other aspect of our democracy and the common good just doesn't cut it for some.

    Fear, be it of 'terrist's are gonna kill yer family' or Republicans are even worse, so you better vote for Obama/ Democratic, makes this more like extortion then voting. The thing is once you give them your vote your still going to get grand bargains for austerity, lwlessness and a freaking police state along with the neocon endless war. Just more 'aesthetic' in appearance as Cusack said.  

    NDAA is an abomination and the superdupper Patriot Act with the secret sauce thrown in is untenable. I counter that the best of two evils is still evil. This is not what democracy looks like. Where the fuck is my habeas corpus?    

  •  It would be a lot easier to look past the sins (4+ / 0-)

    of omission and commission of the Dems...

    if they were at least buying all of us some time by doing everything in their power to address climate change.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 04:49:50 PM PDT

  •  I remember those times, pre Bush, pre Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, BigAlinWashSt, poligirl
    We used to have some lines we wouldn’t cross–

    some people who said this is not what this country does …we don’t do this shit, you had to do the right thing.

    So it’s going to be a tough process getting our rights back, but you  know Frankie’s Law?

    Whoever stops fighting first – loses.

    We have to continue the fight that we thought Obama was going to fight, to fight against him when necessary, if we are committed to "getting our rights back", to not crossing those lines so easily crossed by Bush and Obama.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 06:16:27 PM PDT

  •  Abstention isn't a strategy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rexymeteorite

    I never thought that Obama was going to unilaterally deconstruct the national security state and make no mistake, that's what is required to reverse the trend towards ever increasing executive power.

    The war on terror wasn't the beginning, it was just another mile post for a process that's been underway ever since WWII. The last time there was any significant challenge to this trend was in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate. Reagan's election put paid to all of that.

    Electing Obama in 2008 wasn't the solution and re-electing him 2012 won't be either. At best it may be part of the solution, unless you think that turning the national government over to a gaggle of corporatists, quasi-Randians, religious fanatics and assorted reactionaries somehow improves our chances.

    The real solution lies where it always has: a mass mobilization powerful enough to move the national political narrative decisively to the Left. Any time some one can provide a convincing argument for how abandoning the electoral field to the far right advances this goal I'm ready to listen. None has been offered thus far.

    What I'm not interested in are variations on the same abstentionist arguments that have been made repeatedly over the last 40 plus years. They have produced no practical result other than to marginalize and dis-empower the Left.      

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 03:08:15 AM PDT

    •  i don't think many thought he would... (0+ / 0-)

      unilaterally deconstruct, but very few expected him to expand it.

      and you're right here:

      The real solution lies where it always has: a mass mobilization powerful enough to move the national political narrative decisively to the Left.
      but as long as we have so many people, including lefties, who keep buying in to and treating the broken system as legitimate, there will be no chance for change.

      so while you may put blame on those abstaining, there are those of us who put blame on those that keep propping the broken system up.

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 10:36:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But where's the alternative? (0+ / 0-)

        Curious that you would talk about "blame." The word doesn't appear anywhere in my comment. I'm not interested moralizing or ethical posturing here. I'm interested in practical strategies for achieving desired goals.

        I'm still willing to give a hearing to any explanation as to how abstention will lead to a positive outcome. How, exactly, is abandoning electoral politics going to advance anything other than the continued dominance of the Right?

        ...there are those of us who put blame on those that keep propping the broken system up.
        The tired trope about "propping up the broken system" is precisely the argument made for the past 40 plus years that I referred to above. It hasn't accomplished anything except to lead us into irrelevancy. Moreover, it flies in the face of reality.

        Abstention isn't action. It is the opposite of action. If not voting were going to bring down the system, we wouldn't be having this discussion now. The US has been notorious for having chronically low levels of voter participation for decades. Far from resulting in the collapse of the system, it has contributed to the triumph of the Right. It's certainly no accident that the Right's strategy has paid particular attention to demoralizing and depressing voter participation and has now openly embraced voter suppression as a tactic.

        How anyone could imagine that aiding and abetting the Right on this score can improve our position is beyond me but if you have a coherent explanation as to how it does so, I'm listening.

           

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:21:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site