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Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted "present" (instead of "yea" or "nay") 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues.
-Drew Westin, New York Times

Falling for a politician is very much, at least for me, like falling in love with a woman. I'm initially hesitant of any overtures because I fear disappointment, or worse, being hurt. I don't mean some small bore type of hurt; I mean the sort of hurt that practically breaks your heart in two and brings the searing pain of disappointment to your front door.

I can remember the first time I thought Barack Obama was "The One." It was at the November 2007 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Iowa. I was there as a campaign intern and while I supported him, I wasn't yet sure if he was really "The One". But then he spoke.

The Illinois orator waxed on with with a passion and intensity I had not witnessed from a national politician in my short life. The speech was a tour de force that brought the arena to its feet time after time:

"I am running for President because I am sick and tired of democrats thinking that the only way to look tough on national security is by talking, and acting, and voting like George Bush Republicans." Thunderous applause.

"We were promised compassionate conservatism and all we got was Katrina and wiretaps." Thunderous applause.

"Triangulating and poll-driven positions because we're worried about what Mitt or Rudy might say about us just won't do. If we are really serious about wining this election Democrats, we can't live in fear of losing it." Thunderous applause.

But Obama really had me when he said, "That's why I'm running, Democrats -- to keep the American Dream alive for those who still hunger for opportunity, who still thirst for equality."

A politician who actually uttered the words justice and equality?!

Now fast forward to Wednesday's commemoration of the "March on Washington". The Obama who spoke in Des Moines on that frigid November night was no more. Instead we had a president who reinforced all of the conservative's worst stereotypes about black people:

And then, if we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that during the course of 50 years, there were times when some of us, claiming to push for change, lost our way. The anguish of assassinations set off self-defeating riots. Legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse- making for criminal behavior. Racial politics could cut both ways as the transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination. And what had once been a call for equality of opportunity, the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead was too often framed as a mere desire for government support, as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself. All of that history is how progress stalled.
The urban riots were wrong. But where did the angry reaction come from? This was the late 60s and America was still an apartheid regime with black people routinely tortured and murdered by the white supremacist state and its agents. Black people couldn't even vote to express their disagreement with state policy, so it was inevitable that some, after the murder of King, would take to the streets, even if those streets were in the ghetto, to make their voices be heard. You cannot decouple the two things.

The President then accused some black people of making excuses for criminal behavior by hiding behind police brutality. Really? I often hear people in West St. Louis or South Chicago attack the police but I have never heard any black person, in my family or otherwise, excuse the behavior of drug dealers, rapists and murders. Do they ask the state to focus on the illness that breeds crime, instead of the symptoms? Sure, but that does not qualify as excuse making.

Next came Obama's rhetorical pièce de résistance;because what would an attack on black America be without jab to the gut of America's favorite punching bag, the black family? To hear the first black President say that black mothers and fathers have refused to raise their children because of white racism was stunning. As one of my favorite writers, Ta-Nehisi Coates, wrote, "I have heard a lot of trifling excuses for not parenting. I have never met one who cited racism as an excuse for not parenting or for giving [up] on oneself." And take particular notice of the part of speech where he accused black people of wanting welfare instead of work. I don't know of any black person, not one, who gets by solely on government assistance. That's the racist trope I just can't get over; since Plymouth Rock first landed on our ancestors, black Americans have been some of the hardest working people in this damn country.

Revealingly, Barack Obama also implied that the black struggle for liberation, which continues to this day by the way, is equally, or even partially responsible for racial progress being stalled; this line is so outrageous that I cannot fully articulate the rage inside me right now.

Racial recriminations, to disappoint Obama, does not cut both ways. The truth is we black people have never had the opportunity or resources to do much of anything about our accusations. Instead, it has been the white supremacist state that has employed the same racist stereotypes used by Obama to molest black ambition with a Jim Crow justice system, discriminatory housing policies, inadequate education apparatuses, voter suppression schemes and discrimination in the labor market. Did Obama talk about this in his speech? He never does. Not once has he gone to white America and lectured them about the innumerable consequences of systemic racism. No, the president saves his haranguing for black audiences.

This isn't all that surprising given Obama's political and personal history. He grew up in a white family in Hawaii, meaning he was never truly connected to the black American struggle. Indeed, he learned about black America in books and the little time he spent on Chicago's south side. And as president he hasn't pushed any agenda for black America because, it's possible, he simply doesn't care or he's a coward. He's not enforcing the Fair Housing law, as Coates pointed out. He hasn't taken any bold moves on prison reform. He hasn't used his commutation power to reduce the sentences of incarcerated persons. He hasn't used his executive order power to force a pay raise for some 2 million low wage government contract workers (i.e. McDonalds' employees on military bases). And there has been no wide ranging jobs programs to rejuvenate long ignored black economies. Overall, his speech did not mention any policy proposals to aid black America, just a tired riff on persons "Marching".

If Obama truly cared about the plight of black Americans he would know that individuals cannot alone dismantle structural problems; it takes the state to step in, which is how we got the voting rights act, the fair housing act, Brown and the striking down of NY's stop and frisk et cetera (Obama is also a fan of Ray Kelly, the czar of stop and frisk). The President may disagree with some of the things above because he has previously accused the Warren Court of overstepping it bounds. According to him the public should be the catalyst for social and political change, which means some changes would have occurred much later. Jeffrey Toobin's book The Oath does a great job of dissecting Obama's conservative jurisprudence. Am I then wrong to think that Obama would have opposed the court's decision on Brown or Loving? After all this the man who said he considers himself to be a 1980s moderate Republican type. I believe him given who he has surrounded himself with. We don't see Kimberle Crenshaw or Joseph Stiglitz, but we do get the delightful Larry Summers, for example.

As a young black man, from the type of communities he attacked, I admire Obama. The looks of joy on the faces of black folk when they meet him is indescribable. To many of us, he represents a hopeful promise that America will one day bridge the divide between the American dream and American reality. Which is why black people, in a poll a few years ago, were the most optimistic about race relations. But his speech on Wednesday was revealing because it showed us who he truly is.

It was heartbreaking because the candidate who 94% of us voted for buys into the same lazy, intellectually dishonest and racist stereotypes used by our foes on the right. And it was disappointing because the man who spoke with such eloquence about justice and equality has no policy prescriptions to tackle the problems that are holding progress down. It appears he never did. He merely used us to advance his political ambitions just as he did Rev. Wright and others in Chicago. In fact that's the only thing Obama has ever been truly good at: the selling of himself.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This isn't really about Obama but hopefully (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, schumann, argomd, marina

    all this taught you NOT TO FALL FOR A POLITICIAN.

    The key is to figure out which one constitutes the lesser evil, and then vote for him or her.

    Which in this case still would have been Obama, but w/o all the false hope.

    •  That's the key now and has been for a while, (5+ / 0-)

      but we've got to change it.

      The key is to figure out which one constitutes the lesser evil, and then vote for him or her.
      And frankly, I think a lot of people voted FOR Obama in 2008 as opposed to voting for him being the lesser of two evils.

      2012 was certainly a different story.

    •  Oh yes, lesser evilism. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, mint julep

      That always works.

      •  I know, I know, but how ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        does one choose the candidate for which one votes?  If it must always be a vote for someone whose record, experience, and openly stated positions one can support -- well, lots of time we'd not be voting at all.


        (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

        by argomd on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:03:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're Right (0+ / 0-)

      You're right.

    •  Though that implies not getting involved ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... until after it has become a choice between the lesser of two evils.

      And if we don't get involved before that time ... indeed, about the time that interest in the election will ramp up at dkos, well after the opportunity to make positive progress has passed ... then an inexorable ratchet downward is all we have to expect, with the ratchet sometimes dropping further, and sometimes dropping less far, but always going the wrong direction.

      Despite the sweeping rhetoric in 2007, the policies were the same caving to the neoliberal consensus that the Hedge Fund wing of the party has been trotting out since it was first established. The 90's Heritage Foundation version of health care reform, with a public option patched on top to make it palatable to Democratic primary voters. Support for Corporate Money Grab Agreements, under the lying label "Free Trade". Support for the establishment of a corporate money grab for public education spending.

      Even the opposition to the Iraq invasion was on the grounds of it being a "dumb war", triangulated by support for our doomed to failure intervention in Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empire.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:23:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh Boo Fucking Hoo. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tony Situ

    There ain't no knight in shining armor coming.

    "Republicans are the party that says that government doesn't work, then they get elected and prove it."-- PJ O'Rourke

    by nocynicism on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:50:17 AM PDT

    •  said "nocynicism" (6+ / 0-)

      the irony is thick.

      •  I picked that name (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to remind me to not be my cynical self...I never thought a black man would win in 2008 until election night.  Barack Obama told us to put our cynicism aside and have hope that we ourselves can bring change.
        He said it would be hard.  He taught us to organize. register voters. canvass, phone bank GOTV.  He fucking won.  If we don't win we go backward.
        I have been and activist since high school and  I just turned 60.  Have won some and lost some but I am fighting and when I'm dead my kids and grandkids will keep fighting them.

        "Republicans are the party that says that government doesn't work, then they get elected and prove it."-- PJ O'Rourke

        by nocynicism on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:39:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seriously how effective can any POTUS be... (0+ / 0-)

          ...when the opposing political party has publicly stated they will not cooperate with this President not matter what and their money apparently is bigger then ours and The President has to pick his battles very carefully just to (win) a stalemate. Yes, I have been disappointed more than a few times and wishing he would let the repubs shut down the govt and suffer the consequences. But no, instead he figures a way to get a temporary agreement and he believes that is what the POTUS is supposed to do and I agree IMHO. It sucks but that's the reality of it.

          Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

          by kalihikane on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:46:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Don't Expect A Shining (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Barbara Marquardt, Plantsmantx

      I don't expect one, but I did expect him to offer actual policy prescriptions.

      •  The object lesson there is to ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... look away from the rhetoric and look to the policy proposals, in the context of what that particular electorate wants to hear.

        When you see a politician running for the Democratic nomination in a primary field talking about health care and trade, and he offers the least progressive health care reform and the strongest support for Corporate Money Grab Agreements among the main contenders, you have your clue already that this is someone pushing left of where he'd rather be, to avoid getting outflanked on the left.

        A problem that will go away once the general election rolls around, never mind after winning the general election when in government.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:28:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  otherwise... (0+ / 0-)

        what was the point of him becoming President?

        •  Still trying to figure that out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Remember during the height of the primary where he talked about how Reagan changed the political scene? Where is that from him. Why wasn't he supporting Dems in the state legislative races that allowed the right to hijack the gerrymandering?

          •  Why was Obama not supporting Dems? (0+ / 0-)

            because he is a child of the DLC (although he denied this.) During the entire time frame of 2004 to 2007, one Rahm Emanuel was going around the USA, making sure that only DLC candidates got  the party's backing and money.

            Progressives who were far more valuable in taking us from a society of for and by the One Percent were deliberately shut out. Time and time again.

            And as repayment for his efforts, we all know where Emanuel ended up.

            Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

            by Truedelphi on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:54:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  What is that comment mean? (0+ / 0-)

      You can be lied to and it shouldn't matter? Like bend over and take it like a man? I don't get it. Please clarify.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:52:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another horrible comment from Obama (11+ / 0-)
    In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.
    I mean, he clearly thinks so little about black people, that he feels he needs to scold and lecture them about not becoming violent.

    Oh wait, that's from MLK's "I have a Dream" speech.

    You can overreact and think the worst of anything if you want.

    I dont think Obama's comment states or even implies that somehow society hasnt played in the problems of the black community. But if you want to read it in the worst possible way,  you can do that, same as King's comment.

    •  Oh yes it does (3+ / 0-)

      Cherry picking a quote from MLK cautioning against violence was a nice ploy. But is not the same as Obama delivering a speech on the 50th anniversary where he lectures black America without putting in proper context the events that produced the rioting, the crime and so on.

      And it's not an overreaction, it's been a consistent pattern with him. Does he routinely lecture white Americans about racism? I think not. Moreover, some of the things he said were just plain wrong.

    •  Finally figured out why the use of this quote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep

      is plain wrong. (I had miss typed and written palin wrong, but then maybe it was weirdly appropriate typo.) This quote is taken out of context, both historically and rhetorically..

      50 years ago, MLK said this as he was articulating a vision of the future and leading us into civil disobedience ... he was cautioning us to not lose our souls in violence; he was not trying for the grand bargain nor wsa he encouraging us to enjoy the status quo.

      A professor of mine used to tell us that there are 3 stages to spirituality (in this case political dreams):
      1st stage -- You really believe in the gods, so you put out an offering of milk and tie up the cat to make sure the cat does not drink it before the gods come.
      2nd stage --  You put out milk and tie up the cat.
      3rd stage -- You tie up the cat.

      Sometimes, it feels to me as if Obama is in the third stage.

      I am not as disappointed as you, winslow2036, but neither was I ever in love with Obama. So sorry.

      "I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night." Greg Martin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida

      by CorinaR on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:05:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those stages (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep

        Were great. I love that. Hope you don't mind if I use it.

        •  I borrowed from my prof who borrowed .... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mint julep

          feel free

          "I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night." Greg Martin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida

          by CorinaR on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:19:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not trying to compare King and Obama (0+ / 0-)

        One is an activist, one is a politician.

        The activist can pick and issue and be unrelenting on that issue. The politician has to deal with a lot of issues, and lot of people, and must compromise. So I dont think Obama asked people to accept the status quo, but I do think he acknowledges the change comes slowly.

        I completely agree with your interpretation on King's comment. But my point is you can always look at comments in the worst way possible, and I think a lot of people do that with Obama.

        •  But in using this quote (0+ / 0-)

          (and you are not the only one), you seem to make the equivalence. You do not state either the historical or the rhetorical differences.

          So, lets differ. I don't need to fight.  Have you read diary "Your Che T-shirt won't get you into heaven anymore" by dannyboy ... it is on the community spotlight list. It can go either way, you can be patient with me or I can be patient with you.  But I hope that, in the end, we are on the same side.


          "I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night." Greg Martin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida

          by CorinaR on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:15:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's not at all (0+ / 0-)

      the same thing.

  •  If your premise were true... (0+ / 0-)

    wouldn't Dr. Ben Carson and Michael Steele love the guy?

    You're in camp with Artur Davis.

    No one should be in camp with Artur Davis.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 12:22:25 PM PDT

  •  I never bought into "the One" stuff, but... (4+ / 0-)

    there certainly was some "Hope" in me back then that Obama might actually make some real changes. And no, I do not consider national Romneycare to be what I had in mind. He's done a few good things, but has been a constant disappointment on so many others, and just enfuriating on some things.

    And now with this Syria business we get to watch him transform fully into George W. Bush before our eyes. It really seems like this is the last straw for me as far as having any of that "Hope" left at all. He's finally killed off the last bit of it.

    What's next I wonder? He's got three more years to privatize Social Security I guess.

    •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

      And there was a story today about he is willing to dramatically restructure Medicare. Also, amazing how Obama attacked Bush for going at it alone, and now he here is about to do the same.

      •  Are you saying that POTUS is lying about... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the use of biological weapons in Syria? And he is asking The House to determine if The People want to go forward or not.Granted it is possible the Repubs will railroad the issue into an Obama "thing" and therefore turn it into another SNAFU again making Obama play the part of that guy again, trying to paddle upstream with one paddle...and having only one arm. Just saying.

        Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

        by kalihikane on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:22:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree that President Obama's attitude (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Barbara Marquardt, prfb, mint julep

    toward African Americans is unfair and at times, offensive.  He seems to oversimplify and ignore causes

    For example, one item that I never see mentioned rearding the destruction of the African American family is that in the 1960s and 70s, a family could not receive welfare if a man was living in the home.  This caused many fathers to leave the family.

    It is obvious that if white Americans had suffered the same history as black Americans, they would have all the same problems.

    Obama is in many ways fairly conservative, and some of his policies have driven me nuts.  Besides his weakness on racial issues, it took him forever to come out in favor of marriage equality, and that only after Joe Biden forced his hand.  He also is finally telling the DOJ to call off their dogs regarding legalized marijuana.  I certainly hope they stop raiding medical marijuana dispensaries: I think it is barbaric to deprive AIDS, Cancer, and glaucoma patients of needed medicine.

    It would be nice to see him actually fight for a few causes before he steps down, but I'm not holding my breath.

  •  While I sympathize with the author's perspective - (7+ / 0-)

    I think the author should have had his heart broken quite some time ago.

    "Exxon’s CEO was recently quoted as saying, ‘What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?’, as if the future of humanity could be separated from the ecosystems on which we depend." -- Charlotte Wilson

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 12:45:18 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this thoughtful piece (4+ / 0-)

    Although our timing differs by a few years, i sympathize deeply with the heartbreak.  It is painful.

    I wonder whether you have seen this indicator of the Obama hangover starting to set in for long-suffering black America:  Blacks Slowly Emerging from Obama Delirium.  It is a sign of our times that I fear being called a racist for saying so, but for me, this latest in centuries of exploiting and bamboozling of black America (in this case along with much of white America) constitutes one of the more excruciating aspects of the Obama Brand scam.

    Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

    by geomoo on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:21:32 PM PDT

    •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geomoo, shmuelman, mint julep

      I have read that piece I read the Black Agenda Report all the time. It is indeed painful. He scammed us.

      Thanks for you kind words.

      •  No, thank you. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shmuelman, my2petpeeves, mint julep

        Seriously, thank you so much.  The divide and conquer aspect to the Obama phenomenon has been monumentally successful for those who would enslave us, irrespective of race.  How many can read this piece without indulging just a bit of "I told you so" or "traitor"?  The sooner we realize that we are all in this together, the better.  The kind of honesty, integrity, and serious intent conveyed by this diary is just what we are all starving for.

        I wonder whether you saw Glenn Ford's coinage of a phrase which to me should be central to our understanding of the neoliberal agenda Obama furthers, but which is problematic because of its use of the N word.  Personally, I think the meaning cannot be fully conveyed without the N word.  Ford spoke of "the n****rization of the middle class".  Can white liberals understand that they can find themselves just as oppressed as the black brothers and sisters they hoped to lift up from their one-time privileged position--that their race does not guarantee their privilege indefinitely?  Can black liberals understand that it is possible for their white allies to sink to the level of abuse and exploitation they have suffered in the most recent decades?  Here's hoping we can realize, sooner rather than later, that we are all potential slaves in the eyes of a few powerful people, that economic exploitation is a more basic mutual enemy even than racism.

        Anyway, sorry for going on.  I hope not to detract from this piece, not to sidetrack from the central themes you outline so well.


        Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

        by geomoo on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:51:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're Right On (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          geomoo, mint julep

          You're not detracting. You're making great points and spurring the type of analysis I like.

          I don't use the word nigger either, so I agree with you on that front. But you're right, white liberals like that one who accosted de Blasio a few weeks back, who claimed she was a big time liberal but didn't want de Blasio to end stop and frisk in Manhattan.

          And I agree we are all in for a rude awakening. The elites at the top have a game plan. Like Chrystia Freeland wrote about:

          •  Stop and Frist: not just for blacks anymore (0+ / 0-)

            That was my comment on hearing of the detaining of GG's partner Miranda.  As Rev. Wright says, the chickens are coming home to roost  We whites are not doing anybody any favors to oppose these things--we are looking out for our own best interests.  And that's what needs to be understood about white "privilege".  It is not something to feel guilty about--that's just more superior bs.  It's that the so-called privilege of living with respect for one's person is not real and will not last if it does not extend to every member of society.

            But I'm responding really just to make one comment.  It is impossible to overstate how relieved I was to see your positive response to my comments--this is how bad it has gotten.  Seriously, moved almost to tears by the possibility of respectful dialog around issues that concern race (among other things).  So many of us live in terror of even broaching a topic lest we be accused as racists or CT'ers or some such thing.  For those of us with a lifetime of involvement in the struggle, the charge of racism is especially painful.  It is an insult to the struggle the way this issue has been exploited.  It is a bad sign for public discourse that my reluctance to even try to myself runs so deep.


            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

            by geomoo on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:36:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the recommendation (0+ / 0-)

            Looks like one I need to read.

            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

            by geomoo on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:41:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  W was a governor, and was a disaster. (0+ / 0-)

    Reagan was a governor.  He was a disaster.
    Carter was a governor.  And yet another disaster.

    The very premise of your opening paragraph/quote is such bullshit, that I didn't bother with the rest.

    Oh, and that shot at Obama for voting "present"?  That's a false (should I say, "lie"?) meme from the 2008 primaries. Voting "present" isn't a way to avoid taking a stand on an issue (simply abstaining from voting would be the way to do that).  In the Illinois senate, voting present is a way of voting NO.  That's what it means, it counts as NO (so the YES votes need to overcome both the NO and Present votes combined in order for a bill to pass).  But it allows the senator to raise the issue again with his/her desired proposed alterations.  It also allows for numerous other legislative strategies and manueverings that I forget, but were much discussed when that false meme was pushed by Hillary in 2008.  This diary is such hogwash.

    •  You can disagree with the diary (0+ / 0-)

      The opening paragraph was from another writer. But you're wrong about the voting present. Read here

      That's why Westin said SOME of the present votes he took was to avoid staking out possibly unpopular positions. You have to read closely Tony Situ before calling something bullshit.

      Moreover, I noticed how you didn't engage MY points. You chose to attach your complaints to Westin's quote.

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