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Thursday, May 05, 2011


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Mr. Caruso, I think you are forgetting that it's okay to condone immoral acts if the other side is worse. Or if you think they're worse. Or if you think they're worse and then find out they aren't but still think they're worse anyway.

I argue this way:
Imagine a parallel-world Bush. He does EXACTLY the same things our Bush did: Afghanistan, Iraq, Abu-Ghraib, Guantanamo, everything. Only, this parallel-word Bush's English puts GB Shaw to shame; his grammar puts Dr Henry Higgins to shame; his voice and projection put Richard Burton to shame. Doesn't this Bush send you into raptures? Evidently, fine clothes DO make a gentleman. This parallel-world Bush is who we have now.

It looks like Digby found Mr. Floyd's characteristically trenchant analysis just a bit too much to take:

"I'm closing comments for a while to go worship at the alter of my Lord Obama who I'm unable to see is worse than bin Laden and whom I am obligated to bash in every post regardless of the topic."

If the boot fits, Digby, lick it.

I wonder if she's going to burn that straw man on her, uh, alter?

(Maybe "alter" was a reference to Obama's alter ego, aka The Idea Of Obama.)

This has always been one of my favorite posts on this topic, from Ioz:

I would like to revisit Sarah Palin for a moment. I want to concede that she is wrong about everything. But I also want to say, look, your schematic cultural objections to her winking style of pretended regular-guy-ism is no excuse for judging her to be a greater moron than Barack Obama, who is also wrong about everything. If there is one characteristic that this dude has demonstrated over and over again, it is that the world-view he has synthesized is fundamentally stupid and unsound. His Nobel speech proceeded more neatly from word to word than Sarah Palin's RNC convention barnburner, but as an expression of a thesis it was equally incoherent, and as a statement of principles it was a good deal more bloodthirsty.

Digby isn't a bootlicker, she just doesn't realize that she's not one of the elite.

Is Obama really even that good of a speaker? I've never thought so. He's either delivering something written for him by what amounts to a marketing team in a condescending manner, or bereft of a script he has as much trouble putting together a cohesive sentence as Bush, often with pauses between words and phrases that suggest world selection based in imagining how well they'd do in focus groups.

"This parallel-world Bush is who we have now."

Yes, you're absolutely right. Just look at who Obama nominated to the Supreme Court: two exact clones of Alito and Roberts. Just look at what he did to reform student loans: clearly exactly the same thing Bush would've done. Just look at Obamacare: exactly what Bush would've done. Just look at repealing DADT: exactly the same thing Bush would've done. Just look at the CFPB: exactly what Bush would've done. Bush loved oversight! Just look at what Obama did to save school lunches, WIC, the EIC and tax cuts for the poor. Exactly what Bush would've done.

Why vote for anybody? Their names are made up of letters. Just like Bush's name! They have 22 chromosomes -- EXACTLY LIKE BUSH. Wake up, sheeple!

What a sad, pathetic public exhibition of the inability to make critical distinctions we have here.

in the end, the question, "who would you rather have a beer with?" is the only question that matters. if they ain't got a skoal ring in their blue jeans back pocket, i ain't crackin' open a pbr w/'em.

Yes, the critical distinction between ripping an innocent child to shreds with a drone missile if you are a Republican and ripping an innocent child to shreds with a drone missile if you are a Democrat is indeed a vast and glaring one, which only sad, pathetic idiots could fail to see. The scales have now fallen from my pathetic eyes. Verily, verily, I say unto you: I shall go and sin no more. Gimme mo' O in 2012!! We sure don't want those innocent children to be ripped to shreds by some icky Rethuglican, do we? I'm sure it feels a whole lot better to be ripped to shreds by a guy who reformed student loans.

"We sure don't want those innocent children to be ripped to shreds by some icky Rethuglican, do we? I'm sure it feels a whole lot better to be ripped to shreds by a guy who reformed student loans."

Wow, talk about missing the point. I was addressing the clearly incorrect statement that there's no difference between Obama and Bush. Clearly, there is a difference. If you think that Obama's progressive achievements are wiped out by the moral cost of other things, fine. (If you think that somebody else would be killing fewer innocent kids, you're fucking deluded.)

But quit saying there's no difference between Bush and Obama's policies. And quit acting like the millions of people Obama saved from poverty (when grandstanding pricks like Alan Grayson and Rush Feingold were doing nothing) doesn't mean something. Those poor kids can't eat your self-righteous fury, asshole.

Why did you go after Digby, specifically? Is it because she's a woman? Do you get off on these little illogical ragegasms, Chris? Is it like a sex thing, or what?

...the millions of people Obama saved from poverty...

Was that before or after the loaves and fishes?

Let's talk about those "progressive" achievements. He raised taxes on the poor. For that matter, where is there any evidence that Obama gives a god-damned about the poor. He's done nothing to help Americans in foreclosure (and in fact his program HAMP drove more into foreclosure to help the banks). In the midst of an America where less than 60% of working age adults have jobs, he's advocating austerity measures and deficit cutting. And lets not forget, he's overseen the largest transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest in US - and perhaps world - history. The transfer was started under Bush, but it was continued aggressively under Obama.

The healthcare bill he passed may not have been Bush's but it was the Dole/Romney/McCain plan so it was a GOP plan (that we're all now supposed to cheer as a big progressive accomplishment). It will not keep the 45,000 Americans who lack healthcare from dying every year. And as Massachusetts has shown, it also won't cut down on bankruptcies caused by medical bills.

Also, even the reform of student loans has very little practical effect on students. It saves the Government millions, but doesn't actually make education more affordable for students (there is a vague promise that their payments may decrease after 2014, but none of it addresses the abuses currently in the educational industrial system). And let's not forget that Obama's education plan - a neoliberal, union-busting dream - has been endorsed by Newt Gingrich.

But, hey, he signed Lily Ledbetter!

Of course, he's also done other things Bush didn't do - like aggressively prosecute whistleblowers, increase drone attacks (and the civilian deaths with them), expanded claims of government secrecy, and even claimed the right to assassinate American citizens.

And I particularly like the sexist smear. Given Obama's comfort with misogyny and homophobia, it's a nice touch. But then I guess the racist smear was getting a bit overused.

Chris, I'm sure Ripper McShredder is deeply gratified that you're "making shit happen" in the blogosphere. Job well done, sir. It beats having to drag out the lawn chair and making a spectacle of yourself in the town square. YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

The healthcare bill he passed may not have been Bush's but it was the Dole/Romney/McCain plan...

Which is the ultimate illustration that all it takes to get Democrats cheering for Republican policies is to have a Democrat carry them out.

But Obama didn't repeal DADT, did he Geometer? He could've ordered the military to do that Day One in the White House, just as Truman desegregated the military. Truman didn't have polls and focus groups and allow bigoted officers to testify before Congress that morale would be hurt if people had minimal rights. What happened was that Congress held hearings on the matter and seemed open to the change, and Obama did nothing to block it.

Obama still claims to "struggle" with whether or not gays should be allowed to marry. One wonders what the blockage might be. He sure as heck didn't "struggle" as to whether or not he should accept millions of dollars in contributions from sexual minorities, nor the votes, endorsements nor campaign volunteers. But they have the temerity to want their rights defended in exchange - the nerve!

I'm wondering what planet you live on in which you imagine the Obama is helping the impoverished or even working people. Total silence on the labor struggles - same unions that endorsed him, gave him money and votes - in WI, OH, NJ, PA... No FDR-like action on foreclosures. No serious re-regulation of his Wall Street buddies. He named a man who laid off tens of thousands of Americans to be his "job czar."

Where is Obama on living wage legislation? Where is Obama on card check, let alone the repeal of Taft-Hartley? Why no move to shift taxation to corporate fatcats? Why not a word about speculation in food commodities - some engineered by his buddies over at Goldman Sachs who he lets run Treasury - which have led to hunger worldwide?

This is the same Obama of increased offshore drilling, dozens of more nuke plants suckling at the taxpayer teat, the Obama of greenlighting whaling of all things. This is the Obama of torture-is-OK and Bush-and-Cheney-should-never-be-prosecuted and let's-bomb-a-few-more-countries ... with borrowed or printed trillions.

As Nader is fond of saying, what is your breaking point?

Michael Moore, who I have only some use for, has suggested adding a living wage proposition to ballots in states for 2012. Now he's doing that mostly as a sop to Democrats. But I would suggest doing it because 1) it may pass and 2) watching the Dems run from it would be yet another very illustrative data point. In fact, I would predict one of the groups that would try to block such ballot propositions will be the Democratic Party because they wouldn't want any of their candidates to have to take a position on it (and, of course, the rest of us should STFU and be pragmatic).

Of course, I'd also add ballot measures that 1) strip corporations of personhood under state law; 2) legalize marijuana; 3) increase ballot access and reform voting; and 4) make it much more difficult to foreclose (increase paperwork requirements, increase penalties for forging said paperwork). If I had to guess, I'd say the Dems would oppose all of these. Again, it's not so much that these would make a difference (although some would) as they would provide a very useful tool for seeing who really has your back and who doesn't.

Why is the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" a good thing? It just means more people can serve in the military which means that it's easier for the military to kill. I don't think 'don't ask, don't tell" should be repealed but instead I think it should be expanded! to heterosexuals.... and to members of any race and to members of any gender. If it were up to me one would have to be a billionaire to even be allowed the privilege of serving in the military.

Yes, I think Obama's "progressive achievments" are indeed wiped out by the moral cost of "other things." And while you are posting such substantative ripostes as calling me "asshole" (wow, does that destroy my argument or what?) and accusing me of being a sexist for taking a woman seriously and crititicizing her political stance (sexism should be made of sterner stuff, methinks), you might reflect on how you dismiss the murder of innocent people as nothing more than "other things" -- things which might -- or might not -- weigh more in the moral balance than student loan reforms or even Supreme Court appointments.

Oh, but maybe I'm just being foolish. After all, these things are open to debate, right? Ripping off the head of a three-year-old girl as she sleeps in her bed, tinkering with the student loan program -- it's really hard to draw the moral line there, isn't it?

And I am glad that you are comforted by the thought that another president would be killing even MORE innocent kids. I'm sure we all agree that a mass murderer who kills 47 people in a shooting spree at McDonald's is MUCH more moral than a mass murderer who kills 54 people in a shooting spree at McDonald's.

As I said before, you have totally convinced me with the depth and subtlety of your arguments. I'm with you, man, don't you get it? Let's go off and fight the good fight for Obama together! Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship .....

Right on Mr Schwab! I sort of wondered why self-respecting gays/lesbians etc would WANT to be part of the killing force.

Posted by: Angry Geometer | Friday, May 06, 2011 at 04:22 PM:

Wow, talk about missing the point. I was addressing the clearly incorrect statement that there's no difference between Obama and Bush.

No, you were clearly creating a strawman that claims -- a claim no one here has stated -- that there is no significant difference between Obama and Bush. The fact of the matter is, Obama is far worse than Bush on many issues, and the issues he's better than Bush on aren't really all that important. It's like discussing two men, both of whom worked very hard to rape your mother to death: if a third party points out that you should be kind to the second man since, after all, unlike the first, he's nice to puppies, you'd rightly conclude that this third party is a complete asshole. You're jumping into that third party's role here.

(If you think that somebody else would be killing fewer innocent kids, you're fucking deluded.)

No, he's not. We're not. And the fact that you think that those kids are acceptable losses is why you don't have the moral authority to lecture us on any issue whatsoever. Exactly what makes you think you're better than the Republicans? To be sure, I have rightwing associates that treat human life with less contempt than you -- and they are deplorable.

Far less smug, though.

And Mr. Schwab: damn straight, pun intended.

i wish people would stop conceding the point that Obama and Clinton are brainy eloquent dudes. Bush was a buffoon certainly, but, for me, no one who as conformist and indoctrinated as all of them are can be anything but a complete mediocrity. Obama certainly has less going on than Clinton, but I never got the Clinton thing either. I'd read these articles where writers would describe his mind going a mile a minute, zooming from one topic to another, blah, blah and he just sounded to me like an overcaffeinated bourgeois egotist monopolizing conversation. The only time he seemed to fire on all cylinders was when we was busy taking down Obama for exaggerating his anti-war credentials. It was one con man calling out another. That I liked.

Obviously the worst thing about these people is their sociopathy. But the fact that they are all so damn mediocre adds insult to injury.

And yeah, agree totally on Don't Ask Don't Tell. Far too little has been written, I think, on how queer lib and feminism have become tools of Empire.

Y'know, come to think of it, DADT has a serious, creepy parallel to blacks in the military. Our armed services did a lot to speed integration in society and, I must admit, was a significant source of money for the black community (and latinos) -- and it did all this in order to murder brown people abroad.* Hence the backlash of the Sixties and Muhammad Ali: "I Ain't Got No Quarrel With The VietCong...No VietCong Ever Called Me Nigger" — Muhammad Ali, 1966

In fact, more of the same:

"No, I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder kill and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slavemasters over dark people the world over. This is the day and age when such evil injustice must come to an end."

*Note that the military is only willing to give you a decent wage if it has to. Nowadays, now that the robber-barons have had their slice of the post-WWII economy, they don't do shit to help the soldier's pocketbook -- brown, black, white, or otherwise.

But, back to the main point: should gays really be fighting to be a part of an organization that uses murder and rape as political tools? DADT is clearly noxious and vile bigotry, but is this the most sane battlefield to join?

thank you very much for speaking truth. if you didn't notice there's already an attack article by one of these fanatical Obama dicksucks on that rumproast blog with a link to this article. don't worry about it, him and everyone who echoes his bullshit in the compound don't have a leg to stand on, they're all basically Hitchens wannabes except they're even more bigoted and fanatical in their defense of American Empire, especially when its new face is black.

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