Third Term

The president’s defenders told liberals and progressives that Obama would burst out as a liberal during his second term. But he renewed 99.5% of Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. He nominated Chuck Hagel, a homophobic Republican, as Secretary of Defense. For Treasury Secretary he picked a veteran of Citibank who bet on the housing market to collapse. What’s going on? Maybe Obama will turn into FDR in his third term.

15 thoughts on “Third Term

  1. Oh, and the idea that Ted is somehow “censored” is utter nonsense. No one is forcing Ted at gunpoint to shut up. No one is obligated to buy Ted’s work. As I’ve repeatedly suggested, given that he prefers to bash Democrats instead of the real culprits, if he is concerned about money, there are a ton of right-wing websites that would probably run his current crop of cartoons.

    The ridiculous claim that he is somehow “censored” by the “system” is more evidence of the blinders you have on which block you from seeing things clearly.

  2. @Susan- Not that you’ll see this

    “That is exactly what we’ve doing for the past 40 years–rewarding candidates with our votes because they are ever so slightly to the left of their opponents.”

    Completely and utterly false. Take off your partisan blinders and actually LOOK at history. It shows a clear pattern of the left getting their candidates elected, then promptly abandoning them for not giving the left all of what they want (no matter how unrealistic and impossible giving the lleft all of what they want is).

    “There is only ONE way for an ordinary person to work within the System, and THAT is according to the System’s own rules. You violate those rules, and you face punishment. Please don’t insult our intelligence by saying people can make up their own rules when they can’t. ”

    This is utter gibberish which a)both insults my intelligence and b) shows that yet again, you allow your blinders to keep you from getting my point- I have NEVER suggested that people can make up their own rules when there are literally HUNDREDS of ways people can work within the rules set up by the system. Your blindness makes you think that just because your way has failed, there is no other way, and you’re just flat out incorrect (and unjustifiably arrogant) about that.

    “The second assumption is that we are “running away from Democrats”. You have it ass backwards; the Democrats are the running away from us..”

    Not at all. You are DRIVING the Democrats away from you by abandoning them the second you don’t get everything you want. Any non-biased look at history easily confirms this. When the left abandons Democrats, the only way they feel they can keep their jobs is to move right. And keeping their jobs is the most important thing to nearly all politicians. Instead of being outraged about this, the left needs to USE it.

    Start rewarding Democrats for moving left instead of abandoning them, and Democrats will actually move left.

    “The third assumption you’re making is that Ted is bashing Democrats just because he likes to do so. ”

    When Ted chooses to bash Democrats instead of focusing on the people who are causing the real problems with this country, he leaves me no choice but to believe he would rather bash Democrats than actively work on solving this countries problems.

    “If more members of the media bashed the Democrats because they aren’t Leftist enough, then the Democrats would probably move further to the Left. ”

    Heh. Nope. Media bashing of Democrats (instead of the actual culprits) depresses turnout and makes it harder, not easier for Democrats to win elections. More election losses will just convince the Democrats to move further right, because the message you send when you abandon Democrats is NEVER “You lost because you weren’t leftist enough”; it is ALWAYS “You lost because the country wants right wing policies. If you want to keep your job, move right.”

    “And the last, and most grevious, assumption that you have is that we have decades within which to work. Because of climate change, hydrofracking, and the instability of the fiat dollar, we don’t have that much time to change things.”

    We don’t have that much time to change things, I agree. But you’re wrong on two counts(well, you’re wrong on almost everything, but two counts in that paragraph):

    1) We don’t have a lot of time to change things because the left has PISSED AWAY the last 40 years on a failed “punishment” strategy that hasn’t worked, isn’t working and will never work. The sooner they give that failed strategy up and switch to a “reward” strategy, the sooner we can start making progress.
    2) And once we start making progress we’ll be able to buy more time.

    “. Most of New York City, where I live, will be under water if things don’t change soon.”

    If we keep following the strategies you advocate, absolutely. That’s why I’m trying to get you to CHANGE those strategies.

    ” And since you are so concerned about what will replace our current system, you will definitely not like the system that will replace the current one if the fiat-dollar (which derives its value from forcing the world to use US dollars in the oil market) collapses.”

    If we keep following your strategies, again, absolutely. If we keep going the way you’d like us to go we get a) failed revolution and fascist theocracy or b) complete social collapse most likely leading to failed revolution and fascist theocracy.

    Yet you are complete unwilling to let go of the clearly failed strategies which have got us to this point. I suggest you take your blinders off and stop allowing your personal pride to keep you from doing things that would save this county.

    Suck it up and do what’s right for the country, even if you personally don’t like it- or take responsibility for the consequences.

    Your call.

  3. @Whimsical

    “The left is suspposed to reward Democrats for movement left, no matter how slight, and quit running awy from Democrats as hard as they can because they don’t go left enough, fast enough to suit you.”

    That is exactly what we’ve doing for the past 40 years–rewarding candidates with our votes because they are ever so slightly to the left of their opponents. And what is the result of this strategy? Torture has been normalized, habeus corpus eviscerated, the Constitution eviscerated, and a Demcratic presisdent who assassinates US citizens without a trial AND who insists he has the right to do so.

    “No, YOUR strategy for working within the system has failed, that much we agree on. The breathtaking arrogance and short-sightedness to think that YOUR way of working within the system is the ONLY way to work within the system is one of the reasons I think the left has it’s head someplace where no light can get in.”

    There is only ONE way for an ordinary person to work within the System, and THAT is according to the System’s own rules. You violate those rules, and you face punishment. Please don’t insult our intelligence by saying people can make up their own rules when they can’t.

    “This however, is not. Starting with Kennedy’s rejection of the health care compromise proposed by Nixon, in the early 70′s, the left has run away full tilt from Democrats the second they have not gotten what they wanted.”

    And Hillary Clinton could have proposed a Singer-Payer health care system back 1993, and if she had, we would now be enjoying Universal Healthcare. Instead, she betrayed the American people by proposing a whackjob scheme that not even Democrats could support. So if you want to talk about “missed opportunities”, talk about that one.

    “For running away from Democrats…for embracing a strategy that empowers Republicans just so you can bash Democrats..for thinking your strategy is the only way to do things..for calling for the destruction of the system (knowing full well something worse will arise in its place) just so you can keep bashing Democrats..for claiming to want all these progressive goals while at the same tiime endorsing strategies that ensure no progress will be made on them..for having no patience and willingness to do the decades of hard work to fix this country properly.”

    And here you are making several assumptions. First, you are giving Ted far more power than he actually has, and by extention, far more power than leftists in general actually have. Ted is a cartoonist and a columnist, not a shaker of heaven and earth. He is constantly censored by that very same system that you demand that he work within. The second assumption is that we are “running away from Democrats”. You have it ass backwards; the Democrats are the running away from us.. The third assumption you’re making is that Ted is bashing Democrats just because he likes to do so. He bashes them because they are not living up to their stated principles. If more members of the media bashed the Democrats because they aren’t Leftist enough, then the Democrats would probably move further to the Left.

    And the last, and most grevious, assumption that you have is that we have decades within which to work. Because of climate change, hydrofracking, and the instability of the fiat dollar, we don’t have that much time to change things. Most of New York City, where I live, will be under water if things don’t change soon. And since you are so concerned about what will replace our current system, you will definitely not like the system that will replace the current one if the fiat-dollar (which derives its value from forcing the world to use US dollars in the oil market) collapses.

    So what I would suggest to you is for you to get out of your 1970’s mindset and start dealing with the problems we have here in the 21st century. Problems that we don’t have decades to deal with.

  4. “And you WILL give us your opinion, because if you don’t, I will HUMILIATE you, if Ted doesn’t ban you first. And that’s a promise.”

    Now threats?
    It seems that Whimsical makes an effort to try to explain what he’s posted in a fairly civilized way, while you make it personal and go on the attack – that’s trolling. Why not stick to commenting on the cartoon and giving an opinion? Why all the effort on bashing other people and twisting what they say? A lot of good suggestions on how to address the issues presented have been made by various people on this blog, but almost all of them are fairly impossible to accomplish with a populace that devotes more time to watching American Idol than thinking about what’s going on around them. Oliver Stones new series, The Untold History of the United States – is such an effort in the right direction, but how effective will it be in educating people if they have no interest in watching it? Susan – Comments like yours are the wrong direction – the constant bashing and efforts to humiliate others who don’t share your point of view are obviously the efforts of a troll. I think that if we consider the fact that most people in our country are ignorant, unaware and don’t even bother to read and post on blogs like Ted’s shows that while we disagree – that we are a group of people who care more about past and current issues. It’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and spit out vitriol at others – a lot easier than actually putting that same effort into sending letters to legislators or giving vocal support towards solving these issues and making them known.

  5. @Ted

    Yup, here we go again. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it till I’m listened to.

    “What I really want to know is exactly what it is that the Left is supposed to do in your humble opinion.”

    The left is suspposed to reward Democrats for movement left, no matter how slight, and quit running awy from Democrats as hard as they can because they don’t go left enough, fast enough to suit you.

    ” Are they supposed to work within the Democratic Party, because tried that back in the 1960s”

    This is true.

    “nd 1970s and all we ended up with was Jimmy Carter and Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.”

    This however, is not. Starting with Kennedy’s rejection of the health care compromise proposed by Nixon, in the early 70’s, the left has run away full tilt from Democrats the second they have not gotten what they wanted. This punishment strategy has been a dreadful failure and is directly responsible for Dukakis, Mondale, Clinton and Obama. If you don’t like them, you only have yourself to blame. (You unfairly malign Carter, who was an excellent President, but that’s a tangent I don’t feel like going off on right now)

    I don’t know why or how the left became convinced that abandoning Democrats for slight movement on progressive goals would get them large movement on progressive goals (though I have my suspicions), but any objectively honest reading of history would indicate that policy was a dismal failure.

    “As far as I can tell, the left has two options. They can work within the system or they can work to try to get rid of it and replace it with something else.”

    Other than the fact that getting rid of the system is virtually guaranteed to replace it with something worse, a fact you’ve admitted yourself in an unguarded moment, this is substanitally true.

    “Working within the system has been tried.”

    A single strategy for working within the system has been tried, yes.

    “Trying to get rid of it has not.”

    Because those of us with common sense comprehend that this leads to a worse option.

    “Therefore I tend to favor the approach that has not been tried and therefore not failed over the one that has been tried and has failed.”

    No, YOUR strategy for working within the system has failed, that much we agree on. The breathtaking arrogance and short-sightedness to think that YOUR way of working within the system is the ONLY way to work within the system is one of the reasons I think the left has it’s head someplace where no light can get in.

    “Now tell me how it is exactly that my head is inside my rectum.”

    For running away from Democrats…for embracing a strategy that empowers Republicans just so you can bash Democrats..for thinking your strategy is the only way to do things..for calling for the destruction of the system (knowing full well something worse will arise in its place) just so you can keep bashing Democrats..for claiming to want all these progressive goals while at the same tiime endorsing strategies that ensure no progress will be made on them..for having no patience and willingness to do the decades of hard work to fix this country properly..

    Take your pick.

    @derlher

    Not sure I understand your question.

    A) The founding fathers thought of a LOT of things that didn’t exist before they thought of them. The notion of a country with a significant portion of the country was not just ignorant, but wilfully, proudly ignorant was not one of them. We would be better off now, if it had been.

    B) A significant chunk of rich, white, property owners currently are ignorant. Even if I allow you your exceptions, the founding fathers still should have seen a time when enough rich, white, property-owning males were ignorant enough to impede progress and planned accordingly.

    @Susan-

    LOL. Thanks for the laugh, sweetie. You do not possess the ability to humiliate me; to do so, I’d have to give a damn what you think of me, and I don’t.

    Your continued misunderstanding of my points (intentional or otherwise, though I lean towards intentional- no one can be that wrong consistently unintentionally) and your twisting of a remarkably consistent viewpoint to suit your own fantasises or in a (usally failed) attempt to make a point says far more about you then it ever will about me.

    Take the so-called example you posted. I have ALWAYS said that the left needs to vote Democratic. I have also ALWAYS said that if the left gets its head out of its ass and has some patience, it can gradually increase the quality of Democratic candidates it votes for.

    Your silly attempt to paint two complementary statements as contradictory is very telling.

    If Ted wants to ban me, he can ban me. The left is continuing to chart a course into irrelevancy and obscurity, complaining all the while- or making ridicuolus plans rather than simple changes in strategy.

    I figured he’d be interested in talking to someone who has a strategy that could change that and actually show him how to make progress on all those things he claims to care about.

    Of course, he could be more interesedt in silly revolution fantasies and being able to constantly bash Democrats and let Republicans off the hook.

    His call. After all, it’s not YOUR blog, is it?

  6. “As usual, the point goes a mile over your head.”

    Dearest Whimsical, if I had the inclination, I could go to Ted’s WordPress dashboard and pull up every comment you’ve made and show everyone how much you’ve contradicted yourself over the years. I could do that. But it would be a humilation of the first order if I did that to you.

    Instead, I will merely point out one contradiction you’ve made:

    Before, you were saying that the Left has no choice but to vote Democratic, period. Now you are saying that the Left has no choice but to vote Democratic “until the left gets its head out of its ass”.

    Now, what we are asking is: pull our head out of our ass and do what? Because if you have an idea of what the Left should do that doesn’t involve voting Democratic, then you owe to us to tell us what we should do. If you don’t care to explain yourself, then you have no one to blame but yourself if no one understands you.

    If this was MY blog, I would give you a choice of answering this question or face the consequence of being banned for life for trolling. Fortunately for you, Ted has shown himself more tolerant than I would be.

    So, you can throw a childish temper tantrum and complain that your mysterious opinions are “a mile above everyone’s head”, or, you can give us your opinion about what we should do so that voting Democratic is not our only option.

    And you WILL give us your opinion, because if you don’t, I will HUMILIATE you, if Ted doesn’t ban you first. And that’s a promise.

  7. @ Whimsical –

    “I’ve always said that the founding fathers’ biggest mistake was in not envisioning a time when a substantial chunk of the country would be not just ignorant, but willfully, proudly so, and planning accordingly.”
    ———————
    I’m not much of a historian, but I know enough to ask questions: Weren’t the Founding Fathers all rich property-owners of the male variety? Wasn’t the right to vote reserved for only rich property-owners of the male variety? If so, how could they possibly envision every Tom, Dick and Harry (or Sally, Jane and Susan) of whatever station (or intellect) casting a vote in any election?

  8. A good thread. Several interesting topics.

    Ted’s subscription base/number of readers. That’s the problem, isn’t it? I don’t agree with everything Ted says/writes, and I think on a couple things, he’s been stunning wrong, but I don’t “judge” the validity of the body of his work, or his overall political awareness, on the metric of how many people “tune in” each week. I read his stuff because it offers some perspectives that I hadn’t considered. Some of his entries about Afghanistan contain information I don’t find easily anywhere else.

    I’ve had a running nervous breakdown over the New York Times for a number of years now. Two examples of what I mean:

    1. The way they “report” unemployment. Today, they had something about the “lowest unemployment figure” in five years, or some such thing. Someone sleeping on a couch at his brother’s because he was evicted six months ago after exhausting all his benefits and is desperate to find any job at all ought to count as unemployed. Why? Because the metric of unemployment is more accurately reflected in that way. Unless you’re the Times. And no matter how much you try to bring it up, they simply won’t report the real-world figures.

    2. A few years back, the NYPD went on an arresting spree at the RNC. Protesters were picked up by the hundreds. But the protest organizers videotaped everything. And video evidence was presented in a few of these cases showing that the footage the police provided was edited and presented a distorted narrative. And 90% of those cases were suddenly dropped. The Times ran nothing about how hundreds of signed and sworn police reports could be in error (you’ve got two choices: deliberate deception or inability to recall details, both of which speak very badly about the capability of the officers in question). They didn’t question, they didn’t challenge, they didn’t hold any police department employee’s feet to the fire. They didn’t ask the obvious follow-up question: “Okay. This time it was exposed. How many people are rotting in prison right now because the police submitted false reports?”

    From these two things (and a bunch of others, but I’m already running long on this), I have concluded that I simply cannot trust the Times. They aren’t journalists, not in the sense that word used to have. They’re smiling gladhanders. They don’t rock the boat, and their biggest worry is that the pension plan won’t be there when they hit retirement.

    As I said, I don’t agree with Ted on everything, but I trust Ted to not turn into some fawning lickspittle so that he’ll get invited to all the right parties. And if I’m one of 30 people in the room, I prefer that room to the one with 30,000 people gushing over how wise Bill Keller is when he writes a cheerleading column about invading Iraq.

  9. Back in 2007, I was sitting in a shisha shop where my lack of Arabic convinced the patrons that I must be a Westerner (and so a loyal member of the US neo-Empire, disirregardless of whether I was a US citizen or a neo-colonial). They asked me if I really believed Bush, Jr would give up power in 2009.

    In much of the world, elections are postponed until they can be rigged, and the shisha smokers were certain that Bush, Jr would announce that, because of the War on Terror, it would be much too dangerous to hold an election where the terrorists could bomb the queues waiting to vote, and so he’d have to remain President until the US achieved unconditional victory in the War, in other words, President for Life.

    Of course, they were not aware of the most fundamental US Constitutional principal: If voting could make a difference, it would be illegal.

    It can’t, so it isn’t.

    In 2017, another right-wing droner will replace Obama and extend the imperial power of the Presidency (hard for me to see how–that power is already about as absolute as I can imagine), but always for just 8 years before he (or she) has to hand it over to the next murderous crook who knows they have to steal as much as they can in just 8 short years.

    And all the US Pravdas will continue to assure their readers that the US has the best government ever, and none of the corruption that pervades the rest of the world.

    (Mr Rall will try to present the alternative view, but he has fewer subscribers than Chuck Asay.)

  10. @Susan

    As usual, the point goes a mile over your head. NOTHING Obama has done has been a surprise to me. I didn’t “find out” anything. Obama has been an open book to me since day one, and I don’t feel any particular pity for those who claim surprise or are somehow disappointed that Obama didn’t live up to their projections of him.

    If you were surprised by ANYTHING Obama has done (or for that matter, will do) then you were projecting your own crap onto him instead of paying attention and deserve any heartbreak you feel.

    And given all that, knowing EXACTLY what he would do, Obama was the best option in 2008, remained the best option in 2012, and will continue to be the best option until the left gets its head out of it ass.

    @Alex-

    You want to have a serious discussion on how we can make the votes of the ignorant count less than the votes of the informed, I’m there. I’ve always said that the founding fathers’ biggest mistake was in not envisioning a time when a substantial chunk of the country would be not just ignorant, but willfully, proudly so, and planning accordingly.

    • @Whimsical: “And given all that, knowing EXACTLY what he would do, Obama was the best option in 2008, remained the best option in 2012, and will continue to be the best option until the left gets its head out of it ass.”

      And here we go again.

      What I really want to know is exactly what it is that the Left is supposed to do in your humble opinion. Is it supposed to vote Democratic? Write polite letters to the editor of newspapers that nobody reads anymore? Protest peacefully until the police, and arrest them? Are they supposed to work within the Democratic Party, because tried that back in the 1960s and 1970s and all we ended up with was Jimmy Carter and Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

      As far as I can tell, the left has two options. They can work within the system or they can work to try to get rid of it and replace it with something else. Working within the system has been tried. Trying to get rid of it has not. Therefore I tend to favor the approach that has not been tried and therefore not failed over the one that has been tried and has failed. Now tell me how it is exactly that my head is inside my rectum.

  11. Whimsical, I am quite aware of Obama’s true nature, which is why I didn’t vote for him this time around. You know the old saying “Fool me once, shame on them, fool me twice, shame on me”.

    So does this mean that you finally see that Obama is a backstabbing little liar? Well, honey, that’s what I coulda told ya, and had you listened to me (or Ted, for that matter), it would have saved you the heartache of finding that out on your own.

  12. I voted for him because I like seeing right wingers get even more emphatic….I know, that may make me a bad person….but at this point I just don’t think much matters….we’re so far beyond F’d all you can do is laugh.

  13. Anyone who thought Obama would be ANYTHING other than exactly what he is was projecting their own issues onto Obama rather than paying attention.

    So why care what they think?

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