We Only Fight When We Can’t Win

President Obama’s second inaugural address was a barnstormer: aggressive, expressing a strong liberal vision, even merely progressive. Where was this man four years ago, when he actually had a chance of enacting the policies he said that he favored? Back then, he was a right wing accommodationist. Nobody really knows what’s going on inside his head, but it’s a fair guess that like a lot of other Democrats he only fight hard when he knows he can’t really win.

7 thoughts on “We Only Fight When We Can’t Win

  1. Personally, I’m convinced that certain elements showed Obama a picture of JFK asked: “Remember him? If you don’t want to wind up the same, you’ll do it *OUR* way!”

  2. I have often wondered, very seriously, if this has been the rigged game all along since Jimmy Carter lost…..the Democrats agreed never fight a battle they could win again in exchange for occasionally being on top nationally. Meanwhile back on the Duke Ranch…..Republicans took their redrawn districts and secured permanent majorities in state houses and the house of representatives (which has become an oxymoron)

  3. derlehrer,

    Bill HIcks made the same point years ago. In both instances, I consider the joke one of the best kind because a truly good joke makes you think. Personally, I don’t think anyone punched the president’s ticket except for a patsy names Lee Harvey Oswald. And I don’t think anyone would ever need to roll that film clip shot from the Grassy Knoll.


    Go back to Eisenhower. The Industrial Military Complex. Only now, it’s the Industrial-Military-Congress-Lobbyist Complex. (The documentary “Why We Fight” — not the WWII propaganda films from Frank Capra, this is a documentary from the 2000s or so — goes into some lovely detail on the IMCL Complex).

    The simple truth is that if you want a law, you just need to buy the necessary congressional people. And they’re relatively cheap. And lobbyists are responsible to no one except the people who pay them. Certainly not the voters or the public at large. So we now have people working themselves into a lather over the soft drinks ban in New York City.

    But — because the lobbyists control the whole shooting match — no one is wondering in the public media fora about why cigarettes, which are clearly deadlier and more dangerous than soda, are not being banned. I mean, if it’s about keeping people healthy, surely cigarettes are a greater risk; they injure not just the smokers but all the people around them, too.

    Mr. Bloomberg, could I get a comment? Sir? Sir?

  4. JFK, regardless of his legacy, is dead – at the hands of an assassin. At the time, he was “the most powerful person in the world.” I’m saying that Obama could easily have been persuaded to abandon some of his agenda with a threat upon him and his family. Possible, no?

    It’s true that legislation must come from the Congress, but it is less likely to come to the forefront if the President is silent. How can one silence him?

  5. I have been thinking of the Nineteen Twenties as a time of renaissance and the Depression and Second World War were a period of collapse into the Middle Ages. In that view, the surges in Jew bashing and Negro bashing the post-WWI Klan surge in U.S. and European parallels are the diehards’ death throes. And from that viewpoint, the term “liberal” seems like the wrong category, and “realist” the right one or closer to the right one. A middle ages is a time when simplistic fantasy permeates what there is of education, a time when each adult is in the position of a child whose parents ignore and suppress the basic facts. This is no apology for the murder duties in the job description, but it is a vote for sane and educated leadership.

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