Obama Embraces The “Threat To Our Democracy” and Endorses Use of SuperPac

President Barack Obama has pledged that he would not accept help from “super” political action committees — denouncing them as a “threat to our Democracy.” That pledge, like many of his civil liberties pledges, has now gone into the waste basket. Obama has now called on supporters to load up the Superpac funds — erasing any difference (again) between him and his Republican rivals.

Once again, Obama supporters are blaming the GOP for the flip-flop — arguing that Obama had to lower himself to their level. Two former Obama aides are organizing the effort just as a former aide organized Romney’s controversial SuperPac. For about a week, I have noticed leaks going into the press about how Obama staffers are warning about the expected dirty attacks that will come from the Romney SuperPac. It now appears that those stories may have been placed in anticipation of this flip flop.

What is interesting is that Obama is not lacking funding. He is hauling in huge contributions. Yet, principles seem to be the first to go in this Administration when it is not politically convenient. What they have lost (beyond credibility) is a campaign issue. They could have run on the corporate influence on our political process. What is left is the cult of personality surrounding the President: it is not the principle, just the person.

Source: CNN

173 thoughts on “Obama Embraces The “Threat To Our Democracy” and Endorses Use of SuperPac

  1. Be careful there Mssr. Turley, you may have “firebagger” epithets thrown your way. I agree completely with you, by the way. This kind of behavior is why the culture wars have become so important. If he rejected the Super PACs and fought for the working class, a lot of blue collar Republicans would probably come over to his side. Since he does not, the Republicans can run on the “gays/feminists/atheists/Muslims/dog whistle reference to PoC” are ruining “our” way of life platform.
    Of course I am left voting for him anyway, since those folks would love to make it legal for folks to arbitrarily punch my queer self right in the face because my very existence is a threat and somehow oppresses them. Also, my fellow Greens have not completely embraced the idea that we need to focus on the local races to put ourselves in the public eye better. When we (and other alternative parties) become normalized then we have an actual shot at the big desk. Until then, it’s damage control.

  2. As much as I don’t like it I also understand why they don’t want to be handicapped and play by another set of rules, and thus cede the advantages to Karl Rove’s Crossroads and the Koch Bros SuperPac. Obama’s team knows he has to play hardball. Look what Romney’s SuperPacs did to Newt.The rules changed with CItizens United, and Obama was not the one that changed them.

  3. I fail to see what Obama has got to make America better. He’s broken most of his campaign promises, continuing Bush’s agenda, given our money to the elite through bailouts and stimulus’s, continued two stupid wars, and drove us farther in debt. This man is has done a lot of damage to America.

  4. Follow the money. Doing so will show that there are not two teams, one of the people, one of the corporations. We must break free of ideology. We can do this by examining what is really happening.

    It was so interesting to see posters responses to the super bowl commercial. That was drivel in the service of a large corporation. If we examine what actually happened during the auto bailout, workers got screwed and the corporate heads again made out like bandits. Union contracts were busted and their pay was cut.

    Look out for corporations bearing celebrity feel- good commercial “gifts”!

    Clint’s calls for working together were met by posters here with the same old, evil Republicans, good president that most Democrats engage in. This is only the mirror opposite of die hard ideologues on the right who claim it is evil president verses good Republicans. Someone has to be wrong here. Maybe its ideologues on both “sides”? Look at what these people are actually doing. By removing party labels and simply looking at behavior, the truth is glaring right at us. Certain behavior should not get our support, no matter what party label is attached to it. Neither Obama nor any major Republican candidate deserves or has earned the support of the people. They do not serve our interests, nor do they care about the general welfare of people or the planet. The fact that people on each side are unable to see what is actually going on is a function of how powerful propaganda is. That commercial was corporate propaganda and so are these campaigns.

  5. Right. What democracy? We’ve never had one. We’ve never had a direct vote in what affects us, we elect representatives to do it for us. We don’t get to pick who we can vote for, that’s done for us. Many don’t get the opportunity to vote. We no longer (did we ever?) get an honest count of the ballots. Just as in the “democracies” of ancient times, the deck is stacked so we think we’re effective participants but we’re not.

  6. “Also, my fellow Greens have not completely embraced the idea that we need to focus on the local races to put ourselves in the public eye better. When we (and other alternative parties) become normalized then we have an actual shot at the big desk. Until then, it’s damage control.” (Christine Noble)

    You are so right! Local is where one has the most influence and the best place to start building on that influence. It’s also the best place to learn and develop the skills needed.

  7. Dredd,

    I think I read something about Obama sending back $200,000 of supporters/grifters money because it was tied to some drug dealers….. where are the Obama supports voicing concerns over this… shouldhe keep it?

  8. I am not surprised at all . A constitutional law “professor” who signs NDAA and the way he signs it , has no respect for his oath or for any other thing , as long as he wins . Just like attempting Robbery is ok if the Robber succeeds .

  9. Character of swathmore mom: she posts links of anti Paul info on the “fork” post earlier and when confronted with reality check links she goes onto other posts and posts the same links again . No matter a character like her will support Obama and justify his actions no matter how low !

  10. Anonymously Yours 1, February 7, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Dredd,

    I think I read something about Obama sending back $200,000 of supporters/grifters money because it was tied to some drug dealers….. where are the Obama supports voicing concerns over this… should he keep it?
    ===================================
    That was a stroke in the proper direction, setting a heading back upstream from where we have drifted. It was a good example of rejecting degeneration.

    I only want to criticize “going with the flow” when it is a further degeneration of America.

    That keeps me quite busy lately. Hey D.C. bring me a vacation!

  11. Obama had no choice but to accept SuperPac money. what is good for the goose is good for the gander. With the millions in secret money piling up on the Republican side, he would be stupid to not accept it.

  12. Roger Gunderson (and others), you couldn’t be more wrong. But I’m not going to waste my time with a long winded post on why American politics is inevitably a game of lesser of two evils. You think John McCain would have done better? You think Willard would? Those are your choices.

    As for debt, blaming Obama for a debt that is almost completely Bush’s is typical GOP troll BS.

    Go educate yourselves on the debt:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/obamas-and-bushs-effect-on-the-deficit-in-one-graph/2011/07/25/gIQAELOrYI_blog.html

    When O took over, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month and GDP was NEGATIVE 9%. To say he’s done nothing, or made things worse, is the kind of GOP disconnect from reality that got us into Iraq and all this debt in the first place.

    If Professor Turley doesn’t like this President, he’d hate Willard. Willard’s foreign policy team is a who’s who of Dick Cheney’s best friends. Willard wins, and it’s back to torture as an interrogation tactic.

    Anyone who thinks Obama should fight KKKarl Rove’s money with one hand tied behind their back is really wishing for Willard to win. And that’s just pitiful.

  13. “No matter a character like her will support Obama and justify his actions no matter how low !’ )Frank)

    SwM,

    You character you … well, at least you have character … ;)

  14. Blouise, I started laughing when I read it, too. Paul supporters must be disheartened after his poor finish in the Nevada caucuses.

  15. The professor stated “What is interesting is that Obama is not lacking funding. He is hauling in huge contributions.” (emphasis added)

    Once Senator Russ Feingold is worried about the decision:

    Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) ripped into both President Barack Obama and his re-election team on Tuesday morning for backing off its previous criticism of outside spending on campaigns and embracing the role that super PACs will play in the 2012 election.

    “It is a dumb approach,” Feingold said in a phone interview …

    (Huffington Post). Are we to express the notion that “good is defined by what other people do that is not good but with which we must concede?”

    Go with the flow, no matter what, when it is expedient?

  16. Perhaps HenMan would care to post the fundraising from this year, wherein Willard is by far the leading recipient of Wall Street money, because he is one with that Borg, and because Obama hurt their little feelings.

    The professor is right that Obama is raising big sums (98% in donations under $250). The problem is that KKKarl Rove and his minions are raising a lot more through super PACs, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to condemn Obama for not wanting to get swift boated.

    Why would we want the lesser of the evils to fight with one hand tied behind his back? So he could lose to Willard on principle?

  17. What’s it called when you perform favors for money? Shoring? Snoring? Boring? Something with “oring” in it . . .

    He sold out to monied interests during his first term.

    That he’s doing the same on the second go around is no surprise.

  18. I’m not a huge fan of Obama, he is not nearly liberal enough for my tastes. That said the choice is to have him play the game without the SuperPAC and have his ass handed to him in the fall or fight fire with fire.

    Not having gone with a PAC would have gained him a negligible number of votes; the majority of people he still needs to win over have only a dim idea of what this means or what he decided once the step in the booth. But to be without the ugly money & dirty work of his own side he would be fighting a losing battle against the sea of slime that is coming his way this fall.

  19. Yes, let’s all shed a tear for Barack Obama- a man of great principles, driven by forces beyond his control to give up his principles one by one, until he now has no principles left but one: to get himself re-elected.

    This is precisely why I will never vote for him again.

  20. Frankly 1, February 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of Obama, he is not nearly liberal enough for my tastes. That said the choice is to have him play the game without the SuperPAC and have his ass handed to him in the fall or fight fire with fire.
    =============================
    Gingrich used the swift boat technique in Florida but got his but kicked, even though he PAC-surged more than Romney.

    Money alone can’t usually change elections that are not really close.

    There are a million rationalizations for every wrong, “he did it first” being one of them. The people are not trusted to be able to resist PAC propaganda by candidates who cave.

    Obama denounced PACs as dangerous to democracy as Professor Turley pointed out, but now embraces them.

    Thus, the plutocracy is more firmly ensconced, and should all politicians cave in, is here to stay, but unfortunately, then, America is not.

  21. Gene H. 1, February 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    What’s it called when you perform favors for money? Shoring? Snoring? Boring? Something with “oring” in it . . .
    ========================================
    Shake shake shake … shake shake shake … shake your booty.

    Let’s see WH = White House, so WHoring … ???

    That is so legal for the 1%, but so illegal for the 99% …

  22. Curious 1, February 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Refusing PAC money in 2012 is akin to buying a squirt gun for defense in Syria.
    ============================================
    Why is that … if a pol can receive all s/he needs to get the job done without a PAC, i.e., with a normal political campaign’s normal funding?

    PAC’s are used for ad hominem swift boat politics for the most part.

    Why is such indecency required in order to be elected in a decent society?

    Oh, now I see what you are saying about our society’s politics.

  23. As someone who remembers Watergate vividly and read all material on Watergate that was available, I remember it for impacting campaign financing. Many convicted of crimes were people involved in providing much of the money that was in Nixon’s “slush funds”. I have been curious lately if the decision of Citizens United undid many of the laws that were enacted as a result of Watergate. If so, then, I think Americans need a refresher course on Watergate. It seems that asking this question at this very fine and upstanding legal blog will get me a better answer than asking elsewhere. P.S. The one thing I did not read about Watergate was Gordon Liddy’s account. I find the man quite reprehensible and did not care what is opinion was.

  24. Dredd – what makes you think this fall won’t be close? The success the GOP has had with disenfranchising groups that tend to vote Dem (with more to follow) the media fluffing the GOPs candidate because thats what their masters want, the medias love of a horse race so that’ll want them to make it close.

    its really only about 10% of the population that is up for grabs & they don’t pay attention to much other than having a warm place to defecate and the impression they get from TV.

  25. It’s becoming reminiscent of the fall of the Roman empire, you think after Bush anyone has to be better than Bush. Then you get Obama, who has done more to offend liberty and war monger than
    Bush. Re-elect him or elect Romney, the people will continue to say it has to get better. Yet, they aren’t, deficits don’t shrink, wars expand, liberty vanishes almost daily now. At what point does this false partisanship end and people realize that America’s Emporers really do have no clothes?

  26. I will throw another bone of contention into the pack, since I am familiar with both terms. The central strategy of the Republican party has not altered dramatically since Nixon and Reagan. Lyndon Johnson opened the door to the Republicans to the South when Lyndon pushed Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and then proudly signed both measures in front of the cameras. Lee Atwater of South Carolina articulated the Southern Strategy and the blurb from Wikipedia is here:

    Atwater on the Southern Strategy
    As a member of the Reagan administration in 1981, Atwater gave an anonymous interview to political scientist Alexander P. Lamis. Part of this interview was printed in Lamis’ book The Two-Party South, then reprinted in Southern Politics in the 1990s with Atwater’s name revealed. Bob Herbert reported on the interview in the 6 October 2005 edition of the New York Times. Atwater talked about the GOP’s Southern Strategy and Ronald Reagan’s version of it:
    Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964 and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.
    Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?
    Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”[6][7]
    [edit] 1988 election
    Atwater’s most noteworthy campaign was the 1988 presidential election, where he served as campaign manager for Republican nominee George H.W. Bush. A particularly aggressive media program included a television advertisement produced by Floyd Brown comparing Bush and Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis on crime. Bush supported the death penalty for first-degree murderers, while Dukakis opposed the death penalty. Dukakis also supported a felon furlough program originally begun under Republican Governor Francis Sargent in 1972. Prison furlough programs had been long established in California during the governorship of Republican Ronald Reagan, prior to 1980, but never allowed furlough for convicted murderers sentenced to life in prison.
    In 1976, Massachusetts passed a law to similarly ban furloughs for first-degree murderers and Dukakis vetoed the bill. Willie Horton was serving a life sentence for first degree murder for stabbing a boy to death during a robbery. Horton while on weekend furlough kidnapped a young couple, tortured the young man and repeatedly raped his girlfriend. This issue of furlough for first degree murderers was originally brought up by Democratic candidate Al Gore during a presidential primary debate. Dukakis had tried to portray himself as a moderate politician from the liberal state of Massachusetts. The Horton ad campaign only re-enforced the public’s general opinion that Dukakis was too liberal, which helped Bush overcome Dukakis’s 17-percent lead in early public opinion polls and win both the electoral and popular vote by landslide margins.
    Although Atwater clearly approved of the use of the Willie Horton issue, the Bush campaign never ran any commercial with Horton’s picture, instead running a similar but generic ad. The original commercial was produced by Americans for Bush, an independent group managed by Larry McCarthy, and the Republicans benefited from the coverage it attracted in the national news. In reference to Dukakis, Atwater declared that he would “strip the bark off the little bastard” and “make Willie Horton his running mate.”[1] Atwater’s challenge was to counter the “where was George” campaign slogan Democrats were using as a rallying cry in an effort to create an impression that Bush was a relatively inexperienced and unaccomplished candidate. Furthermore, Bush had critics in the Republican base who remembered his pro-choice positions in the 1980 primary, and the harder the campaign pursued Dukakis’ liberal positions, the bigger his base turnout would be.
    During the election, a number of allegations were made in the media about Dukakis’ personal life, including the unsubstantiated claim that his wife Kitty had burned an American flag to protest the Vietnam War and that Dukakis had been treated for a mental illness. In the film Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, Robert Novak reveals for the first time that Atwater personally tried to get him to spread these mental health rumors.[8]
    The 1988 Bush campaign overcame a 17-point deficit in midsummer polls to win 40 states. Atwater’s skills in the 1988 election led one biographer to term him “the best campaign manager who ever lived.”
    During that campaign, future president George W. Bush, son of Vice President George H.W. Bush, took an office across the hall from Atwater’s office, where his job was to serve as “the eyes and ears for my dad,” monitoring the activities of Atwater and other campaign staff. In her memoir, Barbara Bush said that the younger Bush and Atwater became friends.
    [edit] RNC Chairman
    After the election, Atwater was named chairman of the Republican National Committee.
    Shortly after Atwater took over the RNC, Jim Wright was forced to resign as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and was succeeded by Tom Foley. On the day Foley officially became speaker, the RNC began circulating a memo to Republican Congressmen and state party chairmen called “Tom Foley: Out of the Liberal Closet.” The memo compared Foley’s voting record with that of openly gay Congressman Barney Frank, with a subtle implication that Foley was himself gay. It had been crafted by RNC communications director Mark Goodin and House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich. In fact, Gingrich had been trying to get several reporters to print it.[9] The memo was harshly condemned on both sides of the aisle. Republican Senate leader Bob Dole, for instance, said in a speech on the Senate floor, “This is not politics. This is garbage.”
    Atwater initially defended the memo, calling it “no big deal” and “factually accurate”. However, a few days later, he claimed he hadn’t approved the memo.[9] Under pressure from Bush, Atwater fired Goodin, replacing him with B. Jay Cooper.
    Following Bush’s victory, Atwater focused on organizing a smear campaign against Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.[10] Atwater viewed Clinton as a serious potential threat to Bush in the 1992 Presidential election.[10]
    In 1989, Atwater was appointed as a new member of the historically black Howard University Board of Trustees. The university gained national attention when students rose up in protest against Atwater’s appointment. Student activists disrupted Howard’s 122nd anniversary celebrations, and eventually occupied the university’s administration building.[11] Within days, both Atwater and Howard’s President, James E. Cheek, resigned.
    —-end

    Now, me Dog talking again:
    This year the Southern Strategy is the central theme within the closed doors of the Romney pack. The strategy is expanded nationally. Romney, Newtster and Ricky Boy Santorum all push the code words: welfare cheats, States Rights, forced busing, school vouchers and others.
    The key is to pit the poor white trash bulls against the poor African Americans. The so called Middle Class pitted against the Lower Classes.
    Ignore the One Percent dialog.

    Super pacs are big money. Both sides need big money. The Atwaters of the world want the Democrats to remain noble and outgunned. I took a poll today of my dog pack and they are all Democrats. We got the best dog in the race. Ours is a Labrador and Willard is a Rat Terrier.

  27. Whoops. For the uninformed, Willard is Romney’s given first name on his Birth Certificate and any inquiring Birthers out there would want to know.

  28. I agree with Gene::

    “What’s it called when you perform favors for money? Shoring? Snoring? Boring? Something with “oring” in it . . .

    “He sold out to monied interests during his first term.

    “That he’s doing the same on the second go around is no surprise.”

    Puleeze, argue all you want about who shot John, relativity, and the price of, uh, say votes.

    But don’t try to pretend that Saint O. is somehow more than a politician.

  29. rafflaw–“Obama had no choice but to accept SuperPac money.”

    Yes he did have a choice and he chose to exchange one of his stated principles for the expedience of more cash for his campaign. The man is therefore unprincipled and he has earned scorn, not respect.

  30. Gene–“What’s it called when you perform favors for money? Shoring? Snoring? Boring? Something with “oring” in it . . .”

    I think it rhymes with good government.

  31. So I guess Prof. Turley and other critics of this flip would prefer more Roberts-, Alito-, Scalia-, Thomas-type Supremes and more all-pro-big-bucks -decisions-all-the-time? B/c that’s what it comes down to after all. I, too, am disgusted by all the other broken promises, including nose-thumbing at civil liberties, at poor people and all the rest, but I sure as hell don’t want Pres. Romney appointing the next few Justices.
    Plus, what Swarthmore Mom and Rafflaw said early on here.

  32. All these folks who wring their hands about how Obama has no choice but to cave time after time because of how bad the alternative is, etc, etc. At some point it ought to become clear that the so-called democracy that these apologists are lecturing us about is worth less each day, each cave. So when does principle become more important than claiming that sleaze is the only viable option?

  33. “The announcement fully implicates the president, his campaign and his administration in the pollution of the political system unleashed by Citizens United and related court decisions.

    . . .

    “As misguided as it was, the Citizens United decision naïvely believed that the super PACs would remain separate from individual campaigns. The White House’s decision to allow insiders like Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, and Jim Messina, the Obama campaign manager, to speak at Priorities USA Action events shows how ludicrous that notion has become, raising questions about whether the law is being violated. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/opinion/another-2012-campaign-for-sale.html?_r=1&hp

  34. Frankly 1, February 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Dredd – what makes you think this fall won’t be close?
    ==========================================
    I am on record on this blog saying Obama will win by 3%, which I think is a low number, but hey once on record, since I am not a politician, I can’t walk it back … Anyone else want to put in a number?

    I got the last election correct, got Obama’s drop in popularity correct. When he was at ~70% approval rating I estimated ~45% and gave the reasons.

    I got the House landslide (Republican win) correct in the summer before the election.

    I expect the House to go back to the Dems this year, and if the Republicans keep it up, I expect them to lose seats in the Senate too, increasing the Dem edge there.

    The Santorum win in three states last night, together with the potential that the Republican campaign will go like the last Dem primary, i.e. all the way to the convention before resolution, means the far right will do significan damage to themselves before November.

    Hope that answers your inquiry.

  35. Dredd,

    I too think that you are correct….But, when will the Political Corruption cease….I thought it was all cleaned up after Tammany Hall and then Watergate….Damn…what do you think will happen next…

  36. “If he rejected the Super PACs and fought for the working class, a lot of blue collar Republicans would probably come over to his side.”

    Christine,

    These are indeed noble sentiments, but sadly our politics are such that appeals to reason are always drowned out. Blue Collar Republicans are basically Right Wing Authoritarians as defined here.: http://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/21/the-authoritarians-a-book-review-and-book/ These individuals constantly vote against their own best interest, so swaying them with principled stands is again noble, but futile.

    I understand that many people I respect like JT and Robert Reich (see today’s Huffpost) think the President is wrong. I disagree. Living in Florida I got to see the working of a Super Pac up close. Prior to South Carolina the Romney TV blitz began and I have never seen so many TV ads, so far from a n election date. This was well-produced saturation advertisement and we see it could even take such a seemingly uninspiring candidate and make him a winner in a key state. To me it is simply the “knife to a gunfight” situation and with stakes too high to take chances. I am not at all a violent person, but I would kill without qualms someone who is trying to kill me, rather than ethically debating in my mind the moral question as I die. I can do little to impress you of my belief that the 2012 election represents such a life or death question for the 99%, but I for one believe it does and so requires extraordinary measures.

    Knowing the ebb and flow of debate here as well as I do, I anticipate “holier than thou types” attacking me as a “Obamabot”. Attack away, but riddle me this?

    1. Do you believe that ANY Republican winning as President, with coattails ensuring a House Republican Majority, will make things better or worse for the 99% of this country’s population?

    2. If your answer to the above is neither, then am I right to assume that you believe it doesn’t matter who wins, because “they’re all the same”?

    3. If they are “all the same” am I correct that you want things to change in this country for the 99%, or do you think a Republican victory will actually improve the salient issues?

    4. If you agree as in 2. above that they’re “all the same”, but disagree that a Republican victory will make things better, what is your specific strategy to deal with our country’s incipient Plutocratic Corporatism, while ensuring things simply don’t get much worse for the 99%?

    My answers to the above are obviously as follows:
    1. Much Worse.

    2. I believe the Democratic Party at this point, while being Corporatist, represents a Corporatist belief system that will make things better for the 99%.

    3. I believe a Republican victory this year will destroy any semblance of freedom we still have and lead to a Presidential dictatorship, creating a society similar to 1920’s America, except for the 20’s lacking an activist President.

    4. I am very open to alternatives that represent a better strategy for 2012, however, I don’t think that when your dealing with the current Authoritarian nature of the Right Wing of this country that nobility, political purity and hopefulness represent winning strategy. Hitler took his 34% Reich-stag vote and created one of the worst totalitarian governments in history. I see no difference between the proffered ideology of any Republican candidate and that of Adolf Hitler. It all adds up to the same thing to me.

    As you take your best shots at me, I would urge you to remember that on this site I have a history of written statements being as critical of the President and of the trend in America towards a frightening Feudalistic Corporatism, as anyone else. However, forgetting history dooms one to repeat it and I clearly remember my “politically pure” colleagues of the Movement refusing to vote for Humphrey in 1968. The result was an escalation of the Viet Nam War, the destruction of both the Civil Rights, Anti-War protest movements and the nascent movement to gather them all into one overarching philosophy that included the economically disadvantaged. Today the critical issues are joblessness, the social safety net, misogyny, homophobia, racism, a march to war in Iran and a unfettering of corporate greed. My contention is that Obama has at least made positive efforts in all of these, that they were not enough is certain. The victory of the Republican Candidate, which will inevitably lead to a Republican House, will certainly affect all those issues with a negativity that to my mind be inevitable.

  37. Many blue collar republicans are voting for Santorum, and they would not vote for Obama under any circumstance.

  38. “I got the House landslide (Republican win) correct in the summer before the election.

    I expect the House to go back to the Dems this year, and if the Republicans keep it up, I expect them to lose seats in the Senate too, increasing the Dem edge there.”

    Dredd,

    You know I respect you, but I disagree. The 2010 election Republican victory was pretty certain to me also. However, if by some chance there is a Republican Presidential victory in 2012 it will be because of turnout. That turnout will vote a straight, rather than split ticket. Ergo a House victory at least. Right ow with the insane filibuster rule the Senate has become merely inconsequential and stultified. A Republican House, Republican President and Republican SCOTUS will set this country so far back at this locus in time, that short of a Revolution, our course will be set for the next 100 years. If a Revolution, which is quite dubious, there are much greater than even odds that the winners will represent an even worse alternative.

    I am a generally optimistic person, living a very blessed life and yet I feel much dread at the future of this country. Even in the 50’s and 60’s this country never had such prominent and powerful crazy people.

  39. Anonymously Yours 1, February 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Dredd,

    …what do you think will happen next…
    =================================
    Everything. ;)

  40. If we are going to sell the presidency, we ought to have a proper auction. We can cancel all of the remaining primaries, eliminate the party conventions, hire Christie’s or Sotheby’s and televise the event (after all, we all believe in government transparency).

  41. Mike Spindell 1, February 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    “… I expect the House to go back to the Dems this year, and if the Republicans keep it up, I expect them to lose seats in the Senate too, increasing the Dem edge there.”

    Dredd,

    You know I respect you, but I disagree … I am a generally optimistic person, living a very blessed life and yet I feel much dread at the future of this country. Even in the 50′s and 60′s this country never had such prominent and powerful crazy people.
    =============================
    Hey, there are several big time memories stored in this old fellow’s head … some of my favorites are being wrong on various issues.

    Since I highly respect you, and Turley Blog in general, I will give you a secret view … my expectation is based on the advent and tenaciousness of populism at this time in our history. My guess is that it will outdo the madness you correctly point out.

  42. Bonnie,

    All right Bonnie! Once again you have pointed a most polite finger, as you did yesterday at the Founding’s view on public education, at what was really going on with the Citizens United brouhaha.

    The uncovering of Nixon’s cover-up of the Watergate break-in threw a huge wrench into the political money contribution machinery. Citizens United removed that wrench and allowed things to, finally, get back on track. In that vein, Citizens United was another superb cover-up nicely cloaked in the official black robes of the Supreme Court.

    I was a student of Watergate, as you seem to be, and would disagree slightly with you on the importance of reading G Gordon Liddy. I find him as disgusting as you seem to but he was at the center of the initial break-in and his attitude towards the enemy (democrats) was most telling. As a former FBI agent under Hoover and the recipient of many commendations from Hoover, understanding Liddy opens a window of understanding into the intelligence community that found themselves so entangled in Watergate. His “Charlie the Tuna and Jaws” analogy is still very much in play today as the intelligence community seeks to offer excuses for any number of infractions, including torture.

  43. mahtso,

    Yep … your recall matches my own. People failed to do their homework before elevating this man to nomination and then election four years ago. Now they are blaming him for their own self-imposed blinders.

    What he is now is what he has always been and no one stands a chance at defeating him in November.

  44. “My guess is that it will outdo the madness you correctly point out.”

    Dredd,

    Being wrong in this would thrill and amaze, rather than disappoint me.

  45. “understanding Liddy opens a window of understanding into the intelligence community that found themselves so entangled in Watergate.”

    Blouise,

    You’re right and that understanding is vital in trying to combat that mindset. Though they exhibit corruption, many of these people are “true believers” as is Liddy. It’s just that their belief system puts them in a different universe and so they cannot be reformed by reason.

  46. “As I recall, then-Sen. Obama did much the same when he reneged on his promise to run using public financing.”

    Mahtso,

    You are absolutely right, but how much worse, or better, would things be if McCain/Palin had won?

  47. Mike S,

    The question for me is … how much better would things have been if someone other than Obama had won the nomination?

  48. Mike S.,
    I agree with you that the Dems will probably make some gains in the Senate and the House. I hope that is accurate, but I hope that the newbies keep Obama’s feet to the fire.

  49. Blouise,
    It is moot. I wasn’t an Obama supporter, but disliked Bill C. on policy. I didn’t believe Hillary would be any less Republican than Bill. I didn’t vote for either in the primary, but knew McCain was a crazy hardline warrior and his pick of Palin disqualified him from consideration. John Edwards had the best message, but like many men was compelled by below the belt urges that sapped his common sense. Been there, done that but not after age thirty, when I finally grew up. He, like many men in politics never matured.

  50. Blousie,

    “People failed to do their homework before elevating this man to nomination and then election four years ago. Now they are blaming him for their own self-imposed blinders.”

    Right, and the resume was pretty thin and malleable, and to a large extent Obama did nothing to disabuse anyone from attributing all things to him — as long as they supported him.

    It’s a lesson in politics, of a sort. Unique in a way, but certainly typical in the manner in which big name pols are either convinced or coopted insiders.

    I’m an old guy. I’m disappointed but not surprised. Those I feel sorry for are the armies of young, committed voters and workers whose idealism, really not seen in US politics for a long, long time, has just been trashed. I feel bad for them, and I feel bad for the even sleazier politics that has followed in the wake and who knows how far into the future.

  51. Don S,

    The guy is a winner, no doubt, which is probably what the Clinton people saw early on in the nomination process and thus signed on to be part of. (excuse the poor wording) (Bill Clinton saw it too which is why, in my opinion, he got so testy.) Obama also was free of sex issues and had a strong “family values” lifestyle … which added to Bill’s testiness. ;)

    Political operatives are always looking for “The One” and Obama proved to be it. That’s why Biden and H. Clinton went to work for him.

    I strongly suspect he’s going to win big in November and it will be very interesting to see what he does in his second term when his “Legacy” becomes important to him.

  52. “He, like many men in politics never matured.”

    Mike,

    I’ve been wondering about that a lot myself lately. I understand the psychology that attracts certain types of personality to politics, but what is it about politics that attracts the immature? I’m thinking that perhaps the mental/psychological stagnation merely “enhances” the other character traits (narcissism/egomania/power lust) that seem to be par for the course in our candidates, but that in itself the immaturity isn’t a prime driver.

  53. Thanks, Lotta. I’ve been extremely busy for the last couple of months and have missed a lot of great topics on this site.

  54. “Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy,[1] in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

    The word “integrity” stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete).[2] In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrity

    Can you imagine how Obama’s integrity would soar if he just came out and declared himself republican?

  55. AY,

    Think about it. If you placed integrity on one side of the scale and hypocrisy on the other, Obama is far more of a hypocrite than a man with integrity. But, if you simply invert it all, i.e. have Obama just come out and say he stands for the principles he reverts to via hypocrisy, he’d be a self-respecting republican; a rare breed these days.

  56. Have to go for the only pro -choice person in the field, Obama. Now, I can add the only pro-birth control candidate. So he loses a few guys to Ron Paul or Rocky or whomever. He will more than make it up with planned parenthood supporters. More women are going his way everyday. Look at the polls.

  57. SwM,

    I would have preferred Biden or Clinton but Obama had/has that indefinable something. Kennedy had it, Reagan had it, Bill Clinton had it … Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Ford, and the two Bush boys didn’t.

    Read it and weep.

  58. Blouise, I told you that he was not my candidate either. I think the younger Bush had the ‘indefinable something”. His appeal was limited to the south, Texas and parts of the west. He was viewed as god like here and still is by many.

  59. Just found out today Canada has joined the glorious ranks of countries that try to justify torture. There was an article on CBC news regarding the new policy allowing for testimony from tortured victims. The Road to Serfdom is now pervading another supposed place that cares for the rule of law ( but only that others follow it). Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins also had another great fb post today regarding freedom for those of you who follow such matters.

  60. “I’ve been wondering about that a lot myself lately. I understand the psychology that attracts certain types of personality to politics, but what is it about politics that attracts the immature?”

    Gene,

    I’m not being flippant when I answer that in one word: sex. I’ve had enough of a taste of inside politics in my life to know that for many politicians their lust drives them. They become “oh so” attractive to political groupies, who dole out their favors for “great” men, so they can bask in their “glory”. Why would someone as beautiful and intelligent as Jill St. John go out with Henry Kissinger?

    Now you might question why I say that is immaturity on the politicians part? My answer is that any man who would go to bed with any women simply because she is attracted to his image, is stupid and immature. A mature male wants to be in bed with someone attracted to them personally and not because of their accomplishments. When you’re sleeping with someone the image disappears, replaced by the functioning of the human underneath. As my father once wisely told me find someone who you can comfortably fart in front of and that’s a good guide for compatibility. In the throes of passion, image fades and in the end Kissinger was just an ugly, fat guy with an egotistical personality. There’s nothing wrong with a lack of physical beauty, but people hung up on image, like political groupies, soon get disenchanted after they’ve been with the real man a few times. Then they have juicy inside tales to tell their friends and in these days the media. That is unless you are like Callista and really get your hooks into them. Don’t you know in your gt that Newt is basically immature when it comes to women. Easily flattered into thinking he’s a stud.

    This is not to say that you’re wrong and that there aren’t other things in play like narcissism, sociopathy and lust for power.

  61. Mike, I spent four hours interviewing a schizophrenic who I also suspect has Asperger’s. I have a monumental headache; however, he would fit right in with the Republican field, as I see it. Made just as much sense to me as the frothy mix that looks suspiciously like Judge Roy Taylor, or that guy who always looks as if he just stepped out of a Brylcreem commercial.

  62. Thanks, Blouise, on your answer to my question. I really appreciate it. It is something I have been wondering about for a long time. Just kept forgetting to ask the question until now. I understand what you are saying about Liddy; but, I really got my fill of him during that period. He was all over TV after his jail time and has a radio program. There were other sources that gave that take on him. He is a pretty transparent man.

  63. Bob,

    I have thought about that for quite awhile….. Sometimes I get in trouble for saying exactly what your sayingthat I agree with intotality…..

  64. Bob,
    I agree with you that Obama is for all intents and purposes a moderate Republican. However, we must remember his age and the fact that being born in 1962 he grew up in a different era from us. Unfortunately, the rightward shift of politics in this country occurred when he was 18 and many prominent Democrats cowered at Reagan’s popularity and became Republican-lite. I don’t think he and they (Right -Centrist Democrats) know that Eisenhower was as far Left Wing as they are. It isn’t lack of integrity it’s lack of historical context, complicated by their maturation experiences. i.e. The NY Giants won the super bowl. This team bears name continuity, but it is really unrelated to the team led by Phil Simms as that team was unrelated to the team led by Joe Pisarchik. Yet Giant fans remain Giant fans and Democrats remain Democrats, as do Republicans.

    Like Teddy Roosevelt for instance, Progressive meant something radically different from what it means today. As for Republicans, Barry Goldwater would be considered a Centrist traitor today.

  65. OS,

    My sympathies, that couldn’t be easy. My clinical advice is take either two aspirin and/or four ounces of Jack Daniels and call me in the morning.

  66. SwM,

    You would certainly know more about Jr.’s appeal in the South, living there … could I suggest that perhaps some of his appeal was his wife?

  67. Bonnie,

    He’s pure scum, that’s for sure.

    I’ve been thinking more and more about the relationship of Citizens United to Watergate and am going to start looking back through the archives to see what some of the posters had to say about it … in depth.

  68. Mike,

    As I said before, it’s not the policies he stands for that bothers me, it’s the duplicity he employs in selling them.

    There’s no ‘wholeness’ to Obama because the man lacks integrity.

    As Neil Young sang “You pay for this but they give you that.”

  69. Bob Esq. You might be right but could you name a president that had integrity? I think Carter had integrity but he did not have a successful presidency. Some say Coolidge had integrity.

  70. Blousie, my 2 cents on boy Bush’ “appeal”, or lack thereof in the South where I’ve lived for 40 years five or take.. He’s a New Englander who did the full prep route but hated it, especially Yale. He found a niche he could wallow in in Texas, continually with poppies support. As a “Southerner” he’s as phony as a 2$ bill, beginning with the put on drawl. But when you take a kid who liked to pull the legs off frogs for kicks, it’s no wonder he’s a maladjusted adult.

    But back to his appeal in the South. That particular ilk is still wallowing in the Dixie days and applaud anyone or anything who panders to the code. A massive insecurity, which mirrors Bush’ own, and comes out as strong regional identification and “pride” based on self congratulation. Not so different from other identifications, but they take it to the limit. Slowly changing with influx.

  71. Don S, I agree, and when W became “born again” it sealed the deal. People in Texas still sport Bush Cheney bumper stickers believe it or not. Blouise, they like Laura but I heard that some think she is a little too pro-choice for their taste.

  72. Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012

    Repulsive progressive hypocrisy

    by Glenn Greenwald

    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/08/repulsive_progressive_hypocrisy/singleton/#comments

    Excerpt:

    As this post demonstrates, long before Barack Obama achieved any significance on the political scene, I considered blind leader loyalty one of the worst toxins in our political culture: it’s the very antithesis of what a healthy political system requires (and what a healthy mind would produce). One of the reasons I’ve written so much about the complete reversal of progressives on these issues (from pretending to be horrified by them when done under Bush to tolerating them or even supporting them when done by Obama) is precisely because it’s so remarkable to see these authoritarian follower traits manifest so vibrantly in the very same political movement — sophisticated, independent-minded, reality-based progressives — that believes it is above that, and that only primitive conservatives are plagued by such follower-mindlessness.

    The Democratic Party owes a sincere apology to George Bush, Dick Cheney and company for enthusiastically embracing many of the very Terrorism policies which caused them to hurl such vehement invective at the GOP for all those years. And progressives who support the views of the majority as expressed by this poll should never be listened to again the next time they want to pretend to oppose civilian slaughter and civil liberties assaults when perpetrated by the next Republican President (it should be noted that roughly 35% of liberals, a non-trivial amount, say they oppose these Obama policies).

    One final point: I’ve often made the case that one of the most consequential aspects of the Obama legacy is that he has transformed what was once known as “right-wing shredding of the Constitution” into bipartisan consensus, and this is exactly what I mean. When one of the two major parties supports a certain policy and the other party pretends to oppose it — as happened with these radical War on Terror policies during the Bush years — then public opinion is divisive on the question, sharply split. But once the policy becomes the hallmark of both political parties, then public opinion becomes robust in support of it. That’s because people assume that if both political parties support a certain policy that it must be wise, and because policies that enjoy the status of bipartisan consensus are removed from the realm of mainstream challenge. That’s what Barack Obama has done to these Bush/Cheney policies: he has, as Jack Goldsmith predicted he would back in 2009, shielded and entrenched them as standard U.S. policy for at least a generation, and (by leading his supporters to embrace these policies as their own) has done so with far more success than any GOP President ever could have dreamed of achieving.

    UPDATE: The Advocacy Center for Equality and Democracy documents how much public opinion has changed on these issues under (and as a result of) the Obama presidency: “under the leadership of a President who campaigned with the promise to close the facility, . . . support for the detention center may be at its highest level ever.” (end of excerpt)

  73. anon nurse, I wonder if Greenwald is still supporting Paul. He totally ignores the war against women being waged by republicans.

  74. I don’t believe that Greenwald has ever supported Paul. My understanding is that he is embraces a vigorous debate over some of the issues which Paul has brought to the table, as do I. Greenwald’s focus is on the war against the Constitution and rule of law, as well as our civil liberties. While significant, the “war against women” is the least of our problems

  75. To AN,

    “anon nurse
    1, February 9, 2012 at 11:14 am
    I don’t believe that Greenwald has ever supported Paul. My understanding is that he is embraces a vigorous debate over some of the issues which Paul has brought to the table, as do I. Greenwald’s focus is on the war against the Constitution and rule of law, as well as our civil liberties. While significant, the “war against women” is the least of our problems”

    Are these your words or Greewald’s …..” Greenwald’s focus is on the war against the Constitution and rule of law, as well as our civil liberties. While significant, the “war against women” is the least of our problems”

    In either event…I agree with them….

  76. http://www.salon.com/2011/12/31/progressives_and_the_ron_paul_fallacies/

    I’m not a Paul supporter, but I support a debate of many of the issues which Greenwald highlights in the aforementioned posting

    Excerpt:

    As Conor Friedersdorf put it in his excellent, and appropriately agonizing, analysis of the Paul candidacy and his newsletters:

    What I want Paul detractors to confront is that he alone, among viable candidates, favors reforming certain atrocious policies, including policies that explicitly target ethnic and religious minorities. And that, appalling as it is, every candidate in 2012 who has polled above 10 percent is complicit in some heinous policy or action or association. Paul’s association with racist newsletters is a serious moral failing, and even so, it doesn’t save us from making a fraught moral judgment about whether or not to support his candidacy, even if we’re judging by the single metric of protecting racial or ethnic minority groups, because when it comes to America’s most racist or racially fraught policies, Paul is arguably on the right side of all of them.

    His opponents are often on the wrong side, at least if you’re someone who thinks that it’s wrong to lock people up without due process or kill them in drone strikes or destabilize their countries by forcing a war on drug cartels even as American consumers ensure the strength of those cartels.

    It’s perfectly legitimate to criticize Paul harshly and point out the horrible aspects of his belief system and past actions. But that’s worthwhile only if it’s accompanied by a similarly candid assessment of all the candidates, including the sitting President. (end of excerpt)

  77. anon nurse, I disagree with you you about the war on women being the least of our problems, and that is okay. He did not not actually endorse Ron Paul, but is very sympathetic to his candidacy. When someone publishes the kind of newsletters Paul did, it is over for me. My problem with Greenwald is that he overlooks the newsletters and the rest of Paul’s positions. Oh well, Santorum has a better chance than Paul now.

  78. Bob,

    I have to agree with your assessment of AN….especially today…..

    On a side not how is everyone in your life and did the tests come out ok with you?

  79. Are these your words or Greewald’s …..” Greenwald’s focus is on the war against the Constitution and rule of law, as well as our civil liberties. While significant, the “war against women” is the least of our problems” -AY

    Mine and mine alone, AY.

    And there’s the non-trivial and related issue of a secret, domestic program which continues to this day. Said program is wholly inconsistent with the things that most Americans treasure and hold dear. My best guess is that most of those who blog here would be horrified. It’s not something that I wish to leave behind for future generations.

  80. Anon Nurse, thanks for bringing the Greenwald piece into the mix; it is certainly apposite. And he answers the question I mused about the lasting impact of our consensus politics (on many crucial issues of Constitutional import) . . . “shielded and entrenched them as standard U.S. policy for at least a generation” says Greenwald. I don’t know where he comes up with that timeframe. My gut tells me we’d be lucky to see a reversal of authoritarian trends in a generation.

    I’m quite aware of the faction here, and in most political conversations, that thinks we should not be carping about Obama because job one is getting him reelected to forestall the apocalypse. I understand that. But in the meantime, by not holding Obama’s feet to the fire, we are enabling some of the worst of the worst policies.

    To me there is a tremendous inconsistency, and actually a disconnect between giving the administration a pass on all sorts of things because we fear another administration that would install just the same policies. So hammer away at the neanderthals I say, I’m right there with you. But not at the cost of suppressing discussion of fundamental issues of Constitutional import that are indeed being shredded. Surely our system should not intend — and it is arrogant I think to assume — that we are able to engineer favorable outcomes by suppressing forceful discussion.

    Call me naive. Say I don’t understand the realities of American politics [I’ll withold my resume out of modesty ; ) ]. It’s my view and it’s as valid or invalid, concrete or speculative as anyone else. By the way, I consider the ’00 to have been the one that sunk the ship: Al Gore’s passivity in the wake of Florida, and the Sup Ct simply playing Caesar (and whatever other ballot manipulation).

  81. SWM: “You might be right but could you name a president that had integrity?”

    SWM,

    How many times have you heard of a Democrat posing as a Republican?

    Obama has as little integrity as Joe Lieberman did as a Democrat.

  82. Swarthmore mom 1, February 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

    anon nurse, I disagree with you you about the war on women being the least of our problems, and that is okay.

    ———-

    Swarthmore mom,

    More often than not, we seem to agree.

    I know this:

    We have to try to turn things around… We’re in a whole world of trouble…

  83. It is difficult for me to believe that a progressive woman would say that “the war on women” is the least of our problems. All I can say is Wow!.

  84. Bob,

    Glad to hear…..You like I will do what we will do until we can’t do what we do…What’s that saying…a journey of a 100o miles beings with the first step….

  85. “taking my heart meds and trying to stick to my diabetic low salt diet. Trying being the operative word.”

    Bob,

    As someone who has been there and back, let me be annoyingly avuncular and stress to you that “trying” is good, but doing is better. I was always the guy who salted his food before I tasted it. When my heart began to fail I switched away from salt and learned to substitute other spices that pleased me as much. When I did so I also learned that too much salt was actually keeping my weight up. Luckily, I have no signs of diabetes now, but I have a strong family history and a side effect of heart transplants is an increase in the possibility of getting diabetes, so I must watch myself.

    The meds are a pain in the ass, I well know, but the alternative is much less palatable. I’m happy, nonetheless, to hear that you are doing better and hope that continues for may years to come. Please forgive me for the preachiness of my tone, but having been there I have an interest in others not having their fate left up to “luck of the draw”, as was mine. Especially, those who I respect and like (though often disagree with) as yourself.

  86. AN,

    You seem to have a grasp on the issues as a whole….I agree with you in the “What is hidden they do not think we will ever see”….. Anonymous and Wikileaks makes sure we do……

    If I recall you said you had some friends or people that you know, who have given you all sorts of “disturbing” information….I appreciate your perspective…

  87. Actually, the ‘war on women’, and the many cultural wears this includes, provides a ray of hope for stemming the tide if one looks at Greenwald’s thesis that consensus politics takes many of the most sensitive issues out of play. Except for the Xtian right stepfords, there is a force in women’s issues — take contraception — that transcends the misogynistic bias of the system and the convenient D or R labels. The recent Kormen dust up shows it’s power.

    Out on a limb, women seem less afflicted by the moral and ethical laxity of their male counterparts. Maybe, maybe not. But I would count on women to help lead the system out of the self destructive death spiral for our democracy.

  88. Swarthmore mom 1, February 9, 2012 at 11:38 am wrote:

    It is difficult for me to believe that a progressive woman would say that “the war on women” is the least of our problems. All I can say is Wow!.

    ————-

    Swarthmore mom,

    Please don’t misunderstand — I am completely supportive of women’s rights. Women will have a better chance, if we take care of the rest of the mess first… And it is one, not-so-fine mess…

  89. Who’s issues are of “first” importance? It’s all interconnected, and progressive thinking probably needs to remain coalesced. Politics scrubs the “best” ideas; but those ideas need to be consistently represented.

  90. I don’t see a strong civil liberties candidate this year, an. Paul is not going anywhere, and he is a very poor messenger. The war on women is the battle to fight for me, and I will be supporting candidates that support funding planned parenthood,etc.

  91. “But I would count on women to help lead the system out of the self destructive death spiral for our democracy.” DonS

    Yes. It’ll take all of us…

    —————

    If I recall you said you had some friends or people that you know, who have given you all sorts of “disturbing” information….I appreciate your perspective… -AY

    It’s so much worse than many realize and I say this with complete humility. Most days, I wish I didn’t know… As I’ve said too many times, the combination of good people and the internet may be enough to bring us out of this “destructive death spiral”, to use DonS’s apt phrase.

    —————-

    Bob, Esq.,

    I know all about the “trying”… it sure isn’t easy. I wish you better health.

  92. anon nurse, You are fortunate in that you don’t live in a state that is constantly passing legislation that is harmful to women and children. You even have gay marriage now. Some of us live in the south and midwest where things are not so rosy for lbgt rights and the rights of women and children.

  93. anon nurse, You are fortunate in that you don’t live in a state that is constantly passing legislation that is harmful to women and children.

    Swarthmore mom,

    I live in a state where civil rights and the rule of law are under assault in a way that they are all over this country. As DonS rightly said, “It’s all interconnected.” Our focus must be on the big picture…

    Regarding “you are fortunate…”… well, walk a mile in my shoes… and I dare say that you’d quickly retract that… :-)

  94. “While significant, the “war against women” is the least of our problems” (anon nurse)

    Lost me on that one but … perhaps it is the least of your problems given the battles you have chosen to fight.

    Here, in Ohio, the legislature has seen more anti-women legislation introduced in the last year than in the past three sessions combined.

    This war on women, if successful, will be a huge problem for my daughters and granddaughters and thus it is a problem I face squarely.

  95. Blouise, Just saw an interesting poll – Obama beats Romney in Ohio, but he is tied with Santorum. Santorum is appealing to blue collar catholics and other religious conservatives. He got a huge turnout here yesterday.

  96. Mike,

    I got no problem taking my meds every 12 hours like clockwork as well as the insulin. And I never put salt on my food. It’s the counting the 4 grams of sodium per day thing that’s difficult. I figure if I’m not retaining water and going into congestive heart failure, I figure a couple of slices of pizza won’t kill me.

  97. DonS,

    You are so right … changes within and to the culture take generations and generations … slowly, the influx will influence that change.

  98. SWM,

    Yes, yes I did answer your question.

    You’d be wise to take some advice from someone like Blouise on the issue of retaining your integrity in lieu of simply trusting your fate with the candidate of your choice.

  99. Right on time, FDL’s Scarecrow makes the argument of those who just wont let Obama off the hook for ‘bad’ behavior (sort of the initial thrust of this post)”

    “Obama’s Guiding Principle: Leave No One Accountable”

    http://my.firedoglake.com/scarecrow/2012/02/09/obamas-guiding-principle-leave-no-one-accountable/

    “The Obama Administration has followed a predictable pattern we now recognize. It has consistently functioned like criminal defense counsel, whose mission is to get their criminal clients, the major corporations and executives who fund their elections, off with no admission of guilt, no forced resignations, and as little harm to their reputation, or that of the counsel, as possible. To do this, they neutralize anyone with an ounce of public purpose in their veins.

    . . .

    “Consistent with this strategy, Obama’s team must silence, neutralize or punish anyone who protests or blows the whistle on the massive criminality and corruption involved. It must also emasculate the left and what’s left of the liberal wing of the Dem Party, using the argument that the Administration is not nearly as awful as the other Party’s people,”

    We report. You decide.

  100. Bob, Esq. The question was what president had “integrity”? I am not going to belabor it. If you don’t want to answer it, fine.

  101. Blouise 1, February 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    “While significant, the “war against women” is the least of our problems” (anon nurse)

    Lost me on that one but … .perhaps it is the least of your problems given the battles you have chosen to fight.

    Blouise,

    This isn’t personal. If we don’t win with regard to the larger issues, we’re all screwed.

  102. SwM,

    Everybody has their issues and all battles need to be faced and fought. One is not less than the other.

    The war on women has been openly declared and lines clearly drawn.

    Anon Nurse’s war is taking place in the shadows where tactical advantage goes to the enemy.

    There are enough of us to form battallions on different battlefields and with the correct individual tactics, traverse all terrains to victory.

  103. “Blouise,

    This isn’t personal. If we don’t win with regard to the larger issues, we’re all screwed. (anon nurse)”

    The larger issues? I’m not being purposely obtuse but before I comment I need to know exactly what you define as the larger issues because I don’t want to answer based on an assumption that may be incorrect.

  104. Blouise, Okay, but I will not accept that those that consider economic and social justice for women high in their priorities lack focus and integrity. Remember what SNCC said. lol

  105. DonS,

    Re: the firedog link … if it’s administered as poorly as the last one, it’s just another boondoggle.

    Re: second link … “ACLU has some “privacy concerns.” … I bet they do … technology once again is way ahead of the society/culture’s ability to foresee and protect us from the dangers of same.

  106. Swarthmore mom,

    For now, I think that DonS has it right in saying that we have to “hold Obama’s feet to the fire.” (There’s a lot of time between now and the next election. We’ll see what transpires between now and then…)

  107. SwM,

    I don’t care who thinks I lack focus or integrity because I lack neither and I always fight to win. Don’t get distracted by out right name calling or innuendo … it directs your attention away from the fight and saps your energy.

    Our grandmothers and mothers faced this same fight and didn’t back down and people were putting them in jail and beating them on the street. They took us this far and probably aren’t the least bit surprised that we have to continue the fight for our daughters and granddaughters.

  108. . . . just to be clear, all I’m saying is that it is a false dichotomy to serially trade off matters of principle for political expediency.

    Others obviously see it differently with perhaps the lead rejoinder being “but what about the Supreme Court”. This is really somewhat of an insulting argument in the sense that it dumps responsibility for some nefarious outcome on those who would stand up for principle, even though the connection between standing for principle and political disadvantage is not evident. Just ask the repub candidates about that one.

    Much is in the framing, the PR, etc. And if “we’ve” been abandoned on those fronts by those who control the political levers — whether because they believe that capitulation is strength, or are actually true believer corporatists — why not stand for principle. The “professional left” isn’t welcome at the table anyway.

  109. Per rafflaw “No matter who is the President, we should always hold his/her feet to the fire.”

    Moreso now, in this age of corporate ownership of govt, eh?

  110. “No matter who is the President, we should always hold his/her feet to the fire.” -rafflaw

    rafflaw,

    I agree. At the moment, though, it happens to be Obama. :-)

  111. This is copied from the Catholic/birth control thread comment I made. I personally consider women’s rights issues to be one of the major civil liberties issue, ranking with any put forth I this thread. The attempt to diminish half the population to second class status is ongoing and must be opposed with constant vigor.

    “Thanks to Elaine and SwM we have ample proof as to the true motivation of those who disingenuously label themselves Pro-Life. These anti abortionists will not admit the true purpose of their movement and like panderers of the meanest sort cloak it in appeals that focus on babies. Like apple pie, everyone pretends to love babies/children. By playing this cynical card they keep the focus off what they are really trying to accomplish and suck in well meaning people in service of the real misogynistic purpose of their sick inhumane cause.

    The aim of this disgusting and immoral movement is the subjugation of women and a return to extremist patriarchy. They pretend to want only to stop abortions, yet they also now are openly adding the previously hidden agenda item of eliminating access to birth control. Obviously birth control would reduce abortion, but that doesn’t matter to them because it has never been about abortion, rather it is the fear that women’s sexual autonomy will free women from patriarchal control. That anti-abortionists are also against sex education has long been the tip off that controlling abortions was just the cover for this rotten agenda. Another is that their legislative proponents are against any support for mothers as single parents, pre-natal care, or health care for children. They do not cherish life, they fear and loathe independent women.

    Another component of this scam is the chastity until marriage movement. As the father of now grown daughters I must say that my daughter’s virginity was never an interest of mine, one way or another. My daughters were brought up to be independent thinkers, but given all the information and support they needed to make mature sexual choices based on their particular beliefs. They’ve made their choices and continue to do so in a mature fashion, though I’ve honestly never discussed that aspect of their lives by respecting their right of privacy, I’ve also never been interested in their particular choices. To me fathers who are so interested in their daughters sexuality/virginity are somewhat icky. I understand that as a parent you want to ensure that your child is not taken advantage of by some male user. However, I believe the best way to protect their safety is to teach them to be responsible, provide them with the facts about sexuality and to instill within them the self-confidence that a female needs independence of males whether in or out of love.

    The statistics show clearly that in the areas where anti-abortion and abstinence hold sway, the rates of sexuality and out of wedlock births is higher than in less sexually uptight areas. Planned ignorance breeds the kind of climate where unplanned pregnancies thrive. To me this misogyny is one of the premier issues of our time and the right of equality for women is a major issue.”

    This is a major issue of the utmost importance and above I’ve just dealt with the tip of the iceberg. Please reference the book “The Handmaiden’s Tale” for a glimpse of what the future might hold should these misogynists succeed.

  112. DonS,
    Noone doubts the principle behind yours and others arguments, but if you lose the war because you are standing on your principle, you have still lost the war. The chances of getting any of these Republican candidates to stand up to big business and the military industrial complex and privacy rights is just about nil. Paul has been strong on some rights issues, but the guy is a racist and a kook, in my opinion in thinking the market place will solve all problems. Demanding more of your candidate is a necessity, but you also have to be practical in order to stand a chance of winning the right battles in the long term.

  113. Rafflaw, agree, “Demanding more of your candidate is a necessity, but you also have to be practical in order to stand a chance of winning the right battles in the long term.”

    The disagreement seems to come over the notion of ‘practical’ The jury’s still out on that.

    On the MIC stuff, I’m not sure O’s not a double agent, so for me it’s a crap shoot.

    Paul is not the issue, he’s just the broken clock that’s right twice a day: his civil right’s stance seems to mesh in some ways with some progressives. That doesn’t make him a viable messenger of anything more than those small, perhaps coincidental, synchronicities. At this point he’s a convenient distraction and, too often, here, it seems he’s a foil for other issues folks have. I’m pretty much a outsider looking in; it’s what I see.

  114. “The Handmaiden’s Tale” is an excellent reference when endeavoring to understand the danger emanating from those who are indeed actively and openly attempting to diminish (over) half the population to second class status … or lower.

  115. Deado threado??

    “What a Fortunate Fund Raising Coincidence for Obama”:

    “Less that 48 hours after signalling that Obama wanted very rich donors, like perhaps Wall Street executives, to give unlimited money to his allied Super PAC, his Department of Justice announces it reached a deal on foreclosure fraud that contains very favorable terms for the big banks.”

    http://elections.firedoglake.com/2012/02/09/what-a-fortunate-fund-raising-coincidence-for-obama/

  116. Gene,

    That it is.

    (Everybody keeps getting killed on Justified and Bob can’t figure out the loyalty to the Bennetts)

  117. Speaking of “threats to our democracy”…

    “Senate Democrat challenges Obama on killing American terror suspects”

    by Ken Dilanian

    February 8, 2012, 11:35 a.m.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-senate-democrat-challenges-obama-on-killing-american-terror-suspects-20120208,0,3508378.story

    “A Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says it is “unacceptable” that the Obama administration is refusing to provide Congress with the secret legal opinions cited to justify killing American citizens during counterterrorism operations.

    Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has pushed against the notion of classified legal opinions, expressed his concerns in a letter to Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. on Wednesday.”

  118. I find myself much in agreement with DonS here, particularly a comment he made earlier:

    “…there is a force in women’s issues- take contraception- that transcends the misogynistic bias of the system and the convenient D or R labels. The recent Komen dust up shows it’s power.”

    The ability of women to see through the b.s. of the two leaders of Komen and quickly understand that they were being attacked by an organization that they had greatly revered- and their instant and powerful response showed the power that women have if they will only stand up for their rights and rip some asses when anyone tries to marginalize them. I believe the vast majority of men were as outraged as the women by the attempt to destroy Planned Parenthood. What decent man wants to see the women in his life deprived of the healthcare they need?

    During the self- destruction of the Komen Foundation, I frequently heard the statistic that 98% of women of child-bearing age have used birth-control at some time in their life. How is it then that the Catholic Church still has so much destructive power over women’s choices in such a private matter? And how do Republican (and some Democratic) politicians continue to get away with passing laws destructive to women’s health and women’s rights?

    If anyone in our society deserves to be marginalized, it’s the degenerate old men who run the Catholic Church- who spent decades trying to cover up their serial molestation of children and centuries keeping women in a condition of subservient baby-machines.

    The other group that needs to be marginalized in our society is the Republican Party. The Rick Santorums, the Newt Gingriches, the Sarah Palins, the Michele Bachmanns- the Bible-thumping loudmouths who have instilled so much fear in the rank and file of their party that anyone who dares to express a rational idea is instantly lynched by their compliant media sycophants.

    The Komen incident and the Occupy Movement, gives me some hope that people are starting to get fed up with the status quo and taking action to protect themselves. I don’t think the Occupy Movement is dead, just hibernating for the Winter- (I haven’t frozen my ass in a tent since 1965 and at the age of 70, I don’t intend to repeat that experience now!). I believe that when Spring arrives, Occupy will be back and play a significant role in the 2012 elections. “It ain’t over ’till it’s over!”

  119. Blouise,

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” was a great book!

    An excellent children’s book about a dystopian society is Lois Lowry’s “The Giver.” Have you read it? It often finds its way onto challenged books lists.

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