Loosers: The Dems or Us?

Robert Henry Eller
Milan, Italy

'... whether “he understands the problems of people like you.”'

Apparently, not.

President Obama's one big mistake: He has never understood why people voted for him. And if he did understand why people had voted for him, he ignored it. He thought he knew better than his true constituents; He was, I hate to say, arrogant.

The people who voted for him did want him to change things, to save them. But as desperate as they were for bottom up help (health care reform, economic stimulus), what they truly wanted to see was top down change. In fact, they saw electing President Obama as the first evidence that they might get top down change. If they had seen real evidence that Obama, and the Democrats, were going to end business-as-usual, or at least fight tooth-and-nail to end business as usual, in Washington, on Wall Street, I believe the President's supporters would have kept faith. His supporters understood the depths of the problems, and how long it would take to solve them. Why else did he think they voted for him in the first place?

Obama's supporters understood that we'd gotten to where we were because of the ways things were done. We could not ameliorate the effects, and ignore the causes. The last thing the President should have been worrying about was bi-partisanship and reconciliation. He should have set out immediately to do his voters bidding. He should have left it to the Republicans themselves, to decide whether they wanted to be bi-partisan or conciliate. It is for the losers to sue for peace, not for the winners.

The corollary: He apparently never understood that the people who voted against him did not simply conclude that he was the second best choice. After eight years of Bush-Cheney-Rove and the Republicans, after Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, the economic and financial meltdown, anybody who would vote for McCain-Palin and the Republicans was not going to vote for Barack Hussein Obama under any circumstances, or against any other candidate, period. And they were not going to give him the benefit of the doubt if he was elected, by any majority however clear.

President Obama never understood that his election was only the first battle, fortunately and expensively won, at the beginning of a war. It was not the battle that ended the war. But that is how he apparently saw it, as the end of the war. Why else would he have allowed the DNC and Rahm Emanuel to co-opt, de-claw and de-fang his peerless and unprecedented grass roots campaign legions?

Obama's supporters were, largely, equally adamant that, after the primaries, he was not the better choice. He was the only choice. The President, the leader, ironically never understood, or felt, what his troops, knew: They were at war.

I myself did not contribute every dollar I could spare, and more than I could afford, just because I thought Obama would make a better President than McCain. I gave as though my country was at war. McCain and the Republicans were not just incompetent, not just a disaster. They were indeed the enemy.

The only possible way President Obama, and the Democrats, might now recover, starting today, and assuming he can recognize, and acknowledge, these strategic mistakes, is to convince the people who supported him that he understands he was wrong and why. He could fire Summers and Geitner. He could encourage Emanuel to run for Mayor of Chicago. He could empower Elizabeth Warren. He could attack the Republicans as he should. He could get the Attorney General to start investigating Cheney. He could become a real war President, in the only war the US is currently fighting whose outcome matters for America: the war the army of his voters thought he was leading us to fight.

I know I'm probably just dreaming. But this is the dream the majority of us had almost two years ago this November. The dream we thought had come true. And it's still the only dream I'm willing to fight for. If President Obama can convince enough of us that he believes in this dream, that he will fight for this dream, then perhaps he can regain the support of those of us who once thought he understood us.

Fred Drumlevitch
Tucson, Arizona

This November, I will hold my nose and vote for all Democrats --- not because they deserve my vote, but simply because the alternative is so much worse, an incoherent mob of apologists for personal selfishness and the rich manipulators who, despite their "patriotic" camouflage, are actually working against the greater interests of the nation.

The Democratic Party as a whole, and most Democratic politicians as individuals, should be embarrassed by the way in which they have in so many policy matters managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They were elected in a time of crisis to pass and implement bold transformative measures, to be done in the spirit of Great Depression progressivism. They haven't delivered even one-tenth of what they should have. It will be up to historians to definitively determine whether that was due to political inexperience, wishful thinking, a deficit of courage, incompetence, or the corrupting influence of campaign donations. Most likely, it was all of the above, and more.

I will hold my nose as I vote for Democrats this election cycle, and give them one more chance to redeem themselves. If no significant improvement in Democratic policy stands occurs during the next two years, in 2012 I will support a new progressive party that is bound to emerge from the probable ashes of the current Democratic one.

Marie Burns
Fort Myers, Florida

Yes to all that. But there are other shadows hanging over the President, shadows of his own making. One is Afghanistan. Another is the President's continuation of Bush secrecy policies & his massive cover-up of Bush Administration wrongdoing. He won a big one in court on the latter this week.

An actual liberal, like me, wants to see Obama come out strongly for returning Americans to work & protecting all of us from special interests. So of course if he follows your playscript, I'll be glad of it. But I'm not sure how much Obama's saying the right -- and obvious -- thing on socioeconomic issues would drive up my enthusiasm quotient. I still know there are Americans & Afghans dying for Hamid Karzai.

Maybe that doesn't matter. I'm going to vote, & Republican obstructionists have forced me to vote Democratic all the way, even when the Democrat might not be the better candidate. A Floridian, I haven't made up my mind yet on Meek-Crist as to who is the better candidate, but be assured Kendrick Meek, the Democrat, has my vote. He can thank Mitch McConnell for that.

It's the independents Obama must reach. Everyone, including me, calls them independents, but that's really a nice name for clueless & distracted. President Obama can certainly see to it that they forget all about the war & secret renditions & Bush's bad boys. He just has to Keep It Simple, Stupid, when he explains that he cares about Middle America's future & John Boehner & Mitch McConnell only care about their own.

The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com


Not in a million years would I thought I'd utter the following phrase, but NOW is the time for Americans to "stay the course."

Obama will NOT be able to right thirty-year-old wrongs even as a two-term president; no one could. I voted for him not because I thought he was a miracle worker, but because I was confident in the groundwork he promised - and I still am.

Come on, liberals, enough with the "this isn't the change I voted for" whining. What you voted for was a corrective, and it has been presented, and well. The fruits of it are yet to come, but they won't do so if all you do is complain. Obama can't do it alone, nor should he.

So, liberals, GET UP, GO OUT, AND HELP IN WHATEVER WAY YOU CAN - because that is where the hope and change will come from: us.

Barbara Taylor
Charlotte, NC

Yes, it's long past time for Obama to clear up the confusion as to which side he is on.

FDR, he isn't. But maybe he can redeem himself as something less than another corporate-politician-for-hire if he keeps up the tough rhetoric but backs it up with action. Talk is cheap. We don't care what he says or even thinks, because we believed in that in 2008 and look what it got us. The only thing that will get us behind him again is action, tough action with real leadership in getting things done.

If he sits in the background and delegates everything to Pelosi and Reid while it falls apart, whines, and says it's hard, like he did with health care and other initiatives, we'll give up on him. But if he really tries and fails to move a more middle-class oriented agenda in the face of Republican obstructionism, we'll stay with him as long as he fights the good fight.

Tim Kane
Mesa, Arizona

Obama can't credibly speak out on behalf of the middle class at this late date, if ever, to minimize the outcome of the coming elections.

The fact is, we've all noticed Obama's considerable talents. The fact is, he's only exercised them with vigor when his own employment scenario was in question.

We all expected Obama to co-opt FDR. The Republican Party hasn't changed in over 80 years and the current depression was born on the backs of the same Republican party, exercising policies that caused the same problem, concentration of wealth, leading to the same outcome then and now. It's all the same, except the script was already laid out, thankfully, by Roosevelt.

The fact is, after Obama won the election, with his OWN EMPLOYMENT SECURED, he was happy to 'phone it in' for 'half loaf' measures. Specifically: he (easily) foresee-ably accepted a stimulus that was inadequate, by at least a third, and was happy to throw public option under the bus (after talking Democrats into trading down to it from single payer).

In short Obama's lack of vigor on behalf of the middle class is the biggest political disappointment since the Supreme Court appointed George Bush president.

About keeping his job, it is painfully obvious, Obama cares. About helping the middle class, Obama can't get invigorated.

What is motivating Obama now is the threat of a Republican congress, with subpoena power, plus the power to impeach. In that light, Obama's belated, most craven populism, is a gross and rank embarrassment.

Obama reminds me of a high school wannabe - from an ordinary background, but who wants to be in with the cool kids, or in his case, the BigMoney elite types. As a result he's been friendly to their asperations, in many cases surrendering to them, only to find out that he'll never be accepted. I'm sure the rejection stings.

So, it's back to the green that he's come from. Ordinarily, we would reject him for a true advocate. But now, we are desperate and we have two more years before we can exercise any choice at all - so we are stuck with him for the indefinite future.

Obama, therefore, has an opportunity to earn his way into the favor of the middle class. But it will take two years of intense advocacy on behalf of the populism and middle class for it to look believable and that he means it.

More likely, two weeks after the coming election, come what may, Obama will go back to half loaves and to phoning it in.

The Obama administration is the biggest public disappointment I've ever experienced in my entire, half century'd, life - and by an enormous margin.

I expected George Bush to be a massive catastrophe, and he lived up to that. I'm not sure which is the bigger catastrophe: the failure of the Bush administration or the failure of the Obama administration to reverse course.

One thing is certain, if our political system is incapable of solving our growing list of catastrophic problems, because our richest citizens and our elites won't allow for it, this nation will collapse at a rate that will stun the entire world.

It is also a tragedy that we have a wealthy upper class that is willing to trash the nation. Not just willing, but willing to pay massive amounts of money, build giant media empires, endow rogue religions and preachers, to see that its done.

In normal times Obama would be a decent president. These aren't normal times.

In these times, Obama is merely inadequate.

Beguiling considering the talent he's demonstrated in the past.

Cdr. John Newlin
Vista, Calif.

Another very revealing statistic that the President might put in his quiver is the chart featured on Friday's Rachel Maddow show. That chart showed income growth rates from 1948 to 2005 with a vertical axis of percentile income and a horizontal axis of income growth rates. The growth rates under Republican Presidents and Democratic presidents were displayed by red and blue bars respectively. The chart dramatically shows that in every Republican presidency, income growth rate was significantly less than in yeas of Democratic presidencies. The president ought to haul out that chart everywhere he goes. It's a real windjammer to the breadbasket of supply side Republicans.

Another chart that ought to be jammed down the Plutocrat's throats is the pie chart that depicts the amount of income growth for various groups over the period from 1979 to 2007. This chart shows that the growth for the top 10% of income earners was a wopping 63.7%! How did the bottom 90% do over the same period? A pathetic 36.3%. As Edith Ann was wont to say, "And that's the truth."

Jake Wagner
Santa Barbara, CA

Perhaps no more telling indictment of Obama's priorities is revealed in the choices his Justice Department has made in which legal cases to prosecute.

We witnessed a CEO Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers walking away with compensation of about a half billion dollars in the decade leading up to the bankruptcy of his company. One of the architects of the exotic CDO's that helped wipe out trillions of US wealth, he systematically misled the stockholders of his company and government regulators about the economic health of his company. It is still not clear what his role was in the infamous Repo 105 accounting gimmicks, but here there is at least the appearance of systematic criminal fraud.

Yet Richard Fuld has yet to be indicted for any criminal activity.

Instead, Obama's Justice Department goes after an admittedly flawed attempt by Arizona's government to deal with one of the federal government's failures, the inability to enforce US border laws regarding immigration. It has been estimated that US population growth of .9% per year during the past decade is largely attributable to illegal immigration and the higher fertility of illegal immigrants who gain access to US welfare benefits through their children, who automatically become US citizens.

That population growth has added 28 million new US residents in the last decade or 230,000 new residents each month. Compare that with the number of new jobs the US economy is producing each month!

Consider the message Obama sends to the unskilled or semiskilled workers who might make up a substantial portion of his base: "I won't prosecute the Wall Street titans that defrauded your pension funds, but I will do everything in my power to block efforts of a governor to enforce the federal immigration laws that should protect your jobs." Then you can perhaps understand why so many of the unwashed working class gravitate to something other than Obama.

Todd Fox

The other night at a country fair I spoke with a woman who had just lost her job with the town. She said "I'll just get another one—when I'm ready." After looking myself, for nearly two years, I wondered if this would be easier said than done—especially since we are both women "of a certain age". (Actually I think we might be well past that rather nebulous age.) She said "Oh, I've already been offered a job, but I turned it down. The benefits weren't as good as the ones I had. So why should I take it when I have 99 weeks of unemployment coming to me?" Coming to me. That's how she viewed it—not as a handout but as something coming to her.
Then there are people like my husband—a hero as far as I'm concerned. He's working for 1/3 of his former salary, and still putting in the exact same effort—out of a sense of responsibility to "get the job done" and a strong work ethic.
The Democrats would have us believe that everyone who is taking "extended unemployment" benefits is in dire straits and desperately looking for a job—any job. The Republicans would have us believe that they are all free-loaders. Somewhere between the two lies the truth.
I think that's the problem: the truth lies in between the politics and the politicians. The Republicans would have us believe that the founding fathers are rolling in their graves and that the Democrats are know-nothing commie bastids. The Democrats describe the tea-party as uneducated "old people" who are under a spell woven by FOX. Both sides do not listen to one another—even though there is truth and wisdom coming from the sane people in either party.
Obama campaigned as someone who could bring us all back together, but sadly, he's playing the divisiveness game as much as all the others. If there is ONE thing I wish I would see him do, it would be to stop the divisiveness, stop the class warfare, stop the inflammatory rhetoric about the wealthy, and stop blaming his predecessor.
Tell us what YOU can do now, Mr. Obama. Please, please set an example of compassionate listening and understanding. In short—lead.

Colesville, MD

I do not think Obama can emulate F.D.R.

His political environment is worse than F.D.R’s. The capitalist class has entered its zenith of bourgeois power dictatorship over the working people for the past three decades. They have easily quelled any nascent political progressiveness, let alone shifting away from far rightist policies. Weak working class power gives rise to weak policy changing possibility. This is why Obama gave up meaningful changes for people’s betterment for more than one and half years since he took the office of presidency.

As Wall Street has claimed supreme politico-economic power of the capitalist orders, even smidgen trivial matters have to get Wall Street’s approval. People have severely criticized the Wall Street axis of Greithner-Summers-Bernanke for malfeasance and have requested Obama to break up the axis and dismiss them but Obama refused to do so for the power that hijacked the government is Wall Street or the monopoly finance capital.

F.D.R came from a wealthy aristocratic family and he had no need to be avid of the capitalists’ rightist favor for money and connections. He could afford to declare that he welcomed the “hatred” of his enemies in the realms of “business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.” Obama’s family origin is completely different. His family was of moderate means. His official career and personal advancement have usually under the rich capitalists thumb. F.D.R could not careless about of the hatred of his enemies but Obama cannot afford to neglect the hatred of his. Because, in such a deeply commodified society, even the highest officer in the country has to obey rules of selling and buying, wheeling and dealing, set up by the top-drawers to whom one would have to be much obliged, especially if one is timorous and giddily tending to blandish those on top of social and official ladders.

The U.S. electoral democratic system has shown its fatal drawbacks from the Reagan era to the present. Democracy has become timocracy that the electorates are so timorous and bereft after losing control that they literally hold power for only one day annually and give the rest to capitalists who wield power for them all year round. The grass-root movement to elect a president for change actually elected Wall Street for non-change.

The representative democracy has failed. The struggle for an utterly new direct democratic system bypassing the capitalist plutocracy power route will transform the political system from timocracy or plutocracy to people’s democracy.

New Mexico

Andrew Carnegie is famous for picking Good Men to do the work which made him wealthy; his job he said was to make this men work together for achieving the goals of each of them so that all were successful! Barry has failed very badly in picking men and women! He has surrounded himself with Clinton retreads; and retained many of George's selections in some mistaken notion that doing so would get some support from the Republicans! Well, his choices of Summers and Geithner have been abysmal failures, his choice for Homeland insecurity the worse pick possible, and his choices for Interior, Environment, and most of the rest are poor at best; Of course, he has had to put up with the party of No; but a daily barrage of publicity on the appointments not getting done would have sent the cowardly Republicans back in their holes! That is one of the deepest disappointments; letting the Senate be a place where things are prevented from happening; and the Democrats have all the blame for allowing this to continue because these corrupted men and women would rather keep their exalted privileges, their "royal" prerogatives, their arcane rules, their bribes and kickbacks than do what is necessary to govern the country! Well, the Republicans have been successful; they have prevented the nation's business to be done; they have allowed a minority of the Senators to block votes, block appointments, block and water down needed actions; they have made a mockery of the people's votes to make change and they will pay the price! They will be held responsible for the coming disaster of the Republican resurgence; they will be the cowards which allowed the reactionary corporate Fascist, the reactionary Christian Right thugs, the discredited economic actions, the impoverishing trade policies, the ruinous, stupid foreign wars, and the insidious attacks on the social policies supporting our nation to continue! When the guillotines are brought forth after the coming years of economic slavery; may their heads be the first to go!

ed connor
camp springs, md

Yes, thge top 1% earn 21% of all income. They also pay 42% of all income taxes.
The bottom 47% pay NO income taxes.
Most mothers now give birth without fathers in the home. Nearly 50% of urban high school students drop out before graduation. The U.S. has slipped from first to 16th internationally in rates of college matriculation. Most foreclosures are made upon homeowners who took out "interest free" loans and never had any equity in the foreclosed properties. There are 12 million illegal residents in the U.S. who are unskilled and uneducated, and who are stressing local health care and education recources to the limit.

Did I mention that 90% of Americans ARE employed and housed?

Why you continue to blame the people who studied hard, paid off their college loans, worked their way up through their professions, and finally reached their peak earning years, befuddles me.

If you repeal the Bush tax cuts for only incomes over $250 K but maintain the cuts under that income level, you will only reduce the net revenue loss by 25%. There are only so many "rich" people to soak. Once soaked, we will retire, stop hiring and go away.

Who will you blame for your misfortunes then?


Americans get their news from multi-millionaires....Wolf, Charlie, Rush. None of the talking heads make less than 1/4 million a year, and none of them think they are rich.
Oprah, Warren Buffet, that Russian guy, they're rich. The talking heads are just middle class folks who make 5 or 6 million a year. And they have been baling up the Benjamins for the last ten years of tax cuts. Millions. Follow the money.
TV news, including MSNBC, keeps telling us that Obama is going to raise our taxes, but they really mean he is going to raise theirs.
The country is broke because of lies and incompetence, and all patriotic Americans need to sacrifice.
Just as the sons and daughters of the real middle class sacrificed when they volunteered for duty when Bush invaded the wrong country. The comfortable class has benefitted from our capitalist democracy, and they have not had to sacrifice. They have paid high taxes, but it has not hurt. Not the way it hurts the people I know.
They stand in line waiting to buy a few items. They dont use shopping carts. And after they add up to see if they have enough money , they are hit with a sales tax. On food. On the clothes and books the kids need. On gas.
My sister is 58, worked every day of her life, even during college, and she predicts that she will finally be out of debt in October. Then she can start saving for retirement. She had one child, not a dozen. And a husband.
Some people who are very well off have worked very hard, but so has every poor person. The rich have been lucky, and they need to stop being so selfish.
My favorite president needs to shame them into making the sacrifice.
If President Obama announced tomorrow that he was not going to stop their tax breaks, he would all of a sudden be very very popular. Follow the money...

Sandy Lewis
Lewis Family Farm, Essex, New York

FDR's predicament was different. FDR had not hired Bob Rubin, or Sidney Weinberg, for that matter, nor had he put Steve Rattner, arguably a criminal not charged by his administration, in charge of Detroit, only to remove him when news of his previous life emerged.

As and when news of Bob Rubin's previous life emerges, will the president remove his team?

Geithner was not smart enough to work at Goldman, Sachs, but he did the next best thing for one who would like to work there: he followed Goldman's line and worked to please Goldman, 24-7. There is no difference between Hank's team and Geithner's team, save one: Hank got the guys he wanted, and Tim Geithner can get no one to come.

Smart, honest guys do not want to work for Rubin in absentia. With Valerie Jarrett running things from behind the Oval Office, we have Larry and Tim and Valerie as the triumvirate under Caesar. And Bob Rubin is tight with Valerie, believe it. I got that from on high.

Hence, this Obama administration is really Rubin & Company. That's what we have here. Which wold work if they knew how to shoot straight.

No, it's late in the game to play the FDR 1936 Card. Save that one for 2012, when all the cards needed will have to be played.

For now, it would do to "out" them that caused it - and let the people know you know. The problem, Frank, among others - people think he doesn't get it.

And to date, it's clear the President Obama does not really, really get it. He's surrounded.

And those who have surrounded President Obama have the best insurance policy in the world in President Obama.

If the ---- hits he fan, big time, who will explain why He hired Them?

1 comment:

decker, usa said...

When you finally face the fact that there is a one party system, The Landed Gentry Party with two wings, the Democrats and the Republicans, you will have reached the truth. At this point, the truth still eludes you and all of the rest of the media, and those who perpetuate the myth of a democracy in this Republic in decline.

This is a Nation of war-mongers and always has been, and the only thing that will stop that is a broke treasury and a populace that refuses to fight. The people have not yet sufficienty awoke from their stupors yet to get to this point.

Before WWII, when the Nation's population was half the present, and no large standing military existed, and Romania and Poland had larger forces, and Canada could have licked the U.S., the people were content.

The Depression was the result of the same robber-barons that exist today, and FDRs deceit with Japan sucked the Japs into attacking Pearl Harbor. That truth has long been known and written about in several major books over the last twenty or more years.

Now the robber-barons live in luxury and thirty millions hapless citizens are unemployed and millions are homeless, but this divided nation still prefers gas-guzzling trucks, Hummers, and over-sized and over-priced American junk posing as automobiles. I was behind a Lincoln pick-up the other day, and I realized that that truck was a methaphor for a Nation in decline.

This whole media frenzy about Democrats losing and Republicans winning, and people in discontent, are all just so much malarkey that keeps the clueless obese and ignorant masses in a perpetual state of confusion to cloak the truth about America.

The Nation is in a Depression, so call this what this moribund economy is and quite playing with words. As well, outline the truth of how this Government is running.

The Chief of Staff is more interested in running for the Mayor of Chicago than he is in doing his job, whatever the job of a Mossad agent is in the White House. Clinton says one thing and Obama contradicts her. The so-called Health Care is a joke, and only Universal Health Care like that of Canada would have done what needs done.

You will never see that in vicious Capitalistic America. Obama served up a watered-down useless piece of garbage that will cost more, cover less, and enrich the insurance oligarchy to satisfy the other wing of the Landed Gentry Pary.

What you will see is one war after the other, and the New Africa Command is already planning wars in Africa for which the 173rd AB Brigade,in Vicenza, Italy, that is already overdeployed in Afghanistan, will be sacrificed.

The war and arms merchants that control the colluding Congress of the Landed Gentry will make sure that these things do not change to upset their neat arrangement.

This is your so-called greatest Nation on earth.

Blog Archive