“Impatience is the ruin of strength”

What is destructive is impatience, haste, expecting too much too fast.

– May Sarton

Do I ever agree with this.

We liberals seem to warm to oppositional positioning and it would appear that we’re not altogether comfortable with having our guy in the Oval office. So when he doesn’t do things exactly the way we think they should be done, the circular firing squad lines up and takes full aim at our side. It happens with every single issue. Forget the fact that we didn’t have the votes in Congress, he should’ve used his bully pulpit! Forget the fact that we have a 100% dysfunctional opposition party; he should just steamroll them and get what he wants however he wants. Like magic, that.

[snip]

If you are really blind enough not to realize that there is a very real possibility that a GOP victory in 2012 could happen, and if 2010 midterms were not enough to convince you, then please, do continue on but understand this about me: You will not convince me, nor will I join the chorus. To do so truly would be robotic behavior, akin to following an online gangbang on a hedonistic and self-destructive pathway to hell on earth for 8 years or so. I refer anyone who might take issue with this pronouncement to have a look at what Republican governors are doing in Ohio, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Florida. If you remain unconvinced that such goings-on could be a reality in 2013, look again. Harder. I decline to choose that road.

Like it or not, this guy in the White House right now is the best hope you’ve got. You can batter him or you can back him. I choose the latter. That isn’t OBotic. It’s simply reality.

It’s a reality that certain people–I’m looking at you, John Aravosis, Jane Hamsher, Melissa McEwan–are denying, and misleading others about as well. All this whining, screeching and caterwauling gets nothing done, and only succeeds in dividing the donkey herd when we should be gearing up for the fight.

Yeah, your fee-fees are hurt. Too frakking bad. Get over it.

 

 

 

“This ain’t no foolin’ around”

This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
this ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain’t got time for that now

“Life During Wartime,” the Talking Heads

Just for the uninitiated:

THIS IS NOT A SAFE SPACE.

Unlike Shakesville, I don’t believe in that. I adhere more to the Balloon Juice style of commenting. Disagree, snark, call people mofo’s if you feel like it (or think you have a good reason). Even me, if you so desire. In their comment threads, there are very few rules, and you have to stand up for yourself. I appreciate that.

That doesn’t mean you get away with whatever “isms” (by this I mean nasty ones: race, sex, et al) your little heart desires. For starters, the commentariat themselves will come down on trolls so hard they drive them under the rocks whimpering. I’ve seen it.  John Cole and company don’t need long lists of rules that turn their blog into a vast echo chamber. (Unintentionally, to be sure, but that’s the end result.)

What started all this was the fact that I firmly believe letting the Repugs win this next election would mark the beginning of the end of this country (although if we go over the debt ceiling cliff, the end might begin far sooner than that).

So Obama disappointed you. So-frakking-what? If you think you can get Russ Feingold or Howard Dean in there (either now or in 2016) you’re certainly welcome to try. (Personally, I would fall down and worship at President Bernie Saunders’ feet, but you and I know hell would freeze over before he could win the general election.) Truthfully, though, I think that ship has sailed. I think, between Citizens United, the ongoing deification of Saint Ronnie, thirty years of Republican malfeasance, and the Fake Noise Propaganda Machine, it is now impossible to get a true progressive elected in this country.

I mean, when Fox, Rush Limbaugh, and more than 50% of the newspaper columnists spread standard Republican lies like “Tax cuts generate revenue,” “Republicans want to save Medicare, not destroy it,” and “Maybe Obama wasn’t born in Kenya, but he was raised there,” and “Obama is a soshulist,”  and a great many people believe it, you’re beating a dead horse. If this is what the Republican authoritarians are doing to him (and admittedly his race plays a commanding role in all this) when he’s not a fire-breathing leftist, what would they do to someone like Feingold?

For starters, Fox, CNN, Republican talk radio, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post would become 24-hour Feingold smear machines.

What we need is a pragmatist…and Obama is certainly that.

More than that, constant complaining ain’t gonna do crap, folks. Neither is threatening to sit the election out, unless you truly want Romney–or any Republican, for that matter–in there. I do not understand this…really, was eight years under Dubya so wonderful you want to revisit it?

(And don’t give me this nonsense about “Bush’s 3rd term.” Rachel Maddow begs to differ. This segment was actually taped last year, and since then financial reform, the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and other accomplishments have been added to the list. Oh yeah, since that last video was taped…Osama bin Laden got offed, too.)

I commented with a truncated version of the above on Shakesville. This is what I said:

Because the stakes are…being disappointed and witnessing the end of this country. 

If Romney (or Bachmann or someone else) gets in and manages to ram through the Paul Ryan budget, what then? 

But by all means, keep complaining about Obama.

Apparently, even if what you say is true, the “safe space” must be protected at all costs. I’d never heard of that particular comment restriction before, and could hardly believe it existed even after I’d read it. If that’s the way you feel, fine, but it doesn’t change the fact that in this country, with its firmly entrenched two-party system, if you vote for, say, the Green Party candidate–or, to use a more infamous example, Ralph Nader–you’re simply wasting your vote. (If you want to try to change that to a parliamentary system, go for it–maybe President Saunders will sign the legislation.) Also, if you sit out the next election because of a fit of anti-Obama pique, and the Republicans win–in your own small way, you’ve helped bring that about.

(This is why, I just realized, the Pandagon discussion threads seem a great deal livelier…because Amanda Marcotte doesn’t adhere to this counterproductive idea.)

It seems to me it would be more effective to regulate people on a case-by-case basis (or ban, if you feel like you have to) instead of a blanket exercise in rigidity.

Well, whatever. Shakesville is still a good blog, and I would urge all of you to read it.  Just remember that if you say anything, you gotta scrub it till it hurts.

(Also: don’t mention “the blogmistress’s vast echo chamber” at Shakesville, or the hammer will come down.)

“Poverty is the worst form of violence”

“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” ~Confucius 

Rand Paul continues with his sadistic libertarian streak. Of course, we know he will; he can’t help himself. (Or rather, he could, if he’d look at the facts, take a step back, and ask himself one simple question: “What would Jesus cut?”)

I think, though, that he’s reached a new low, going after elderly people who don’t have enough money to feed themselves.

From The Notion:

Rand Paul To America’s Hungry Seniors: Let Them Eat Private Charity

Sen. Paul, however, explicitly rejected this logic. “It’s curious that only in Washington can you spend $2 billion and claim that you’re saving money,” he said. “The idea or notion that spending money in Washington somehow is saving money really flies past most of the taxpayers.”  Instead, Paul touted the “nobility of private charity” as opposed to government-funded “transfer programs.” He suggested privatizing Meals on Wheels and other government assistance for hungry seniors.

Jeez Louise, what a twit. When the “nobility of private charity” can’t cover all the people who need help, that’s what the government is for, you clown. That’s also why this little program called Social Security was created in the first place–to reduce the poverty of elderly people.

I dunno, maybe Rand thinks he’s never going to get old.

Al Franken did have the last word, however.

Nevertheless, Paul—who’s home state of Kentucky is ranked 20th in the nation in senior citizen food insecurity, with over 5 percent of seniors there facing hunger—pressed on. Addressing Greenlee, he asked: “If we are saving money with the two billion we spend, perhaps we should give you 20 billion. Is there a limit? How much money should we give you in order to save money? If we spend federal money to save money, where is the limit? I think we could reach a point of absurdity.”

Sen. Al Franken turned on his microphone and offered a quick reply: “I think you just did.” 

For the win!

“The art of walking across the quicksand of ideologies”

 

 

I react pragmatically. Where the market works, I’m for that. Where the government is necessary, I’m for that. I’m deeply suspicious of somebody who says, “I’m in favor of privatization,” or, “I’m deeply in favor of public ownership.” I’m in favor of whatever works in the particular case. ~John Kenneth Galbraith, economist

A relevant comment from Balloon Juice:

I just have no understanding whatsoever of how electing anyone from the now completely insane Republican party furthers any identifiable progressive goal.

Take that, Jane Hamsher, John Aravosis, Melissa McEwan, Dan Choi. Yes, we realize you’re disappointed in Obama. We’ve heard you screeching, whining, flagellating the President for not accomplishing things according to your personal timetable.

Get the frak over it, grow the frak up and move on.

You unleash Romney, Pawlenty, Bachmann and/or Paul Ryan on this country, and you won’t have any country left to whine about.

Roe v. Wade: gone.

Planned Parenthood: gone.

Social Security and Medicare: gone.

Any chance at all for gay rights: gone.

We don’t have time to waste on your hurt fee-fees.

The original Balloon Juice post commented on this piece by Dan Savage, which is well worth your perusal.  A massive dose of pragmatism is what’s needed right now, I think, by everybody.

A great definition of pragmatism, from here.

Pragmatism means accepting what’s real and making the best of it.

Pragmatism is figuring out how to fulfill our values and mission in the real world rather than spending our energy complaining that things should be different. When we are pragmatic, we accept the status quo, even if we don’t like it. We explore the cause and effect relationships that govern our lives, and then use the power we have to make things better.

Pragmatism means that we look at our own behaviors and ideas and ask ourselves—Do they work? Are they getting us to where we want to go? Pragmatism and flexibility go hand in hand, because the world keeps changing around us.

In other words: kwitcherbitchin, kids. It makes for inflammatory blog posts, but it doesn’t accomplish squat.

Digging down and working to get Obama a second term, save the Senate and get back the House, however, just might.

“Privilege is the greatest enemy of right”

“Our love of lockstep is our greatest curse, the source of all that bedevils us. It is the source of homophobia, xenophobia, racism, sexism, terrorism, bigotry of every variety and hue, because it tells us there is one right way to do things, to look, to behave, to feel, when the only right way is to feel your heart hammering inside you and to listen to what its timpani is saying.”
— Anna Quindlen

I don’t usually read Andrew Sullivan, but this hits the bulls-eye.

In contrast, today’s unconservative “conservatism” is a movement held together by cultural resentment and xenophobic panic. Until it wrests free of this trap, it deserves its Palinesque fate: an ideology wrapped in anachronism, and laced with venom.

A large part of the “xenophonic panic” is, of course, fear of the Black Socialist Boogeyman in the White House, together with the “cultural resentment” of women, people of color and gays–all those groups finally claiming their inalienable human rights. Conservatives think one step forward for anyone else is two steps back for them, which is patent nonsense. It’s a toxic, fear-mongering stew that seems immune to facts and even to reason.

I suppose the only good thing about it is that they’re getting old and dying out, but I don’t know if that’ll be enough to save the country.

Insults and Injuries

Romney: I’m Also Unemployed

Dude, you’re a multimillionaire. You could be unemployed the rest of your frakking life and never have a clue what real unemployed people go through.

What a jackass.

“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim”

Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it BECAUSE it is right. -Dr. Martin Luther King

Paul Krugman asks a very important question.

Why did I have to be the one pointing out this falsehood? Doesn’t the White House have any kind of response team? Or are they so eager to be bipartisan that they don’t want to point out that Ryan is talking nonsense?

He’s referring to the nonsensical Republican claim that discretionary non-defense spending is up 80 percent under Obama.

It’s not true, folks. No matter how many times Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan bloviate over this, they are lying through their teeth, pure and simple.

Why hasn’t the President come out and said so? Stuff like this is prime fodder for the “bully pulpit,” after all.

For that matter, especially now that the Democrats are gearing up for the election, why don’t they have a team of bloggers and tweeters working round the clock to counter Republican falsehoods? (They would need three full-time people monitoring Fake Noise alone–if they could stand it, that is. I couldn’t. My brain would explode.) The Repugs thrive on spreading falsehoods; they know from experience that with the Fake Noise propaganda machine on their side, they have a far greater chance of making the American people believe said falsehoods.

So why isn’t the administration doing something to combat this? Taking the bipartisan high road ain’t gonna do it, folks. I suppose Obama thinks Boehner is a worthy golf partner, but really, he ought to know that Cantor, Ryan and Grover Norquist are full-blown slimeballs. They wouldn’t turn on a hose if the President was on fire. Whether they admit it to themselves or not (and at least the Tea Partiers will say so), most Republicans are out to Beat the Black Socialist Boogeyman, full stop.

Hell, I could refute Repug falsehoods, and I’m certainly not a journalist. Most Republican lies are easy to knock off; one or two Google searches, along with the requisite reading, and you’re done. I both blog and Tweet, so I know how to express myself. (I also don’t have a smartphone, so I couldn’t tweet breast shots even if I wanted to.) The point is getting the correct information out there, and not letting the propaganda take over. As much as I like Paul Krugman and Rachel Maddow, I don’t think they should have to do all the heavy lifting.

Sometimes Barack Obama reminds me of a regal, stately Afghan hound, trotting along with his nose in the air, holding himself above the fray. Unfortunately, he’s surrounded by pit bulls, he’s about to get that stately nose torn off, and he needs to start fighting back.