Enlightened Belle

Enlightened Belle
Hythe, Kent, United Kingdom
August 29
Born and raised in Virginia. BA in Romance Languages from the University of Virginia 1976 and MA in Spanish from Universidad de Salamanca in 1978. Taught school in the States and for my sins, I married a British civil servant, no less. After more than twenty years of living in the UK and speaking Spanish, French and Italian for lazy Brits who can't, I'm hoping to go home for good later this year. Hey, I live in Kent, where two other Virginia girls, Pocahontas and Nancy Astor, are buried. I don't intend on being the third. Besides, I'm a left-wing Obama supporter. I beling in the Socialist Democratic Atheist Republic of the United States of America.


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MARCH 21, 2011 12:38PM

We Are Aiding and Abetting the Republicans

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In an online conversation this past weekend, someone reminded me of something I hadn’t thought about in years – the Reagan Presidential campaign of 1980. Some of the most effective campaign commercials used by the Reagan team during that election cycle were ones which utilized audio and video clips of Senator Ted Kennedy bashing incumbent President Jimmy Carter during his abortive primary challenge.

“Wanna know what the Democrats think about President Carter? Just listen to what a leading Democrat has to say.”

We all know what happened in the 1980 election. We’re still feeling the repercussions from the defection of the Reagan Democrats today. But, really, this goes back further.

After having spent the first two years of the Obama Administration, nit-picking, finding fault, gratuitously criticizing, and, when all else failed, inventing reasons to despair of the Democratic President, in the run-in to another general election, various people, pundits and politicians are still calling for this President to be primaried.

Some people making this plea may be very young and, therefore, wouldn’t be aware of what happens when a serving President is primaried, but others should know better. Here’s a quick recap: Lyndon Johnson was primaried by Eugene McCarthy in 1968. After coming close to losing in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, Johnson decided he wouldn’t run for re-election, which opened up a race for the nomination between McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy. After Kennedy was assassinated, McCarthy and then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey duked it out all the way to the Chicago Convention. Humphrey won the nomination and lost the election to Richard Nixon.

In 1976, Gerald Ford was primaried by Ronald Reagan, then considered the scourge of the Right and far too conservative ever to be considered seriously. Ford retained the nomination and lost to Jimmy Carter, who was primaried, himself, by Ted Kennedy four years later, losing the election to Ronald Reagan. So much for being too far to the Right to be elected. Reagan got two terms.

Then, in 1992, George H W Bush was primaried by lovely, cuddly Pat Buchanan – he, who still wishes he were in the land of cotton, sitting on the verandah watching the slaves frolick in the fields. Buchanan wasn’t a joke. He came close enough in some primaries to make the Brahmin Poppy Bush distinctively uncomfortable. Result? Bush lost the chance of a second term.

I know. Someone’s bound to point out that whilst history is instructive, it’s in no way determinative; but it does have a rather unpleasant way of repeating itself, and if you scratch the surface of the history of primaried Presidents, you’ll uncover a pretty nasty truth: that when a Democratic President is primaried (and loses the subsequent election), the fallout is far worse than when a Republican is primaried and loses.

Look at 1968. That election gave us Richard Nixon, and although Nixon left in disgrace two years into his second administration, due to the Watergate scandal, he left us the legacy of Roger Ailes, Karl Rove and ratfucking – all of which are very much with us and causing grief today.

Now look at 1980. That election gave us trickledown, credit and financial deregulation, a serious defunding of the Department of Education, Reaganomics, and the first Gulf War. Now tell me every bit of that isn’t impeding upon our lives today.

It wasn’t enough that, from the getgo, we’ve had celebrity talking heads, the 21st Century equivalents of Tom Wolfe’s infamous radical chic, ranting that Obama was a corporate sell-out, that he was a traitor for not implementing single-payer health insurance (he never did), that he’s no different from Bush, that he doesn’t care about the Middle Classes, we had some of those selfsame people encourage voters to stay away from the Midterm polls in protest.

I think the recent events in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan bear proof of the perils of not voting.

Since the Midterms, we’ve had media voices, as well as Democratic politicians refer to the President, variously, as a quisling or a Nazi collaborator, regarding the temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts. We are still hearing from them how the President caved to the Republicans on this measure, never mind the fact that the Republicans had effectively shut the door to any negotiations regarding the repeal of DADT, or the passing of START or the First Responders’ Bill, until the tax cuts were extended. As things went, the so-called “cave-in” accomplished an entire year’s extension of unemployment benefits and a moratorium on payroll tax, amongst other things, as well as DADT being repealed and the other two bills enacted. Funny, how the Democrats and their well-heeled punditry neglect to mention the compromise which effectively bettered the plight of the working class.

But then, this Democratic party doesn’t even recognise the working class, per se.

And recently, pundits have stomped feet and demanded the President join the picket lines in Wisconsin, openly issuing a rhetorical threat that if the President wanted to see a second term, he’d better get his ass to Wisconsin. Since then, Congressman Anthony Weiner has gone on record as saying the President had no values, and Senator Bernie Sanders and perennial Presidential wannabe Dennis Kucinich have called for a primary challenger “to make the President stronger.”

Now, Kucinich is even calling for the President’s impeachment in view of the recent and very reluctant participation in the Libyan no-fly zone. Darrell Issa must be doing cartwheels.

Considering all this, Karl Rove and friends must have a virtual library of sound bytes and film clips stored up for whoever finally gets the Republican Presidential nomination.

More than any other President in my memory,  and I was born midway through Eisenhower’s first term, I can’t remember any President so vilified, so de-legitimised and so excoriated by both sides of the political equation as this President.

Primary Obama, and he’ll still get the nomination; but he won’t be stronger, nor will the Democratic party. In case they haven’t noticed, there’s a very real chance they might lose the Senate, this time around. The sheeple on the Left, and some politicians from safe Democratic districts, seem to forget that the only thing, at this point in time, separating us from a Republican Armageddon, is four Senators and the President.

Primary Obama, and he will lose the general election. It doesn’t matter if his Republican opponent be Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin or Donald Trump, he’ll lose. A primary challenger to a serving President tells the voting public that the President and his party are weak, shallow, vapid, divided and unfit to govern; and whilst that might be true of the Democrats, in general, it’s not true of the President. He really is the only adult in the room.

The 1968 primary challenge brought us 8 years of Republican rule and a pardoned Richard Nixon. The 1980 challenge took 12 years to reconcile. Primary the President, and we’ll be well on the route to Karl Rove’s goal of an unbroken hegemony of Republican Presidents. Give up the Senate and the House, and the Democratic party, with union funds seriously depleted, risks becoming a non-entity, a token opposition.

Given the Citizens United decision and the Kochroaches crawling from the corporate woodwork, and Karl Rove’s unbroken hegemony takes on the distinct image of 21st Century fascism, imbeded in dominionist theocracy.

The irony of this peculiar situation will be the fact that many within the President’s own party willfully aided and abetted not only his downfall, but the political suicide of the Democratic Party, itself. Many of us are doing the Republicans’ work for them. I guess many of us really have moved that far to the Left, that we’ve now found ourselves on the Right.

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I'm watching the same thing.....

"But then, this Democratic party doesn’t even recognize the working class, per se."

the trouble is this:

when you have a self reflective party/person....that person/party will sometimes damage themselves by picking apart their own flaws....

when you have a non-self reflective person or party, and better yet, a person who delights in attacking that self-reflective person/party....

in effect, the self-reflective party is attacked from within and without.

the non-self reflective party is strengthened...without any real challenge from any direction.....

The results aren't pretty.
Unless....of course the best of both worlds: that the self-reflective party can learn something and to grow out of criticism/reflection....

but in this climate of shallow media veneers, it's hard to hold hope.....
Pretty solid logic. You're right about the self-reflective thing. I've thought that before about my marriage, LOL. I'm the one who reflects on my flaws out loud and sure enough, that's what comes back to me next argument.

This realpolitik stuff is rough, isn't it?
If you've happened to read my blog with any degree of regularity in the last year you probably have already figured out that I am just a tad disappointed with the performance of President Obama thus far. Two months past the halfway point of his first term finds the man with a mixed record. He called his autobiography "The Audacity of Hope". During the campaign of 2008, he spoke of change we can believe in. Many of us were hoping for radical change. We didn't get it - or at least, we haven't gotten it yet. I am tempted to believe that for purely expedient political reasons, Barack Obama is saving his best routines for act two. Maybe I'm kidding myself. Maybe not. We shall see what we shall see.

FOR THE RECORD: As disappointed as I may be with the performance of this president to date, I still thank goodness each and every day that John McCain is not sleeping in the Oval Office at this very moment and that Fascist Barbie is not a seventy-two-year-old heart beat away from the presidency. Can you even imagine?

As far as his political horizons are concerned, the president is in an enviable position. A cursory glance at the insane clown posse that passes for "the loyal opposition" these days tells me that defeating the GOP on Election Day 2012 will be as easy as shooting a goldfish bowl with a 12 gauge shotgun. Just have a gander at their front runners: The only one of the lot with an IQ above room temperature is Mitt Romney. A Mormon as Republican standard bearer? That ain't NEVER gonna happen baby! The religious bigots and extremists who have hijacked that disgusting party will see to that.

No doubt about it; as of this writing anyway, it looks to me that the prez is going to have a relatively easy time of it during the campaign next year - that is unless he is challenged in the primaries by one of his own. Keep your eyes glued on Evan Bayh of Indiana. I predicted two months into Obama's term that Bayh might very well go for it in 2012. Two years later my suspicions are only heightened. Why do you think he chose not to run for re-election last year? He knows damned well that these days it is much easier to run as "an outsider". One of the things he says he's working on these days is moving the Democratic party more to the "center". I translate that as meaning "more toward the right than it already is". I can't trust the guy as far as I can throw him.

My message today is for the Liberal base of the Democratic party.

Listen, folks, a lot of you engaged in a mass, nationwide hissy fit by staying home on Election Day last - and what the hell did it get you? The House of Representatives is now controlled by half-wits and crazy people. The only reason the Democrats were able to retain the senate is because the Republicans were kind enough to nominate too many certifiable head cases to count (Thank you, Sharon Angle). As I said, Obama will have an easy time of it next time around - but not without your wholehearted support. We have to get to work to make sure that he is re-elected in 2012.

I know what you're thinking and I agree. He has been a let down. To be perfectly honest with you, I'm just mild about Barry. Giving in to tax cuts for the plutocracy was beyond idiotic. Did he really believe he would gain any leverage with these assholes by appeasing them? Who the hell knows what he was thinking. His most significant legislative accomplishment - health care reform - is not much to celebrate. The American people will still be at the mercy of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and they will continue to die an average of two years earlier than their cousins in Europe. And, most frustrating of all, he seems blind to the futility of continuing to wage the longest war in American history - a war that cannot - and will not - be won. The president would be wise to heed the advice Senator Akin of Vermont gave Lyndon Johnson as Vietnam was immolating his presidency: "Declare victory and get the hell out of there!"

But there are a number of reasons to be hopeful about Barack Obama's second term (I hope). Let's go over some of them.

On February 27, 1951 the Republicans in congress insulted the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the only man in history to be elected to more than two terms. When the 22nd Amendment to the Unites States Constitution was ratified, it insured that no person could ever again be elected to more than two terms as president. This means Obama will be free to more vigorously pursue progressive legislation simply because he won't have to worry about re-election. While no president is ever completely free of the political consequences of the decisions he makes (There's always the damned party to think of) the chief-executive who does not have to worry about the coming election has much less of a burden to carry.

In a second term Obama might very well kick out the jams and become the progressive Superman we all thought he was capable of being. Of course this will only happen if his party takes back both houses of congress. Otherwise all that he will be able to do in his final term will be to keep the right wing tide at bay. That's why it is so important that the base re-energizes itself in the coming year.

Another thing to take into consideration is the man's personal character. For all his flaws it is clear that he is an essentially decent guy with good intentions. The same cannot be said of the contenders for the job. As president, Obama has been bombarded with obstruction, slander - and overt racism - by the "party of Abraham Lincoln". They have been dedicated to the proposition that he fail - utterly and completely. The fact that he has been able to accomplish anything is testament to the man's fortitude. A second term for Barack Obama could be very successful - but that success will not happen if you silly Liberals stay home again on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Something to ponder.

Then there is the sticky little problem of world opinion, and the esteem in which President Obama is held by the rest of the planet. Do you remember the headline that Britain's Daily Mail ran the day after Dubya was re-elected?


How indeed? Given the nauseous atmosphere at any Republican gathering nowadays, it's not likely that the world tip their hats in admiration if any of these jackasses are sent to Washington two years from now. In fact, sending another incurious extremist to the White House will - to put it mildly - complicate international relations.

And finally there are the GOP contenders to consider. Look at them! THEY'RE BRAIN-DAMAGED! Did you happen to check out that silly CPAC convention last month? Extremism in the defense of Librium. Michele Bachmann told the crowd, "And the all -important, must-have of 2012 is this: making Barack Obama a one-term president." - and then she did something I've never seen a public speaker do in my entire life. This imbecile actually pleaded with her audience to give her a standing ovation:


It was all caught on videotape, folks. I'm not making any of this up, I swear. With the exception of Romney - who is the only one of the lot who does not have little birdies flying out of his ears - I can only pray that one of the current crop of idiots gets the nomination, assuring an Obama victory. But that's probably wishful thinking on my part. Would the people who vote in Republican primaries be asinine enough to go with any of these chuckleheads? That all depends on the state of course. While a candidate like Sarah Palin would be a cinch in South Carolina, it's doubtful her act would sell many tickets in Vermont.

They'll probably wind up going with Marc Rubio, the newly elected (and popular) senator from Florida. I can see it now:

"Just like Obama, folks! Rubio came out of nowhere BUT HE'S A CONSERVATIVE AND HE'S WHITE!"

He's also Hispanic - a growing and important demographic. And, like Romney, he seems to have an IQ higher than your average half-eaten box of Milk Duds.

A lot can happen in the nineteen months between now and the election. We just can't afford to sit around twiddling our thumbs. Barack Obama may not be a Progressive's dream, but like it or not, he's the man many of us have invested our hopes in - and a third party uprising is out of the question. Don't even go there. The GOP is beyond redemption. If that party is ever again given control of the legislative and the executive branch of our government, you can kiss this country goodbye.


Tom Degan
Very effective analysis and astute observations. Lots to think about here.
We get the government we deserve. - de Tocqueville
ah, a liberal making sense. the republicans have no greater allie than faux liberals who have abandoned him. it's a rocky road to take this position here with so many left-wing ideologues ready to call you names for supporting Obama, the traitor. Get ready, this is going to be a one hell of a battle in the next election. it's going to take every moderates best efforts to hold back the tide. I've been posting with the same point of view basically--so you're no alone.
It's coming full circle and we would be best served by remembering our past and learning how to not repeat it. I fear for our future and thank you for this timely reminder. rated