Tom Cordle

Tom Cordle
Location
Beeffee, Tennessee, CSA
Birthday
June 16
Title
Peasant
Company
Pleasant
Bio
"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence." Frederick Douglass _________________________________ "You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don't have any boots, and you can't put yourself in another's shoes -- you can't even try on their socks." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue." Albert Einstein _________________________________ Only in silence can your hear the voice of God." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr" ____________________________________ "Racists can hide in the closet, but the smell usually gives them away." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain ____________________________ "When we are young, Death comes as an unwelcome stranger; but as we get nearer the end of our own too-often rocky road, he comes more and more to resemble a long, lost acquaintance." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ “When monetary gain is involved, mans capacity for self-delusion is infinite.” Lord Byron _________________________________ "Where greed is good, need is great." Soulofhawk _________________________________ “And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of change. For he who innovates will have as his enemies all who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proven by the event.” Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter VI _________________________________ "if a man falls from a pedestal, who is really to blame -- the man or those who put him up there?" Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners." Howard Zinn _______________________________ "The worst thing to be around a bigot is right." Soulofhawk

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Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 16, 2012 4:10PM

A Liberal Call to Arms

Rate: 26 Flag

As the polls tighten, it’s time to speak plainly to my fellow Liberals. To put it simply and starkly, the barbarians are at the gates; this is no time to scatter our forces.

Yet time and again I hear the refrain on this liberal outpost that “both sides are the same”. Having in despair resigned themselves to that false equivalency, many among the disenchanted Left now vow to go with a third-party or shirk the battle altogether. I implore you to reconsider that decision.

Please understand, I am not some mealy-mouthed apologist for the status quo; I, too, am deeply disappointed that promises made in recent years have not been kept. But I also understand that there was no chance of fulfilling most of those promises in this present death struggle for control of what remains of this decaying Camelot.

My allusion to Camelot will strike a wistful chord in the hearts of those who recall another time when hope came alive in this land, hope that was dashed with the murder of our knights in shining armor.

I was there then, and I was young. I fought in the Children’s Crusade that won great battles for freedom in the Sixties. But sad to say, many of those victories – along with victories won in the Thirties – may well be reversed if the barbarians carry the day come November.

                     

Who are these barbarians of which I speak? They are an unholy alliance of Kapitalists, Konservatives and Kristians … the other KKK.

Chief among the tribes are the Have-Mores, an avaricious and soulless sect of shylocks. They count among their number Wall Street banksters and the Brothers Koch. They mean to eradicate all rules, and they mean to rule – including installing one of their own on the throne itself. They are bent on destroying any remnants of civilized society and restoring the Darwinist, Dickensian jungle, where the only law is the Law of the Tooth and the Claw – save for their corruption of the Golden Rule, which is that them that has the gold rules.

In this, they are aided and abetted by a foolish tribe I refer to as Teapartians. These mostly shallow-thinking knuckle-draggers cast their lot with the Have-Mores, entranced by chants of “Freedom!” But they fail to comprehend that the freedom the Have-Mores proffer is merely the freedom to choose which hob-nailed boot under which to place their necks. Some do so unwittingly, perspicacity being in such short supply among them. Others do so under the logic-defying delusion that they will one day rise to the ranks of the Have-Mores.

In a truly bitter irony, the Have-Mores have been joined by the Kristian tribe, which fancies itself the Keepers of the Flame … the Defenders of Righteousness … the Protectors of Moral Rectitude … the Vessels of Virtue. But in truth, the bulk of these half-witted hypocrites are naught but a reincarnation of the Pharisees of old. As it is written:

 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

The height of Kristian hypocrisy is the Prosperity Gospel, a vile heresy that stands in direct conflict with the teachings of the Prophet of Peace and Love. Having prostituted themselves and their faith, Kristians fall easy prey to Have-More operatives, who entrap them with facile and duplicitous periphery distractions like homosexuality and abortion – all the while stripping their fields and laying waste to the stores in their barns.

Thus, do the Have-Mores make mock of Kristians and their pretensions of preserving families. For by thus, they are destroying families.

The least among the barbarian tribes are the Libertarians, who imagine themselves intellectual giants, when they are no more than puerile pygmies. Like children, they dream dreams of what never was and never can be, while denying the signs that are all around them. They worship at the altar of their queen, Queen Ayn; and like her, they imagine themselves among the elite. But they are excrement, mere scrapings from the boots of philosophy.

                     

With all these barbarian tribes arrayed against our decaying Camelot, again I say, this is no time to scatter our forces chasing after dreams. The harsh truth is it takes more than being in the right to win a battle, and far more yet to win a war; as much as anything, it’s a matter of timing.

A wise warrior knows when it’s time to stand and fight, and when it’s time to turn from a losing battle and live to fight another day, a day when the gods favor your endeavor.

It is clear the timing couldn’t be worse for those who yearn for victory for progressive causes. Why? The answer requires a bit of historical perspective.

                     

At the turn of the last century, America was overflowing with optimism. The Industrial Revolution promised a century of peace and prosperity. In that optimistic age, progressive Republican Teddy Roosevelt was able to push through trust-busting and push for universal healthcare, as well as establishing our National Park System. For his efforts, he was rewarded with a place on Mount Rushmore, one of only four Presidents to be so honored.

However, after Teddy Roosevelt – and it can be argued because of him, the Republican Party made a hard-right turn
at the behest of and for the benefit of robber barons. Progressives, aghast at that betrayal, formed their own Party, a Party led by former Republican Robert "Fightin' Bob" LaFollette.

The Progressive Movement actually began to make some serious headway toward becoming a viable third party back in the Twenties, in spite of moneyed interests fighting against it at every turn – much as Karl "Super-Pac" Rove and the Koch Bros are fighting against progressive causes these days. But it wasn't money that finished-off the Progressive Party – it was the Great Depression.

                     

Starving people care not who provides a meal. Thus in the Thirties, the Communist Party made serious inroads in the US. That flirtation eventually led to Joe McCarthy and the Big Red Scare, but that's a story for another time.

The dirty little secret of American politics is that the New Deal was a way to co-opt the Communist threat. Give the hoi polloi some subsistence-wage make-work jobs and a little food in their belly, and they'll forget about Communism. You might say lower-case socialism was administered as an antidote to Communism – much as is the case with many antidotes for poisons.

Unions were another form of socialism, of course, and the moneyed class has been fighting them since their inception – just as they've been trying to reverse the New Deal since its inception. That sort of greed is not in the long-term interest of the moneyed class, but just because a man is rich doesn't mean he's  enlightened.

                     

Victory in World War II and enormous economic success in the Fifties once again led to a period of great optimism in America. In that atmosphere, Progressivism began to flourish once again. While it's true that the Vietnam War – and the draft – provided some impetus for the rebirth of the Progressive Movement, it's equally true that good economic times paved the way for Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation.

Alas, the revival was all-too-brief. And truth be told, the nascent revolution got sidetracked with sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.

Three infamous assassinations and Watergate ended
America’s age of innocence; and optimism was once again on the wane. And as people became more and more disillusioned, they became more and more conservative. The Oil Crisis and the Hostage Crisis proved that despite being a world power, we were far more vulnerable than we thought.

Vulnerability equals fear, and fear provoked a return to an even starker conservatism, though it was a conservatism cloaked thinly in rank Babbittry and Boosterism. In that climate, the people rejected a true conservative – a god-fearing Baptist and honest technocrat – in favor of a glad-handing second-rate actor, who glibly but convincingly promised Morning in America.

Sad to say, Morning in America became Mourning in America. Whatever vestige of liberalism remained in the body politic was consumed in the fiery hell of 9-11, drowned in the wake of a major city devastated, and utterly destroyed in the Great Recession that followed the crash of casino capitalism.

In reaction to the fact these disasters happened on Conservative watch, America desperately and momentarily turned Left. But when thirty years of folly weren’t reversed in a relative instant, the people succumbed once again to primal fears. Fear is ever a powerful motivator with the terminally insecure.

                     

The purpose of this historical review is to suggest there are reasons our major-party candidates these days are at best right of center moderates and at worst raving wingnut reactionaries. The ugly truth is that at the moment America is afraid to embrace the liberalism that made us great.

As I said, some of us who speak-out forcefully – and yes, sometimes derisively – against third-party candidacies don't do so because we are mealy-mouthed apologists for the status quo. We do so because we are painfully aware that winning the battle for much – if not most – of the progressive agenda is an impossibility at present.

So we bide our time and settle for the best possible option under the circumstances, rather than pining for and pinning our hopes on an impossible dream. And speaking of impossible dreams, surely we know better than to tilt at windmills.

Some day, it will be time to vigorously pursue the battle again, to fight the good fight. But now is not the time. Now is the time to marshall our forces and drive the barbarians from the gates.

©2012 Tom Cordle

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A great crash-course in American history - well done, in my opinion. I also appreciate your passion on the subject at hand. You make a strong argument. I know you don't think too much of my opinions generally, but I come from the George Carlin school of politics and see things as hopelessly corrupt and devoid of real possibilities - now or in the future. I do feel that there probably aren't enough disaffected liberals to really sway the ultimate outcome though. Of course, I could be wrong about that. Anyway, fine reading, whatever one's point of view.
What is the answer? Let us hope we are not entering a period of the American Crusades. Neither side will win. It will be a stalemate or slaughter. Intellect must allow for differences. Difficult as that might be for the opposition...we may have to accommodate different points of view through private schools.
After an independent's victory for the presidency, the landscape would forever be changed. Getting to that place, there's the rub. These two parties are forcing most everyone to reflect on their principles and the choices available, and it's not often pretty. Until those more fine-tuned opportunities present themselves, we really just need to make the time and pull the lever. I've often said that the time for the launch of an outside party is immediately after the previous election, not when the choices for the next one disappoint. There, I've said it again. (r)
Kate
Au contraire, m'am'selle -- I respect your opinions even when I disagree with them. I can't say the same for Romney or Ryan, however, tho I must confess I'm at a loss to know what Romney's opinion is about anything -- other than that he thinks his 14% tax rate needs to be lowered by 20% ... hmmm, how's that math work out to cut the deficit>

As for Ryan, the best that can be said of him is that he holds strong opinions -- all of them wrong. It must also be observed that his close association with Mitt the Mendacious appears to be having a deleterious effect on his veracity as well.

As for Carlin, I may be wrong, but I have the sneaking suspicion that despite his brilliantly expressed disgust with politicians, he voted for the lesser of two evils.
This is a very easy election to figure out even for the most recalcitrant "independents"--all five of them as they laugh at the adds in between crap shoots in Vegas.

They're spending billions to convince who? The waste makes me want to puke.

Do we really need to look any further at who is supporting whom and the ideologists who refuse to compromise their perfect world? Daddy didn't love 'em and now they're not going to let the rest of us forget how they suffered. Libbyliberal my ass.

I'm not optimistic. I've seen too much. Tomorrow they'll be blathering about the next debate as if it makes a difference in anybodies mind who has a mind.
Ande
Yes, intellect must allow for differences, but virtue cannot allow pathological prevarication. Neither can common decency embrace jungle ethics.
Stacey
Your point is well-made about beginning the push for change immediately. One reason that is so is that during such times most aren't paying attention in the immediate aftermath.

By the way, in the aftermath of the Goldwater debacle, Republicans began their counter-strategy aka the Southern Strategy, and in the Seventies the adopted a localized strategy and began infecting school boards. As a result, science took a back seat to religious ideology in many school districts.

One point I was trying to make with this post is that ironically one of the best times to push for change is when things are going well. When things are not going well, people are fearful and even more resistant to change. We are in those times at the moment.

Of course, change is never welcome with most. The quote from Machiavelli featured in my bio says it better than I ever could:

“And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of change. For he who innovates will have as his enemies all who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proven by the event.” Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter VI
Ben
Don't hold back so, man, let your true feelings be known. You and I are in complete agreement on this score. As I said in my previous post, the choice hasn't been so clear since Nixon/McGovern.
I would have loved to hear you speak this post, because it is oratory material. I am in agreement with your position. I also agree with Ben Sen's mention of the unspeakable waste of money going into useless ad campaigns. In aggregate, that money could make a nice dent into the national deficit, for God's sake. I do not understand how anybody can say with any amount of sincerity that Obama and Romney are the same. Perhaps they are just talking about the economy and their perceptions of who is pulling both men's strings. But let us never forget the social side of the equation, the side for which we have all fought for the majority of our lives. We simply cannot let all that progress circle the bowl because of a perception about only one issue.

Please, everybody reading this comment thread, do everything you can to get as many as you can to the polls. What you might perceive as Evil does come in increments.

Lezlie
I was a kennedy-fixated kid, buddy boy, so I know Camelot.
An odd obscene one it was indeed, I learned later.
Ah that is America.
“no chance of fulfilling most of those promises in this present death struggle for control of what remains of this decaying Camelot. “
~
It has always been a Camelot thing, or a ‘’city on the hill ‘’ thing for us americans.
Yet indeed we are not unlike
“ unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

That split consciousness. Dh Lawrence wrote of it well.
~
“What man most passionately wants is his living wholeness and his living unison, not his own isolate salvation of his "soul." Man wants his physical fulfillment first and foremost, since now, once and once only, he is in the flesh and potent. For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and the dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh”
~
This is bad somehow. An attitude from the old days? The puritans?
The witchburners?
~
“To the Puritan all things are impure, as somebody says.” Dh.
~
Someday rigorously take our swords up again? That day is today. Our revolution is real. It must be less..uh, mouthy. Don’t give em ammunition. If we lose, we gotta go back t o studies. We are supposedly well educated…..
“the nascent revolution got sidetracked with sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.”
True.
~
As from everything eventually ugly, comes beauty:
Mr Dylan they tell me invented r and r.

“Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s naming.’
For the loser now will be later to win”

And of course

• Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying.
• An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
It's only people's games that you got to dodge
LintheSE
Thanks, and you may think of this as a soliloquy.

I am amazed that some men find Romney acceptable. but I am appalled that any women do. The Repugnants have made it perfectly clear -- well, okay, Willard the Windsock hasn't been clear about anything -- they intend to undo ALL the social progress made in the last eighty years -- just as they've already undone most of the economic progress made during that time.

The Hard Right that dominates the Republican Party has made it perfectly clear they intend to outlaw abortion -- and are effectively doing so in many states. They also want to ban contraception and reverse the Lily Ledbetter Law that grants women equal pay for equal work. All this is a matter of public record. Can women really be that unaware of all this? Do they really want to wish that all on their daughters?

It is clear from Republican voter suppression tactics and their fight against affirmative action, they intend to undo Civil Rights legislation. It is clear from the immigration policy announced by Mitt Romney that they intend to force people who've spent most of their lives in this country to "self-deport" or worse.

Are the Undecideds unaware there is a huge fence being built across our border with Mexico?

Are they also unaware that oil sands will ADD to pollution and global warming and leave groundwater unfit to drink? Are they unaware that fracking will do the same to groundwater, and likely cause earthquakes to boot?

Are Undecideds unaware that Romney and Company simply don't care about any of this as long as they get to keep even more of their ill-gotten gain?

Are Undecideds unaware that Romney pays less in taxes than they do, and that therefore, they must make up the difference?

Perhaps the Undecideds are undecided because they are pathetically unaware. My bottom line? Undecided = Unaware.
You know, Tom, I don't believe there are many truly undecideds. I think they lie on polls for reasons that have nothing to do with anything important. They just don't want to admit which man they support. Every voter in America (who is not in a coma or living in a cave without wifi) should be able to cast their vote right now. That's how clear the differences are.

Lezlie
i try to point out, that voting for the democrat party legitimizes the republican party when they win, which is often.

the way to beat the republicans, and keep them beat, is to change the rules that let them win. if you persist in supporting those rules, if you insist on playing on their ground, you guarantee their continuing success.
I'm with you all the way. Nice post.
I'd like to say that we boomers and flower children outgrew "sex. drugs, and rock'n'roll", but the truth is more like we just got too old. So with our remaining energy, it's back to the barricades - "the Rednecks are coming!"
I am already in the fold, so don't worry that I'll traipse off.
Liberals who complain about their side aren't entirely off the mark in their criticism, what they are missing in this election is that we have gone from Hope and Change to at the very least, Obama & Co., as a firewall against the lunacy on the far right. Thus sitting the election out or going 3rd party, is not an option, they'll only be screwing themselves in the bargain. You are spot on in pointing out that all of the gains since the progressive era are at risk if Romney and the far right come to power.
James
You win on breadth and depth, and I'm tempted to put the Lawrence quote in my bio, for surely it captures the essence of the eternal struggle between the sacred and the profane, the flesh and the spirit, the earthly and the heavenly, the living and the dying.

My take? I embrace my faults and frailties for they are the dark side of my moon that fires the light that illumines the other side; they are the well-spring that waters the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Feigned virtue, like the sweet bird of youth, has flown, and I am become ecclesiastical, a preacher of a religion with but one adherent. But oh, sometimes the echo is sweet.
al
We disagree, as always

jlsathre
Thanks, and glad to have you among the realists.

ordinaryjoe
True dat -- see my comment to James regarding Ecclesiastes.
We are on exactly the same page. I ask those who are not sure to join Tom, me and others who have lived through many eras in this country's history, and vote for Obama. You can work on progressive issues from there. But to undermine him, and our country in the name of ideals is not something to be admired.
I do not have whatever it is my sister in laws are lacking which allow them to hold their collective noses and vote for Romney. I simply CANNOT vote for a man who believes me incapable of making medical decisions for myself simply because I am female. Which is the reason I'm voting AGAINST Republicans - from Mittens all the way down to my local school board... I just *cannot* find it within me to vote for them.
Nearly half the people we see each day in passing are so lost as to believe that the way out of this is to vote for a charlatan and his coat carrying man-child? It makes me quake.
Catchy intro and good summary of recent history Tom. Putting up something like this is worth the effort as there's bound to be some waverers. But there's a segment you'll never reach. I know because my dearest friend has voted for Nader in the last three elections and will vote for Stein this time. She reacts like suggesting a strategic vote or the best available option with a chance of winning is akin to an artful debate stunt. And in my view there's a refusal to grant that it makes no difference who gets to nominate Supreme Court justices or who might push for which tax policy.

I've been meaning to blog on the two different mindsets pursuing mostly the same policy goals. I hope yours changes a few voting decisions.
"Others do so under the logic-defying delusion that they will one day rise to the ranks of the Have-Mores. "

I have been boggled at this for a while.
Outstanding piece, Tom.

I admit to having been tempted to see these two candidates as "the same". And while I still do believe that there are substantial similarities, big-picture wise, I have have also come to believe that voting for Obama, although not necessarily a vote for "progress", is a vote for defense against the unthinkable. As a pragmatist, that's good enough for me at this point.
The barbarians are not at the gate, their Trojan Horse, Obama has been well inside it for almost four years and with a liberal constituent totally silent and complicit has wrecked whatever is left of the Constitutional guarantees that sustained, at least in theory, whatever democracy existed in the nation. Those creatures howling to enter are merely the subhuman reality under the sheep's clothing which makes the party in power a bit more acceptable but that pitiful disguise is pretty transparent to anybody even slightly aware of political and economic realities. To accept this idiotic fragile delusion that the Democrats are any better than the outrageous insane beasts slavering to create total chaos in the nation without the current anesthetic now in place is to delight in a delusion bordering on religious faith. There is nothing but doom in the current conventional politics and to participate in the farce is beyond foolish. Radical surgery is in order and nobody, including myself, relishes the bloody necessity but there seems no other way out.
Somewhere (hot) Lenin is applauding. He too had his "useful idiots" out there fighting and dying for his false face. The true believers of 1917 fatally decided to put up with the failings of the Bolsheviks until they could fight for a true democracy later. Of course, there was no "later".

Both candidates are pro-war, pro-greed and anti-constitution. One simply uses different rhetoric to accomplish the same goals. If we'd had McCain's Afghan surge, McCain's window dressing of Wall Street reform and McCain's massive repealing of civil rights and summary executions we'd all be up in arms. Vote all you want, it's just an excuse not to fight.

There is no later, only now. History repeats itself...again. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Tom -- Good grief.

Not Camelot? Talk about minimization.

War criminality on steroids and in your face enabling of the avaricious HAVE MORES (Obama adm. gave Goldman Sachs a complete pass after 2 years of Senate committee study finding oodles of evidence of their guilt). I am talking about the Democratic Party that has JUMPED THE SHARK. DEAR GOD, WHY AREN'T SUPPOSEDLY FAUX-PROGRESSIVES GETTING IT?????? .

This compromising on profound moral fundamentals is why this country has derailed.

The biggest crime against humanity is WAR!!!!! And our government handing over $10 trillion to the HAVE MORES and then preaching to us about austerity is sadistic and obscene!!!

Rallying behind a president who deserves impeachment not another four years of exploiting the citizenry and enabling the rabid rat bastards and letting the international gangster cartel kill and maim CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES INTERNATIONALLY and makes more of them face starvation in this country. I am not being hyperbolic. Has Obama ever mentioned any class lower than the middle? Of course not.

I am voting for Jill Stein who apparently got arrested tonight protesting not being in the debate. I am wearing a black arm band to the election. A woman who would be a decent president is arrested. That is about right these days for this ethical freakshow of America.

Lesser evilism has lost us our democracy. not the tea party. Preach on but you rationalize what deserves not to be rationalized!

Cronyism when it supports amorality is amoral!!!!

Romney/Ryan make me vomit, no argument. But so do Obama/Biden. And they should you. Put down the damn kool-aid!

But "persona-voting" and wearing the media's corporate-political leash is where it is apparently at among Americans who have team Dem loyalty and don't give a serious sh*t about peace, planet and people.

Another opportunity in America to rally as citizens, and we didn't. Rallying around a Trojan Horse Dem Party that is a vacuum from morality is not the solution. Persona politics. The View and Oprah and MSNBC like Obama, so why heed the sirens of cognitive dissonance inside oneself? Sign up to be an accessory to the next wave of Iran murders.

It's a free country to ruin it. The banksters won't stay loyal for Obama this election. Ironic, that those he sacrificed for the banksters, many of the victims, are Stockholm Syndromed loyal. It is tragic and it is pathological!

best, libby
Emily
Good to have you with us, and I can't imagine any woman supporting the bullying twit after the way who tried to steamroll Candy Crowley tonight. What a joy to see her call him out on his error on terror
I liked this in its original form as a comment. I like it in its expanded form as a post

Except I think you should have reintroduced your concept of pyrrhicism, which is really relevant to this issue.
Steven
We agree completely. To those who say 'they're all the same", I say you better open your eyes. And to those who insist on voting third-party or refusing to vote, I say there is no virtue in throwing away your vote. Far from being a noble choice, it is an empty gesture, an abdication of civic responsibility. There is no nobility in failing to choose between the only two possible outcomes -- even if you believe it is the lesser evil. The lesser of two evils is, after all, less evil, and to fail in the duty to secure the lesser evil is to promote the greater evil.
Lea
As Santayana said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Problem with an election is those who fail to learn too often take the rest of us with them. Let us pray this isn't a repeat of 1968 and 2000.
Mrs Raptor
I am a lifelong registered Independent, and I have tried to remain so. With Reagan the Republicans made that difficult, with Bush the Least they made that unthinkable, and with Romney they have made it impossible.
alsoknownas
You say "a charlatan and his coat carrying man-child". An apt turn of phrase, I think I'll steal it. As for your observation that half the people we see each day in passing are lost, remember that is a statistical axiom that half the people are below average -- and it appears they are also Republicans.
Abrawang
Thanks for the kind words. I, too, wonder what it would take to convince some that avoiding the inevitable is not a smart choice. Nor, in my view, is there anything noble in doing so. It bespeaks a childish pout in my book. There are many things in my life I don't much want to do -- brush my teeth, pay my taxes -- but the alternatives are too awful to consider not doing so.
just phyllis
You wrote: "Others do so under the logic-defying delusion that they will one day rise to the ranks of the Have-Mores. " I have been boggled at this for a while.

That phenomenon is sometimes referred to as aspirational lunacy. Again, it's a failure to comprehend simple arithmetic -- not everyone can be exceptional. One ought to assume that most Teapartians are of an age when they should have outgrown that delusion. Bush the Least and Romney are glaring examples of the fact that choosing the right parents is a big step toward being exceptionally rich, tho Bush is also proof that it is no guarantee of success.
Aside from other assaults on reason and raw basic sense that idiotic quotation from Santayana is totally insulting. It is those enthused from their understanding of history that are imposing the raw brutalities of the past on the present to retrograde civilization back to the dark ages of anti-science and economic deprivation and slavery and war, war, war to rob the helpless of their land and natural resources and any understanding of the realities of the necessities of staying alive. Your vote is a ticket in a lottery with no prize but totalitarian oppression and every winner is a loser.Every dictatorship gained its power by spraying the poison of fear on their populace and that historical fact is in monstrous demonstration at the current moment.
Ugh. I already have been coming home somewhat to Obama, but I can't say that I'm giddy about it.

For a long time I pledged never to give him a penny toward his re-election, but thus far I've given him more than $100 in the past few months -- as the barbarians, as you appropriately call them, have come closer into view.

The Dems promise shit but deliver only upon a fraction of it. What are they afraid of? That if they actually accomplish what they promise to accomplish, there will be nothing more to promise, and thus no more incentive for campaign contributions?

I'm happy to see an aggressive Joe Biden and finally an aggressive Barack Obama in the debates, but how about some of that aggression in D.C.? Why does the shit in the debates never translate to real life?

I have my absentee ballot already and I probably will vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, frankly. It will be safe to do so, since there is no question that Obama will win all of California's winner-takes-all 55 electoral votes. (If I were in Ohio or Florida or another "swing state," you could say that I was helping Mittens, but since I live in the solidly blue state of California, if you know what you are talking about, you could not.)

So I can have my protest vote, and I probably will have it, but of course I want Mittens nowhere near the White House, and so I have given Obama some money, but only a fraction of what I gave him for his 2008 run.

I just can't reward him fully for his woefully partial work.
You are definitely in fine fettle on this one, Tom, but you're preaching to the fold here.

I agree with you about Romney's attitude towards Crowley tonight.

I promise I will vote, but I have to say, they are both awfully full of hot air and not much substance, like cotton candy. I get a sugar rush, then pass out after these debates.
Jeanette
Thanks for the generous praise. I'm glad you've overcome your reticence.
Jan • Chesyre • Libby
I would remind you that pragmatism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that immoderation in the pursuit of fantasy is no virtue!
In 2000, many liberals said "both sides are the same." How did that turn out? Two wars in the Middle East, tax cuts that exploded the deficit, new Justices that voted for Citizens United. Yeah, just like Gore would have done. I think some of these "disaffected liberals" will actually be proud if they cause Mittens R-money to be elected. Just the thought makes me nauseous.
I just finished filling out my mail-in ballot. How can anyone 30 or older be "undecided" or voting for a third-party candidate? If you don't know where you lie on the political spectrum by now, I just don't know what to tell you. If you don't understand how our two-party system works, I don't know what to tell you.

There are two forces pulling at this country, but we essentially have only three choices in the U.S.:

1. Vote for the party that represents the interests of the 1 percent, and preys on the people who want to go backward.
2. Vote for the party that "best" represents progress, science, and equality, and wants to move forward.
3. Or throw away your vote on a single-issue, third-party candidate who does not stand a chance of winning (and never will) in our entrenched two-party system.

As long as those opposing forces control our system, we'll never truly have any other choice. ... I must say, though, that it was refreshing to see so many other parties listed on my ballot this year. For a second, it really felt like we have a multiparty political system.
kosher
Thanks for the kind words. As for pyrrhicism, I fear that concept is lost on those who prefer dubious martyrdom to methodical, plodding progress. The fact that so many would-be martyrs here fail to recognize/admit ANY progress whatsoever over the last four years only confirms my suspicions. That is so despite the ACA, the Lily Ledbetter Act, the end of the abominable Don't Ask Don't tell policy, the escape of the financial abyss, the resurrection of GM and Chrysler, and the death of Osama bin Laden.

I fear such people will never be satisfied with anything short of perfection -- and thus they will never be satisfied.
It is only evidence of something vital and essential irretrievably lost when you relegate truth, decency, reality, and the necessities of totally wrecking the monsters who have their death grip on the future to fantasy. The country and the world are faced with natural destructive forces almost unimaginable that are set to overwhelm the bulk of civilization, a clear threat almost totally ignored in the brutal idiocies now vigorously engaging the current administration in enabling the military morons and the voracious demons of corporations and finance to wreck whatever remains of a decent civilization.

It is your fantasy that playing useless games in the coming comical farce of the presidential election will have any effect in countering the tsunami of stupidities flooding the world. Going to the Moon, the ability to fly, the technological revolutions in power and production and communication were once the stuff of fairy tales and wondrous exploits of demons and genii.

There can be a better world but that fantasy has got to be gripped hard enough to explode and clear away the total excrement now being dumped on the world. It takes guts and imagination to do that, not dithering in the current horseshit being sold by those now in power.
Robert Crook
Glad to see that you've been dragged kicking and screaming into the light. You have every right to be disappointed in Obama and the Democrats, and you have every right to throw away your vote in protest. Indeed, you have every right to be wrong.

But let me assure you, I will be voting for Obama in Tennessee -- where Obama has MUCH less chance than Romney does in California. Why?

Because despite what people believe, no vote is meaningless. The Electoral College is one thing - a thing that long ago outlived any usefulness it purportedly had, but the overall total weighs heavily in determining whether a President has a mandate -- or even if his presidency is deemed legitimate. How's that?

It is conceivable that Obama could win the Electoral College by a narrow margin, but lose in the popular vote count, particularly given the huge margins that will go to Romoney in much of the South. If that turns out to be the case, nothing will get done for the next four years.

All that said, there is simply no sound argument to be made for throwing away one's vote in protest.
Emily
As you can surmise from some of the comments on this post, and from some posts by others on this purported bastion of liberalism, there are more than a few black sheep in the fold.

As for the cotton candy fluff of debates, both participants tonight had plenty of harder stuff to chew on. To some extent, these extravaganzas are infomericals, and not debates in the true sense of the word. But tonight was closer to a real debate than I've seen in awhile, and I suspect the next debate -- absent the town-hall format -- may be even livelier.

One more thing, I'm willing to cut the participants a little slack. I can't imagine the pressure they are under with 60-70 million people in this country alone hanging on their every word. Imagine being in a situation where one misstep could cost you the most important job in the world. I shudder to think of it.

That said, I don't cut anybody any slack for bald-faced lies, and Romoney is as mendacious a liar as ever I have seen in politics.
Cranky
I'm with you -- I don't buy the "that's a hypothetical" disclaimer. Hypothetically, I can fly to the moon, but that's hardly in the same league with suggesting hypothetically that things would have been very different under a President Gore.

No honest argument can be made that Al Gore would have appointed John Roberts and Sam Alito to the Supreme Court. No reasonable argument can be made that Gore would have pushed for privatizing Social Security, as Bush did. No convincing argument can be made that Gore would have gone to war in Iraq, if for no other reason than that Congressional Republicans wouldn't have allowed it.
Deborah
I understand your frustration with our two-party system, particularly since we now seem reduced to a Moderate Right Party and a Lunatics Running the Asylum Party, but be careful what you wish for. The Italians have multiple parties in their system -- God save us from that system!
Jan
You have stated the problem rather succinctly and poetically -- now please propose a solution that will take effect between now and November 6th. Any such solution must fall in the realm of fantasy, thus while you pine for a perfect future, the rest of us must deal with a very imperfect present.
Tom, explain how I'm "throwing my vote away." Please. Explain. Don't just make the assertion -- explain how, when Obama is beating Romney in California polling by double digits, how it would hurt Obama's re-election chances even if I voted for Mitt Romney! (Again, if I lived in a swing state, it would be different, but as the popular vote has NO -- none, zip, zilch, nada -- role in determining the winner of a presidential election, you have absolutely no argument here, only a Democratic hack's half-baked "argument" that to refuse to vote for the Democratic sell-out is to "help the Republican" or "throw one's vote away." Oh, no, wait -- your "argument" is that I musn't make Obama look bad by not voting for him! There's that Democratic hack's "argument" again -- that I MUST vote for the Democratic candidate! I MUST! I have no choice!)

Problem is, Democratic hacks haven't changed their "arguments" since 2000.

Um, NO lefty whom I've ever known wants/would want Mitt Romney to win the White House, as one of your smug commenters stupidly posited.

However, lefties ARE sick and tired of being punk'd by the likes of Obama who want our money and our votes but feel no real pressure to deliver much.

If the Dem Party truly wants people on the left back, it might try not insulting them, as it has done since 2000, when Al Gore couldn't even win his own home state, and when more Dems in Florida voted for George W. Bush than the number of Floridians who voted for Ralph Nader.

Gore was a shitty candidate, but the Dems have only blamed Nader. That makes the Dems feel nice and smug, but as a consequence, we find ourselves in another 2000-like situation, don't we?

History has shown that the left doesn't need the Democratic Party, but that the Democratic Party needs the left.

I'd say that MAYBE another lost election might make the Dems wake up and start paying attention to and stop bashing their BASE again, but I'm realistic: They probably never will.
P.S. Again, of course I don't want Mittens to win. But I'm sick and tired of being shit and pissed upon by the Democratic Party. I'm used to being shit and pissed upon by the Repugnican Party, you see, but the Dems claim that they are my FRIEND while they shit and piss upon me.

And that, I think, is a worse way to be shat and pissed upon.
I really wish you would stop that nonsense of indicating any real attempt to solve the hellish problems now confronting the world is an impossible attempt at perfection. The clear policies of Obama to give himself dictatorial powers of life and death with no legal recourse, to continue and expand the wars in Africa and the Middle East and around the world are not slight deviations from perfection, they are major assaults on basic constitutional rights and your casual brushing them off as minor is most odd for someone claiming to be a liberal.

When you ask me to magically produce solutions to monstrous problems you are being dishonest and no one can do that. But what I can do is suggest that current actions are totally useless and we had better look around for something that makes sense before total catastrophe takes over.

But flopping around in the disintegrated mockery of democracy and waving your ineffectual ticket to sponsor a liar and a constitutional criminal who has made no honest effort to alleviate the vital and destructive problems facing a nation and his horrendous dumping of taxpayer money into the pockets of the financial thugs that might support his re-election seems hardly something I or any sensible person might see as a worthwhile agenda. Why should I give my approval for that?
Tired of the media circus. Cut campaign time down to 6 months, 1 speech each to lay out policy instead of "debates", vote and get down to business.
From my "Shallow, Craven Messaging of Craven Shallow Governance" blog:

"So what wasn’t and isn’t seriously on the discussion table during the highly publicized presidential and vice-presidential debates this month which have averaged 70 or so million citizen viewers?

"Poverty, homelessness, unemployment, white collar crime, foreclosures, racism and classism especially re prison populations, church over state usurpation of civil rights, devastation of cultural and physical public infrastructures through privatization and austerity under-funding or non-funding, torture accountability, drones, extrajudicial assassination, economic “sanctions” of foreigners causing massive suffering, illegitimate wars, the bloated military budget, death squad “diplomacy” a/k/a “humanitarian interventions”, military deaths and maimings (psychological and physical) and suicides, gun control, the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear armament, hydrofracking, legalization of medical and/or non-medical marijuana, veterans issues, erosion of women’s rights, union-busting, immigration, bank usury, colossal student debt, US CIA operatives and NATO special forces conspiring with Al Qaeda terrorists to achieve regime change in Libya and Syria, election fraud, gay rights, obscene amounts of money monopolizing media access by self-serving sociopathic corporatists, police state repression of the rights of free speech, assembly and privacy, escalating gratuitous and deadly police force, media blackouts of third party election candidates, US government enabling of countries such as Israel grossly violating human rights, escalation of weapons trading, private contractor exploitation of military funding, health industry profiteering at the cost of citizen welfare, etc., etc. etc.

snip

"Our ruling political class ruled by a sociopathic corporate class and our amoral media also ruled by said sociopathic corporate class foster and celebrate “ends justifies the means” winning and style over substance -- over common sense and decency. We Americans are encouraged to leave our consciences at the door as we are offered the cheap bleachers of the national coliseum to play our prescribed roles as bloodlusting, schadenfreude, jingoistic supporters of America’s global or domestic often Orwellianly mislabelled contests such as “The War on Terror.” At the moment the contest is electing our choice for President of the United States.

snip

Caught in the undertow of ever-escalating amorality, we drift ever farther from the shores of a representative democracy. One more election time we the people will throw away another opportunity to rescue ourselves and our country. We “choose” to oblige the corporatists and their pimped out political and media agents, by snatching “sure doom” from the jaws of “recovery.” One more election cycle we get to declare our permission for our government to continue on in the wrong, amoral direction.

For a second there we thought Obama had led us to the right track going the right direction. God, we sure got punked on that one. But such recognition won’t stop a great number of us from voting for him again. After all, the guy who so slickly punked us is the supposed “lesser evil” one."

end of quote

Why don't we call it evil and more evil. Drop the less. Its connotations are betraying.

best, libby
from Wikipedia:

A Pyrrhic victory (/ˈpɪrɪk/) is a victory with such a devastating cost that it carries the implication that another such victory will ultimately lead to defeat. Someone who wins a "Pyrrhic victory" has been victorious in some way; however, the heavy toll or the detrimental consequences negates any sense of achievement or profit.

Profit for us, anyway. Time to stop looking at the specter of what Romney and Ryan will do and take a long, hard look at what Obama has done. Don't let the betraying faux-progressive media cherrypick a few issues Obama has dabbled in, never full out, but talks the talk now that it is election time.

An Obama win will offer small comfort for any realists (pragmatism of voting for Obama is not grounded in reality), let's face it, have devastating consequences as he continues with war and with white collar crime impunity and joblessness and assassination and gutting more of the constitution. As he even more zealously goes after whistleblowers, the only targets for Obama for accountability. Because appearance is what it is about, covering up the reality of his being the inside man for oligarchs as glen ford of bar declared.

What is Obama doing for troops? As he assured the young recruits at West Point he and the US government will be there to provide health care for those enduring TBIs, traumatic brain injuries, and other injuries, like multiple amputations, etc. I have no idea if he will follow through, I doubt it, but isn't that a hell of thing to say to them as he sends them into harm's way on behalf of international banksters and corporate contractors. With lots of war to come, one promised from either party with Iran, but with the ongoing ones of course, and $1 million cost a year per troop, but I don't think the troops are enjoying that compensation as individuals, now are they?

Obama the community organizer -- punker not only domestically but internationally -- who doesn't know what the word diplomacy really mans (though he knows about death squad diplomacy and he calls it humanitarian intervention) along with our craven Congress that seems to be serving the scary administration in Israel more than ours.

They all haven't been representing us for a good long while. But funny how they all have lifetime premier health care for not only themselves but their families and have gleaned a 11% increase in average income since our economic welfare has been circling the bowl since 2008. So the Gucci, Tiffany crowd including the Obamas and the Romneys are ALL 1%ERS!!! And they serve their own. Unless it is election time and then they pretend they care.

This is worse than getting punked! Rewarding the punker. Geeeeez. So dump on Romney all you want, but don't lift up Obama because that is bull shit.

best, libby
You're right on the mark, Tom. The problem with us liberals is that we've been on tilt for twenty years, and have become angry, and have forgotten that we Own the moral high ground of The Big Picture. In our angry state, we've forgotten that that is the only fact, the only truth we need in our struggles with the 'Combined Powers That Be', as defined by Oliver Wendell Holmes back in the days of Roosevelt One. And we've forgotten that there are only two types of rhetorical argument: Generative and Descriptive. And sadly, and most shameful, is that we have forgotten how to use the power of true eloquence in our fight with those 'combined powers', and have turned our backs on the great of the past, the wise, the insightful who've we've learned our values from in the first place. Where are our modern Lincolns, our Roosevelts, our Martin Luther Kings? Sadly, we have but one. Descriptive arguments in the modern era might work when you're preaching to the chorus in a sheltered area, but not when your a lone voice talking into the wind, while everyone else is busy flipping TV channels. You're a smart man, Tom. I suggest you come over to my blog and look at an example of a Generative argument in the modern age. You'll find it in Vol. 6.
love the passion. May we emphasize that none of the victories were total victories, none of the leaders perfect men, and no politician who accomplishes anything lives without some sense of sadness at the things he had to do to move society along. A third party vote is a statement and allows the voter the luxury of being able to feel superior deriding both sides but a third party would need to be represented in all three branches of government, from local to Federal to have any chance of accomplishing anything. A figurehead does not actually steer the ship, man the sails- vote to stop Romney-Ryan and then get to work if you're serious. This is not your year so don't work to scuttle the ship.
Considering the almost total lack of effective protest on the agendas of the Obama administration to enrich the rich, destroy the middle class, bluster and bomb its way to control the world and, with all that expensive military might being kicked out of both Iraq and Afghanistan by the corrupt and fanatic forces, the ship is not being scuttled, it merely isn't seaworthy any longer.
really hearing "don't let the perfect be the enemy of lesser evil." In 2008 it was "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" -- pragmatic good. That Dem attitude made us kiss universal health care goodbye as the public option was rationalized by the pragmatics and then ooopsie ... it is gone. it was just a bullshit stall game. a trojan pony as vastleft calls it on corrente. Oh what a slippery slope we are on!

We must freeze in position of abuse out of fear of more abuse. Devil we know worse than the devil we don't know. Yes, corporate media offers us two devils, though branding Obama by Oprah et al. still has such power. Even after all he has done. Boiled frogs who notice they are wrinkled and uncomfortable but advise NOT leaving the boiling water and by that I mean BOTH CORPORATE BLOOD-SUCKING PARTIES.

best, libby
Robert
In my previous comment, I laid out the case for why every vote does count -- even in California or Tennessee . To repeat the gist of it, the higher the difference in total vote count between the two major candidates, the more legitimate the claim of the winner to have a mandate for his policies. Presidents -- and lots of other people -- do view the total vote count differential as political capital.

Take Bush the Least -- please. I would remind you that he claimed a mandate after squeaking out a victory over Kerry in 2004, and boldly -- but foolishly as was his wont -- stated he intended to use his "vast" political capital to privatize Social Security. That he would make that his first order of business in the midst of two wars says all anyone needs to know about his intelligence.

Or maybe not. I have argued that the real reason for his emphasis on privatization wasn't so much political as it was practical. That is to say, someone in his administration suspected that casino capitalism was about to come crashing down without an influx of trillions in new funds -- Social Security trust funds -- into the banksters' Ponzi scheme. Privatization would have pushed that disaster off on a future President, just as the two wars and auto bailout were pushed off on a future President.

I suspect history will confirm my suspicions about that scheme, tho I also suspect that won't happen until long after I'm gone,
Firstly,
Thank you for calling yourself Liberal instead of Progressive. So do I. I find no shame in my original label.

Secondly,
I'm going to back you on this, for the following reasons:

1. Voting Democratic does not mean supporting the Democratic agenda after the election, it just means keeping the Republicans out of office. If our first available course of action is, to use Libby's terminology, to elect Evil in order to keep More Evil out of office, so be it. That doesn't mean we support Evil, it just means we're keeping More Evil out of office.

2. As was shown in the 2000 election, a point you and I and others have made repeatedly, there is a very significant difference between the parties. This country is in way worse shape as a result of the outcome of that election, and the differences are NOT trivial. To ignore these differences is irresponsible, Period.

3. Without some sort of long-term agenda for replacing Democrats with something better, this posturing is useless. Fine, Democrats Suck. Now what? Voting for Jill Stein, as much as her issue stands are far closer to mine than Obama's are, is posturing because there's no way in Hell we could even in theory build enough support for her in this election cycle for her to have the chance of Half a snowball in Hell to get elected President.

So, to conclude, the best available damage control at the moment is voting Democratic. After that, if you want to either get rid of the Democrats or change their agenda, come up with a plan to do so. Or at least the beginnings of one.

Because of the significant differences between the parties, EVEN IF BOTH ARE EVIL, voting Democratic gets us a better result IN THE SHORT TERM than voting Republican does.

I want to know what to DO. I want a course of action that will actually help people.

Frankly, if your suggestion helps people less than what I plan to do, your sugggestion is useless.

Let me repeat that in case you didn't get it:

If your suggestion helps people less than what I plan to do, your suggestion is useless.

Got that?

I may post this.
Jan
I have great respect for your intelligence, your eloquence, and your passion. I simply think you fail to take my point regarding the immediate problem.

You say, "When you ask me to magically produce solutions to monstrous problems you are being dishonest". On the contrary, I am being painfully honest. I am pointing out that the sad truth that there are no solutions to the problems you so eloquently outlined that can be put in place before November 6th. The discussion here is not about what might be done at some point in the future, but about what ought to be done right now, now being November 6th.

I have a choice to make, and for me, that won't be a difficult choice. I have attempted here to lay out the reasons it won't be difficult. But if I haven't made myself clear in that regard, let me review the options:

(1) Stay home and pout in childish protest because I didn't get my way

(2) Vote for a candidate whose views on economic and social issues are probably a lot closer to mine, but who has NO chance of being anything other a statistical anomaly in the wake of this election. And even if by Divine Intervention or some form of mass hysteria that candidate should magically win, he or she would have NO chance of making his or her agenda reality -- not in the current political climate, and not with the recalcitrant Congress he or she would face.

(3) Vote for a pathological liar and bully who exhibits symptoms of sociopathy, and whose stated policies -- on the rare occasions when they are stated clearly -- are no more than a return to the disastrous Voodoo Economics that brought us to our present low state.

(4) Vote for a candidate who overpromised and underdelivered, but who is the only real -- that is to say electable -- alternative to the disaster that would follow from option 3.

Given those options, this isn't really a multiple choice test, it's a true or false test, and 3 has proven himself constantly false, while 4 has proven himself true to his word on several occasions -- and I don't feel it necessary to list them, tho you might consider putting the question to Osama bin Liden were he available.

That may offend you; it doesn't offend me in the least -- he who lives by the sword will perish by the sword. And so he has. Nor do I weep for any of the other terrorists who have perished at our hands. Like you, I question whether that policy creates more terrorists than it kills. But blood will have blood, and I don't see that aspect of the Law of Tooth and Claw changing in my lifetime.

Certainly every President in my lifetime has had hit lists and assassination squads. Apparently, most of us prefer to be willfully blind to that fact, perhaps because we can't handle the truth. But let me pose the hypothetical I have posed to others -- would you have supported the assassination of Hitler? Or perhaps more tellingly, would you have pulled the trigger on him yourself?

But back to the subject at hand ...

While Obama left me frustrated at his negotiating tactics on healthcare reform and other issues important to me, and while I was infuriated at his failure to punish banksters and torturers, that is not sufficient reason to abandon all hope and engage in self-defeating behavior.

In short, half a loaf is better than none, and less evil is better than utter evil. I don't how to put it any more simply than that.
1. Liberal rhetorical lists citing why we are right do not move people to action, nor do they trump an Elititist List that cites our liabilities [too many people, too many mouths to feed, blah, blah, blah], and so, does not justify our existence in the eyes of the Robber Baron, and so, is a waste of time.
2. All rhetoric aimed at changing minds to improve our chances of voting in ANY PRESIDENT must be shown to be a falsehood; We, The People, do not vote in the President, the Electoral College does.
V. Corso
Excellent suggestions, but unfortunately those options aren't available at the moment. And in this infomercial age, we must make a choice based on the information available to us. In this case, the only real choice is between a sociopath and a socialist (if only!). That's am easy choice for me.
And so, when we speak, we must always speak in a way that moves people to compassionate action. And when we argue, let's not argue with lists, but rather, with questions, and borrow from our ancient Greek models. And when we argue, let us argue with compassionate reason, not statistical reason.
Lists are easy. Rush Limbaugh has lists. Bill O'Reilley has lists. Everyone knows that lists can be decieving, and that numbers can be manipulated. What Rush Limbaugh doesn't have, and what Bill O'Reilley doesn't have, is a compassionate arguement.
But remember, a compassionate argument filled with to much anger is no argument at all, and may even move people away from you.
Cranky Cuss asks a common question these days: "In 2000, many liberals said 'both sides are the same.' How did that turn out?"

Likewise, I ask myself a question: "If McCain had won in 2008, how would that have turned out?" It might have been truly awful!!! We might have had a president who pardoned torturers in advance, established a "legal framework" for indefinite imprisonment without trial, threatened whistleblowers with life imprisonment, established a summary execution program for citizens of any nation, and handsomely rewarded the banksters for their experiment in running the economy into the ground. McCain might have betrayed every principle of true conservativism and true liberalism. But he didn't -- someone else got the job, and did it well.
Libby
You seem to want an endless debate; all I want is a rational decision, a decision based not on what is in our fondest dreams, but based on what is possible in the here and now.

The election of Jill Stein? Statistically impossible. The election of Mitt Romney if millions of Liberals stay home or defect to a third party? Entirely possible. The only possible positive -- no matter how slightly positive -- outcome is the re-election of Obama.
Steve
I will visit your post. As for "the power of true eloquence ", I believe it was on full display with Obama in several of his early speeches. I believe it was on full display when he took Republicans to the woodshed in that televised early meeting. But I also believe the shock of the 2010 election has rendered him even more reticent to exert his power and use the bully pulpit of the Presidency.

Nevertheless, a small portion of his eloquence shown through in the second debate. But sad to say, our debates are rarely occasions for eloquence -- certainly not of the Lincoln/Douglas kind.

Instead, they are occasions for sound bites and gaffes, and they should be recognized as that -- and no more than that. That said, I particularly enjoyed the moment when Romney stumbled into the trap Obama laid regarding terror and Benghazi. While Mitt blustered on foolishly, Obama smiled quietly and said "Go ahead, continue", as if to say, "Mitt, here's a little more rope for your hangin'."
Kenneth
You summarized my post in a few short words:

"vote to stop Romney-Ryan and then get to work"
Kosher
You wrote: "Thank you for calling yourself Liberal instead of Progressive". You're welcome, but in truth, a rose by any name would smell as sweet, and I make little or no distinction between the two,

But rest assured the nefarious word merchants of the Right will find a way to turn either into a curse word. So it matters not whether you call yourself a Liberal or a Progressive -- to the other side your are still a Socialist -- or worse.
Steve
While I quite agree the Electoral College has long ago outlived its usefulness, I can't wholeheartedly agree with this:

"We, The People, do not vote in the President, the Electoral College does."

Technically true, but practically irrelevant. While the Electoral College can sometimes reflect a landslide in spite of a relatively close vote by the people, rarely does it differ from the People's vote as to the winner.
Bart
Thanks for the hypothetical and the half-truth.
tom, i must object.
i say, YOU win on breadth & depth with this:

I embrace my faults and frailties
for they are the dark side of my moon
that fires the light
that illumines the other side;

they are the well-spring

that waters the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Feigned virtue,
like the sweet bird of youth, has flown,
and I am become ecclesiastical,
a preacher of a religion with but one adherent.

But oh, sometimes the echo is sweet."
~
a congregation of one,ha. Yeah. Scream and rave.
I am too shy to yell. and, i gotta tell ya a secret,
tom, when i DID yell in my youth,
the guardians of public & my own Safety
quickly locked me up. in real damn chains.
~

as dh said
"Every man has a mob self and an individual self, in varying proportions"
Thanks Tom. But...George Carlin did not vote. He was a man who said what he meant and he meant what he said and he made it clear he wouldn't participate in this rather disagreeable charade.
Excellent work, Tom. Excellent. First, let me point out who the "one" is, when I posed the question, a few comments back, "Where are our modern Lincolns, Roosevelts, and Martin Luther Kings? Sadly, we have but one." The "one'" is President Barrack Obama.

What I meant is that he is standing alone as we bicker and argue and trade points and criticisms. What I meant was that we must understand how he does what he does, for his sake and for our sake, and set down the rhetoric of cold statistics. Because when we, and I mean we, here as in WE, The People, finally pick up that thread that Mr. Obama has so eloquently set down before us, to learn from and grow, then we will know, as we understand the length and the breadth and the depth of his words, that he is but one, in a long line of eloquent speakers that has appeared, seemingly as if summoned by God, to speak on behalf of the downtrodden. And when we understand this, then we, ourselves, have become made better, and have become more fully made able to stand with th President, who now stands alone.
So understand that when I say lists, I don't mean lists in the traditional sense. And by the way, Tom, your post above did affect me, and truly, I don't consider it a 'list' in the same sense. What I meant was, come on, People, let's not get lost in talking points and leave the President standing alone.
And finally, I have to disagree with your take on the Electoral College. Sure, Lincoln lincoln lost the popular vote, and sure, it was the Electoral College that voted him in, instead. And sure, everyone I knew razed me when they'd heard I voted for Nader in the 2000 election [I took a vote away from Gore].
The point of I'm trying to make when I identify the Electoral College is that OUR FUCKING MINDS HAVE BEEN HIJACKED. We are pursuing mental bait. Walk away from that. You'll not find such infantile arguments in the speeches of the great.
When I hear the working class waste passionate hours of their passionate time arguing over wether we have the votes to keep Obama in office, I know that they have been decieved. And when they address each other in these mental swamps, I know that they are the target for the far away laughter of the Exclusionists. And every time I listen, and hear that they have still not learned, I am almost moved to turn away, rather than stay and help try to get then to understand their danger.
Thank you for this, Tom. The "unholy alliance of Kapitalists, Konservatives and Kristians … the other KKK" bother me...but the people who claim to support a progressive agenda yet who are doing their best to see that a Republican is elected in November nauseate me.

There is no reasoning with them...as you are seeing from some of the comments coming from the adherents of that more deadly force than the KKK's. They will not wake up and see the light.

I guess the best we can hope for is that their number is not legion, but I suspect their number is a lot more than you or I want them to be.

I think Obama is going to lose in November...and I think the people on the left who cannot shake themselves free of their disappointment and take the pragmatic approach to the problem...will have enabled the loss to a very large degree.

Keep fighting the good fight. I will. But my experience is telling me there is a hidden agenda at work that is pulling way, way too many people in the wrong direction...and Obama is thrown under the bus because of it.

Obama truly doesn't lose if the Republicans gain power again. America and the world does.
What I mean is that we must not spend as much time on the causes of our discontent as we must on giving examples of the value of our personal worth. But let's not mistake the two types of personal worths that we use as measurements, and let us make clear the difference. There is the Wall Street measure of personal worth, which is a measurement in dollars and cents. And there is the Main Street measurement of personal worth, which is measured in love and courage and compassion and also by the ability to work hard, innovate, and contribute to society.
James
You are a discerning judge of talent ;-). As for this:

I am too shy to yell. and, i gotta tell ya a secret,
tom, when i DID yell in my youth,
the guardians of public & my own Safety
quickly locked me up. in real damn chains.

Metaphorical chains can be as binding as physical ones, and it turns out, they are much more difficult to free oneself from. Years ago, I wrote this:

A Song For My Child As Yet Unborn

A song for my child as yet unborn:

It may not be I can escape
The chains that bind me to my past
Chains of a kind and well-intended rape
That sought to set me free by holding fast

So now I live unwillingly inside a world
Described, defined, demeaned, defiled
By those whose words I openly defied
Who wrapped the chains again and smiled

But if by will and grace of God
I can escape my chains and set you free
To see a world not warped by others minds
My life will then be all it needs to be:

A song for my child as yet unborn
Kate
Thanks for the correction on my suspicion about Carlin, but I can't say that his refusal to participate in this democracy is a credit to him. His refusal to do so is the easy way out, and I repeat for the umpteenth time, there is no moral superiority in refusing to make a hard choice.
I was just thinking of this recently, and there are five important ways in which Obama has earned my vote this year. First, for supporting my right to equal pay by signing the Lily Ledbetter bill. Second by supporting my right to equal right to health care and all decisions thereof, including contraceptive access. Third by passing the Affordable Health Care act that directly affects lower/middle income Americans and offers health care options that would otherwise be unavailable. It's not a perfect bill, but it is the best health care legislation that has been passed in decades. Fourth by saving the lives of civilians in Libya. I'm not a strict non-interventionist when it comes to sparing the lives of civilians. This late brouhaha over when Obama used the word "terrorism" in regard to the murder of our ambassador, I don't care. I think as far as Libya goes, we have cautiously intervened, and for the most part, I think that's been a wise course. Fifth by passing the stimulus bill. For some reason Obama and Biden never mention this anymore, but that stimulus bill may well have helped our economy not to topple four years ago, and if elected again I would like to see Obama pass more stimulus. And I don't mean tax cuts. I mean stimulus or jobs bills.

The key issue on which I still disagree with Obama and the Democratic party: drone strikes. This conversation needs to stay open and this is a point of disagreement I have with the administration. But voting for Obama doesn't end the conversation, in my view.
Steve
Your points are taken, and though we may disagree somewhat on the particulars, we are in agreement on the principles.

As for Obama, his life speaks eloquently to his character. As for his performance, no President since FDR has had such a difficult task set before him, and FDR had the advantage of a substantial Democratic majority, while Obama suffers under a Tepartian dominated House, Blue-Dogs in the Senate, and a bitterly divided public.

Indeed, Obama has both FDR's economic misery and Lincoln's divided nation to contend with. Given that, it is nothing short of miraculous that he has managed to accomplish any of his goals.

As I've said time and again here -- as I've been saying for for nearly four years here, I am frustrated with his negotiating tactics on things like healthcare reform, and I am infuriated at his failure to prosecute banksters and torturers. But that said, I am not in his unenviable position; thus, I am free to piss and moan, while he must try to accomplish the virtually impossible.

That so many here and elsewhere fail to comprehend all this is the real tragedy.
Frank
You wrote: "Obama truly doesn't lose if the Republicans gain power again. America and the world does."

That is the God's truth.
And one more thing! [Nice post, Tom, you've taken up my whole afternnon]. I can't head out without this summation of what I said earlier. A leader, however great, however eloquent, cannot lead for long if he is stamding alone, and his [or her] people cannot pick up on and speak the language he [or she] is speaking and also somehow aspire to that same greatness.
Ah, fuck. You've got me. Here's a list of my own:

Roosevelt had his Jacob Riis, his Dreiser, his Sinclair.
Roosevelt had his Marshall.
Roosevelt had his Truman.
Lincoln had his Stowe.

I need a drink.
I see my train of thought crumbling. Tilt, even hopeful, constructive tilt, does that to me. Thanks for the great post, Tom. Well done.
Laura
Your points are well-made, and they give more than enough reason for a thinking liberal to vote to re-elect President Obama. As for your major objection -- drone strikes, I share your concern on both moral and practical grounds.

The immorality of robotic hitmen is obvious, and it is also impractical on two counts: First, that it likely creates more terrorists than it kills, and second, that such a weapon could be turned against us all too easily. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that has already happened, tho, if it has, surely the administration doesn't want that known.

That said, the problem of terrorists remains very real, and awful as this option is, it seems to me preferable to sending in our armies, or risking more black ops like the one that killed Osama bin Laden. Do we have any business taking people out in those countries? Probably not, but when they chose to bring their heinous acts to our shores -- and on several occasions besides 9-11, and when they continue to vow to do us harm with more terrorist attacks, that provides absolute justification for taking them out wherever and whenever we can.

I don't like it, but for the moment, I don't see a viable alternative.
Thank you for writing this, Mr. Cordle. You echo many of my sentiments on modern conservatism, that it is not anything conservative just anti-liberal.

In my first entry I wrote about how conservatives are exploited for their simplicity. We both touched on the Red Scare and that says something for the fear inherent in any conservative philosophy, a fear Republicans happily indulge in order to push policies that are in fact against conservatives best interests.

I have considered myself a socialist for a long time, but not as a matter of preference, rather necessity. America has not been laissez faire in many decades and we are better off for it. No developed nation on Earth is laissez faire. You only find laissez faire in under-developed nations with ineffective government; it exists as the least common denominator of monetary function, benefiting the least for those with the most.

Thank you again for writing this. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Stuart
Thanks for the kind words. Words like Progressive, Liberal, Conservative and Socialist are a convenient shorthand -- until they become weapons for mass distraction. I use them because they are shorthand, but I try to tie them to actions whenever possible. Thus, when Bush the Least labeled himself a compassionate conservative, I accepted the evidence in regard to his attempts to help ameliorate AIDS in Africa, but I saw little evidence of compassion in his dealing with the suffering citizens of New Orleans.

Indeed, his compassion seemed to be far more obvious with those he described as his friends the Have-Mores. Certainly, he was compassionate in reducing their tax rates and easing regulations for banksters. Unfortunately, that didn't turn out to be so compassionate for the rest of us.
I voted for the first time in 1968, it was an absentee ballot, I was a college student. I voted for Humphrey. I have since then always voted for the Democrat. I have had some disappointments, but I have never been ashamed. No one in elected office has made decisions that I thought were right all the time. That is not ever going to happen.
I voted today, the first day of early voting here. There were probably 30 people voting while I was there. I suspect that I may have been the only one who voted for Obama. East TN glows bright red. I saw older people who were having trouble with the machines, though they are the same ones we have had for years. They vote Republican because they always have done so. Some of them were voting against their own self interest. I understand why some are encouraging voting for a third party candidate. If there were a viable one, I would consider one, but that is not the case. Why any woman in this country who is paying attention could vote for Romney/Ryan is heartbreaking to me. It struck me yesterday that I have not been this frightened for our country since 1962, when I was child in school learning to hide under my desk. Mitt Romney has proved that he will say anything to get elected, while he has so little respect for the ordinary citizen.
Steve
Make mine a single malt scotch. By the way, Roosevelt/Truman also had George F. Kennan:

When Fools Think Themselves Wise
.
LiberalSouthernDemocrat
I feel your pain -- I'm also in East Tennessee, where Obama signs are as scarce as hen's teeth. Meanwhile, the Krazed Kristians proudly display their Romney signs right next to their Ten Commandments signs. Either they are too ignorant to know Mitt is a heretic member of a cult, at least by their lights, or they are simply ignoring that fact.

I suppose to these ignorant racists, better a Mormon than a Muslim.
When you call the other side barbarians you unwittingly swing some undecided voters to vote the barbarian way because almost any non hermit knows someone or has a family member who is on the right and who isn't a barbarian. So you reveal yourself to be a member of the true barbarian party of which any rational person would want no part.
When you call the other side barbarians you unwittingly swing some undecided voters to vote the barbarian way because almost any non hermit knows someone or has a family member who is on the right and who isn't a barbarian. So you reveal yourself to be a member of the true barbarian party of which any rational person would want no part.
When you call the other side barbarians you unwittingly swing some undecided voters to vote the barbarian way because almost any non hermit knows someone or has a family member who is on the right and who isn't a barbarian. So you reveal yourself to be a member of the true barbarian party of which any rational person would want no part.
When you call the other side barbarians you unwittingly swing some undecided voters to vote the barbarian way because almost any non hermit knows someone or has a family member who is on the right and who isn't a barbarian. So you reveal yourself to be a member of the true barbarian party of which any rational person would want no part.
When you call the other side barbarians you unwittingly swing some undecided voters to vote the barbarian way because almost any non hermit knows someone or has a family member who is on the right and who isn't a barbarian. So you reveal yourself to be a member of the true barbarian party of which any rational person would want no part.
When you call the other side barbarians you unwittingly swing some undecided voters to vote the barbarian way because almost any non hermit knows someone or has a family member who is on the right and who isn't a barbarian. So you reveal yourself to be a member of the true barbarian party of which any rational person would want no part.
When you call the other side barbarians you unwittingly swing some undecided voters to vote the barbarian way because almost any non hermit knows someone or has a family member who is on the right and who isn't a barbarian. So you reveal yourself to be a member of the true barbarian party of which any rational person would want no part.
iPhone app (or posting this via Facebook) resulted in the multiple posts. Either that or it thinks true wisdom is worth repeating multiple times.
Retablo
Of course, there's another possibility. Like others of your tribe, you believe that repeating a lie incessantly will convince other barbarians that it's the truth. I don't think that's gonna work around here, tho.

But it's refreshing to know some barbarians are smart enough to use an iPhone -- however clumsily. But hanging out on Facebook -- where political discourse confirms everything I've said about barbarians -- suggests you aren't quite as smart as you'd like to think you are.
Point eloquently made. It's time to send the barbarians back to the forest.
A Romney victory is a naked, steep decent into hell, but then the rebuilding can begin and we will be able to finally shed the failed policies of the past and move forward to a brighter future in 4 years. An Obama victory is a shrouded, slightly slower decent into hell, but the sheeple will remain in the dark and will just vote for more of the same in 4 years, thus delaying the inevitable.

Also, a vote for Romney may get the Democrats and so called liberals into the streets to fight for justice rather than sit on their asses and hope. Obama accomplished a lot of right wing things Bush never did, because the Dems and libs remained silent.

Why not vote for Jill Stein. I agree with probably 80% or more of her platform. I agree with about 10% of Obama's and 0% of Romney's. Liberals have a chance to vote for someone who will represent them. It can be done. Just fucking vote for Jill Stein. Stop being an apologist for Obama. He doesn't represent you. He will continue to suck. He ain't gonna get better. The whole system is fucked. So why play by their rules. Vote for anybody but the 2 corporatists.
immoderation in the pursuit of fantasy is no virtue!
L.M.A.O. All I'd have come up with on my own was, "save me from the pure."

This is excellent, Tom.
Chicken Maan
I'm all for the barbarians retreat, but can we get a little of our money back before we chase them off?
AlaskaProgressive
You say "Why not vote for Jill Stein. I agree with probably 80% or more of her platform." That's the easiest softball I've been tossed in years; I think I can knock that can of corn outa the park.

Why not vote for Jill Stein? Because she has 0% chance of getting elected, so it doesn't matter in the least what her platform is or that you agree with some or all of it. But let's grant your fantasy and continue this exercise in futility -- let's put her on the throne. The problem then becomes that there's 0% chance of her getting her platform enacted.

As Momma used to say, if wishes were horses, all men would ride.
She won't win if people like you who know she is the better candidate, don't vote for her.

Let's say she doesn't get her platform enacted, that is a hell of a lot better than getting Obama or Romney's platform enacted. More war, more drilling, more corporate giveaways.

So Tom, after the election, if Obama wins, are you going to get off your ass and make him enact all that progressive change you want?
Whatever anybody might think of my intellect, I am not impressed. Intellect is a tool to solve problems and this problem is not in any way solvable by whatever I might suggest.

Te examine the problem in its entirety, the US system of government was idealistically conceived to create governmental organizations that would represent the best interests of the nation. In its inception only male property owners were considered capable of choosing representatives that could properly govern and over time that power was distributed to more and more of the population and to women as well who were granted the possibility of reason to make the proper choice. And the representatives were assumed to represent those who did the choosing with some interference from the Electoral College who were intended to buffer bad choices but in general were assumed to be a mere automatic system for conveying the choices of the voting populace.

The wealthy elite always had various nefarious ways to channel power to themselves through control of the party system and by the use of persuasive media and, to a degree, the will of the populace in general was always frustrated in favor of the elite.

But there always remained a modicum of responsible intellect within the general populace that could influence those elected to do many things that made sense for the population in general and kept some kind of check on the voracious and highly destructive ambitions of the wealthy who disdained the average citizen and had no concern for the basic ecology which sustained the country.

In recent times the power of the wealthy has grown so monstrously huge that almost every sector of government, the judiciary, the legislative and the executive are now under the total control of the wealthy elite and also those supplemental agencies such as the media (which in the past had some freedom of information dispersal and counter-opinion to governmental policy) is now almost totally under the domination of those that possess the bulk of the wealth of the country. This would be acceptable if the elite had some sense of responsibility towards the general populace (something they had never exhibited but it would be a pleasant change). It would no longer be a democracy but still could be an acceptable form of government.

But unfortunately the elite has remained constant in its exertion to increase its wealth infinitely with no concern for the immense damage it is doing to the planet's ability to sustain life nor for the immense miseries it is imposing on human and other life which is an integrated biological network developed over millions of years and now is extremely fragile due to the insane policies of those in control.

It is quite obvious that both major parties are securely under the domination of the irresponsible wealthy elite. All the machineries of the political operations respond, not to the necessities of decent government and sensible economy but to the voracious eagerness of the elite to squeeze the rest of the citizenry out of whatever wealth they still possess with no regard to sustaining a viable nation. In even the relatively short run this mindless agenda will destroy the country but the elite no longer responds to any particular country, it has extended its tentacles well beyond national borders and seems confident it can sustain its powers whatever debacles its policies may engender and the entire world is bleeding to death from its misbehavior.

To conceive that any particular election can forestall ultimate chaos and the total debacle of current civilization under these inexorable mindless pressures is to live in pitiful delusion. Normal politics has totally succumbed to this monstrous stupidity.

All I can do is shoot my water pistol full of piss at this monster and the monster is mightily amused and can, at any time, wipe me away to oblivion.

Use or not use your vote. If nothing else, it occupies your mind while the world surrenders to obliteration.
R; nothing to add. Powerful post and great comments too.
There is an historical review at the Tom Dispatch site that is a must read for anyone really interested in the basic architecture of American foreign policy. It details all the hidden actions in the Cuban missile crisis and how the monstrous US hubris dominated the situation and damned near brought about the extinction of modern civilization, not to speak of that of humanity itself and much of life on Earth. It is at:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175605/tomgram%3A_noam_chomsky%2C_%22the_most_dangerous_moment%2C%22_50_years_later/#more

and is very pertinent to the current crisis in Iran and much of Obama's policies which seemingly violate basic US ideals and traditions but actually reveals a continuity that covers decades if not centuries of the delusive nonsense of US policies.

It strikes me as imperative to read and understand for anyone interested in truth.
What a fine poem, Tom!
“So now I live unwillingly inside a world
Described, defined, demeaned, defiled
By those whose words I openly defied
Who wrapped the chains again and smiled “
~
If …if these chains can be broken…
These ‘’mind forg’d manacles’’
~
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.BLAKE.
~
Ah, you say “But if by will and grace of God
I can escape my chains and set you free
To see a world not warped by others minds
My life will then be all it needs to be”

The unborn child could be yourself.
Could be your friend or neighbor.

To set another free is the work of God.
Nerd Cred
Thanks for the compliment. You said "save me from the pure." I'm partial to the bumpersnicker that reads "Lord Save Me From Your Followers".

As for my pithy retort "I would remind you that pragmatism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that immoderation in the pursuit of fantasy is no virtue!", that's a riff on Barry Goldwater's infamous acceptance speech at the '64 Republican
Convention. I hope my borrowing doesn't make me a Goldwater Republican.

Actually, a Goldwater Republican is infinitely preferable to the barbarians that dominate that Party today. By reputation, Goldwater would have had no truck with Birthers and race-baiters within that Party -- including the "sainted" Ronald Reagan, with his dog-whistle "welfare queens".

How far has the Party fallen since '64? Goldwater has been replaced by Romoney, and Goldwater's running mate William Miller has been replaced by Ayn Ryan. The intellectual leader of the Party, William F. Buckley, has been replaced by foul-mouthed troglodyte Rush Limbaugh. Green-eyeshade economic Republican moderates have been driven from the Party en masse, and they've beenreplaced in almost every instance by lunatic fringe Teapartians.

The sad and ugly truth is the Republican Party took exactly the wrong lesson from Goldwater's resounding defeat in '64. Rather than turn to the middle -- back to it's Lincoln/Roosevelt progressive roots, it turned even harder Right and welcomed in disaffected racist Dixiecrats who defected from the Democratic Party en masse. To compound that error, the Republican Party adopted as its modus operandi the hideous overtly racist Southern Strategy.

Moderate Republicans -- if any remain -- may protest that they are not among the barbarians. But by their silence in the face of the vile, wretched excesses of the beasts that run their Party, they tacitly condone such perfidy. And thus, they, too, deserve to be called barbarians.
Alaska Progressive
I did the math for you, but you apparently don't want me to confuse with facts. The fact is Jill Stein can't get elected; the only thing her candidacy may "accomplish" is suck-off enough votes from Obama to put Rude Romoney in the White House. Talk about a Pyrrhic "victory"!!

As for me, no matter who wins the election, I will continue to do what I've always done -- speak my mind plainly and call 'em as I see 'em. You're new here, so you're probably unaware I've been criticizing Obama almost from day one ... for his weak-ass negotiating tactics ... for his failure to stand on principle ... for his failure to prosecute banksters and torturers.

Here's some examples:

http://open.salon.com/blog/tom_cordle/2010/12/08/deeply_disappointed

http://open.salon.com/blog/tom_cordle/2010/12/15/the_great_compromise

But I also know Obama has accomplished some Liberal objectives as well, including a huge step toward universal healthcare, ending the war in Iraq, saving jobs at GM and Chrysler, saving many more jobs with the Stimulus (however inadequate), signing the Lily Ledbetter Act, and ending the idiotic Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the military. That some on the Left ignore these gains, accomplished despite intractable -- nay, traitorous -- Republicans, is not only dishonest -- it's foolish.

Regardless of my disappointment and disillusionment with President Obama on other matters, I'm not fool enough to do anything that would increase the chance of Rude Romoney becoming President. And it is simply an undeniable fact that voting third-party or not voting does exactly that.

That some misguided Liberals are in denial about that fact doesn't change the fact that it is a fact.
Obama tried his best to remain in Iraq but the current government kicked him out. Nevertheless there is a very large contingent of private US military contractors remaining.
Jan
And I thought I was cynical about politics! Understand, I'm not denying your analysis; I'm simply saying there is a HUGE and immediate problem staring us in the face -- the possible election, three weeks from now, of a greedy, self-absorbed sociopath and unrepentant pathological liar to the most powerful position on this earth.

You seem to see that as a good thing -- the spark that will ignite the fires of revolution. I see it as something quite different -- the spark the could well ignite Armageddon. But even if you are right, I caution you to think twice. History suggests revolutions are a dangerous way to achieve reform, and the outcome is often the opposite of what the revolutionaries imagined -- take the Russian revolution -- please.

When it comes to revolution, I think Lennon said it better than Lenin:

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all wanna change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know
We all wanna change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We all wanna see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We're all doing what we can
But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you'll have to wait

You say you'll change the constitution
Well you know
We'd all love to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Jan Sand, here's my watergun full of piss. Thanks for the idea.
It's my best guess as to what Dr. King would have to say here. And by the way Tom, this whole thing, beginning with your initial post, and including all the excellent discussion, should be copied and made part of the national grammar school curriculum. Thank you, sir.

Good morning.

First, let us give thanks, to the Good Lord above. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord, for without Your mighty hand on my shoulder, I could not do what needs to be done. Without Your mighty hand on my shoulder, I could not say what needs to be said. Without Your mighty guidance, I would not have direction. But I want to thank You, Lord, most of all, for Your merciful love, for, without Your love, I could not feel the love I feel.

We have been brought together here today for a reason, and I, to deliver an assessment. As I look around, I see that the American People of this great nation have chosen to elect Mr. Obama to head the Executive Branch of our Government, which tells me that America has been busy these past few decades, and has grown, and finally closed the doors to some of its ugly attitudes and bad behaviors of the past, that for long had bound it in the chains of prejudice. America has come far. And I know that these changes took time, and this new attitude didn't come easy, and my heart is filled with pride as I now look out upon this lovely mall, and gaze upon the lovely fall color that is beginning to spread and herald a new season, for I see that we now see only the beauty, as we look upon the maple, the dogwood and the burning bush, and are no longer distracted by the color of its boughs, nor do those boughs lessen the beauty in any way. America has come far.

But this great nation still has work to do, for it has been sliding, and its poor are now poorer, while the rich are now richer. And so, I'm here to say that America has slid too far. When their are ugly scenes of homelessness, when there are unfed children throughout the land, when there are not enough jobs and not enough money, when we see the homeless mother, dressed in rags and hungry, with no milk for her baby, we know that America has slid too far. And when we see the families, forced from their homes because they don't have any money, then we know America has slid far. And when whole cities of homeles people, living in the streets and living in tents, begin to spring up inside every major metropolitan area all across this great land, then we know that America has slid too far.

America has slid too far because of a long train, a long train that has left in its wake the destruction of the American Working Class. The sign above this train's engine reads 'Keep Out'. No, we don't ride this train, nor would we want to. Nor does this train want us. This is the Train of Gold, of the wealthy, and this train does not stop, and has security at the door to keep us out. No, there is no room for us on this exclusive train, and no seats would we find there for us to rest our weary bodies, not even in the back. This is the 'long train of abuses and usurpations' that the American Declaration of Independence warned us about, and this train has stolen from us for too long now. It is the long train of the wealthy pursuing their 'common Object', which has been their self-enrichment at the expense of the Working Class. This long train has taken from us, and this 'long train of abuses and usurpations' has crushed the American Dream. And we know that in its holds are carried the 'abuses', which include misrepresentation and oppression, and we know that the 'usurpations' include the wholesale export of the entire American manufacturing sector offshore. And we know that this train's riders are no friends of ours, and that their laughter is tight, and fearful, and we know that they are blind. And we have seen that they are deaf, and we know that they do not love us. And we know that their greed has known no bounds.

Let us understand that this train of gold has been the cause of the widening gap between the rich and poor, and that it is not a question of class envy, because we know that there are only two classes of people in God's eyes, and those two classes are Right and the Wrong.

But nevermind all that. Let us not waste are precious time on such jealousies, let us not be bothered by their train as it passes. Let us instead carry on, and maintain our dignity, let us cross those tracks one more time and move to the higher ground.

As we walk, let us pause to remember that we don't need to ride any train, and that we know how to walk, and that we have walked before. And let us pause in our minds to recall that change wasn't easy, and that it took time. But change came. We know how to walk. We have walked before, brothers and sisters. You and I. Yes we have. We have walked before and now the time has come to walk again, and this time, our walk will be to the polling booths of America, and we shall walk together, and if you see someone who can't walk, help them there. And if you see someone who can't see, take their hand and show them the way, and tell them that 'though they might not see, they can speak, and they can vote, and tell them that their voices are needed all across this great land in these troubled times, and tell that they are not alone, and that our voice will be heard, from the voting booths of Maine, to the voting booths of California, from the voting booths of Chicago to the voting booths of New York City. And when the Obstructionists come out and try to invalidate your vote and deprive you of you Constitutionally guaranteed right, tell them that change is coming, and that We, The People are coming, tell them that We are no longer satisfied with the staus quo, and that we are no longer going to put up with them building their fortunes at the expense of the American Living Wage. And tell them that Freedom is coming, the Freedom From Want that my friend and brother Franklin Roosevelt spoke of in 1941. Tell them this. And tell them that their train of gold must be stopped, and its plunder returned. And tell them that you have not come alone, and that we walk together, and that they should walk with us, too, because they are standing on the wrong side of history. And let us walk together. And let the wealthy among us who hear these righteous words and know them as true, and are our friends, join us. And let us walk together. And let those who have cast down their weary heads and no longer have no faith that change is possible lift up their weary heads with hope. And let us walk together. And when we get to the polling booths this election year, all across this mighty nation, they will know that we bring our higher standards, and they will know that we now stand together, and they will hear our voices ringing out as one, this year, next year, and for all time.

God Bless America.
Thank you for pointing out George Kennan. I'd never heard of him before now. What a mighty nation we had! Ah! How we yearn for those days! When we had people like that, unsung heroes with our whole nation's best interest [not just the one percent] in mind...
But as I read, Tom, I couldn't help but to think [as the tilt began to creep in again] how his ideas and perspective, beginning in paragraph five, have been hijacked and instituted by the wealthy against the working class. For instance:
"We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers' keeper and refrain from offereing moral and idealogical advice."
Sound familiar? I hear Romney's voice every fucking time I read that.
Tom,
I'm glad I didn't write this and have to deal with all of those comments. Not because they're so bad, just so many.

On the kosh spin-off post, I point out that 3rd parties with theories but no plan of how to gain support--outside of being allowed in pres debates-- are useless. What I see with the Greens are the same strident all-nothing, pure-immoral arguments with the PIPs -- politically interested people -- we get from Libertarians.

Anyone thinking these arguments/discussions among a very slim number of Americans (and Canadian curious) can ever have an effect on the 98% rest-of-Americans are suffering a delusion. It's the Apisa Syndrome -- thinking these exchanges represent The Whole of America. Maybe people need that for their own satisfaction, but this is politics and the people that must be convinced are not involved and pay no attention to the convert-conversation. Therefore the Greens and Libertarians, etc, aren't political movements, they're secular religions with a political scent.

I wish I had thought to use Lennon to back that up. He's saying the same thing, basically.

So, Greens,
we all wanna see the plan.

Not the platform, the plan to gain significant support. If there's no there there, there's no Green there, anywhere.
Seer
You wrote: "while I understand your mandate argument, seems that Obama had a pretty good mandate the last go round"

Indeed, he did, and he certainly tried -- at first -- to bring it to pass. Problem was, voters (in their infinite wisdom) didn't see fit to replace a lot of stumbling stones in the Senate. Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats enacted much of the Progressive agenda, but alas in the Senate, Republican filibusters and Blue Dog Democrats put the kibosh to progress.

In actuality, Blue Dogs aren't really Democrats; they're DINOs, the last vestiges of the Dixiecrats. So the argument that Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress for the first two years of the Obama administration is dubious at best.

To make matters far worse, in 2010 millions of Liberals stayed home on their lazy asses, thus assuring the election of Teapartian troglodytes, and thus assuring nothing more would be accomplished in Congress. Indeed, if I'm not mistaken, this last has been the most unproductive Congress in modern times.

So -- if these disillusioned, weepy Liberals are looking to blame somebody for the present sorry state of affairs, they should start with themselves and not with Obama.
You're right, Paul, in that most Americans aren't paying attention, don't care, and are blissfully ignorant. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us should STFU.
Tom,
I am so glad to hear it pointed out that the "Democrat controlled House" was actually united beyond the next election. A few nasty old men yelled and blathered at Town Meetings and they folded. But where was the great Liberal wave? Remember trying to get people out in 2010? Elect the President and wait for him to fix the world, we sure did our part.
Steve
Preach it, Brother! As for Kennan, he was first and foremost a realist, something tragically lacking these days, not only on the Right, but on the Left, as many of the comments here bear witness.

Unfortunately, the wise words of true Conservatives are distorted by untrue conservatives and other political operatives to suit their duplicitous needs. Hobbes, Adam Smith and Kennan (I would argue he, too, is a Conservative in the true sense of the word) have all been used and abused by the Right -- Hobbes to justify savagery, Smith to justify corporate capitalism, and Kennan to justify 6% of the Earth's people consuming an obscene amount of the world's goods.

But the truth is each of these men wrote what he wrote with one aim in mind -- to promote the Commonweal, a term reviled by most of those who call themselves conservatives these days. Promoters of greed and individualism uber alles are in no sense conservative, they are what I labeled them in my 21st Century Political Dictionary...

... they are greedy, grasping consumatives. And they are barbarians.
PJ'O
It's a rotten job, and as so many of the comments here demonstrate, it may be pointless, but somebody's gotta do it. With the election looming and a win by Romoney impossibly looking more and more possible, it was time to step up and take one for the team.
Kenneth
It's sad that anyone has to point any of this out, but there it is. One more thing needs to pointed out:

Lefties polish their rhetoric ... Wingnuts polish their guns.
Steve,
I don't say or think anyone should shut up, except for that excessively stupid and annoying habit of claiming the non-convert is as much a fascist oppressor as the fascist oppressor in office. That's brain-dead fanaticism.

I sometimes get involved in these discussions, but I've been doing this a long time and have had many arguments that are still new to others. When I involve myself in the theorizing or listing of lament, I do so fully aware of its overall political uselessness. Identifying the problem is easy and tangible. Identifying a real solution--which will forever and always and into infinity as written in stone or the medium of your choice--involves motivating large groups of citizens. The person you're talking to in a comment thread isn't the one that needs convincing, conversion or condemnation.

Just as important is realizing Americans don't want sweeping changes, as much as that is needed. 3rd parties, as parties do, offer a complete makeover, not targeted, incremental change. Show the voter the Greens would have to have the Party Platform and rattle off the talking points...and you might as well be speaking of the glorious 3rd Reich or the Revolution of the Proletariat.

Political movements work, 3rd parties don't. The most successful and destructive 3rd party is US history began as a movement and became a party. Have an idea of what that might be?
As the election looms near and the polls tighten, it is threads like this that can help make all the difference.
Sorry, Paul. You've must've come over late, and missed my comment a mile above your post. What I'd said earlier was that descriptive arguments might work when you're preaching to the choir in a sheltered area, but not when you're shouting into the wind at the unconvinced, while they're flipping channels on their Tv's.
I didn't mean to offend you with the STFU comment. Please remeber that, as prudent as I try to be with the words that I write that get made permanent here, I sometimes have writer's regret with certain phrasings.
Steve,
I did miss that comment. I was going to read all of them as soon as I finish War and Peace.

You have the proper perspective, and the art of politics as change has to involve those channel-flipping Americans who vote based on a range of variables, somewhere and someway creating somewhat of an average.
If you keep your agenda clean and lean, you might find the mean.
Well, for what it's worth, from where I stand, all these references to all the peripheral factors that are causing our [Problems? Angst? High suicide rates? Unemployment? Homophobia? ImmigrantPhobia?, atc.], are all just that: peripheral arguments. Listen, Paul. I know who you are, and I used to read your stuff. And I even agreed with a lot of what you'd said. But you're right in that I have not kept up with what you've said lately [lately, as in years], because I've been strugglimg financially. Think about that, Paul. You are losing your reader base because of the Economic Squeeze and the unrelenting, can-never-get-enough greed of the wealthy. So, as I lose income, you lose income. We have a symbiotic relationship. As all my like-minded friends lose their jobs, more of your friends, more writers and journalists and authors will lose their jobs, and so, voices will become silent.
So what is the answer?
They answer is easy, and must not be lost in the horn of plenty that has become our unfair share of the economic burden.
The American Working Class Nedds To Recieve A Living Wage.
The American Manufacturing Sector Must Be Brought Back Home.
Thanks for listening, Paul.
Steve,
I'm not Patrick Jake O'Rourke, aka: PJ.
I've never been paid for anything I've written except job contracts. The economy hasn't cost me readers. Lately, it's because I haven't been writing.
But you should read my stuff anyway.
Furthermore, I can trace the beginning of my economic slide down to the bottom back to the beginning of George the Least's early days in office. I argued my reasons for not going to war, and I began to lose work. But what was I to do? STFU or say wahat needed to be said? But, blah, blah, blah. And so it goes, and so it has been.
Are you sure? You're not a government guy sent here to make me look stupid, are you?
Ah well. Sorry Paul.
I need a drink.
Steve/PJ
Interesting exchange, boys, now somebody pour me another single-malt scotch so I can keep typing loud enough and long enough to drown-out the voice of Mealy-Mouth Mitt the Mendacious that keeps ringing in my ears
Sounds good. and make mine a Bud Light.
Here's a poem for today, in honor of this great experience.

Roll your own. Keep a stash.
Try not to vote Republican.
Try to be yourself, but if you can't do that, then, listen.
Good poets are hard to find.
I agree with Paul, as should be obvious from my spin-off post. Don't show me a platform, show me a plan. If the Greens were serious, they'd take whatever funding they had and put it into a couple of Congressional races they had a prayer of winning.

As I finish by saying: If your suggestion helps people less than what I plan to do, your suggestion is useless.

Pierre Angiel wrote a post today in which he suggested voting for Romney so the economy would collapse and we could start from scratch. A bunch of us commented before he pointed out that he was being sarcastic. Oops. The trouble is that such idiocy is actually credible as a viewpoint.

More than credible, actually,
It's pretty much what Jan Sand has been saying on my blog today, and I'm afraid he isn't prone to sarcasm.

As crazy as it was, I had to respect it because it was at least a suggestion rather than the rants I was seeing. Seriously, I've seen such crap today that this suggestion was actually an improvement.
@ Steve Kenny:

They answer is easy, and must not be lost in the horn of plenty that has become our unfair share of the economic burden.
The American Working Class Nedds To Recieve A Living Wage.
The American Manufacturing Sector Must Be Brought Back Home.


Steve, the answer is far from easy; in fact, it is further from easy than Pluto is from Earth.

Most of the American Working Class will NEVER EVER AGAIN have a decent shot at a “living wage.” There is absolutely no reason to pay individual workers high wages to do the kinds of things most human workers can do. In fact, any company that actually made a policy of paying individual workers high wages to do the kinds of things most human workers can do…would fail miserably. (And please do not talk to me about Henry Ford!)

The American Manufacturing Sector CAN easily be brought back to America. Make the minimum wage 75 cents per hour…and get significant numbers of Americans to work for that wage…and the jobs would flow back here like water over Niagara Falls. There is no problem whatever with getting the manufacturing jobs back here…the only reason they ever left is because it can be done less expensively elsewhere. If that were to change…they’d come back; if that does not change, they will not come back if Jesus Christ is elected president.

Of course, that would only be stopgap, because machines are being developed that will make paying human workers 75 cents per hour to do those jobs…prohibitively expensive.

The problem politicians should be working on is not how to create decent paying jobs for the American Working Class, because that simply can no longer be done. The problem they SHOULD be working on is: How do we get enough money (or goods and services) into the hands of everyone without them having to find a job that pays a living wage…BECAUSE THERE WILL NEVER EVER AGAIN BE ENOUGH OF THOSE KINDS OF JOBS.
Frank,
Your timely and soberingly astute reply to my statement has caused me to jump from my chair with concern, as the reality of my mistake set in.

I'm sorry, sir. Here's my correction:

Line 2 of my poem 'Roll Your Own' should have read,

"Don't vote Republican."
But I see your point. Your right. Comparing an American Living Wage to third world labor is like comparing asteroids to planets.
Well said, my friend.
I always disagree with you on this, Tam, your perennial contention that one fascist can be better than another, and a turd tastes fine if you only suck the sweet end.

In the short term you might be correct; the powers who really govern Merka would take the election of Romney as an immediate nod of assent to World War 3, whereas the liberals who support Obama would like to defer Armageddon until after the summer holidays. Reality is, if you vote for either of these glove puppets WWIII is what you'll get and the only difference is timescale. Don't vote, that has stopped working. Dig yourself a shelter. Learn how to grow vegetables.

Optimistic chord: look at how many people have commented on this thread!

I thought I'd append a verse by a favourite poet but, looking around, too many have been appropriated by the banks as advertisements (too surreal). I had not dreamt that Death had undone so many (Dante). So here's something from my own backyard that I know the filthy bastards daren't touch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSoxa8XpJ84&feature=related
Vronsky
You wrote: "In the short term you might be correct"

Why is it so hard for people to understand that ALL I'm talking about here is the short term?

Eighteen days, that's short term. In eighteen 18 days, the most powerful man on Earth will be the man who has held that position for the last four years and who has proven -- with admittedly mixed results -- to be a fairly effective leader under the worst of circumstances and with NO cooperation from the opposing party -- OR -- it will be a man who has proven time and again that he has NO CORE ... NO CARE for others .. NO CURE for the troubles ordinary people face ... and NO CONSCIENCE when it comes to lies and distortions. No core ... no care ... no cure ... and no conscience -- that says sociopath to me.

Given that is the choice, I shouldn't even have to make this argument, but from so many of the comments here, it's obvious the argument does need to be made. For the umpteenth time, we can rant and wail about the world we want tomorrow, but at this moment we have to decide which of these two men gives us at least a chance at that tomorrow, and which is likely to drag us back in the absolutely other direction ... back to the past and the policies that got us in this godawful position.

One more time -- one or the other of these men will be elected President Nov 6, and there is NO other possible outcome. All the wishing that weren't so won't change reality. So set aside your pride, and make an adult decision -- choose between the only two possible outcomes on Nov 6 -- choose like your future depended on it -- it does.
Tom, after reading your voluminous drivel I've come to the conclusion that you somehow have extolled the virtues of intellectualism upon yourself by virtue of ridiculing everyone else in order to elevate your own ludicrous status. Tea Party constituents who outweigh their liberal counterparts in education, income levels, and job position are knuckle draggers because they actually have the guts to get out in public, assemble peacefully, and state their grievances demanding that our illegally operating facsimile of a federal government revert back to Constitutional compliance? You better have another double malt scotch because you have mistakenly drawn a parallel between lawlessness, the illusion of big government promise of utopia, social engineering, and the ignorance of the masses with progressivism which got its start from those who wanted to question the legitimacy of the very US Constitution that formed the foundation of individual freedoms and defined the limits of government intervention into the lives of its citizens, but people like you conveniently forgot that cold stark reality as you pontificate with incredibly hasty generalizations about American history and political ideological manifestations that you only claim to understand. America would not be in the life and death struggle that it is today if there were not an ongoing and concerted collectivist effort to reduce this nation to the third world bananna republic equivilant of medicrisy that the rest of the world exists at as the EU collapses from entitlements created out of the myth of government sanctioned cradle to grave intervention. The men who built this country and created the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence did so at the risk of being hanged as traitors to the Royal Crown. They risked everything they had for the future of Americans who would live to inherit those profound principles as people like yopu spit upon them with your incessant affirmations of self importance as though your meaningless opinion had some relevance to greatness of conceptualization that could free the masses as did our forefathers. Self delusion is like any other addiction or ailment, it dwells deep within the denial of the percipient. Open a history book. Read your Bible over again, and have another double malt scotch.
Tom, after reading your voluminous drivel I've come to the conclusion that you somehow have extolled the virtues of intellectualism upon yourself by virtue of ridiculing everyone else in order to elevate your own ludicrous status. Tea Party constituents who outweigh their liberal counterparts in education, income levels, and job position are knuckle draggers because they actually have the guts to get out in public, assemble peacefully, and state their grievances demanding that our illegally operating facsimile of a federal government revert back to Constitutional compliance? You better have another double malt scotch because you have mistakenly drawn a parallel between lawlessness, the illusion of big government promise of utopia, social engineering, and the ignorance of the masses with progressivism which got its start from those who wanted to question the legitimacy of the very US Constitution that formed the foundation of individual freedoms and defined the limits of government intervention into the lives of its citizens, but people like you conveniently forgot that cold stark reality as you pontificate with incredibly hasty generalizations about American history and political ideological manifestations that you only claim to understand. America would not be in the life and death struggle that it is today if there were not an ongoing and concerted collectivist effort to reduce this nation to the third world bananna republic equivilant of medicrisy that the rest of the world exists at as the EU collapses from entitlements created out of the myth of government sanctioned cradle to grave intervention. The men who built this country and created the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence did so at the risk of being hanged as traitors to the Royal Crown. They risked everything they had for the future of Americans who would live to inherit those profound principles as people like yopu spit upon them with your incessant affirmations of self importance as though your meaningless opinion had some relevance to greatness of conceptualization that could free the masses as did our forefathers. Self delusion is like any other addiction or ailment, it dwells deep within the denial of the percipient. Open a history book. Read your Bible over again, and have another double malt scotch.
Tom - I 'll do the math for you, An Obama win will result in the murder of thousands of innocent civilians. Most of them brown and probably muslimy, so you probably don't care. It will result in trillions more given away to banks and other 1%ers. It will result in the prosecution on numerous whistleblowers. Detention of lots of icky people like peace activists, anarchists, do gooders, dissenters and other rabble Don't worry though, good Americans like yourself will be safe. Millions more will go hungry, be unemployed and fall into poverty. On second thought, I won't do the math for you. I can't add that high. Must be because I am a product of our failing edumacation system which Obama is helping to privatize. Why not make a buck off our children.

As to your criticisms of Obama: He does not have weak ass negotiation tactics. He wanted to give the bankers, health Ins, & big pharma a gift. After all they got him into office. He has no principles to stand on. He is a corporatist pig and he doesn't represent you. Get that through your head. He didn't prosecute the bankers, he made them his cabinet members. He didn't prosecute torturers because he is a torturer. Gitmo is still open as well as many other black sites where torture is going on right now.

As far as his accomplishments: We are farther from universal health care now than ever before. The private health insurers are deeply entrenched. He had a chance for universal healthcare but he never advocated for it even when he had both houses of Congress and a mandate from the people to be progressive. He didn't want to get out of Iraq and tried hard not to but had to because the Iraqi government would not give US troops amnesty for crimes they committed. I'm unimpressed with allowing gays to join a murderous bunch of thugs in the military. If that is equality, then fuck it. I'll give you Lily Ledbetter--its one of the few positives. His bailout of the auto companies involved brutal cuts in wages (50% for new hires) and benefits for the workers and the deal banned strikes for 6 years. Hurray! Soon we will all be making Chinese wages. He could have turned ownership over to the workers, nationalized the companies, or retooled it into making mass transit, but he allowed it to continue making automobiles to fuel our oil addiction which will be the demise of the human species. But good on him for helping corporate America once again.

I am not in denial. I realize the sheeple are too propagandized by our corporate media to realize a good thing (Jill Stein). She will not win. However, I will not vote for one of the 2 corporate servants. It is not a choice between the lesser of 2 evils. They are both evil, Obama just happens to be the more effective evil getting things done, no Republican could. If more people refused to vote for evil, maybe we would get the change we believe in.
Watch out Tom!

Doc knows his 'merican his-ry. He knows every detail of how Moses brought the 10 Amendments down from Mount Vernon and created the Constitution and Declaration with help from Jesus.

Doc,
It's good you have reverence for our Founding Documents, which are strong statements of Liberal Philosophy. Your embrace of liberalism is a good thing, and you should spread your love of liberalism among your friends and associates to be sure they also embrace liberalism. Our liberal Founders would have appreciated your support for their liberal ideals.

It's mildly hilarious you accuse Tom of abandoning those liberal principals when, in fact, the Declaration of Independence was literally a "Liberal Call to Arms."

Doc, you have the same knowledge of the Constitution as does every single member of the Tea Party -- it has a lot of words. You don't know the first thing about it or the next 375 things about it.

I just told you one thing you didn't know about it--it's Liberal. The Constitution is a Liberal Social Contract. Social? Yes, Doc, social. Yup, by the Tea Party's double digit IQ standard, the Founders and their Constitution were and are the world's most famous examples of Flaming Liberal Socialism.

Post that up on Free Republic....:)
Alaska Progressive
Sorry, my friend, but you are in denial. You are in denial about the fact that a vote for Jill Stein or any other third-party candidate is naught but a meaningless gesture. But what's worse is you are in denial about the fact that the vast majority of Americans don't see things your way, and without at least their acquiescence, you have no change of achieving your agenda..

You say "If more people refused to vote for evil, maybe we would get the change we believe in". That's a monstrously large "if" and an even bigger "maybe". "If" and "maybe" don't accomplish anything; what get's things done is the slow, grinding, incremental movement of the wheel in the gristmill of politics. The only relevant question at this moment is which way will voters turn that wheel -- to the Right and Backward, or to the Left and Forward?
Doc
Unlike Mitt Romney, I'm concerned for your health -- you should try to take an occasional breath while writing. And while you're at it, you might consider an occasional edit -- or at least an indentation or a semi-colon. And has anyone explained to you about "text-wall"? I'm sure you're familiar with Al-Anon, but you might also consider signing up for another twelve-step program -- On-and-On-and-On.

And speaking of drivel, better to spew voluminous drivel than vomitous drivel. Judging from the fact you obviously regurgitate your vomitous drivel without editing, you must think your vomitous drivel is Joycean stream of consciousness. Sorry, dude, but your vomitous drivel qualifies as stream of unconsciousness.

Did I mention your comment was vomitous drivel?
Go ahead Tom, vote for evil. You will get what you deserve.
What you don't seem to realize, Mr. Cordle, is that an election isn't just about picking a winner.

You seem to have the idea that it's somehow a waste to vote for someone who won't win. Wrong. A vote for someone you consider a good candidate, a vote in support of a platform you want, isn't wasted. It's a statement, however small, that the two branches of our one major party aren't offering the things they should.... which they'll never start doing unless they start losing support for doing the wrong things.

Third parties aren't a waste--they're the key to progress. Let's recall that the GOP itself first started as a third party. They grew into a major player because their goals had enough support and weren't being advocated by anyone else.

The Progressive, Populist and Socialist parties never fielded a winning candidate in any election, but they got enough support that the major parties were forced to adopt some parts of their platforms in order to survive. Ross Perot didn't win in '92, but he injected the dialogue with some issues, such as the deficit, that Bush and Clinton wouldn't have even talked about otherwise. Nader did the same in 2000 (and the idea that he was the reason for Bush's (non)victory has always been a crock of shit).

So no, voting Stein or Anderson isn't a waste. If you want what most of the people seem to want--peace, healthcare reform, protection for Social Security and Medicare, sane economic policy that favors the 99% instead of rigging the whole game for the upper 1, transparency/accountability, civil rights, the rule of law, an end to the wars, an end to institutionalized torture, an end to arbitrary imprisonment and killing without any charges or trial--then by what possible logic will it help to give a vote to a president who's opposed to every single one of those things? If that's not throwing your vote away, I don't know what is.
What you don't seem to realize, Mr. Cordle, is that an election isn't just about picking a winner.

You seem to have the idea that it's somehow a waste to vote for someone who won't win. Wrong. A vote for someone you consider a good candidate, a vote in support of a platform you want, isn't wasted. It's a statement, however small, that the two branches of our one major party aren't offering the things they should.... which they'll never start doing unless they start losing support for doing the wrong things.

Third parties aren't a waste--they're the key to progress. Let's recall that the GOP itself first started as a third party. They grew into a major player because their goals had enough support and weren't being advocated by anyone else.

The Progressive, Populist and Socialist parties never fielded a winning candidate in any election, but they got enough support that the major parties were forced to adopt some parts of their platforms in order to survive. Ross Perot didn't win in '92, but he injected the dialogue with some issues, such as the deficit, that Bush and Clinton wouldn't have even talked about otherwise. Nader did the same in 2000 (and the idea that he was the reason for Bush's (non)victory has always been a crock of shit).

So no, voting Stein or Anderson isn't a waste. If you want what most of the people seem to want--peace, healthcare reform, protection for Social Security and Medicare, sane economic policy that favors the 99% instead of rigging the whole game for the upper 1, transparency/accountability, civil rights, the rule of law, an end to the wars, an end to institutionalized torture, an end to arbitrary imprisonment and killing without any charges or trial--then by what possible logic will it help to give a vote to a president who's opposed to every single one of those things? If that's not throwing your vote away, I don't know what is.
As I read Doc Vega's nonsensical piece in which he claims that Tom has merely been ego-stroking himself through the belittlement of others, I smelled spin at its foulest. When he insinuated that education, income level and job position are, are, in themselves, some sort of gold medal standard that trumps all else [including compassion and reason], when I saw that he thought Tom was pontificating 'with incredibly hasty generalizations about American history', I began to smile grimly. And when he started deriding Tom's carefully considered, well thought out, genuinely concerned positions as 'incessant affirmations of self-importance', and 'meaningless opinions', I had to laugh out loud.
But when he tried to continue perpetuating the myth that the world is collapsing from under the weight of ''entitlements created out of the myth of government sanctioned cradle to grave intervention' [meaning that all the social safety ney programs are causing all the finacial instability], I knew him for what he truly is: A friend of big government and Wall Street, sent here in Teaparty clothing to usurp any meaningful and educationally relevant conversation. A bloviator of the first order, spinning his angle, trampling the truth, desperate to derail the spread of intelligent and honest information.
To launch such an assault credibly, Doc, you need to be much more concise than you have been, and back it all with facts. By the way, sir, Tom drinks single malt scotch, not double malt.
Phil T
Thanks for a thoughtful expression of the other side of the argument. You point out correctly that the Progressive Movement was a powerful force for change in the early part of the 20th Century -- a point I also made in this post. However, the history of third-party candidacies isn't nearly so positive.

In '68, George Wallace sucked-off enough blue-collar Democrats (my father included) to throw the election from Hubert Humphrey to Richard Nixon. That was not a win for blue-collar Democrats. In 2000, Ralph Nader sucked-off enough Liberals to throw that election from Al Gore to George W Bush. You disagree, but you're disagreement is not with me -- it's with math and history.

From the comments here, sounds like many Liberals are about to repeat their grievous error. And if enough do sit this election out in a pout or throw their vote away with a third-party vote, they will be as responsible for what happens under a President Romney as I will be for what happens under four more years of President Obama.

So throw away your vote if it makes you feel better about yourself, but please -- don't try to deny that's what you're doing. Doing so is naught but an empty gesture because the vast majority of people aren't with you, and unless/until you change the hearts and minds of the majority, you can't win, you can only lose another Pyrrhic "victory".

If you really want to work for change, start after the election. Run for local office or write a book. Ralph Nader accomplished a helluva lot more with Unsafe At Any Speed than he ever did as a candidate.
The idea that third party candidates suck live or die votes from either of the establishment's Presidential candidates is pure horseshit. Once again, THE POPULAR VOTE -MEANING ANYFUCKINGBODY WHO IS NOTA MEMBER OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE, MEANING 99.99999% OF US, DON'T VOTE IN THE PRSIDENT.

Sorry for that outburst, but it's true. So why can't we agree that it's true, and change the discourse, just a little, and begin to REFER to
to the Electoral College whenever we argue about Presidential candidates.
Now that you've read this high fiber comment, all I can do is hope that it begins to work, because I know that real change only begins with a first flush.
A successful Presidential Candidate needs only convince the Electorate, not the general public.
Ah tilt. Again. Gotta love it.
What I mean is that our arguments do have an effect on the sway of the Electoral vote, and so, we should always be referring to them, and not the Presidential Candidates, in our debates about Presidential Candidate's positions, so as to help keep the Popular Vote's pressure on the Electoral College.

I need a drink.
Courtesy of Marketwatch (Not a liberal organization) Obama is not the big spender the extreme right wing paints him as:

•In fiscal 2010 (the first Obama budget) spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.

• In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.

•In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August.

•Finally in fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion.

So why the deficits? A drop in revenue caused by the great recession (caused by the banks) and the failure of the tax cuts to spur growth. These are the facts.
Steve
I think you might have had a few already ;-)
John Melton
Are you trying to confuse voters with facts?
yes, the barbarians are at the gates, and they're some reallly ugly mofos.

After 2000, there's simply no way I'll vote third party. Obama's not perfect, and I've disagreed with him on a variety of things, but I'm quite sure he's a smart man, he can keep a cool head in an emergency, and he's definitely not a barbarian or a misogynist. That's sufficient for me. ANYTHING to keep Romney and Ryan out. They won't merely throw the poor under the bus, they'll pave entire city streets with them. How anyone can even consider voting for Romney after his 47% infamy is amazing to me--that has to be the most damaging moment of political candor EVER.

rated
In '68, George Wallace sucked-off enough blue-collar Democrats (my father included) to throw the election from Hubert Humphrey to Richard Nixon. That was not a win for blue-collar Democrats. In 2000, Ralph Nader sucked-off enough Liberals to throw that election from Al Gore to George W Bush. You disagree, but you're disagreement is not with me -- it's with math and history.

No, my argument is with the bizarre illogic which suggests that third parties 'take away' votes specifically from either Demicans or Republicrats, as if the votes already belong to one side or the other. That thinking only reinforces the R/D setup as the constant paradigm in the public mind and excludes actual different candidates from that thinking.

As long as people keep convincing themselves that it has to be either Kang or Kodos (and keep supporting them accordingly) no matter how far to the right they go, then there's no reason for Kang and Kodos to stop moving farther to the right. This is why while you apparently consider Nixon a bad president, you're now pushing for a guy even farther right than Nixon was. That'll never change unless the major parties start suffering consequences for doing horrible things--they need to start losing support and losing votes.

People like me voted for Nader in '00 because they wanted someone different from the almost-indistinguishable D/Rs. If Gore had wanted those votes, well, it's his fault for not being a candidate good enough for those people to support. It's not Nader's fault for actually being one. If Obama wanted more votes, he should have worked for the interests of his base instead of against them.

From the comments here, sounds like many Liberals are about to repeat their grievous error. And if enough do sit this election out in a pout or throw their vote away with a third-party vote, they will be as responsible for what happens under a President Romney as I will be for what happens under four more years of President Obama.

No, the people who vote for Romney would share the responsibility for what he does (to the extent they can be considered responsible at one degree of remove because of the electoral college, as Steve points out). The people who vote for Obama will share responsibility for the wars, torture, mass murders, SS/Medicare cuts, bank bailouts and continued elimination of our rights that will come if he gets four more years. Some of us refuse to have either one on our consciences.

So throw away your vote if it makes you feel better about yourself, but please -- don't try to deny that's what you're doing.

Wrong. As I pointed out above, it's not a waste to cast a vote for a candidate whose platform I support. It would be a waste to push a button for a candidate opposed to virtually everything I want.

unless/until you change the hearts and minds of the majority, you can't win, you can only lose another Pyrrhic "victory".

So you don't think that an Obama re-election would be just as much of a Pyrrhic victory for anyone who cares about liberal or progressive values? Why not?

If you really want to work for change, start after the election.

Well, at least that's something we agree on, but that's no reason not to vote for change too.
Phil, what is there in the air that you breathe that causes you to ignore the fact that your methods (voting for third party candidates) MAY be doing more to move the political sensibilities of America to the right than those things you are railing about.

Having George W. Bush elected over Al Gore…WHICH DID HAPPEN PARTLY DUE TO THIRD PARTY VOTING…DID move us further to the right than anything those of us recommending voting for Obama will do.

No, my argument is with the bizarre illogic which suggests that third parties 'take away' votes specifically from either Demicans or Republicrats, as if the votes already belong to one side or the other.

No, Phil, what is bizarre is the notion that you think we are arguing that the votes “already belong to one side or the other.” What is bizarre is your insistence that votes for Nader were as likely to come from votes for George W. Bush as from Gore.

The votes for Nader did not “belong to Gore”…but if cast for one of the two major party candidates had almost no chance whatsoever of going to Bush. They were “taken away” in some respect from Gore…not because they belonged to Gore but because they never were going to be taken by Bush. If those people who voted for Nader because of agenda considerations had stuck with Gore…the agenda they espouse would have been more nearly met than it was with Bush.

Respectfully as possible, Phil, you and all the others who think that voting for a third party is benign to the final count…are the ones who are helping move our country further and further to the right. Those considerations are myopic.
Over on Skypixeo's blog (did you know he wrote an answer to my post on this, sticking my name in his title and everything?), Markinjapan (aka President For Life of the Frank Apisa Admiration Society - sorry, Frank, I had to) found some source or other to state that Nader's votes were evenly drawn from Democrats and Republicans in 2000. Intuitively, that doesn't sound right to me, but I haven't checked it out yet. Anybody know anything about this?
Enjoyed the comment, Kosh.

I'm also enjoying your attempts to reason with some of those people...as Tom is trying to do. But honestly, there is no reasoning with them. They cannot see past their anger, frustration, and hatred.

They are right, as all of us have acknowledged at one point or another...that there are problems and that there have been shortcomings in handling those problems by Obama and the Democrats. But simply knowing that there are problems does not mean that their ideas for dealing with them...or dealing with the perceived shortcomings of Obama and the Democrats are reasonable...or even workable.

Jill Stein is most assuredly not a reasonable answer. Voting Third Party in protest is not, in my opinion, a reasonable answer.

Tough world out here. It is going to stay tough no matter who is elected in November. Our problems are not going away...and even if they improve, the improvement, in my opinion, will be less than desired and of shorter impact and duration than we want.

We are struggling right now with matters no humans have ever before had on their plate. There is the possibility our leaders are doing the best job of handling the mess that ANY leaders could be doing.

But as I said, there is no way you will get that crowd ever to acknowledge that. They will continue to propose scenarios out of Alice in Wonderland...and will continue to spew the garbage they are spewing no matter how many realistic, reasonable arguments are offered for their consideration.
The Democratic Party has done more to harm the economy of our nation than any Republican. Reagan is the godfather of the deregulation of capital and with it the criminal class of looters who own most of the capital. But, that capital was generally contained within our borders. So, it was, on some level, forced to deal with democracy.

Bill Clinton deregulated the national borders of capital and that has resulted in the largest capital flight in the history of humankind. Literally. Bill Clinton. Not Ronald Reagan and not George Bush. Barack Obama is attempting to push that deregulation of capital even further with TPP and other agreements.

If it's really the economy, stupid, indeed anyone who votes for the Democratic Party has to rationalize how to fit this dynamic into their decision making. That's not even taking into account all of the other malicious behavior that dissonance and rationalizations must deal with.

I would argue through this dynamic alone, that supporting either existing party makes one complicit in the ponerization of dystopian Amerika.

Tom, you are my brother but I cannot see through your argument to anything of virtue arising out of it. If the RepubliKKKlans with, at least the American people will be forced to recognize the evil before it. Rather than the covert, manipulative evil of the Dummycrats.
Well, here's a decent look at 2000's numbers to start. Further links included.

http://www.disinfo.com/2010/11/debunked-the-myth-that-ralph-nader-cost-al-gore-the-2000-election/

But regarding the bigger picture, these arguments against 3P voting are still based on truly faulty logic. Even if 3P voting was a factor in Bush's non-election, that doesn't mean it was the wrong approach or that it shouldn't be continued today. If it didn't succeed in bringing progressive change, if the right-wingers won anyway despite the Greens' efforts (and they did, since Gore won the election), then the obvious conclusion is that third parties need even more support going forward, not less.

It couldn't be simpler or clearer. If we want left movement, liberal policies or progressive change, reelecting a right-wing conservative with a record of working against progressive change is absolutely not the way to go. Especially since in a second term, there'll be no leverage to put pressure on the guy to do what we want.

You can figuratively hold your nose and push a button for Obama, but he won't give one percent of a shit about your reservations. If he comes out ahead, he won't sit back on November 7 and give deep consideration to how he was really elected as a repudiation of Mittens' policies. He'll take it as an endorsement to continue doing more of the same.

Yes, it would also help more for the Greens to look at Congressional seats and smaller steps to implement their agenda, but that's no reason not to support them (or Justice or whoever) for the big race too.

If you've got a few more minutes to read this, it eloquently spells out exactly why reelecting Obama is the total opposite of "a reasonable answer."

http://vastleft.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-nations-deeply-deceptive-obama.html
Paul, there's something you don't get. I will explain it as simply as I can for you. Our Forefather were considered radicals not liberals. Their core values are much closer to the conservative mindset than the progressive diatribe that you and Tom mistakenly attribute to our forefathers. That, as a matter of fact, would be a slap in the face to those great men. the progressive agenda in this country is based upon a collective mass hypnosis known as government sanctioned utopia which is an illusion also the ploy of socialists as they create class warfare, insurrection, burn down nations governments, and embassies and get the daft and dopey as yourself and Obama to support their efforts.
Doc,
You don't know WTF you're talking about and are in no position to explain anything.

The Brits had a conservative government. We created a Liberal government. Constitution 101, for dummies--it's a Liberal Social Contract...Declaration 101, for dummies--it's a strong statement of Liberal Philosophy.

America is a liberal constitutional democratic republic.

Madison mentions this Great Truth as matter-of-fact when he introduced the Bill of Rights to the 1st Congress:

"If we can make the constitution better in the opinion of those who are opposed to it, without weakening its frame or abridging its usefulness in the judgment of those who are attached to it, we act the part of wise and liberal men to make such alterations as shall produce that effect.”

Yes, you owe your Constitution, Declaration and Bill of Rights to LIBERALS. If you respect and admire those documents you fully embrace liberalism and so are a liberal, although in your case, a brain-damaged one.
While the cat's away, I see the boys have been at play. In the words of the Ahnode, "I'll be back".
Shiral
Thanks for getting a word in edge-wise, and they were very good words.
PhilT
Your denial of the obvious -- that third party candidacies often do effect the outcome in negative ways -- cast doubt on the rest of your arguments, and since PJ and Frank have done a good job disputing those already, I consider the matter settled -- at least from my perspective.
Frank
"Respectfully as possible, Phil, you and all the others who think that voting for a third party is benign to the final count…are the ones who are helping move our country further and further to the right."

I couldn't have said it better. Thanks.
Kosh
Having told Skypixie he has his head up his ass, I don't expect my comments will be well received in that corner. As for Mark, he was once one of my biggest admirers, but now he considers me a blood-sucking war criminal for endorsing Obama. Ah, glory is fleeting!

As for the 50/50 Nader split, sounds like patent horseshit to me. According to Wikipedia (yeah, yeah, I know it's a worthless source, uh-huh, but I consider that charge patent horseshit, too):

"Gore supporters pointed out that, had candidate Ralph Nader, a liberal, not run in the election, the majority of the 97,421 votes he received in Florida would have been cast for Gore. Gore supporters contend that Nader's candidacy spoiled the election for Gore by taking away enough votes from Gore in Florida to swing the election to Bush. Their argument is bolstered by a poll of Nader voters, asking them for whom they would have voted had Nader not run, which said 45 percent of Nader voters would have voted for Gore, 27 percent would have voted for Bush, and the rest would not have voted."
Timing Logic
Your Enronian accounting methods won't wash here. Reagan started the ball rolling downhill with tax cuts, union-busting, deregulation and merger mania. There's a reason his Vice-President (before he became VP) called it Voodoo Economics. You must not be aware David Stockman later exposed "supply-side" as a scam to "starve the beast" and gut government.

As for Clinton, yes, he was complicit in promoting the "giant sucking sound", but the leader of the rat pack was not Clinton, but Sen. Phil Gramm, another of the many Republican Ratfuckers who claimed to be anti-government, all the while drawing a govt check for most his adult life. It was Gramm who pushed thru the Gramm-Leach-Briley Act that gutted Glass Steagall, pushed it thru in the dead of night. Afterward, he retired to a cushy VP job a United Bank of Switzerland.

These are facts, so as I said, your Enronian accounting won't work here.
Phil
I followed the link you provided that claims to prove Nader didn't change the outcome, but the numbers on that site prove otherwise - as does a poll of Nader voters, which showed that without Nader they would have split 50% Gore, 25% Bush, and 25% neither.

Were there other factors that gave FL to Bush? Yes, chief among them an incompetent political hack Republican Secretary of State, who got her job as a payoff to her daddy, citrus giant Ben Hill Griffin -- and more even more grievously, a Supreme Court that overstepped the law, as history will surely conclude.
Doc Vega
Your misunderstanding of history is monumental, but it's exceeded by your ignorance of philosophy -- you obviously know nothing about the Liberal philosophers who influenced the Founders. Perhaps you should consider poetry instead. I've got a title to get you started on that career: The Rape of the Locke
I consider the matter settled -- at least from my perspective.

Well, we both obviously consider it settled. I didn't expect to change anyone's mind, just to try to understand your side's thinking once again. But no luck. Go ahead and keep supporting your side in order to show your disapproval, if you think it'll teach them a lesson. It's been working so smashingly for the last couple decades after all.
Enronian accounting?

Your dissonance and rationalizations are surreal. You just don't get it.

A few clarifications for you. I don't know why you are trying to argue with me about Reagan. I stated he was a criminal. But your understanding of what is going on and who is responsible is completely nuts.

Glass Steagall simply allowed traditional banks to intermingle with other finance businesses. It was a very serious issue that led to a massive crisis but it is not the core root of our problems. It didn't create job losses.

It had nothing to do with 25 million jobs leaving our nation and hundreds of thousands of factories closing. That was the deregulation of national borders for capital. Ronald Reagan had absolutely nothing to do with that. That you don't understand this is telling of your ignorance. That was Clinton.

By the way, Clinton's administration in meetings with Wall Street are what inked the end of Glass Steagall. You need to get your facts straight. The GLB bill was authored by a complicit Republican Party because they controlled the Congress. But, it was that Clinton gave the all-clear that the bill was drafted. Clinton signed the bill. Clinton signed all of the bills. Democrats are more complicit for the loss of jobs in our nation than Republicans. That is a fact no one can dispute.

You really have your head up your ass to quote your own words.
Tom:

U hit the payload here my man. Congrats. I didn't know OS still had such a debate in it. Most of the diehard nutters came out and met your challenge and you and the standard bearers for moderation came in and made themselves known. Between you, Ted, PJ, and Frank when he doesn't have to deal with his doppelganger, there is hope.

I'm still predicting Mitt to win, much as it grieves me. There are too many of these ideologues who don't know any better. I'm not that concerned about the T-Baggers since the level of their ignorance makes them moot without really much effort--at least on the intellectual level.

That the candidates are so close, and that first debate made such a mark is what concerns me. I think the true core of Romney's supporters aren't telling anyone their views outside the voting booth. They've gotten at least that smart since abolition. (!)

My new salutation: Libbyliberal my ass. If she wasn't such a sweetheart, of course, I'd never say anything so crude.
One more comment from me on this thread. It's in reference to the word liberal. A liberal democracy as defined two hundred years ago bears no resemblance to the term liberal applied to American economics. Liberal applied to the founding of this country was taken from libertarian. Today's Democratic liberals bear no resemblance.

I chafe at hearing the word liberal because it conjures up images of Washington idiots trying to tell others what's good for them. That dynamic is what is failing in this nation and is eventually going to completely fail. American-style liberalism as defined over the last thirty years is dead. People may be splitting hairs in the use of this terminology but I think may people on OS are modern liberals or the antithesis of a liberal democracy. Both parties in the U.S. are neo or hyper liberal parties.

The primacy of the rights of man over government and capital is true liberalism as embraced by the likes of Jefferson and Paine. They saw an America we everyone was granted land rights, we had social safety nets and racism and bigotry would eventually be damned. That is not the defining qualities of the Democratic Party.

I think a more appropriate term is progressive. And, that means the primacy of the rights of man are preeminent but there is a role for government to push these rights forward at varying times. That includes universal healthcare, living wages, guaranteed economic opportunity, etc. Thomas Paine was a progressive libertarian. He sure as hell wasn't a modern day liberal. And he most definitely wasn't a modern day RepubliKKKlan even though they seem to want to idolize a man who shared nothing in common with their party.
PhilT
You wrote: "Well, we both obviously consider it settled." Good, then I expect you won't waste any more of your time -- or mine -- commenting here.
Timing "Logic"
I may have my head up my ass, but at least my head's in the real world, while yours is on planet Enron, along with all the former Arthur Andersen accountants.

As for which of us is the greater fool about Reagan's involvement in the financial cesspool that precipitated the Great Recession, history is not on your side -- have you never heard of the S&L crisis of the 80's? How about Drexel-Burnham and Michael Milken? How about his co-worker at Drexel Burnham, Joseph Cassano who went on to head AIG's Financial Products Division aka the London Casino?

You blithely -- or ignorantly -- claim Reagan had nothing to do with all this financial malfeasance. As a matter of law, probably not, but by gutting regulation and encouraging merger mania, and by infecting the country with the notion that govt was the problem, not the solution, he did more to pave the way for the disaster that followed than anyone. Reagan is guilty as sin in aiding and abetting Wall Street banksterism, and it's high time he was knocked from his pedestal.

You refuse to acknowledge that, fine, but I won't waste any more of time arguing with some so woefully ignorant or willfully blind.
Ben
Thanks for your comment, and it's always a comfort when you and I agree, given our strained beginnings here. As I suggested above, the Greens are Latter-Day Essenes, wedded to purity uber alles; as comments here attest, they view practicality as something unclean.

I coined the word Pyrrhicsim to describe their self-defeating behavior. Did I say self-defeating? Their behavior more and more resembles something much worse -- a death wish. Misplaced martyrdom is indeed a mortal sin.
Once again you refuse to argue the facts. And, you twist and distort what I said into a lie to serve your own dissonance. I never said Reagan had nothing to do with this. I called him a criminal and the godfather of the crisis.

You still don't get it. I have written extensively about Reagan's corruption including the S&L crisis. You are arguing with yourself. Since you apparently cannot read, I said in a prior comment on this thread and elsewhere for years that Reagan deregulated capital in the U.S. BUT WHAT YOU fail to acknowledge, possibly because you just don't know what you are talking about, is that Reagan did not deregulate the national borders of capital that led to the largest capital flight in the history of the world. Literally. That was Bill Clinton. Because you apparently operate from a position of ignorance, you somehow believe Dummycrats are less troublesome than RepubliKKKlans. Bill Clinton caused the tens of millions of high paying jobs to leave this country. He deregulated the national borders of capital. Reagan was a criminal. Clinton is a sociopath and a predator. The Democrats have done more to kill our economy than any Republican. Even though it is splitting hairs since they are both fascist parties.

But you actually are shilling for people to vote for evil. That's the fundamental issue. And, you can't defend it so you obfuscate like Johnny Cochran. Your head is so far up your ass you actually try to ascribe statements to me that I never made. And, in a public forum where my statements are actually documented.
Timing
I don't mean to complain, but as long as my head's up my ass, I wish you'd stop trying to blow smoke up it, too.

You can blame it all on Clinton, but in doing so, you expose yourself as a fool, not me. Yes, Clinton had a hand in it, but there's plenty of blame to go around -- starting with Reagan and the people who voted him, the same people who voted for Bush the Least, and are about to become three-time losers by voting for Myth Romoney.
then I expect you won't waste any more of your time -- or mine -- commenting here.

Well, I don't consider it a waste of time to argue & defend ideas, especially when there's disagreement, so who knows. But nobody's forcing any of us to read things we don't want to either.