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We’re Screwed

Okay, we’ve been screwed for about thirty years now, but we got an indication of just how screwed we are this morning.

But the good news is that as we found out how very royally screwed we are, we also got an answer to a question that has confounded me for about a year and a half.

I’ve maintained for years now that our political parties are actors on the stage of political theater. We don’t have two parties that are on opposing sides. We have two parties that are beholden to precisely the same corporate interests. We have two parties that are designed to appeal to two distinctly different groups of people. We have one party that appeals to the authoritarian, “tough guy” and another party that appeals to the big thinker, “consider the big picture”. One party claims to be for the working man, while the other professes to tirelessly work to stay out of our lives. All of this is, of course theater. They’re both batting for the same team. One party is more shameless about who they’re working for, but make no mistake; democrats will take this country to precisely the same place that republicans will. They will just do it on a longer timeline. And along they way, I will give democrats credit for doing a few things for the American people, while republicans have done absolutely nothing for us for over thirty years. But at the end of the day, both parties are going to place the health and welfare of the corporations over yours every single time.

So the question with democrats is, “how big of a shill is my representative?” We already know that all republicans, with the exception of Ron Paul, are 100% shill.

Watching Obama acquiesce in perpetuity, to the point of absurdity had me wondering if it were possible for someone to be this bad at negotiation. Let’s review;

-He started off the health care debate by taking a public option off the table. Huh? Why not proclaim that anything short of a public option is a non-starter, and then back down slowly from there? But not our Obama! He starts in the middle and moves right from there. The end result was the Bob Dole plan from the 90s (subsequently the Mitt Romney plan). WooHoo! He got what republicans were willing to give eighteen years ago!

Republicans emphatically demanded that Obama cut 31B out of the 2011 budget. He releases a budget that cut 32B as his opening gambit. Was anyone surprised when republicans demanded he cut from where his budget started? He gave them more than they asked for as his opening move, and didn’t get any credit for that first 32B he cut. He then had to cut another 39B on top of that!

Be honest Obama supporters; if you were in the market for a new car, would you send Obama in to negotiate the price for you?

Honestly, he’s so fucking bad at this that it was becoming increasingly more difficult to believe that someone could suck at negotiating this much. I was honestly starting to think that he was the most wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America, that we’d ever seen in politics.

This morning, my question was finally answered. When Obama caved into the craziest among us, and released yet another form of his birth certificate, he definitively showed me that he just sucks at this. He’s the world’s most incompetent negotiator, truly.

He sent some very clear messages this morning. He told the world that there is no demand too crazy for him to acquiesce to. And there is no person too crazy for him to cave in to. He took off his shirt, and showed the world the tire marks on his back.

This weakness is about to fuck Americans like they’ve never been fucked before.Let me explain why this monumental display of weakness concerns me right at this moment in time.

Paul Ryan just came out with a budget plan that literally everyone, republican and democrat alike hates, despite the main stream media’s best efforts. Remember how they all used words like “courageous” and “bold” to describe the plan for the first week after it came out? It didn’t take long for Americans to figure out that this plan was going to fuck the old and the poor, for the sole purpose of making the rich richer. By Ryan’s own admission, his plan wasn’t going to balance the budget for forty years. Forty years? That’s at least five presidential administrations!

Republicans never intended for this preposterous plan to fly. I think they underestimated how big of a shit storm it would start, but they never really believed that they would pull it off. They made a tactical decision to open with the most draconian far right wing hand job they could, so that they could negotiate from there.

Obama had already demonstrated that he was going to start the negotiations from a right wing position when he appointed two well known social security haters to his debt commission. He was obviously planning on making cuts to social security and medicare. Given the birther cave-in this morning, I’m positive that republicans are now going to get way more out of Obama in terms of cutting those two programs than they initially imagined they could get. They would have to be in a halcyon induced coma not to seize on the spinelessness that Obama now openly wears on his sleeve.

In short, we’re fucked. We’re more fucked than we would be if Obama were merely being controlled by his corporate masters. Bill Clinton was obviously the most corporate friendly democratic president we’d ever had until now. Every subsequent democratic president was obviously going to slowly up the ante on the democratic party’s corporatism. This president predictably did, but he has no conviction. He has no conviction, and no hard deal-breakers. There’s nothing he’s not willing to compromise on. And even if he did have conviction, he doesn’t have the balls to stick to them.

He caved to the birthers. Enough said.


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9 thoughts on “We’re Screwed

  1. What do you think Cheney & Co. would have done with a public option if one had been enacted when they took power for those 8 years?

    Also, I was talking this whole showing his birth certificate to a friend and he made the observation that the White House could be deliberately doing this in an attempt to give the whole birth issue longevity. It’s been shown in polls that the independent voters dislike the birther conspiracy theory and by the issue being maintained as front page news the Republicans continue to look hysterical and foolish-something that can only benefit the administration. All Obama is really concerned with is getting re-elected and the longer this silliness is in the news the better it is for his chances of re-election.

    • I think that as with medicare and social security, once enacted, republicans would have to spend decades trying to peel back a wildly popular program. 78% of Americans don’t want to see any changes made to medicare and medicaid. I firmly believe that if we ever see a public option, the American people will have the same reaction to it. Republicans will have to wrangle and misdirect for a very long time before they could even come close to hurting it.

      Let me tell you why I don’t buy your theory about the the administrations’ calculation in releasing the birth certificate. It’s been obvious for a couple of weeks now, that republican party elders send out a memo to their members, laying down the law telling them to back the fuck off the birther issue. Karl Rove called birthers ridiculous, and even Michelle Bachman had to walk back her birther lunacy in an interview with George Stephanopoulis last week. Republicans weren’t going to let the party be associated with birtherism. And they were making obvious moves to label anyone that questioned Obama’s birthplace, a lunatic. They knew that it was going to hurt them and they swept it out of the party, leaving only the fringe behind to squawk.

      • So is your theory then that they released the certificate to pacify the squawking fringe? I find that difficult to believe and I also find it difficult to believe that the administration simply looks for ways to disappoint us on the intellectual left or whatever they are calling us now. I see this as all politics and now we have Trump already spouting off how he needs to see Obama’s education records now. This type of silly talk really turns independents off and the longer this silly talk goes on the better Obama’s chances are as long as he can keep us in the base. Hopefully he will see to that by nominating Ms. Warren to head the CFCB and we can start looking towards how we will hold his feet to the fire in his second term. And I agree with your assessment of the Public Option though I am sure part of Obama’s calculus in backing off from it had to do with the fact that a majority of President’s are not re-elected and he wanted to at least put a scaffolding of reform into place.

        I am sure I am on the same page as you on most social and political issues I am just trying to see all this through the political reality of how our heads of state are chosen and I know Obama is a lot more worried about what Independent voters in Ohio think than what a lefty like me out in the Bay Area thinks since he is almost guaranteed my vote and independents are as fickle as 5 year olds.

        • I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt for about a year and a half. After the health care debate, and the joke that he triumphantly refers to as “historic financial reform”, I realized that he wasn’t playing chess among a sea of checkers players. So by the time the budget battle came along, I wasn’t at all surprised by the results. He gave, and gave, and gave, and then he gave some more. That turned out to be a 200% victory for republicans. They got 200% of what they said they wanted to get. In your wildest dreams, could you envision any negotiation turning out that way? Where one side gets double what their opening bid was? He should have said, “You want 31 billion? Okay, Bush tax cuts, GONE. Oil subsidies GONE. Haliburton and Blackwater contracts GONE. There! There’s 3 trillion. Go fuck yourselves and the deficit you created”.

          I think they released the birth certificate, thinking that it would go away. And thinking that Trump would go away. Apparently, they’re the only people in DC that don’t realize Trump isn’t running for president. I think they were afraid of this:

          http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/obama-and-the-birthers-in-the-latest-poll/

          I just think they’re really bad at this. I wish I were wrong, but I’m just not seeing any other explanation.

  2. The position you laid out would have played brilliantly to the left but too few on the left vote so we get the leader we really do deserve. I think you are in part correct; Obama and those around him don’t exactly know what they are doing when it comes to playing politics and in theory that says something good about him, namely that he wasn’t spending his entire career thinking about how to be President.

    It seems to me that simply having strict leftist positions would be a recipe for disaster for the President. It is our job to keep hammering him and I am largely disillusioned with him and his administration as well, despite my lukewarm defense of him here. When we move past the 2012 election there ought to be higher expectations on Obama than even now but I think it would be a mistake for the left to abandon him or to become too cynical. We also shouldn’t be exclusively focused on top down changes. I do agree with you a hundred percent that Obama has shown himself to be overly concerned with Wall Street plutocrats at the expense of the poor and middle class and he should be chastised for that and reminded, constantly, that we expect much better from him and his administration after he wins re-election.

    • Well see soon enough. I’m positive he will get a second term if the economy doesn’t collapse before the election.

      But I have to ask; would you let Obama negotiate the price of a new car for you?

      • Heh, probably not, but I am Jewish so I tend to trust my haggling skills somewhat! 😉 Also, if I take your broader criticism of Obama correctly, I do want a little more leader from him and a little less corporatesque manager from him and hope to see a shift once we move past 2012. People like you still ought to speak truth to power though and he deserves the left’s ire for certain-even if I do hope he gets our full support as well. And to be fair, he has had some successes and I would take what has essentially been a bill clinton 3rd term to a McCain presidency any day which would have just continued the madness that started with Regan. George Carlin is right when he says we live in the land of choice only for things that don’t matter like ice cream flavors but when it comes to leaders we get 2-both of whom are hawkish corporate boot-lickers.

        • HA! I’m also Jewish, and Iranian born on top of that so no one has haggling skills on me!

          It’s true that Obama has had some successes, but none in the areas that were most important to me with the exception of jobs. He did manage to turn Bush’s massive job hemorrhage around. I just wish he were a leader instead of a middle manager.

          Yes, he is undoubtedly better than McCain would have been but I’m not satisfied with “sucks less”. I want for America to wake up and fundamentally change the system and since I’m a sunny optimist, I have faith that we can do that if we’re dissatisfied enough.

          I campaigned for Obama, and I raised tens of thousands of dollars for him. I will do neither of these things in 2012. I will primary the crap out of him, which will prove to be futile so I will be forced to hold my nose and vote for him in the general. But my heart won’t be in it. And I will ultimately expend more of my energy working on promoting publicly financed campaigns.

  3. ah sigh… obama in truth is just a fake, all around. He is a classic politician. No one could be so superlatively good at failure without intending that result from the start. Obamacare was the ultimate sell out: crafted in a rightwing think tank, and disguising an insurance industry bailout as ‘reform’, it was first enacted by a republican governor — and this, Obama’s ‘signature’ achievement is, as a result, totally illegible. It serves little purpose to speculate on motives or personalities when institutional critiques are the only meaningful analysis upon which to build momentum for change, but it is always helpful in politics to remember that charismatic personalities are also narcissistic personalities — and in the end i suspect obama, like clinton before him, had only one commitment, and that was to become president. Having done so, the rest of us can just, well, fuck off. the historic and amazingly successful campaign now pales beside the utterly lackluster presidency, and in doing so, augurs that at least some of us may start to realize that identity politics is a dead end. I can find nothing to celebrate knowing that I have two fellow greaseballs on the supreme court, not when they are the likes of Scalia and Alito. Cultivating a focus on identity politics obscure the class consciousness of the wealthy and defuses the class consciousness of the working class. Considering politics, the arena in which the decisions are made about who gets what, when and how much, the relevant division in this society — any society — is not between black and white, gay and straight, male and female, but between the 1% and the rest of us. These are not two opposition parties — they are two RIVAL parties, and the difference between the so-called liberals and the so-called conservatives is the difference between seduction and rape: the end result is EXACTLY the same.

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