We all have our roles to play.

Filed in National by on August 18, 2011

Recently, I have heard progressive criticism of President Obama in the unfavorable comparison of him to former President Clinton, especially during the debt ceiling fight. Progressives want a fighter and they want a fighter for all of their issues. And in the rose colored hindsight of today, President Clinton was a fighter.

I am always struck by the lionization President Clinton has now received from those who hated him while he was in office. Remember, Clinton was the President who supported and signed into law NAFTA, DADT, and DOMA. He was also despised for reforming welfare. For all the criticism President Obama has received for playing the game on GOP turf (i.e. talking about paying down debt and deficits), President Clinton did exactly the same thing. In fact, President Clinton once said the AGREED with a lot of the items in Gingrich’s Contract on America, and would work with the Republicans to enact them. So yeah, Progressives hated President Clinton. With a passion. Back then. They hated him and his Vice President so much some of them voted for Ralph Nader and then handed the presidency to George W. Bush. Because there was no difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush, remember that? That’s what Progressives said at the time.

Indeed, only 57% of Democrats approved of Clinton at that time. By contrast, President Obama enjoys a 70% approval of the Democrats today, down recently from highs in the mid 80’s. .

Now Clinton is beloved. Why? Because we have a new President to hate so much: President Barack Obama. That’s why.

This column is not a hit piece on Progressives. I may sound sarcastic above, but I can’t help that. But those are the facts. Bill Clinton was once loathed by progressives and now he is viewed favorably compared to Obama. I disagree, but whatever.

The progressive point in comparing Obama to Clinton is because they want a fighter. A fighter for Medicare. A fighter for the basic social safety net that conservatives are intent on cutting with scissors. Progressives should be loudly voicing their displeasure, and they have been, and should continue to do so. It pressures the President and his Administration. It forces the media to report on it. It keeps the Overton Window from moving too far to the right. And, I think, progressive pressure has worked to change the narrative and the strategy at the White House.

From the LA Times:

After pledging to send a job-creation package to Congress next month and daring Republicans to block it, President Obama […] continued to hammer away at Republicans in Congress, suggesting they stand in the way of economic growth[.]

And then here is the President this week on unions.

“[L]et’s make one thing clear. The right of workers to come together and join a union is part of what built America’s middle class. It’s the reason why we’ve got a minimum wage. It’s the reason why folks have weekends. It’s the reason why you have basic protections on the job from an abusive employer.
“There are a whole range of things that people take for granted, even if they’re not in a union, that they wouldn’t have had if it had not been for collective bargaining. So I think it is very important, whether you are in a union or not — and I speak particularly to young people, because you’ve grown up at a time when in a lot of circles ‘union’ somehow is a dirty word — to understand all this is is people joining together so they’ve got a little more leverage; so they’ve got better working conditions, better wages; they can better support their family.

“And a lot of us entered into the middle class because our parent or a grandparent was in a union. Remember that. When I hear this kind of anti-union rhetoric and anti-union assaults, I’m thinking these folks have amnesia. They don’t remember that that helped build our middle class and strengthen our economy.”

That sounds exactly like we want a progressive Democrat to sound like, doesn’t it?

The old Delaware Dem, back in the olden days of Daily Kos, would think that Progressives should be happy with that and would fire off a bombastic diary at any hint of dissention on the left in voice or deed. I guess that was because I felt we on the left should be a nice big happy liberal-Democratic-progressive family, all united on the same team, especially when the only other team in town is a bunch of literally evil theocratic fascists. Indeed, back in the olden days, I started and sustained many a flame war on the Great Orange Satan over this doctrine of SYFPH (Shut your fucking pie hole).

The new me doesn’t care. Be miserable if you want. Blast Obama day in and day out for his failures to give you the pony you wanted, or for failing to give you the right model pony you want. Because the ponies you are crying for is Social Security, or Medicare, or progressive and fair taxation, better schools, single payer universal healthcare, equal rights, ending unnecessary wars of choice, and so on and so on.

My point is that we all have our roles to play. I have slowly but finally realized that over the last few years.

The new me realizes you have to criticize Obama from the left. Because if you don’t, who else will? It is generally not going to be me. I am not an activist. I am, for the lack of a better term to accurately describe me, a political hack. I think strategically. I think pragmatically. I am a progressive in terms of the policies I want. But I am not a progressive activist who marches and protests for those policies. I am a progressive pragmatist. So I will not be screaming at the top of my lungs condemning Obama. But someone from the left should criticize Obama when he and his administration deserve it. And I and progressive pragmatists like me should stop telling progressive activists to shut the fuck up.

So go ahead, open your fucking pie hole.

All I want is one simple thing: your fucking vote.

Here is Kevin Drum on why Liberals are chumps:

Honest to God, Republicans must all be sitting in their back rooms and just cackling like hell right now. Think about it. They developed a strategy to hamstring the president completely — a strategy that’s bulletproof thanks to our country’s Constitution — knowing that it would rally their base but also hoping that it would cause moderates and lefties alike to become disgusted with Obama’s weakness even though we all know who’s really responsible for what’s going on. And it worked! In fact, it’s worked better than they could possibly have imagined. They can probably barely keep from spitting up their beers right now.

We are such chumps.

Kevin is right in describing the situation but wrong or at least premature in calling us chumps. No, we are chumps if… after knowing all the Republicans have done, if we stay home or vote against Obama. We are chumps because we are then knowingly giving the election to the Republicans.
So yeah, bitch and moan and complain all you want about Obama. Feel disgruntled, disappointed and disillusioned. And even threaten to use your vote as leverage. Deny him and his campaign any financial support. And I’ll shut up.

But in the end, on election day, in the voting booth, you have to be reasonable, and you have to be a progressive pragmatist, rather than a progressive activist. On every other day of the year you can and should be a progressive activist. On election day, you have to be a progressive pragmatist. Because we are at the point now where electing Republicans is actually a doomsday Michael Bay film.
We all have our roles to play. And on election day, in a two party state whose political system is as dysfunctional as ours can be, and faced with one of the two parties wanting to destroy every you stand for and everything past progressives have accomplished, one of your roles to play is to vote for the President.

This is a controversial message. Because some view their vote as an extension of their voice, and thus liken what I have just said to SYFPH.

But your vote is not your voice. Your vote is your vote. Your voice is your voice. Your vote is not an expression of your personal policy preferences, but a choice between two candidates on who comes closest to accomplishing your personal political preferences.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    Very well put. I have a bone to pick with Kevin Drum because his formulation ignores the fact that there were (are) plenty of ways for Obama to deal with being hamstrung that don’t involve going out of your way to antagonize progressives.

    Nevertheless, great post.

  2. anonone says:

    Please stop trying to re-write history. It is rediculous to write that “some of them [progressives] voted for Ralph Nader and then handed the presidency to George W. Bush.” Gore won the popular vote, and he would have won Florida if Jeb Bush wasn’t the governor and the SCOTUS hadn’t stopped the vote count and handed the Presidency to Bush. So don’t blame progressives for that. If anybody is to blame for George W. Bush, it is Bill Clinton.

    Clinton did some good things and some bad things. But if he hadn’t been so utterly stupid as to have an affair in the Oval Office, Gore would have won by a landslide. So don’t blame progressives for Clinton’s sheer monumental stupidity. I don’t think that he is “beloved” by as many progressives as you think.

    Re-electing Obama looks like just as much a “doomsday Michael Bay film” as electing a republican. And I write that as somebody who loathes the republican party.

    Obama is counting on lock-step Democrats like you to re-elect him regardless of his record. If the other candidate is Perry or Bachman and it is going to be close, maybe I will vote for Obama. Or maybe, for the first time since I voted for John Anderson, I’ll vote 3d party.

    But I won’t be told how to vote by Democratic partisans who have been dissing progressives for the last 3 years, destroying the country economically, surrendering to the conservatives, and now want to tell us to vote for Obama because it is “pragmatic.”

  3. puck says:

    I don’t remember hating Clinton. I knew he fought like hell (and won) to raise taxes on the rich, which calmed the markets’ deficit fears and started the long boom. And then he signed FMLA, also early in his administration. After that, he was pretty much golden with me.

    I was okay with welfare reform. I thought the problem of dependency and state-sponsored motherhood was real. I saw it all around me.

    Of course, I wasn’t paying such close attention back then. All I really knew was that Clinton drove Republicans nuts, and the economy was getting better. A lot better.

    But now I understand I was supposed to be angry at Clinton. Before Al Gore invented the Internet you had to work a lot harder to find a pie fight.

    “Clinton once said the AGREED with a lot of the items in Gingrich’s Contract on America, and would work with the Republicans to enact them”

    Yeah, but he ended up VETOING a lot of them, not compromising. You know Obama would have split the difference. Would you rather have a President who lies to Republicans and does the right thing, or lies to Democrats and does the wrong thing?

    So yeah, Obama has my vote. But it’s not my vote Obama has to worry about.

  4. Jason330 says:

    I didn’t vote for Clinton’s second term – but only because I knew he would win anyway. I hated (and still hate) NAFTA. I also thought that he stabbed by gay bros in the back with DADT.

    Also – A1 is partially right about why Gore lost. A big part of the Gore failure was that he tried to be on every side of every issue, in order to capture “the middle.”

    Voters hate that shit. And guess what Obama is doing right now? pissing off the undecideds by trying to be on every side of every issue.

    It looks horrible to voters who vote based on “feeling” rather than any knowledge of the policies – and that is most voters.

  5. puck says:

    “And guess what Obama is doing right now? pissing off the undecideds by trying to be on every side of every issue. ”

    He is octangulating.

    I especially like the ‘No Jar-Jar” logo.

  6. Jason330 says:

    Bravo. I didn’t know that someone had named it. BTW that reminds me – David Plouffe is a goddamn moron, an idiot and a motherfucker.

  7. puck says:

    It’s fun to call it octangulating, but that’s not exactly it. The problem is the President is too g*damn far to the right on the economy.

  8. anonone says:

    The problem is we’re sliding into a recession or a depression and Obama is acting like Herbert Hoover.

    And I’ll say it again – Gore didn’t lose in the election, he lost in the SCOTUS.

  9. puck says:

    Just to take the focus off Obama for a minute, I just got an email from Chris Coons.

    The same Chris Coons who just voted for tax cuts for the rich nine months ago, is now asking me to support a “balanced” deficit reduction plan. I threw up a little I think.

    But if you read it closely, you will see he isn’t actually supporting raising tax rates on the rich. He is only supporting “tax reform,” which is now a loaded term that will likely even cut rates for the rich.

    I’m not picking on Coons in particular. It’s pretty much all the Democrats in Congress.

    In Obama’s Pearl Harbor day speech last December, he first introduced his call for “tax reform,” replacing his campaign call for repeal of tax cuts for the rich. Now all the Dems are on that message.

    Tax Reform is to “making the rich pay their share” as “cutting waste, fraud, and abuse” is to deficit reduction.

    Just say No to “tax reform.” It’s a poor substitute for a Democratic platform.

  10. socialistic ben says:

    maybe if we let Perry win in 2012, It will open the door for Elizabeth Warren to win in 2016… if all the doors havent been splintered into “pokin’ sticks” to chase away the wanderers. and if we still have elections… and life on earth.

  11. puck says:

    LOL SB… the dream will never die…

  12. delacrat says:

    Delaware Dem,

    I didn’t vote for him in ’08.

    Given all his sellouts, too numerous to list, will you concede that it was not me, but you who threw away their vote?

  13. Right, Delacrat. Because we’d much prefer John McCain to have appointed two Supreme Court justices instead of Obama.

  14. Dana Garrett says:

    While I appreciate Obama’s effort above in supporting unions, I am a little tired of the constant meme coming from many Democrats, however well intentioned, about what unions accomplished in the past. I can only think that these Democrats don’t know what union membership can accomplish NOW for employees like higher wages on average, better work conditions, more job satisfaction, getting fired less often, more and better benefits, etc. It’s not as though the evidence for these accomplishments is non-existent. It’s all there to be cited. People need to be educated about what unions can do for them now, not merely what they’ve accomplished in the past. I don’t know of any other way to raise middle class wages than the advent of labor unions in the USA. That’s fundamental to the nation’s economy. Why Democrats don’t push labor unions now escapes all comprehension.

  15. socialistic ben says:

    I think this means the SCOTUS has way too much power. I’ll throw my support behind any candidate who pushes for “term limits” on justices….. or elections for justices. Either way, I’m willing to give up progressive decisions to ensure we’ll never have another Citizens United, or Bush V Gore.

  16. Blu Gal in DE says:

    This is probably wishful thinking on my part, but, I would hope that, as Democrats, we fight and bicker like family members. However, we support our own. Don’t let Repubs trash our family, we’ll fight you tooth and nail. It’s okay for us to try to keep our own family in line, but don’t you dare trash my kin.

    I read Kos a lot. My opinion is that there seems to be a whole lot of really immature people on there. The pony example is spot on. I see the same people on one day saying Obama sold us out, then next day, supportive. Are these folks representative of the young voters who came out in record numbers in 2008 for Obama? Will they still be as engaged in 2012? Just as we jump all over the right for not compromising, we don’t like it when, in order to at least get part of what we want, the left has to compromise. Their’s is an “all or nothing” mindset. Ours is more, “it’s not exactly what I want, but, I’ll take what I can get.” – right or wrong.

    Has President Obama fulfilled my wildest progressive dreams? Not by a long shot. But, he’s my kin and I’ll defend him and vote for him. I will also work to push things that are important to me whether I get everything I want or not.

  17. puck says:

    I see the same people on one day saying Obama sold us out, then next day, supportive.

    That is exactly the problem – both things are true. Obama has in fact sold us out, yet we are left no choice but to support him. If you don’t feel sold out, then you have just told us your income level (h/t kavips).

    Has President Obama fulfilled my wildest progressive dreams? Not by a long shot.

    Who ever asked Obama to fulfill wild progressive dreams? All I expected was the agenda Obama ran on in 2008, which was straight Democrat and hardly progressive. Progressives are perfectly happy to vote for Democrats who act like Democrats.

  18. kavips says:

    A day of two great posts by two of Delaware’s great thinkers. It’s normal to have these discussions this early. It’s called positioning and it is going on in both parties. The only difference, is the Dem’s have only one candidate so it must be…. about him.

    Gore’s name has been thrown out here. Remember during the campaign, he was heir apparent . Everyone including the press assumed he was taking the reins from Clinton, and even up to late September, Bush really didn’t seem to be able to pull anything more than the Texan country bumpkin vote.

    So to say Gore lost Florida because of Jeb Bush and the Supreme Court, while it may be true, it is only a blip. In truth, he lost the whole country, so that Florida was his last thread, and perhaps he lost it, because of Jeb Bush and the Supreme Court.

    Gore lost WV… One of the states that overwhelmingly supported Carter over Reagan in ’80…. Clinton carried it handily. If Gore had won WV’s few electoral votes, the election would have been decided long before Florida’s votes were counted…..

    Were a 50 State strategy in place back then,……. None of these last 11 years would have happened. 9/11 wouldn’t have happened, because a competent president having been warned, would have called for tighter security in the nation’s airports including both Logan and Newark, one month before it happened. The deficit would now be gone, paid off in full, not increased to provide bonuses for wealthy executives. Electricity would now cost half, because the entire Midwest would be criss-crossed with windmills, and the deserts now lined with solar cells. Iraq and Afghanistan would not have occurred. Saddam would have been isolated; gasoline now under $2.00 a gallon. The market would not have collapsed, because derivatives would have been scrutinized and regulated. The global market would continue it’s peaceful growth, the financial world would now be healthy because there would have been sufficient reserves on hand to stem the first initial loss, stopping all panic. And our children would probably be better equipped to handle their future, because in our quest to leave no child behind, we wouldn’t have left an entire nation behind.

    Now I know these are “what-if’s” and i don’t stand behind them, but am just using them as examples to show what is at stake…. These “what could-be’s” had a lot better chance of happening under Gore, than they would have under Bush….. And that all boils down, to losing WV…..

    Some argue that investing win WV could cost a big one like PA. Not true. For if your ideas can carry WV, they certainly will carry PA.

    Those who win wars, always win by taking the battleground, to their enemy’s home. Force the enemy to defend their home turf….

    For what it’s worth, Obama won because he was closer to the reality outside Washington DC. McCain botched his campaign for all the same reasons as Gore. He listened to DC…

    Currently that advantage is now held by the other party.

  19. jason330 says:

    Kavips, you are my 50 state strategy hero. You might be shocked to know this, but I posted that rant about Plouffe’s electoral college strategy at kos – and some dim witted Dems actually tried to argue IN FAVOR of an electoral college strategy.

    It is pure insanity.

  20. Rusty Dils says:

    Kevin Drum is wrong about one other thing “republicans are sitting in their backrooms cackling like hell right now”. I run my own small business, work 75 hours a week (I am not complaining), but I am not sitting in my back room cackling like hell, I am out with my customers, underneath machines, arainging financing, all the stuff it takes to run a small business. I think people forget that alot of folks who work real hard for a living are republicans.

  21. Rusty Dils says:

    Blue Gal in De, I’m sure everyone on here will agree with me, Don’t worry, we don’t have any of those immature types on this blog

  22. Blu Gal in DE says:

    Oh no, we are all mature adults on this blog!

    I also wanted to clarify my comments above based on Puck’s comments – I agree that Obama did not run as a progressive. And I, too, voted for him based on his being a Democrat. Never expected a progressive.

  23. Geezer says:

    “I think people forget that alot of folks who work real hard for a living are republicans.”

    We don’t forget it. We just wonder why you keep supporting a party that takes advantage of you and works against your economic interests.

  24. Christine O'Donnell says:

    I second Geezer and personally thank you Rusty. It takes a bunch of dumb horses like you to pull the wingnut welfare carts for people like me.

  25. kavips says:

    Seriously Rusty… Why are you a Republican? What on earth keeps you there?

    (It is a sincere question btw) please take some time before answering, because simply, we know there has to be something there to keep those party ranks filled (in name only), but whatever it is, is invisible to the rest of us…

    I would like to hear your take.

    Your speech reminded me of before unions, what Appalachian miners used to say about the mining company’s they supported and worked for, never realizing that those companies were the reason they were in the poor shape they were in…..

  26. Rusty Dils says:

    Answer to Geezer and Kavips. Kevin Drum obviously forgets it. I vote republican 75%, Dem 20%, independent 5%. I am from New Mexico. I prefer to vote for the Man, or Woman, but of course, do to party affiliations, you are limited sometimes. As an example, deciding between McCain and Obama. Two horrible candidates, I still very, very reluctantly voted for McCain. In New Mexico’s election for governor, I wrote in, because I did not think either of the main party candidates was qualified. Everyone in my family thought that was stupid, and did not accomplish anything, but it was kind of my protest against the parties running dumb asses. I should have wrote in in the presidential election as well. However, one of the main reasons that I vote much more republican is my believes as follows. If ten people are working in this country, I don’t believe the ratio should be 6.3 workers, private sector, and 3.7 workers public sector. I believe if ten people are working in this country, the ratio should be 8.5 people working in the private sector, and only 1.5 working in the public sector. So I am for dramatically smaller government. I want to see government around 40% of its existing size. I know you think I’m crazy, but you asked me why, that is my goal for our government down sizing. Additonally I honestly believe that if business are successfull, then employees’s will be successful. I know over the course of history, there are many, many times when business have been highly profitable, and have not shared the riches with the employees. Hence the need for unions. I do believe unions have a role, albeit a smaller role than they used to. One of the reasons I think unions have a smaller role than they used to is the information technologies. If you work in a small town, say a coal mining town, and the wages are not good, and you see on the internet that 200 miles away, you can get a higher paying job, than you might go there. Still I believe that If business do poorly, employees will do poorly, and if business do good, employees will do good. I agree with something that Mitt Romney said the other day, that we used to not look at success in a negative way in this country. If someone started a business in this country, and became successful, that used to be something we were proud of. I don’t buy into the philosophy that if you are successful in any walk of life, that it is a bad thing. I think it is a good thing to be successful, in anything, comedy, business, sports, teaching, governing. That is what I believe. Now saying all that, I don’t like many of the republicans and democrat politicians. I think by the nature of politics, many from both parties are self serving. But the two party system seems to be firmly planted in place, so we are going to have to choose from that most of the time. Those are my thoughts. I’m sure your guys thoughts are different, that is fine.

  27. Dominique says:

    Rusty – Thank you so much for articulating my exact point of view much more politely than I every could. You are an inspiration.

    DelDem – I don’t think it’s as much about Obama not giving progressives the pony they wanted as it is about him not giving them the pony he promised them. He had every last one of you TRULY believing that he was going to change the way things are done in Washington; that he was going to be ‘transformative’. He did not and he has not been. He hasn’t even come close. His answer to every crisis is to sit on the sidelines until the last minute, then appoint a committee to review the issue. That’s simply not leadership.

    Anonone – While I agree that Clinton’s indiscretions and SCOTUS put the final nail in Gore’s presidential coffin, he was blessed with an opponent who was inarticulate and inept. He should have mopped the floor with GWB, but he came off as pouty and whiny throughout the campaign. Ultimately, he lost the election himself (FYI – I held my nose and voted for him.)

    You may recall that my main issue with Obama was his lack of fire and conviction. He was (and remains) spineless and wishy-washy. I liked Hillary because she was a fighter. Say what you will about the Clintons, they knew better than to demonize the business community when they were trying to repair a faltering economy. Obama, instead, has spent the better part of the past 2.5 years whining about CEOs, executive bonuses and corporate jets. Is anyone really surprised that they aren’t investing the alleged ‘trillions of dollars on the sidelines’ in new hires? They have no idea what’s coming down the road from this president.

    I heard someone suggest that, going forward, we should never elect anyone without executive experience. Congressman and Senators have no clue how to balance a budget or create an environment for private-sector job growth. I couldn’t agree more.

  28. jason330 says:

    That’s a ridiculous quota based system that leads Rusty to be in favor of “dramatically smaller government.”

    I’ve heard a lot of people saying that the government is too large, but I’ve never heard anyone recommend cuts that would not be: a) insignificant, or b) poorly disguised attempts to shove tax money into the pockets of corporations.

    This “dramatically smaller government” stuff is hooey that identifies that speak as a brainwashed zombie, willfully ignorant of the economic drivers that expanded the middle class and grew our economy over the past 100 years.

  29. Dominique says:

    I would like to see a 30-40% cut in everything, including defense. I know it’s not realistic, but a girl can dream.

  30. kavips says:

    Rusty, thanks for your thoughts.. Your ideas are not far off from the rest of us.

    Anyways, you proved one thing; that people are pretty much alike: it’s their political parties that push them far apart.

    We on the other side, believe in a perfect world too.. One set up like a three legged stool, where all three legs need to be balanced to provide stability. If just one leg grows too big, the whole stool wobbles… Those three powers are these… “We, the People” are the first. Business and Corporations together are the second. And the third, … is our government.

    When government becomes too powerful, the people and corporations unite to trim it back, when corporations becomes too powerful, the people and government unite to trim it back.. When people become too powerful (Kent State era) the corporations and government reign them back in…

    It’s all about balance. Those studying the history of our lifetimes, all see the forces coming together in equilibrium during the nineties… Government was getting smaller, corporations were getting bigger, and people, were all doing better, which, I think, should be the ultimate judge of success of failure….

    Most often, ones mistakes are not whether one was right or wrong in persisting on ones own personal journey, but, whether or not once caught up in their journey, one continues on it far past ones original destination….

    Most of us feel big banks, big investors, Wall Street, are now out of control. Just believing they are “too big to fail”, is proof they are. As their employees, we can’t trim them back by ourselves. As people and government combined, we can…

    That primarily is why some of us say we need more taxes. That is the most benign tool that keeps corporations in check. We acknowledge that too much taxation, is bad for the economy. We also acknowledge (and the rest of America is beginning to realize this too), that too little taxation is bad for the economy… What we should all be arguing, is… where exactly, is the perfect balance… one that taxes enough to keep the finances from stagnating on the top, but does not stifle the will to risk investing to grow the economy larger.. (It’s at 40% btw)…

    One thing I would recommend, and hearing you hailed from “Land of Enchantment”, a land that survives by spending far more Federal dollars than it pays out, you probably are already aware of it..

    Instead of pulling out arbitrary numbers for a ratio of public to private, is first, decided exactly how it is you want to live… Being specific: I certainly would support getting rid of public employees who I see sitting on their duff doing nothing. “Oh, here friend of a supporter of mine, I’ll make up this job for you using taxpayers funding, so you don’t have to work at that sweatshop you slave in day in and day out..” I see that; those jobs need to go.

    But, cutting out the people who check my food for mercury, cadmium, and uranium, I’m not down with. I wish dearly that we had kept those employees whose job it was to check pet food for toxic chemicals long before our pets started dying from Chinese “make-an-extra-buck” cooking. But we didn’t in the name of smaller government. I wish we’d kept those people whose job was to monitor Wall Street and the Insurance companies to make sure they were following the letter of the law and the actual agreements signed with those entrusting them with their money. But we didn’t… So trimming those government workers was a bad idea.

    Therefore, me, now taking the opposite approach and saying: We need 30% of the workforce to be employed by the government, now means I also endorse those in jobs because they happened to be a friend of a friend of a friend who knows someone in the government…

    Not good.

    Therefore, what Congress is supposed to do, is: determine the quality of life we would like to have, and then assess the money to pay of it.

    Again, history can be our guide. The 1800′s were a time of very small government; the 1900′s were a time of government growth. The economies were more stable in the 1900′s; only one depression as opposed to 7 the century before.

    So let’s decide on what kind of government we want, then figure how to pay of it.

    So you see, as people, we really aren’t that far apart. Kind of reminds you of two dogs who want nothing more than sniff each other’s tails, but are forced by their owners, to fight in a ring for sport.

  31. Geezer says:

    “I would like to see a 30-40% cut in everything, including defense. I know it’s not realistic, but a girl can dream.”

    Why? Government provides services. If those services aren’t needed, the cuts can be steeper. If they are, who will provide them if government doesn’t?

  32. John Manifold says:

    Anonone continues to vouch for his soulmate Nader, whose tireless campaign in Florida netted him 97,000 votes, enough to permit Jeb and the SCOTUS to fix the machinery for Bush.

    Bush stole the election; Nader drove the getaway car.

  33. anon says:

    The repukes have no serious candidate. Rove is reporting that Palin will announce she is running for the presidunce on Sept. 3rd. Problem is none of these repukes can win and they know it…there just holding the seat for 2016 so ole Jeb can run. News today that ole P-Rick Parry made millions while governor on real estate, and only gave his church $90 for the year…big christian!

  34. anon says:

    Dominque: you still harping on Hillary. If that witch had won we would have already been at war with Iran. Its bad enough she is Secretary of State and continues to support Israel now matter what brutality they level against Palestinans. Please.

  35. anon says:

    Anonone. your absolutely correct. Bush won because of the supreme court…not because of Nader. If the vote count had proceeded Gore would have won! And we wouldnt have trillions in deficits, our jobs shipped overseas, deregulation of Wall street, and global warming headed to “we cant fix it now”.

  36. Ferris Fain says:

    @John Manifold

    You got it. Selected Nader voters ought to be put in stocks in the public square on a regular basis. Every time the Roberts/Alito court takes away another one of our rights, we can take our children down and explain: “Kids, these people thought there was no difference between the parties!”

    The Green Party should make a good faith effort to grow its base, or dissolve. As presently constituted, it’s a way for holier-than-thou progressives to avoid the consequences of actively supporting Democrats: “Yeah, I told you Obama is shaky; Cynthia McKinney was the real progressive in the race.” Give us a break.

  37. anonone says:

    Except I never voted for or supported Nader running for President as an independent, so Manifold is once again spewing hot exhaust to make a point that is simply false.

    Of course, I have also never suggested that Americans be subjected to punishment and vengeance for voting their conscience and supporting a candidate outside of the two corporate parties, as ersatz liberals like “Ferris Fain” just did.

    And complaining about the Supreme Court taking “away another one of our rights,” while President Obama ignores the Bill of Rights and the Civil Liberties of Americans on a daily basis is another manifestation of the hypocrisy of Democratic partisans like Fain.

  38. Rusty Dils says:

    Kavips, One thing is wrong with your premise. I think you are talking about a 4 legged stool. A 3 legged stool will always sit solid on the floor, even if the floor is not flat, or the legs are different lengths (I am not kidding, try it).

  39. meatball says:

    “A 3 legged stool will always sit solid on the floor, even if the floor is not flat, or the legs are different lengths (I am not kidding, try it).”

    Simply not true. Go get your photograghy tripod. Extend one leg completely out, the other two in compact mode. The tripod will always collapse in the direction of the shorter two legs.

  40. Dominique says:

    Excellent point, meatball.

  41. Valentine says:

    Obama is not worth reelecting. I would like to see a primary challenge. In any event, I am done voting for people I can’t stand because they are the lesser of two evils. I will not vote for Obama. There has to be a price for what he has done. Unfortunately, it might be a high one this time, but it will be better in the long run. The Left has to show that we will not be taken for granted. Plus, having a horrendous Republican in office might actually mobilize people. We need to stop thinking about only the short term. We need a long term plan, and it should begin by refusing to support that sorry excuse for a Democrat — Does he even consider himself part of the party? — who currently occupies the White House.

  42. anonone says:

    Don’t worry, Valentine. Obama and his political geniuses are plotting to give the republicans the Senate as well as the Presidency in 2012. He is planning on trimming his coattails some more after his golf game this afternoon.

    Besides, it will be good to elect more republicans who think that a three-legged stool can stand solidly on two legs.

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