Tag Archives: centrism

Bayh humbug!

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, a leading Democrat seen here in 2007, ...

AFP photo

Meh. Let the door hit him on his ass on his way out. He’s too John Edwards-y anyway.

So another DINO (a.k.a. “centrist”) U.S. senator bites the dust.

As usual, the mainstream “news” media are playing this up for maximum sensationalism. Reports The Associated Press:

Washington – The stunning announcement by centrist Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh that he’s retiring from a Congress he no longer loves adds yet another name to a list of lawmakers fleeing a town they say has become acidly partisan. And it gives Republicans a chance to pick up a seat.

The decision by the Indiana Democrat, who was in strong position to win a third term in November in his GOP-leaning state, also compounds the problems facing Senate Democrats this fall as they cling to their majority in the chamber, where they now hold 59 of the 100 votes.

Bayh joins a growing roster of recent Democratic retirements that includes Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island and Sens. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. Yet the congressional casualty list has a decidedly bipartisan flavor, with recent retirement announcements coming from Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and other GOP House members from Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas and Arizona….

The departure of Bayh, 54, sent deeper shock waves than most. Telegenic and on the list of potential running mates for the past two Democratic national tickets, Bayh is known more for the moderate tone of his politics than for any particular legislative achievements, and his parting words had a notably plaintive tenor.

“To put it in words most Hoosiers can understand: I love working for the people of Indiana, I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress,” Bayh said [today]  in the statement he read in Indianapolis announcing his decision.

He also lambasted the acid divide between Democrats and Republicans in Washington, saying, “I am not motivated by strident partisanship or ideology.” …

Well, yeah, if you find it to be too hot in the kitchen, then you probably should just get the fuck out.

Bayh couldn’t pick a side — good (progressivism — a.k.a. “socialism”) or evil (conservatism/social Darwinism) — and so he found things too unpleasant.

Boo.

Fucking.

Hoo.

The Repugnicans gloat over every Democratic departure, but what a great fucking gig it is to be a Repugnican, if you can get it: Your party ran the nation into the ground from January 2001 to January 2009, but now you can blame things on the opposition party — and you can get away with it because too many of the fucktarded “citizens” of the United States of Amnesia don’t remember even recent American history.

(I am reading Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason concurrently with Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason. These aren’t good books if you want to feel falsely good about your fellow Americans. For that you would need to read something written by a wingnut, such as A Patriot’s History of the United States. [Hey, at least I’m not also reading Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free… (It is on my amazon.com wish list, however…)])

Let’s back up to the first paragraph of that AP news story, though:

Washington – The stunning announcement by centrist Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh that he’s retiring from a Congress he no longer loves adds yet another name to a list of lawmakers fleeing a town they say has become acidly partisan. And it gives Republicans a chance to pick up a seat.

“Stunning.” The writer is telling you how to feel about the news item: stunned. The writer can’t just give you the facts and let you decide; the writer has to appeal to your emotions right off. (Are you feeling stunned right about now?)

“Acidly partisan.” “Acidly”?

Partisan, sure — gee, go figure, that when you have two opposing parties you have some (gasp!) partisanship — but “acidly”? What, if everyone doesn’t get along and hold hands and sing “Kumbaya,” that’s a horrible thing?

Really, though — if everyone were on the same page, would that really be a good place to be? Because which side is going to sacrifice its core principles in order to achieve this uber-fucking-“Kumbaya”-fest? I’m never going to embrace white supremacism, plutocracy, election theft, bogus wars and social Darwinism, to name just a handful of the evil things that the Repugnican Party stands for (in no certain order), so I’m fucking thrilled that there is some fucking partisanship in D.C.

But the best part of that lead paragraph is that immediately after the “news” writer uses the phrase “acidly partisan,” he adds: “And it gives Republicans a chance to pick up a seat,” apparently stoking the fires of the very same partisanship that he has just indicated is a bad thing.

Shit, maybe if you are confused you shouldn’t blame yourself, as our “professional” “news” “reporters” seem to be just as confused as you are.

And why do the mainstream “news” media constantly assert that having 59 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats is sooo inadequate? Is it because when your party is headed by a black president, you have to do much better than your white guy would? The Repugnicans never held more than 55 of the Senate seats during George W. Bush’s disastrous time in the White House. I don’t recall that the Repugnican Party ever was faulted for having “only” 55 Senate seats, yet the Democrats essentially are called losers for having “only” 59 Senate seats right now.

Fifty-nine percent is a fairly strong majority. Since when is it such a horrible thing to have a 59-percent majority? Even if the Democrats had only 55 Senate seats, the Repugnicans could have no more than 45. That’s still a 10-seat advantage. Fuck.

Get rid of the fucking undemocratic filifuckingbuster, and it would be fine to have even just a 51-seat majority.

But let me get back to Bayh. Oooooo, he’s “telegenic”! Big whoop. I can — and I do — look at a copious amount of images of nice-looking males on the Internet every fucking day. “Telegenic” males are a dime a dozen. Hell, they don’t even cost a dime. You can download them for free. (I know…)

This is probably the most useful portion of the AP “news” story above: “Bayh is known more for the moderate tone of his politics than for any particular legislative achievements.”

In other words, he’s pretty, but legislatively, he’s worthless. And he doesn’t know good from evil, so we call him a “centrist” or a “moderate” or even — ughhh — “bipartisan.”

Um, yeah.

Buh-bye, Bayh.

Buh-bye.

Once all of the “centrists” are out of Congress, then maybe good finally can prevail over evil once and for all.

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I give Obama a ‘C’ for ‘Clintonesque’

We voted for Barack Obama in November 2008, but we got another President Clinton anyway.

I supported Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary primarily because I didn’t think that his primary opponent Billary Clinton could win the White House, and also because I didn’t want another Clintonesque (that is, “centrist” — that is, milquetoast) “Democratic” president.

Now, I realize that there is little difference between Obama and Billary — except that I still believe that Billary couldn’t have won the White House, and that if Obama hadn’t won the Democratic primary, we’d have another Repugnican in the White House right now.

Many have pointed out that Obama never promised to be a foaming-at-the-mouth liberal president. Well, if that is accurate, Team Obama certainly never did anything to dissuade the dollars that we liberals liberally poured into Obama’s campaign coffers. If neither Obama nor his team ever promised the starry-eyed moonbats a rose garden, well, neither Obama nor his team ever did anything to disabuse them of the notion that Obama was on their side.

President Obama recently gave his term as president thus far “a good solid ‘B+’.”

Progressive Ralph Nader, whom I almost voter for in November 2008 instead of Obama — and whom I wish I had voted for instead — gives Obama’s first year a good solid “F”.

“He’s been far too concessionary to large corporations, many of which want to block his legislation and many of which are being bailed out by his administration,” Nader said of Obama. “And when you’re concessionary, for the president, the Republicans smell weakness, they smell pliability, they smell the desperation … and when you project weakness, instead of steadfastness, then you facilitate divisions within your own party.”

Yup.

Obama, I suspect, gives himself a “B+” because George W. Bush lowered the presidential bar all the way to China. Yes, if Bush II represents the new normal for the White House, then Obama would get the “B+”, but Bush was an anomaly, not the new normal.

Ralph Nader’s “F” is a bit harsh, though, as Nader represents progressive change that more than 90 percent of politicians are way too petrified to even attempt to attempt. Yes, by Nader’s lofty, idealistic standards, Obama gets an “F.”

With the extreme outliers of George W. Bush and Ralph Nader ignored, I think it’s safe to give Obama a “C.” He’s an average U.S. president: still kowtowing to the corporations and to big money, still putting the interests of the power structure over the interests of the majority of the American people. He made lots of campaign promises that he hasn’t delivered upon. He is, in short, another typical American politician.

If Obama were the only president to campaign one way and to administer in another way and to put the fat cats’ interests above the average American’s interests, then yes, I could give him an “F”, but as it’s just business as usual, I give Obama a “C”. “C” does, after all, mean average.

And “C” also is for “Clinton.” And for “centrist.”

That’s the kind of president that Obama has turned out to be: an awful lot like Bill Clinton, only Clinton was beleaguered by a Repugnican-dominated Congress while Obama has a Congress dominated by his own party, so Obama has much less of an excuse for his “centrism.”

I’d love to give Obama an “incomplete,” with the hopes that he’ll actually earn that “B+” that he claims he has earned, but my hunch is that he’ll round out his one or two terms with only a “C”.

P.S. While looking back at past weekly “This Modern World” ’toons, this one struck me as germaine to this post:

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On the anniversary of Obama’s election

Today I received an e-mail from Organizing for America*, the remnants of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, titled “One year ago.” It’s meant to be nostalgic.

 Ah, yes — memories:

It was almost one year ago, on November 4, 2008, that I walked into my neighborhood polling place knowing that I’d vote for either Democrat Barack Obama or independent Ralph Nader, for whom I had voted in 2000 (when he ran for president on the Green Party ticket). Even as I walked through the polling-place door, I still wasn’t 100 percent sure which of the two candidates ultimately would get my vote.

In the end, I ended up darkening, with my black ballpoint pen, the oval next to the name “Barack Obama.” I knew that he’d win California anyway, and in the end I found the opportunity to vote for the nation’s first non-completely-white president to be rather irresistible.

Today, I wish that I had resisted.

Barack Obama has turned out to be pretty much another Bill Clinton — a “centrist.” Which means a coward. An appeaser. A politics-as-usual kinda guy.

There was nothing “centrist” about the eight long years of nightmarish rule by the unelected BushCheneyCorp. When the Repugnicans have the power, they don’t hesitate to use it. Remember when Gee Dubya was “re”-elected in 2004 with only 50.7 percent of the popular vote, but the members of the Bush regime called this a “mandate” from the American people nonetheless?

Here is Obama, having been elected by 53 percent of the people, which by the opposition’s definition, anyway, is a huge ol’ fucking mandate, and here is Obama with both houses of Congress dominated by his party, yet what accomplishments has he made?

That “Saturday Night Live” skit in which Obama reassures his opposition not to worry because thus far into his presidency he’s done nothing — it’s pretty accurate.

While the Democrats, led by the Obama White House, aren’t owning their power, I see that the wingnutty Repugnicans (which, in most cases, is redundant) were even successful in forcing out the Repugnican candidate in a U.S. House of Representatives race in New York state (the special election is on Tuesday and she dropped out of the race yesterday) because they consider her to be too moderate — and I think: Damn, why can’t we progressives force out those “Democrats” who are too moderate?

Instead, we have “Democrats” like Harry Reid and my U.S. senator, Dianne Feinstein, whom I have always thought of as Mrs. Joseph Lieberman.   

Base sends GOP warning shot in NY-23,” a Politico headline reads, and I think, Why isn’t the base firing warning shots at the “Democratic” obstructionists in Washington?

Why can’t we progressives be as aggressive as the wingnuts are? Especially when they’re wrong about just about everything and we’re right about just about everything?

It’s too early to know whether the wingnuts’ victory in New York state in pushing out the Repugnican candidate they deem to be too moderate will help or harm the Repugnican Party in the short term, I suppose, but, it seems to me, pushing out the woman candidate (Diedre Scozzafava) for yet another conservative white male candidate (Doug Hoffman) will harm the Repugnican Party over the long term because, although the stupid white men are trying to fight it, rule by stupid white men is going the way of the dinosaurs in an increasingly diversifying nation. 

That Hoffman is running on the “Conservative Party” ticket doesn’t seem to bode well to me. It was when the Southern racists broke off from the Democratic Party, apparently starting with racist Strom Thurmond’s running for president on the “Dixiecrat” ticket in 1948, that the Democratic Party lost the South.

Should the wingnuts succeed in gaining some third-party strength, it seems to me, this will only help the Democratic Party. As The Associated Press notes, in the 1992 presidential election, billionaire businessman Ross Perot’s third-party ticket (the “Reform Party”), which had a bent to the right, won 19 percent of the popular vote; “Perot vastly altered the dynamic of that contest,” the AP notes, adding, “Democrat Bill Clinton was the beneficiary of that three-way contest, taking away the presidency from [Repugnican] George H.W. Bush with just a plurality of the vote.”

Any third party that might emerge over the coming years that comes even close to the success of Perot’s Reform Party in 1992, it seems to me, probably would stem from white angst and thus probably would siphon away Repugnican votes.

That scenario probably wouldn’t give progressives much leverage, however, because the Democratic presidential candidate could win with a plurality, like Bill Clinton did in 1992.

Those of us on the far left and the far right aren’t really represented in Washington, D.C., however, and I’d be fine with a four-party (or multi-party) system: the Democratic Party could be for those who are center-left, the Repugnican Party could be for those who are center-right, the wingnuts could have their own party (the “Conservative Party” or whatever the fuck they want to call it), and we progressives could have our own party, too — the Green Party, preferably. 

Or maybe it just needs to be a fight to the bitter end, a (bloodless, hopefully) rematch of the Civil War. That seems to be what those on the far right want, and as a member of the far left, I say: Let’s give that to them.

*Remember when the remnants of Howard Dean’s failed campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination became Democracy for America? Damn, are the Obama people copycats… They act like Obama did it all on his own, when, in fact, Obama only rode in on the wave that Dean and his supporters created…

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Obama worship out O’ hand, but presidential pessimism premature

Yesterday, it was the “limited edition” “official Obama [coffee] mug” that barackobama.com was hawking for a donation of $15 or more. Today it was the “limited edition” “official Obama calendar,” yours for a donation of only $35 or more. (I’m on the website’s e-mail list and so I received these great offers via e-mail…)

Um, is this a democracy or Home Shopping Network?

That “Saturday Night Live” skit in which John McCainosaurus (the real one) appeared with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin-Quayle on QVC: it doesn’t seem like it’s far from reality.

I just want a president who does a decent job.

I don’t want or need a president to worship, and Obama worship has gotten out of hand. His face and surname (and that damned stylized “O”) are emblazoned everywhere and on everything, and far from bringing me hope for change, it just gives me the creeps. (Leftist columnist and editorial cartoonist Ted Rall calls all of those damned stylistic Obama signs “Soviet-inspired propaganda posters.” I wish that I could disagree.)

Does the United States of America come down to and depend upon just one person? I hope not.

Maybe President-elect Barack Obama will do a kick-ass job. Maybe. I hope so.

But the man hasn’t even taken office and already he’s being compared to Abraham F. Lincoln, replete with his so-called “team of rivals.”

It’s also too early to declare Obama a failure, as some are doing:

Tr081201

I love Rall, but again, Obama hasn’t even taken the oath of office yet. Obama can’t do all that much about the nation’s ills right now, and even after he is inaugurated it still will take a considerable amount of time to turn the Titanic back around.

Has Obama sold out the left-wingers who put him office, as they have been yelping?

It’s too early to tell. 

Are Obama’s “centrist” picks for his administration posts a sign of wussiness or a stroke of political genius?

It’s too early to tell.

I’m assuming — or maybe hoping is more accurate — that Obama will be in charge, and that even if he has “centrists” in his administration posts, they will (more or less) carry out his wishes. “Centrists” in Obama’s posts carrying out a progressive agenda that trickles down from the top might be able to accomplish more than (perceived) leftists in those posts could. Is what I might call “stealth leftism” possible?

We’ll see.

I’m not ready to compare Obama to Abe Lincoln or to Billary Clinton just yet.

I’ll wait at least until Inauguration Day.

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Prez-elect Obama needs to cut out the ‘Kumbaya’ bullshit

When the official popular vote had Repugnican George W. Bush having won the 2004 presidential election by only 50.7 percent to Democrat John Kerry’s 48.3 percent, Team Bush immediately called this a “mandate.” Did we see Team Bush reaching out to Kerry, inviting him to co-govern with them?

Oh, hell no.

On Nov. 4 Democrat Barack Obama won 52.7 percent of the popular vote to Repugnican John McInsane’s 46 percent, but is Team Obama or the Democrats claiming a “mandate”?

Of course not — they’re Democrats!

Obama won the election by almost 7 percentage points, but already Team Obama is talking about including the McCainsaurus in the governing of the nation.

Let’s hope that it’s just talk.

The McCainosaurus put his ideas out there. The majority of the American voters rejected them. Team Obama needs to remember this.

And who is John Sidney McCain III anyway other than just one of 100 U.S. senators? Why should he have any more say in the Obama administration than any other Repugnican U.S. senator? Because he ran for president — and lost?

President-elect Obama always likes to take the high road, or always at least likes to appear as though he’s taking the high road. He even embraces the red-staters who would have him lynched.

You know, your mind can be so open that your brains fall out.

The Repugnicans never accommodate Democrats. The Repugnicans call even just 50.7 percent of the vote a “mandate.”

Are the Repugnicans magically going to learn to be decent and merciful and humble from the Democrats’ example of wussing out and caving in to them, even when the Repugnicans are out of power?

History indicates: Oh, hell no!

All that is accomplished when the Democrats suck Repugnican ass is that the nation gets worse. “Centrism” is a recipe for the further slide of the United States of America toward the way of the ancient Roman empire. “Centrism” might slow the fall of the U.S. empire down a bit, but it doesn’t halt the downward slide.

Let’s hope that Team Obama’s “Kumbaya” bullshit is just talk and that it ends quickly.

We can’t afford four more years of even just a little bit of Repugnicanism.

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