Obama failed in appreciating the nature of the attack on Christmas day. He miscalculated the mood of the American people and came off looking weak and disengaged when he strolled to the podium more than 48 hours after the attack and read a rote statement that could have been delivered by a press flunkie.
Oh my gosh, the American people were just in a tizzy after this bombing, wondering when President Obama would make a speech.
But he didn't have to hurry, because Republicans filled the breach and leapt to the defense of their country by immediately starting the blame game. These stalwart patriots did not let an attack on the country pass without using it to score partisan points.
We'll see who miscalculated the mood of the American people here.Comment Posted By Postagoras On 4.01.2010 @ 22:06
You didn't mention that the Democrats in Congress do not hew to the party line. W almost went eight years without a Congressional override, busting the budget with abandon. Obama has to herd the cats to get anything done. And as you have pointed out, he really is trying to get things done.
As Will Rogers famously said, "I'm not a member of an organized political party. I'm a Democrat."Comment Posted By Postagoras On 17.12.2009 @ 13:08
Good stuff, Rick.
Your quote about religion reminded me of Gorbachev opening up the old Soviet Union- he started talking about the "value of religion in people's lives" and people were swooning. But not me... I knew he was thinking, "Hoo boy, if the masses ever needed some opiates, it's now!"Comment Posted By Postagoras On 14.12.2009 @ 20:18
You are wrong. American Exceptionalism is _not_ our civic religion.
I believe that all of this places America above any other nation in history. It makes us better. It makes us superior. It makes us special.
I agree that America is exceptional. But in the quote above, you completely miss the point. It's _America_ that is better, superior, and special, not "us". That's exactly where the jingoists and chauvinists go wrong... they feel that American exceptionalism rubs off on them and makes _them_ special.
Too bad for them. The reality is that American Exceptionalism exists without anyone wearing it on their sleeve (or lapel). Wearing a flag pin does not make the wearer special.
C'mon... the President of the United States does not have to go around talking about our exceptional society in order to make a point. He _actually is_ speaking softly and carrying a big stick.
You are right when you say that Obama did not send troops to Afghanistan because of a belief in America's special place in the world. But you say that Obama's decision to send troops to Afghanistan was "political"? He did it so that he could help his party win midterm elections or some calculation like that? Bullshit. Perhaps you use the word "political" because it was a considered policy, a deliberated and deliberate effort to wring some sort of good outcome out of Afghanistan? Please spell that out for us slow people.
Finally, if the President points out that there have been some screw-ups, there are certainly idiots out there who think that it weakens America's exceptional status.
I don't care about the opinions of idiots.Comment Posted By Postagoras On 9.12.2009 @ 14:29
I agree with your general point, that Allah's comment was not worthy of Jimbo's criticism.
I'm not sure about the "despicable lefty meme" of calling someone a chickenhawk. Wikipedia says:
"Chickenhawk" is a political epithet used in the United States to criticize a politician, bureaucrat, or commentator who strongly supports a war or other military action, yet who actively avoided military service when of age.
Is it despicable to point this out? The key is the actively avoided military service part. I think that this is a legitimate point to make.
That is the "meme" that I remember. Perhaps in your memory, the term was used to describe any critic who did not serve in the military. Since it is a tenet of our country that the military is under civilian control, this is foolish on its face.Comment Posted By Postagoras On 25.11.2009 @ 12:59
... the people have a right to expect that they shouldn’t have to pay for the consequences of this childish nonsense that passes for political discourse today ...
Wrong. The people are getting exactly the behavior that they vote for.
It's sad, but that's the way it is.
P.S. Man, Rick... I read some of the comments over at PJM... you are seriously not popular over there.Comment Posted By Postagoras On 9.11.2009 @ 21:21
Definitely a tempest in a teabag.Comment Posted By Postagoras On 11.09.2009 @ 11:21
He used his education and his passion to combat police brutality and the massive, wasteful incarceration of so many of this nation’s young, brown people. Having fought in the trenches for so long, he saw an opportunity to build hope and jobs and tangible communities as the world responds to the climate crisis. He connected the dots and inspired action and had a vision. He was the rare outsider who got a chance to move inside, and move he did.
Um... you will never understand this? The quote is not a lie, Jones really did that. You highlighted the exact reason why Jones was given the role he had in the administration. Now, as we all know, he also signed onto the Truther conspiracy theory. I can't defend that, it's stupid and shows lack of judgment. The passion that drove him to do some good work is obviously derived from a poisoned well... it's sad.
It's not my business to defend Olberman or Hamsher, either. I sure don't expect you to defend everything that every conservative says.
Finally.. .I know that the Republican party is trying to make "socialist" into an epithet, but aren't we past the Red Menace days? Equating Communism with the form of totalitarianism practised in China and Russia is an easy way to brush over a complicated topic. Western European economies have been informed by Marx's economic theories for decades now... when I last checked, I could not find any totalitarian regimes there. Whereas Russia is the same thug-ocracy it was in Imperial times, and in Communist times.Comment Posted By Postagoras On 8.09.2009 @ 08:39
Sorry, Rick, I agree with Michael. The Spectator article is totally red meat, meant to enrage people.
You are aiding and abetting, by first touting your even-handedness. Real even-handedness would be to not take this at face value, given the source... the anonymous source.Comment Posted By Postagoras On 24.08.2009 @ 13:02
A courageous post, Rick.
The question is, does a charge of racism allow someone's opinion to be completely dismissed because it is unworthy?
It's a convenient strategy in an argument, to end the discussion by equating the other side's opinion with Nazis or racists. In the case of racism I think that this should not end the discussion. As you say, it's a part of the fabric of the country, and it needs to be assessed.
But since racist attitudes can't be acknowledged openly, it makes it hard for people to have an open discussion about it. People retreat into denial and use of code words.
How should someone in Congress deal with constituents who are voicing an opinion on health care reform that is partially informed by racism? Can you tell a constituent that you're only going to pay attention to 60% of what they say, because their position is based on 40% racism?
Obviously not. I applaud your post as an attempt to face this ugly part of our society.Comment Posted By Postagoras On 20.08.2009 @ 11:03