Comments: Barack Obama: How Hard Should He Be Punched?

If you punch him, you'd be confused for some nutso white supremacist and the media would swarm all over atr. No one will would listen to your justifications; they'd go through the archives and conclude that it's also an anti-semitic site.

Perhaps if you gave him such a pinch, it might be more acceptable.

Posted by Labiche at September 15, 2008 11:18 AM

Well, you know, it's not like McCain would blame Obama for the financial crisis, that would be an outright lie, and everyone knows renegade warrior prince McCain would never lie.

Posted by dcs at September 15, 2008 11:20 AM

The media made him into a warrior/hero. He suffered as a POW, but suffering is not heroism.
He bombed a light bulb factory and got shot down. Then he suffered. He didn't save a rifle squad from being shot to pieces by taking out an enemy position. That might have been heroism.
Audie Murphy, for eaxample, was a battlefield hero. McCain was not. Why and how did POW suffering/mistreatment turn into heroism?

Posted by donescobar at September 15, 2008 11:35 AM

The heroism part is that he didn't give in to North Vietnamese demands that he say what they told him, I think, though I gather some people question this. I haven't followed this very closely and don't want to judge what people do or don't do under torture.

What complicates this, in my eyes, is that probably some of what the North Vietnamese wanted him to say would have involved condemning the war, which would be a good thing to say in different circumstances. In a POW's case, it leaves open to treason charges if you're released and people are going to assume you are condemning the war for the wrong reasons if you do so.

Of course, how he got into that position involved dropping bombs on some country that wasn't attacking the US--later on, there was some guy who refused to bomb Cambodia. That's a different sort of courage.

Posted by Donald Johnson at September 15, 2008 11:58 AM
McCain was not. Why and how did POW suffering/mistreatment turn into heroism?

It's very christlike. He suffered for US policies, and by proxy for us, the people. How hard is that to understand?

Heroics are a totally different category. I'm not sure that I'd even want a hero to be in charge of anything. There's something "off" about heroes. Their neural wiring has to be different from the selfish majority. There's something basic that they don't understand...

Posted by Labiche at September 15, 2008 12:00 PM

I skimmed the wikipedia entry on his POW experience. He did give in at one point after torture, but most people did. So he deserves the hero label for his POW experience, it seems to me, though it was courage in a bad cause--sorta like hundreds of thousands of brave Confederate soldiers suffering and dying for a cause that really stunk.

Posted by Donald Johnson at September 15, 2008 12:04 PM

The heroism part is that he didn't give in to North Vietnamese demands that he say what they told him, I think, though I gather some people question this.

No, he did give in and say what they wanted. Which makes his support of torture now even more bizarre and grotesque.

The hero part is that he didn't accept their offer to release him out of turn.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at September 15, 2008 12:05 PM

McCain completely gave in. There's already documentation of that. He caved into torture.

Does this make him a bad person? Eh. It's torture. It may be virtue to resist it, but to cave is no vice.

OTHER things make McCain a bad person.

He's certainly no hero. He's not even a martyr. He entered the military to personally profit, regardless of the U.S.' policy goals. He rolled the dice and took his chances.

Is that what Repugs say? No. Repugs lie about simple things. Why wouldn't they lie about complex things like soldiers and honor?

And Obama has already said the surge is working, which alienates the base and strengthens the opposition.

But, remember, after Obama pulls an ultra-Kerry-Self-Inflicted-Sheng-Long-Epic-Fail-C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER on himself and loses the election, the responsibility for said loss will fall completely upon we who pointed out beforehand WHY he was losing.

And a black woman* should punch Obama in the face, if anyone, and she should do it after kicking McCain in the groin.

*Preferably, to perfect the poetry involved, a woman whose husband was put in prison on false drug charges.
You know, it really wouldn't be that hard to find a willing woman who fits this criteria.

Posted by No One of Consequence at September 15, 2008 12:09 PM

So, what I hear is that his heroism comes down to doing his duty--either not giving in to torture or not being released out of turn. He did his duty, no? Isn't heroism something different? Doing your duty is the (old) equivalent to the college C+. Heroism is going beyond merely doing your duty. That's why the medals and citations for heroism. Landing at Anzio against deadly German fire and slogging through Italy facing dug in German troops on every hilltop was deadly and grim, but the guys who did weren't treated as "heroes." They did what they were supposed to do. Am I missing the "heroic" in McCain's heroism?

Posted by donescobar at September 15, 2008 12:27 PM

But, remember, after Obama pulls an ultra-Kerry-Self-Inflicted-Sheng-Long-Epic-Fail-C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER on himself and loses the election, the responsibility for said loss will fall completely upon we who pointed out beforehand WHY he was losing.

Why wait til after the election? I got an email yesterday, "An open letter to progressive voters in swing states", warning me that I'm pro-actively to blame for Obama's defeat NOW, just for thinking about voting for the Greens.

Posted by SteveB at September 15, 2008 12:30 PM

Additionally, we should blow up a house of McCain's. His "heroic" valor has enabled him to supercede the rewards of the average veteran; I think we'll be doing him a favor by eliminating atleast one household he can't remember.

I'd like to have Obama get punched in the face by a black woman also, just to ensure the ironic force of the incident.

Posted by Nicole at September 15, 2008 01:08 PM

Additionally, we should blow up a house of McCain's. His "heroic" valor has enabled him to supercede the rewards of the average veteran; I think we'll be doing him a favor by eliminating atleast one household he can't remember.

I'd like to have Obama get punched in the face by a black woman also, just to ensure the ironic force of the incident.

Posted by Nicole at September 15, 2008 01:09 PM

Oh please. Get off the ledge. Using a bullshit pull quote out of context may look all smart and all, but it's kind of GOP-like.

Obama isn't blaming McCain personally. He's blaming conservatism. If you can't see that or understand how that might be helpful in defeating conservatism and the GOP then there's really no help.

Would it have made you feel better if Obama said, "McCain, as a senator, is personally responsible for the economy. And that bitch Palin too. Bush? The Republicans? Not so much."?

Posted by Jay B. at September 15, 2008 01:39 PM

Don't be silly. If the demotard's plaster saint and his warmongering buddy don't win the big big game, it'll be Ralph Nader's fault. Obviously. Always is.

Posted by AlanSmithee at September 15, 2008 01:41 PM

The problem I have with Obama, win or lose, is that he seems to be auditioning for the role of Herbert Hoover, not FDR.

Posted by Mike of Angle at September 15, 2008 01:47 PM

DIGBY is a woman---CLARK is a general the question IS "do ya want it, I mean, do ya REALLY want it, enough to WORK 6 weeks for it?" DIGBY's already clawing the dogshit out of Mccain, solidly organized well in that direction. CLARK's not putting out much so digby controls the message.
THINK about it.

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 15, 2008 01:54 PM

Oh please. Get off the ledge. Using a bullshit pull quote out of context may look all smart and all, but it's kind of GOP-like.

Jeebus Cripes Almighty.

It's not out of context. And it's not a one time thing. Both Obama and Biden have done this OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. "McCain is a wonderful, wonderful man," they say. "And he would be a wonderful president. But we do have a few quibbles here and there with his policy."

Moreover, they don't have to choose between blaming McCain and blaming a "philosophy." They can, and should -- because it's good politics as well as completely honest -- DO BOTH. (Do you know who is one of the people most to blame on earth for the current situation? Hint: IT'S MCCAIN'S MAIN ECONOMIC ADVISER.)

That's the way left-of-center politicians have succeeded in the past, both here and in the rest of the world. They have never, ever won any election anywhere by emphasizing how fantastic and blameless their opponents are.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at September 15, 2008 02:07 PM

Hey, look, it's Jay B.! Did you get tired of policing the thoughts at Alicublog, Hullabaloo and Sadly, No!, Jay? How many members of the flock have you kept from straying today? Har har!

Posted by It Is to Laugh at September 15, 2008 02:15 PM

Jon, what you don't realize is that no one is responsible. No one has ever been responsible. Especially not the Democrats, who have supported Our President so faithfullly these past eight years. (And wasn't Obama's objection to Bush's invasion of Iraq pretty much more of the same? That he had a few quibbles with the tactics, not with massacring ragheads per se?)

It seems like you're taking this too personally, y'know? Just read Digby, or any number of other Dem loyalists. This election isn't about Obama, it't not about McCain, or even Bush. It's not about policy, or issues. It's about the Party, and it's now the Democrats' turn to put someone in the White House. The Republicans need to recognize this, and step gracefully aside. You're turning this into a vulgar street fight, when it should be a dispute between gentlemen.

Posted by Duncan at September 15, 2008 02:17 PM

To be fair to digby, I think she'd be okay with honest streetfighting. And to some extent she does recognize that Democrats are often part of the problem. There's a gradation here--liberals that actually have a soapbox in the mainstream press don't recognize any legitimacy in a leftwing critique of Democrats. Those must be crackpots by definition, cuz, you know, Democrats like Obama are already as far left as it is safe to go. Digby recognizes that this is wrong, but doesn't like to dwell on it. Then, further left, Glenn Greenwald recognizes just how wrong it is, but supports Dems as lesser of two evils. Then further left, Arthur Silber damns anyone who votes Democrat. And IOZ sits around, laughs, and makes recommendations about buying shotguns and stocking up the bomb shelter.

Posted by Donald Johnson at September 15, 2008 02:43 PM

Upon reflection, it seems to me that Obama's linking the crisis personally to McCain might require a teeny bit of evidence, such as McCain's Senate votes for the financial deregulation that got us into this mess. And that might blow back on another Senator in a most inconvenient manner. (hint: the name of Senator #2 appears right below Obama's on millions of bumper stickers.)

Probably best to let sleeping dogs lie.

In fact, it's probably best not to make too much of this whole Iraq-war issue, seeing how Senator #2 voted for that as well.

Posted by SteveB at September 15, 2008 02:44 PM

Hey, look, it's Jay B.! Did you get tired of policing the thoughts at Alicublog, Hullabaloo and Sadly, No!,

You're right -- disagreeing is wrong, even if I disagree with you and that in itself is a disagreement! I'm sorry for the paradox, and for evidently, having a point of view that's counter to yours. And, as a policer of thoughts (rather than one who might disagree with them), I arrest myself. Obama sux! He's just as bad as everyone else. He barely calls the VP candidate a cunt, what good is he?

Anyway, I just don't think saying McCain isn't personally responsible for the economy, but then saying his party is collectively responsible is bad politics.

Posted by Jay B. at September 15, 2008 02:56 PM

It's just that they don't really disagree with the Republicans or Republican philosophy. Republicans are good people, their hearts in the right place, their philosophy is fine, it's just that they are a bit too enthusiastic, their love for the country and free markets is so great that they act sometimes without considering all the consequences. So, vote for the Democrats, please.

Posted by abb1 at September 15, 2008 02:58 PM

Every four years the Left/Progressive situation reminds me of Ollie's line in many Laurel & Hardy movies: "Well, that's another nice mess you've gotten me into."
But, who's Hardy here? Or, who are the Hardys?
Maybe the American people really like and want their politics as they are and their politicians to remain snake oil salesmen. They say they want change (THE slogan since used by IKE in 1952), but real change will remain too "radical" for them. So we continue on this merrygoround--keep the system but rotate the managers. Nichts. Nihil. Nada. Rien. But we voted, the system works, we'll keep going round and round.
Next year, there'll be Obama or McCain to attack for the war in Afghanistan, the invasion of______, the absence of a comprehensive health care system, the continuing loss of jobs, the...
So, the kids in the Sixties really had it right. Either turn on and tune out, or fight the system. Not just criticise it, but fight it.
But how? Nobody knows.
It really is like a Laurel & Hardy movie, except for the horror show tucked into it, with death, destruction, dehumanization and lots of greed.
A mess, but not as "nice" as in the L & H flicks.
I guess I'd call that progress.

Posted by donescobar at September 15, 2008 03:20 PM

Hey, the preceeding paragraph was pretty good, too:

"The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store. Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression."

I think that lays the blame squarely where it belongs: on "too many folks in Washington and Wall Street."

Honestly, how could you be more specific than that?

Posted by SteveB at September 15, 2008 04:20 PM

Where we're going this election will look like a Kiwanis meeting at the Holiday Inn in some mid-West county seat.
Nice, shallow, safe.
Before the storm hit.
And everything went away.

Posted by roy belmont at September 15, 2008 04:26 PM

I think that lays the blame squarely where it belongs: on "too many folks in Washington and Wall Street."

Honestly, how could you be more specific than that?

Funny, since your thesis is that the Democrats are just as corrupt as Republicans (i.e. that Obama's #2 is as responsible as McCain for the state of the economy), Obama's actually agreeing with you. Just not to your satisfaction.

Posted by Jay B. at September 15, 2008 04:59 PM

Where we're going this election will look like a Kiwanis meeting at the Holiday Inn in some mid-West county seat.
Nice, shallow, safe.
Before the storm hit.
And everything went away.

Posted by roy belmont at September 15, 2008 05:01 PM

I come to this site because it is usually one of the most intelligent but not today. You are letting your emotions run away with you (something Obama never does). Obama is just telling the truth, that is that McCain didn't personally take down the market but his political philosophy and the repub way of doing government did. This is exactly the right message because it condemns repubs across the board. Obama cannot at the same time point out all the inaccuracies and lies of the Pappy McCain campaign and do the same thing himself. His job is to tie Pappy to tinpot and the last eight years of disaster. The last thing he can do is start low roading, leaving the average voter to say again, “They’re all alike!”.
I would add that I agree that from Impeachment to FISA to Biden, Obama has been sending signals to the Village and it’s owners that he will be no progressive radical and, as a Kucinich Democrat, it leaves me mightily pissed but I know that no one is going to become President if he or she actually threatens the Establishment. Now, Pappy may have got him some a’ that there ‘re-form‘, but nobody who owns this country believes it means squat (moose or otherwise) and ,therefore, don‘t feel in any way threatened by his or Miss Sarah‘s rhetoric. On the other hand, if Obama explicitly makes them the enemy, they will throw everything they have at him. And no matter how badly some of the top 1% may have been damaged by the meltdown, they still own the paper on most of the economy. Obama realizes that Wall Street’s ‘bad children’ know they need a real parent now, someone who will lay down rules but also, who won’t chastise them for their previous bad behavior. The conservatives have made a toilet of American politics, American foreign and domestic policy, and the American economy with a lot of help form the dlc’ers. It is going to take time and an adroit politician to change things. Obama has proven himself to be the best politician the dems have seen since at least Kennedy. Have a little confidence in the guy. He knows the ground and he has the strategy. Now it is up to us to do our part so nobody has to punch anybody on the nose.

Posted by john in california at September 15, 2008 05:42 PM

"It's going to take time and an adroit politician to change things."

Where is this "adroit politician" going to come from? The substantial and successful Social Democratic Party? The Whigs? And why or how will s/he "change things?" What things? For whose benefit? Who will fund and support such "change?"

Posted by donescobar at September 15, 2008 05:54 PM

Jay B:
So when Obama says "too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street" are responsible for this mess, he's bravely calling out the members of his own party who were complicit? Wow. The guy should consider running as a Green Party candidate, the way he speaks truth to power.

And John?
This is exactly the right message because it condemns repubs across the board.

Go back and read Obama's statement. He doesn't mention the Republican Party at all. But maybe that's just some of the stick-it-to-the-man even-handedness that Jay B. seems to like so much.

And this:
And no matter how badly some of the top 1% may have been damaged by the meltdown, they still own the paper on most of the economy. Obama realizes that Wall Street’s ‘bad children’ know they need a real parent now, someone who will lay down rules but also, who won’t chastise them for their previous bad behavior.

Strikes me as exactly the sort of deal they make when the Generals in Brazil or Argentina hand things over to an elected government. Don't look too closely into the past, and we won't send the tanks back in.

Not saying you're wrong, just noting where we're at, democracy-wise.

Posted by SteveB at September 15, 2008 05:55 PM

I suggest everybody go read what Obama actually said,

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080915/ap_on_el_pr/obama


Posted by john in california at September 15, 2008 06:00 PM

Obama is just telling the truth, that is that McCain didn't personally take down the market but his political philosophy and the repub way of doing government did. This is exactly the right message because it condemns repubs across the board.

I have no problem at all with him blaming republicans across the board. I absolutely have a problem with him saying McCain shouldn't be faulted for what's happening. Of course he should fault McCain. It's both good politics and true—McCain's been one of the most powerful and prominent Republicans in America for twenty years.

And even if for some bizarre reason Obama and Biden don't want to specifically blame McCain, they should not affirmatively ABSOLVE HIM, or begin their speeches (as Biden has) by talking about what a wonderful, honorable man McCain is.

I'm sorry, this is politics 101. It's the most basic stuff imaginable, especially when running against the current incarnation of the Republican party. Unless, of course, you're more concerned about keeping your place in the power structure than actually winning.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at September 15, 2008 06:01 PM

" Obama has proven himself to be the best politician the dems have seen since at least Kennedy."

That's not a compliment, actually. But taking it as compliment, it's not saying much and that's as it should be.

Posted by Donald Johnson at September 15, 2008 07:31 PM

Jonathan, do you actually believe that Obama is more concerned with keeping his place in the power structure than winning? Come on! If he loses he will have about as much 'place in the power structure' as Dukakis. In fact, given the historic ebb of repub politics right now, if he loses he will have a place just a little below Jesse Jackson. Nope, he's all in on this campaign and has done all the 'political' things he sees as necessary to win it. I don't like a lot of those things (as I mentioned above) but I recognize why he made those decisions. Yes, those decisions were signals, no better, billboards, to the power structure that there would be no gulags for them but do you really think that any other message would have taken him farther? He is the nominee because he has been able to straddle the insider-outsider divide, promising change without overtly threatening everything that must be changed. I am sixty four. I have watched up close and personal the rightward shift of this country since ‘Nam. It will not be turned around on a dime. Look where Obama came from, look at his mother’s life, look at his sister’s life, look at who he married. He is not in this just to ‘make it’ in the power structure. He is in it to win and to change that power structure to the advantage of the majority.

Posted by john in california at September 15, 2008 07:41 PM

And Donald, I make that comparison to Kennedy because they both have managed to elide or overcome one of the major public concerns. For Kennedy it was his Faith and for Obama it is his color. I remember well how much the pundits of the time talked about Kennedy’s Catholicism, and ’would he be taking orders from the Pope. It seems laughable now but then it was a real concern. Kennedy was able to distance himself from his church while, at the same time, getting 90% of the Catholic vote. Sound familiar?
To be black, to have only two years of national experience and to defeat the heir presumptive for the nomination while not completely splitting the party has taken the most adroit pol I have seen since Kennedy.

Posted by john in california at September 15, 2008 08:09 PM

"I know that no one is going to become President if he or she actually threatens the Establishment"
-john in california

Since we're all pretty much in agreement that THE ESTABLISHMENT IS THE PROBLEM, why pray tell should we support a candidate that has made it abundantly clear that not only will he not offer a challenge to said Establishment, but would rather lose the contest than have it's power checked?

Posted by Coldtype at September 15, 2008 08:17 PM

"its" I mean.

Posted by Coldtype at September 15, 2008 08:19 PM

Jay et. al. don't seem to have a point at all. Saying a Republican isn't responsible for this economy is like saying that Pol Pot's brain cells weren't responsible for massacreing of millions in Cambodia. McCain voted for these policies, he supported his party. The idea that McCain should not be criticized is not merely dumbfuckery, but it hasn't even been proposed in a way that works as a feel-good lie.

If you can't be responsible for the party you honestly support, then how the FUCK can a party be held responsible for anything? News flash to the concern trolls and imperialist "liberals": parties aren't people. They, like corporations, don't have asses to kick or souls to save. They are surrogates for people. If I say Party X has done something wrong what I am in effect claiming is a group of people who happen to have influence in Party X have done something wrong. If I can't say the latter, the former has no meaning.

It is physically painful that I had to point this out.

McCain happily backed Bush's economic policies. McCain happily backed Bush. McCain personally benefitted from both. There is NO EVIDENCE that McCain is NOT responsible for our current economic mess, but his supporters on the "left" turn the argument on its head.

It's like dealing with flat-earthers. "The Earth is flat! Prove it isn't!" Waitaminute, when did I get the burden of proof?

And um: if McCain has nothing to do with our current economic woes, then why should I vote for Obama (who will murder innocent people) again? How fucking stupid do you have to be to make a "vote for the lesser evil" argument -- then claim that your candidate is just as bad as the other in every major way.

Posted by No One of Consequence at September 15, 2008 08:59 PM

And, oh -- for more specific foolishness:

Jonathan, do you actually believe that Obama is more concerned with keeping his place in the power structure than winning?

Obviously. We know this from Gore's actions. Would someone please pull up the Iron Law of Institutions post again and school the newbie?

And read some Palast. Dems at the local level will happily engage in election fraud that helps Republicans if it means they maintain or gain iat the local level. Fuck the party.

In fact, given the historic ebb of repub politics right now, if he loses he will have a place just a little below Jesse Jackson

This is complete bullshit that can be supported neither by fact nor logic. I'll leave it there since the burden for such an amazing claim is on the speaker, especially since speaker ALSO claims (by implication) that Obama got where he was by skill. So once he loses the election he forgets how to be a pol and loses all serious influence? Please.

Nope, he's all in on this campaign and has done all the 'political' things he sees as necessary to win it.

Oh, God, is this the "Obama really doesn't want to swing rightward" canard? Is there anyone who will bother to back this bullshit up? Seriously, it's like being in medieval France and trying to point out to starving people that tomatoes really aren't poisonous. Eventually you just want to kill the stupid fuckers before starvation does its work. Obama's policies are what Obama wants and suggestions otherwise -- sans evidence (and they ALWAYS are) -- are sheer idiocy.

"Honestly, I didn't want to eat the cookie! Yes, I broke the lock on the closet to get at it, and yes, I enjoyed it, and yes, I'm eating this other one as I speak, but I didn't want to eat the first cookie *munch*munch*!"

Look where Obama came from, look at his mother’s life, look at his sister’s life, look at who he married. He is not in this just to ‘make it’ in the power structure.

My life has been harder than Obama's, easily, and I can rattle off 20 associates and friends who can see his ass and raise. He went to Harvard. Full. Fucking. Stop. When will white people understand that Obama isn't the only black person in the U.S. and his story really isn't that big of a struggle compared to that of many of his "peers"? There's no fucking myth there. He's a political opportunist. Nothing wrong with that. But there's nothing even remotely special about it. At all.

(I honestly think that the problem many white people have, at this point, is that they don't know enough black people for blacks to feel normal to them. But I digress and speculate.)

He is in it to win and to change that power structure to the advantage of the majority.

Complete bullshit unsupported by the facts. Thanks for playing!

Now the burden of proof is on Obamaphiles to make his case, but for a counteragument anyway, http://www.blackagendareport.com/ is as good a place as any to start.

Posted by No One of Consequence at September 15, 2008 09:04 PM

Hmmm. Seems like I’m getting into a bit of a blog comment tussle but here goes.
First coldtype. A challenge and a threat are not the same thing. Obama is challenging the Establishment to live by some common sense rules. He is not threatening a socialist revolution (much as I might like such a thing to come about). But more importantly, it is exactly checking the Establishment’s power that is the Obama campaign message. Not overthrowing it, but checking it, certainly.
And Jonathan, whether the 527 thing was a hubristic gamble or smart politics remains to be seen. He has got to this point by controlling his campaign’s message and not having to run defense about something a 527 had to say. If he now encourages some 527 to go after Palin so he doesn’t have too, I’d say that was pretty adroit politics. When Obama becomes President he is going to have to unify a very divided electorate, one that has been believing a lot of lies for a long time. He is going to have to control the message in order to have the political backing to keep this country from going down the drain. Now, if it is more important to punish the wrong doers or, better yet, elect Pappy and make the disaster so complete that even the xtopaths start to cry, then by all means, disparage Obama. Help him lose. Then, maybe 10 years from now the whole country can look like New Orleans, sunk under a flood of toxic debt. And we can get ourselves re-formed into a true National Socialist State.

Posted by john in california at September 15, 2008 09:04 PM

SteveB:

Honestly, how could you be more specific than that?

As an aside, Obama still doesn't have a narrative. He doesn't have a story. Just issues. Stories need people, with faces. Always. Even Doctor Who resorted to giving the faceless, personality-less Daleks names, eventually. The masses need simple stories and simple stories have people that you can apprehend. By putting "Wall Street Banker" off to the side, Obama HELPS McCain directly since the latter has no relationship to said banker in Obama's speeches.

Obama is really doing what McCain is doing when the latter says he will fight lobbyists. Obama is owned by Wall Street, so he has to pull his punches there, he feels. (He is foolish on this point: he does not realize that faux populism will not scare Wall Street at this point, since they've already invested in him and he's made his imperial bona fides clear. But, as we've said before, Obama is a better opportunist than a politician.) In doing his best to watch out for his buds, Obama is killing his election chances.

Posted by No One of Consequence at September 15, 2008 09:06 PM

CLARK'S a general, a GENERAL. Neither of the 2 horsesasses and buggy parties gots a general. Obama COULD have had Clark but it ended up as ANOTHER opportunity lost. Why make the same mistake?

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 15, 2008 09:11 PM

No One, as others have suggested, you ought to consider starting your own blog. I think you have the nucleus of a readership here.

John--On Kennedy and Catholicism, okay if that's what you meant. But for me, the only impressive thing about Obama as a politician so far has been his ability to persuade so many people on the left (not that many at this blog, but quite a few elsewhere) that he's one of them, based on very little evidence.

I think Chomsky is right when he says that most people aren't comfortable being conscious hypocrites--cognitive dissonance is painful and people tend to adjust their beliefs so that they fit in with what they want for themselves. Obama wants power and he couldn't get power and be a far left anti-imperialist, at least not openly. If he ever was such a thing, I doubt he is now.

I'm voting for him, btw. Lesser of two evils. I think that matters, but I don't expect any more change from Obama than I would have from Clinton. Look who he picked as VP, for pete's sake. What change does occur will probably happen by pressuring Obama, not by expecting anything from him. I'd like to be pleasantly surprised.

Posted by Donald Johnson at September 15, 2008 09:47 PM

"...a true National Socialist State" writes John of California, above.
OK. "Mein Fuehrer, I can walk..."

Hard to discuss a US poltical topic today without falling back on the Fuehrer and the one, true and only National Socialist State.

Eat your hearts out, Amerikanische Schweinehunde. Your true NS state will be a sad imitation of the Echte Ding.

Are we into Saure Gurkenzeit, or Sour Pickles Time, aka Silly Season. Seems so.

Posted by donescobar at September 15, 2008 09:51 PM

It's called hyperbole, donescobar, hyperbole.

Posted by john in california at September 15, 2008 10:04 PM

On the one hand, I couldn't blame any faction for wanting to lose this election, on the other, I can't think of any reason why a faction would want to win this election.

Posted by buermann at September 15, 2008 10:29 PM

I'll get around to it Donald. :-P

And buermann is sagacious. The president gets paid a paltry six figures. Who needs that shit?

Posted by No One of Consequence at September 15, 2008 10:51 PM

If Obomba won't even say the right things, how can you possibly hope he will do them? That's how bad politics have gotten, candidates don't even have to make false promises to get elected - in the specific, of course there is the vacuous talk of "change," but what he has promised is to maintain the status quo, the "foreign policy of JFK, Reagan and the first Bush." If that is the baseline for his promises, then how high can he ascend? With Zbig guiding the way, even Bush II may come to look like a pacifist.

Obama is complicit in the system. If he is told to throw the election by his paymasters, he will do it. He is already ignoring the massive vote-tampering in every swing state. How about this scenario as the Final Solution for the American Empire: McCain gets elected, dies or step down because of health problems, Palin becomes the modern world's first uber-genocidal matriarch, making Thatcher seem tame.

Posted by Marcus at September 15, 2008 11:07 PM

The way to punch both McCain and Obama is to vote for Nader. And NO, NO, NO, I will not be voting for those two horrible candidates. I simply refuse to humiliate myself. Both of them play along with Bush's lie about why we were attacked on 9/11 and both of them think it is perfectly legal to attack a country that had no intention of attacking us. Nazis were hung for that crime.

Posted by Tom at September 15, 2008 11:55 PM

"only two years of national experience"

Obama has been in the US Senate for four years.

Posted by Susan - NC at September 15, 2008 11:56 PM

What if Mccain lives out 2 terms. Palin WILL look hot to YOU by then. OR if Obama makes 8 yrs she'll look like a pacifist.

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 15, 2008 11:58 PM

As a matter of fact, what with the US stock market plummetting and all, we had Obama's quote live on the radio here in the RSA.

I agree 100% with Jonathan. Obama sounded like he'd taken four Valiums. He was saying that there is an economic crisis (gosh, where'd he get that idea?) and that unspecified people, not particularly Republicans, but, you know, Wall Street people and so on, were, in a sense, but not too specifically, responsible for, sort of, it.

Jesus Christ.

They also had Sarah Palin on, and she just said "The regulations we have are old-fashioned and don't work". Now that is complete bullshit, of course. We all know that Palin and McCain are not going to do anything about the crisis.

But at least they know that they need to blame somebody.

Obama doesn't even have that.

Posted by MFB at September 16, 2008 02:26 AM

The system holds the monopoly on violence, my friend. I wonder what the US will do about Kashmir once it occupies Pakistan.

Posted by Save the Oocytes at September 16, 2008 02:33 AM

You say hyperbole, I say thoughtlessness.
Try harder.

Posted by donescobar at September 16, 2008 09:30 AM

McCain can say crap like what's on this link because no one calls him on it:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13493.html

Jesus, this election should be a rout. Hell, Obama wouldn't have even been anointed by the media early in the primaries if Bush hadn't been such a fuckup.

I think what I resent most about Obama is his fuckups allow McCain to get quoted far more often than he should. Even his voice grates now.

Posted by No One of Consequence at September 16, 2008 11:39 AM

TICK TOCK, third party time, tick tock, tick tock.

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 16, 2008 12:16 PM

As a snearing, smug, petty demotard Obama personality cultist, 'john in california' sure is fucking boring. Get some new material, idiot! We've all heard your shitty fake-left guilt-trip batshit-insane rationalizations before.

Posted by AlanSmithee at September 16, 2008 01:15 PM

john in california:

Jonathan, whether the 527 thing was a hubristic gamble or smart politics remains to be seen. He has got to this point by controlling his campaign’s message and not having to run defense about something a 527 had to say. If he now encourages some 527 to go after Palin so he doesn’t have too, I’d say that was pretty adroit politics.

john, read this again. It really doesn't make any sense—we already know it was a hubristic gamble. Whether it's a hubristic gamble that pays off is another question. And his concern wasn't having to defend things he didn't say. It was, as I said, consolidating control over the party, and a foolish dream that McCain would rein in right-wing 527s. Moreover, if that WAS his concern, having to defend what 527s do now wouldn't be so much better than having to defend it a month ago.

I don't mind rational defenses of Obama's actions, but this isn't it. You're looking for reasons to justify what he's done rather than judging it clearly.

AlanSmithee,

I admire your work, particularly the music video for "I Will Always Love You." I also appreciate the frustration you feel, since I feel some of it myself. But please don't use my teeny corner of the internet to fling poop at the rest of us powerless peons. I have nothing against poop flinging per se, but if you're going to do it here, aim higher.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at September 16, 2008 03:33 PM

And of course, let's not pretend that this kind of anti-democratic bullshit

http://www.alternet.org/audits/98649/

won't continue if he does get elected.

There'll just be less of it, more competently pursued.

Posted by me at September 16, 2008 03:42 PM

IMPEACHMENT proceedings would bring a "hands down" win to ANYBODY but a republican; Call Nan 1-202-225-0100

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 16, 2008 06:34 PM

But you'd think he'd have enough of an ego that, despite all that, he'd still want to be president. Apparently not.

Obama wants to keep his biggest financial backers happy, remain a member of The Club, and be president. He also wants to be seen as charming, statesmanlike, and above the muck of mere partisan politics. And he has enough of an ego that he thinks he can manage all of that. Lack of ego is not the problem here.

Posted by Maud at September 16, 2008 10:39 PM