Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pay to Enter to Win the Future

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better.....  (the crossed-out bits are from the original draft of the email, which I fished out of a dumpster.  It was hard going, because there were a dozen FBI agents with me, ploughing through all kinds of stuff thrown out by regular, innocent citizens):
Karen -- 

My campaign operatives have forced me to pretend to sacrifice I've set aside my precious valuable time for four supporters like you to join me for dinner.

My campaign always   Most campaigns fill their dinner guest lists primarily with Washington lobbyists and special interests.

We did absolutely didn't get here doing that, and we're not going to stop start now. We're running a schizophrenic different kind of campaign.  We have got one campaign for the big Wall Street and corporation folks and a pretend grass-roots one for the little people. We don't take money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs -- we never have, and we never will.  Pay no attention to the New York Times article the other day about the big dinner I have planned with The Wall Street banksters.  Pay no attention to reports that we have a special program in the DNC enabling us to take anonymous donations from lobbyists, special-interest PACs, even foreign governments.  We have to out-innovate and out-compete Karl Rove.  We have to beat him by joining him.  We have to deal with conditions on the ground as we find them. 
We rely on everyday Americans to keep drinking my Kool-Aid giving whatever they can afford -- and I want to spend as little time as possible with a as few of you. as I decently can.
So if you make a donation today, you'll be automatically entered for a chance to be one of the four supporters to sit down with me for dinner. Odds of winning will be about one in 1,000,000,000.  Odds of me having to cancel dinner and replace me with a White House intern due to a trumped up national security issue will be 99 out of 100.  Please donate $15 or more today:
We'll pay for your taxable to you flight and the dinner excluding tip -- all you need to bring is your story and your ideas and the names and email addresses and phone numbers of a hundred close friends and relatives about how we can continue to make this a better country for me Americans.

This won't be a formal affair. I know there's 9.1 percent unemployment and it costs plenty for regular folks to buy new clothes at Walmart. It's the kind of casual meal among friends that I don't debase myself get to have as often as I'd like anymore, so I hope you'll consider joining me and hundreds of press people for a one-minute photo op before I have to head to my real dinner with the bankers at the Four Seasons.
I'm not asking you to donate today just so you'll be entered for a chance to meet me. I'm asking you to say you believe unquestioningly in my personality cult in the kind of politics that gives marginal people like you a seat at the table -- whether it's the dinner table with me or the table where decisions are made about what kind of country we want to be or whether it's the table where your Social Security or Medicare will be cut and my tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and corporations will be extended through eternity.
It starts with a gift of whatever you can afford.

Please make a donation of $15 today, and we'll throw your name in the garbage hat for the upcoming dinner:
I've said before that I want people like you to shape this campaign from the very beginning -- and this is a chance for only four people ever to share their ideas directly with me. I will do my usual best to pretend to care.
Hope to see your pathetic paltry check you soon,

Barack (when I ask for money we're on a folksy first name basis)


John in Lafayette said...


Of course, it would be funnier if it wasn't true.

Jay - Ottawa said...

You Photoshopped that Il Duce pose!

Classof65 said...

Isn't he the best we've got? I can't not vote and I won't vote Republican -- at least none of the present candidates.... I'd love to have an FDR-clone or a Truman-clone -- someone strong enough to fight for us and willing to use his/her imagination and insight to develop plans for Medicare For All and to bring back the CCC. Someone who would encourage corporations to return their manufacturing to the U.S. I thought that person was Barack Obama, but he seems to be letting us down. Still, right now, he's the best we've got...

Anonymous said...

It is times like this that make it seem that "Nun O'Theabove would stand a good chance as a write in or a third party candidate.

No that seems to be a real picture.


VLT said...

@ Classof65, check out the New Progressive Alliance.
Actually, Richard, you are an interesting mix of political beliefs. You might like it as well. (By the way, glad you are back.)

Karen, not sure if my last comment made it over the Internet – I got a strange reply from Internet Outer space - so here it is again.

Brilliant! You are utterly brilliant! I laughed until I had tears in my eyes and have sent it to everyone I know. YOU ARE A STAR out there in the blogosphere!

Anne Lavoie said...

O looks like he's basking in his glory, breathing the rarefied air up there where Emperors dwell.

Class of 65 needs to go back to school. "The best we've got"!!! WE???? He is the best that his corporate masters and the MIC could ever hope for, but he is sure as heck isn't good, let alone best, for the rest of us common 'folks'.

He has nearly delivered the entire country into corporate hands. His signature act has been proudly delivering all citizens to them as manditory health insurance customers (serfs), come 2014. Cities and states are already selling services and facilities to Wall St. at fire sale prices due to the debt inflicted by them, per the plan.

Obama could have let the Bush tax cuts expire, but instead he gave it to them and further burdened the cities and states. Voila, we are now in the process of selling off of the public commons. Is Obama disturbed by that? Apparently not.

I have no doubt whatsoever that, given a second term, he will also deliver Medicare and Social Security to them as well, as unlikely as that seems BY HIS WORDS. But by his ACTS, I am certain of it.

It has been wisely said that one cannot serve two masters, but two-faced Obama thinks he can.

Janet Camp said...

Karen, I just love it! I expected a hit, but this is a big home run!

@ Anne LaVoie

Sorry Anne, I can't quite agree in spite of all that I have to grouse about regarding the Prez. I would sooner pull the lever for BHO again than the likes of Romney, Pawlenty, Huntsman, or goddess forbid, Bachmann! I'm here to hold his feet to the fire, not destroy the last shreds of democracy. Let's not get to far left that we start to become as shrill as the right. We have to change the campaign finance system--until we do that, good people will be corrupted by the status quo--what choice do they have? Third party is not a choice at the present time; it's just a weak and mostly unheard protest.

I expect to get some flak on this--bring it on. I'm not going to enter the "contest" (but I would if the odds were less than astronomical), but I am also not going to hand over the country to the lunatic fringe because I was too pissed to vote. A week ago I wasn't so sure, but the "debate" in NH (just reading about it) cleared my head.

Janet Camp said...

I am disgusted by the people who are writing and dreaming up these ridiculous fund raising letters. I wonder if BHO Even sees them?

Kate Madison said...

Hi Janet-

I guess you and I together can take a hit! I agree with you completely about voting Democratic. To have a Republican President in the White House would be an absolute disaster, she said morosely! Again, I say, think about the Supreme Court--if all the rest of the crap is too overwhelming. I know it often is for me.

Just listening to Mitters, The Salamander, T-Paw, Herman (I'm Blacker Than Obama) Cain, and Michele Bachman on their faux debate the other night was beyond appalling. Listen up, "folks," (as Barry says) these are not smart people. They are hacks. Obama is too, I guess, but at least he is intelligent and not completely bought off. I just do not see a choice--except "none of the above," and that means a good-old-boy rich Republican (or ditzy Michele) in the WH. Let's get real. We can use Sardonicky to vent and criticize, but I do not think threatening is appropriate or useful. It certainly will not change anything Obama and his
"messengers" are doing. Nothing.

To give him the message that we think he is ruling badly and has a deficient staff, we would have to vote him out. Do ya really want to do that? Think healthcare, women's rights, Medicare and Social Security. I think party matters, and since we do not yet have an effective third party with a chance to win, I think we have to make do with Barama. Unless you really think Mitters and/or T-Paw would suddenly turn pro-choice and not cater to their tawdry base.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Karen, I couldn't get the website to accept my whole comment so I have broken it into two parts:

I must admit, after reading (Dr.) Zee, over on RealityChex, I had a couple of moments where I thought, I guess TLOTE is better than the alternative, but I am back to pinning my hopes on the Third Party candidate. I guess it is a game of "chicken" forced on us by Obama and the team. TLOTE (Mr. Lesser of Two Evils for those of you just tuning in) CAN win my vote. He just has to give me SOMETHING! (Preferably Elizabeth Warren and an independent CFPB)

I have given this A LOT of thought, and here’s my opinion (which I am the first to admit should not be confused with the truth.)

This is a really different kettle of fish than the Nader/Gore scenario as much as people want to scare those of us with the comparison. Gore didn’t have it in his power to offer the progressive wing of the Democratic Party very much in terms of proof of what his constituency could expect from him. He was Vice President - pretty much a powerless position - and all he could do was promise to do things differently than Clinton. With Gore (who I voted for by the way) we could still give him the benefit of the doubt because he hadn’t had a term as president to prove whether he was trustworthy or not.

Obama is different. We are being forced to seriously consider a Third Party candidate (or not ticking the presidential box on the ballot) because Obama refuses to throw us a few lousy bones. That is how arrogant the man is and how deeply he kneels in the thrall of his corporate masters. He won’t give his progressive base ANYTHING in return for our vote. Hey – I wouldn’t even care if the guy was beaten by the Republicans in the Senate and the blue dogs as long as he TRIED to stick up for the average citizen. But Obama is so entrenched with the bankers, the insurance companies and the CEO’s of huge corporations that he has invited them into his Cabinet and made them his advisors. How different is that from Cheney getting together with the CEO’s of Big Energy to draft energy policy? How very different is Obama from Bush when feeding the war machine by upping the ante in Afghanistan, jumping into Libya and flirting with attacking Iran in order to feed the MIC and distract the country from our economic woes? Seriously, I am worried our Nobel Peace Prize winning Prez is going to get us into a full-on war in Libya and find an excuse to attack Iran.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

(second half)

Furthermore, Democrats who will vote for Obama regardless of his selling out the Middle Class are assuming he will either finally get a heart and a conscience and stick up for the common folk (not likely in my humble opinion) or he will continue to bleed the country slowly. It never occurs that Obama could get worse with no re-election to worry about. The only legitimate argument for voting for Obama (again, in my humble opinion) is the Supreme Court. But we are all making the assumption that Obama will appoint and fight for good justices. I don’t see him nominating Elizabeth Warren to the bench if Scalia turns up his toes, do you?

I know a lot of disenchanted Democrats who have made the decision to hold their nose and vote for Obama are angry at those of us who won’t cooperate. But you might consider that we are a little frustrated with you too. If every person who feels that Obama has sold out to the oligarchy made it clear that he or she was not going to vote for him, we could stand together as a united front. If, and I’ll wager it is AT LEAST 25% of us, we actually stood together we might get him to throw us a few bones in the next year and a half. As it stands, he clearly thinks we will consider him the TLOTE.

And – again my humble opinion – 62% of the people turned out to vote in the last election because of the hope for meaningful change that Obama inspired. We usually get around 50 – 55%. Obama and those who will vote for him should be a lot more concerned about all the people in our country who won’t bother to vote at all because they have totally given up on our democracy and our government’s potential to redeem itself.

And let's be gentle and careful with loaded words like "shrill" which have the power to silence legitimate debate.

Anne Lavoie said...

Kate Madison says "We can use Sardonicky to vent and criticize, but I do not think threatening is appropriate or useful".

Threatening??? I reread all the comments and I don't see any threats made. Where on earth did you come up a threat?

"shrill", "we can take a hit", "bring it on"

Sounds like you Obama supporters are readying for War, so your support for our War(s) President is understandable. Birds of a feather.

I agree with Valerie, as usual.

Karen Garcia said...

I think Kate meant that Obama will not take threatened withdrawal of support from his previous base seriously, not that there were threats being made in this comments thread.

Obama has made a point of saying he and his family would be fine with just one term, so I think he does feel threatened but is just trying to be cool about it. But the fact that he has had to hire a White House hack to push back against progressive criticism does speak volumes.

I am not even discussing who I will vote for in 2012. The early onslaught of campaigning is too ridiculous, almost a year and half to go -- anything can happen between now and then. Never a good idea to show your cards too early, in my opinion. Keep em all guessing and keep giving them hell.

Jay - Ottawa said...

I believe the following to be factual, but correct me if I'm wrong. I value the points and rationale of all the commenters who have done serious heavy lifting on this issue.

In November 2000, Gore won the national election. He had already won Florida, as more than one independent and professional recount proved, belatedly.

Nader was not the spoiler for Gore anymore than Buchanan was for Bush. Nader (and Buchanan) brought out more voters who would otherwise not have gone to the polls. It is a mistake, therefore, to add Nader's tally in Florida to Gore's initial undercount to show how Gore, with that Nader count, could have taken Florida. Without Nader there would have been no third party count available to top off Gore's presumed undercount.

Gore and Gore's team succumbed to the fears inherent in Republican Senator Howard Baker's (fromTennessee, like Gore) warning that the country might be torn apart if one of the candidates did not cave. (Think Hayes/Tilden 1876.)

Whether in legal strategy or public relations, Warren Christopher, Gore's point man for managing the fight for the recount, was no match against Bush's street smart point man, James Baker III. Republican brown shirts set loose around recount sites in Miami lent credence to Baker's fears.

The Supreme Court, our bastion of justice and presumably more liberal then than now, suspended democracy (and state's rights over election procedures) to set aside the vote (by ignoring it) and appoint Bush president through a rushed and muddled decision. To re-read the account in Wiki is depressing. It was ugly, but it worked.

So blame Nader; don't criticize Gore's leadership at a crucial juncture; trust the Court.

Anonymous said...


Leaving Elizabeth Warren out of it, were you disappointed in Obama's two appointments to the bench? Do they vote with the right? Does your gut tell you they will vote to overturn Roe? We have some actual Obama history here which should provide a guide for what type of justice he will appoint. Does that history convince you that the next appointment will shift the court solidly right?


VLT said...


To answer your questions - I like Sotomayer and don't like Kagan. I think Elena is a politician who has spent her career not standing for much of anything. When questioned at her confirmation hearings she indicated that she supported several of the creepy Bush policies. Also, she is a little too buddy, buddy with Scalia. And yes, I think the court has definitely moved to the right as a result of the Obama appointments.

Yes, we have Obama history here. If I were only looking at the Supreme Court and judged him by his nominations, I would [probably vote for him. Kagan isn’t great but she isn’t terrible. But I am also considering who he has chosen for his advisors and members of his Cabinet. I wouldn't put it past him to nominate a pretty conservative judge to replace Scalia in order to keep the court "balanced." I also have seen how he rolls over for the oligarchy on just about every important issue and replacing this next appointment will be a really important battle for both sides. He is going to receive a lot of heat from the Republicans because it will tip the court in one direction or the other and knowing his record for caving into the right, I don’t expect him to appoint even a moderate who leans a little to the left.

As for Liz Warren – She is our most current example of Obama caving in to pressure. Here we have a highly intelligent, ethical woman who is heavily supported by his constituency and Obama is cowering behind his puppeteer, Tim Geithner. We all have our line to draw in the sand, and this is mine. No Liz Warren - no getting my vote.

The ball is in Obama's court.

Marie Burns said...

I'm glad everyone is taking this seriously, but what troubles me most about Garcia's post is that I got the same post-draft letter (twice from my friend Barack and twice from Julianna Smoot, with whom I am less close), and I have been invited to dinner with the President for a mere $5 contribution. How come Karen has to pay three times what I do? Does Obama think Karen has deeper pockets or does he just like me better? Or is it a Zip code thing?

Fortunately, I won't be forking over the $5, which saves my having to figure out what to wear.

Kate Madison said...

For committed Progressives who believe there is hope for change NOW--you can put your money (and your person) where your mouth is. I am glad to see this happening.

Kat said...

Most excellent, Karen. Except for how true it is. That part is just sad.

Jay - Ottawa said...

Friday Morning, 17 June

Very much on this topic, the New Progressive Alliance just dropped an impressive email in my in-basket about their recent organizing effort to stop the machine. If you're already subscribed to NPA, you've seen the memo. If not, check out their site, These "folks" are organized. Among other things, they are calling for volunteers and assure us they will use our time effectively. Let's show David Axelrod and Jim Messina what an energized base looks like.

mac gordon said...

What a blog, and what a pose from Obama!
Thinking of campaign appeals, a friend of mine showed me a letter she received yesterday. Personally addressed from Michelle Obama. Personally addressed to my friend, respectfully using the 'Ms' designation, it begins thus:

"When Barack and I discussed a presidential campaign in the early days of 2007, we knew we faced long odds, considerable risks and many uncertainties.
But the knowledge that mattered most - and whose truth we had only begun to appreciate - was that the possibility of helping to shape a better world our daughters was too important to pass up ... and that, no matter what, we would not be alone.
We would not be alone in our faith in what America can be, not Barack's hopes for our country, not in the demanding but joyous work of a compaign, and above all, not in the hard but incredibly rewarding responsibility of serving as President and First Lady.
Mary, on trying days and on days of triumph - from the earliest moments when we faced long odds to the day Barack was sworn in as President and through all the days since - people like you have been with us.
Today we need you with us once more, for the challenge isn't merely to win a campaign. It's to win the future.
[There is then an appeal for $s]
This campaign will be tough - even tougher than the last one. It will take all we have - all our energy, all our commitment - not just to win this campaign but to win the future. But we can prevail the same way we did in the last one: together.
Thank you for being there for us and for our country's future."

Talk about 'News of the Weird'!

Karen Garcia said...

I got another strange letter from Julianna Smoot, again for the contribution to the win a dinner gimmick. She mentioned that although she has worked for Obama for five years, she has never once sat down to dinner with him, as so many of the faithful are now being invited to pay to do. To me, this just says he is a cold boss and just not that into his employees.
That letter from Michelle was indeed strange. This is getting more cultish by the day! They don't even pretend to attempt new phraseology.

I don't know why, but I always get hit up for the $15 figure. I think they base it on how much you donated during the last campaign, which in my case was $75 in dribs and drabs.

Anonymous said...


We agree there is a left and right to this court - right? Other than the (two I think) unanimous decisions so far, Kagan and Sotomayer align with the left. Kagen has fewer in number because she had to recuse herself from about half the cases. I don't take the nomination hearings too seriously. Unless there is some kind of a huge explosion it is all pretty much kubuki theater. Hell, Clarence Thomas had never even given one moment's thought to abortion. What a joke. Finally, what is important is the vote - left side (with Breyer), right side (with Scalia). Obama's two nominations fall on the left. It's hard for me to argue with that.

I suggested we leave Warren aside because I wanted to focus on the court and she is not going to be nominated for the court. I completely agree as to her great accomplishments and perfect match for the job and I think that it makes very good political sense for Obama to nominate her. She will, of course, go down in flames. I guess I'm too pragmatic as I'm hoping her second in command (I've heard she has hired a lot of very good people) will get thru the senate. I hope the commission weathers the storm. I hope we ALL weather the storm.

As to your hope of a new Progressive party... sorry I can't share your enthusiasm. Feingold is fantastic, but he couldn't even win his seat in the formerly sane state of WISCONSIN! Sweet Jesus! Minnesota loves Bachmann!

I see great danger here. I don't understand this gleeful pursuit of moronic campaign solicitations.


VLT said...


Can you explain what you meant by "I see great danger here. I don't understand this gleeful pursuit of moronic campaign solicitations." Your last paragraph was a little confusing to me.

I don't believe Elizabeth Warren will go down in flames. She is a very believable person and her message is simple – two things that appeal to voters who are manipulated by television media. There are lots of people who hate the big bankers right now on both sides. And if it is handled right – 1) keep hammering home the message Elizabeth Warren is on the side of Main Street and 2) asking why those Senators are voting against someone who is trying to help average Americans 3) even name names - She could be confirmed. THAT is why Obama and his banker masters don't want her even nominated. What if her agency actually works? People might think that SOME government agencies are actually worth having and might ask for more. And then the whole "government is the problem" house of cards could come tumbling down.

And as I wrote before, the Obama camp needs to be a lot more concerned about the people like my brother who won't even bother to vote because he has totally lost hope. In his mind, he is already living in the early days of an oligarchic dictatorship and there is little difference between Obama and the Republicans. At least people like me are still trying to fight the good fight.

And Kate, I will seriously try to be there on October 11. I am "in" as much as I can possibly be "in" at this time. I spoke to my husband about flying to Wisconsin to take part there but we couldn’t swing it. Hopefully, we can manage it in October because we have time to plan and get cheap tickets. Glad to have the “heads up.”

Anonymous said...


The great danger is the Right - right here, in this country. 2012 may be theirs. The whole kit and kaboodle. It will be jobs, jobs, jobs. The economy is not going to get better, and may be a whole lot worse. Greece may default and the fools in Congress may not raise the debt ceiling. That nifty number may have consequences that we cannot BEGIN to imagine. Yes, that scares the shit out of me. To top it off, Obama has lost you and millions more and Michelle has them screaming with joy down in New Orleans. That, Valerie, precludes me getting too exorcised about a stupid campaign solicitation. Speaking of such...have to seen the ad running against the Dem in Jane Harmon's old district? NOW that's a piece that deserves Karen's attention!

As for Warren and the flames, I cannot believe you think she will get through the Senate. Hell, 99% of Americans have no idea who she is, and 100% of the Republicans HATE her. And now it's PERSONAL after that despicable hearing where she had the temerity to "talk back" to a congressional committee. You know they doubled-down....Issa has announced he wants her for a Full day. As to Obama not wanting her, I don't believe that. For support, I point to her agency and I point to her job. They exist. Until this plays out, I think that carries more weight than the "bank masters" idea. Yes, I'm putting that in quotes and without apology. Czars, puppet masters, bank masters, et al. had their birth on Fox news. I'm sick of the easy rhetoric.

Valerie, I really don't want to crush your optimism and natural good cheer, but the only way you can fight the good fight is with an AK47. These guys play hard, play dirty, don't apolgize, and I think they are going to win.


P.S. If Warren gets confirmed, I'll send $100 (it will make me that happy) to the charity of your choice.

Kate Madison said...

To the hopeful progressives who will not vote for Obama if he disappoints them AGAIN--by not appointing Elizabeth Warren--which I must add will be terribly upsetting to me, too!

I just read this comment on the NYT blog about Michele Bachmann. Make of it what you will. It scares the shit out of ME!

..."Michelle is a wild-card, but a cool wild-card. She's ten times as smart as Palin. And easily as smart as Obama.

She'd make a good VP for Romney. I am a liberal Democrat who worked for Obama in 2007, before the Iowa caucuses, but he sold us down the river in favor of his banker fans.

Anybody but Obama in 2012. It'd be hilarious to see Romney & Bachman send Obama & Biden back into the arms of the bankers they love so much.

Back to me in reality: Hilarious? Come again? AND THEN WHAT?

VLT said...


I don't think Warren will be confirmed without TLOTE's support - which is why I am questioning why Obama is leaving her out on a limb. The Prez appoints her to head an agency, lets her work her heart out for a cause she believes in, watches her succeed and then doesn't stick up for her when she needs him most. I find that despicable, and quite frankly, I am wondering why you don't see it as despicable too.

Who knows why the Prez appointed Warren - He probably thought he could look like he was supporting the Dodd/Frank bill. He certainly hasn't done a thing to support her or the CFPB. Quite frankly, I think Obama underestimated Warren's popularity and her ability to attract enough talent to get the bureau up and going. I think he thought that he could sit back and the House Financial Services Committee would do its dirty work out of the public eye. But Obama underestimated Warren and the people who had her back. Just of interest, have you written to the Prez or made any effort to get him to support Warren? Or is your indignation just directed at me?

If Obama doesn't get re-elected it is HIS fault not mine and not anyone who has had enough of his collusion with the oligarchy. Ned, you need to stop blaming those of us who are taking a stand - and start blaming the person who is really at fault here. All Obama needs to do is give us SOMETHING.

For someone who applauded the Wisconsin protests - people who were losing their rights, decided to organise, present a united front and say “No more!” - You sure are willing to wave the white flag awfully early on.


Anonymous said...


Please know that there is no indignation directed at you. Nor am I blaming you. But I think your decision to not vote for Obama is very wrong. I think this country is in great danger if it falls into Republican hands and I think you may learn, too late, that there is a great difference between Obama and whatever slug gets the Republican nomination. I think his administration is on its way to failure but he didn't plan it that way. I think he has made some bad political calculations. I think the Senate minority and Blue Dogs have made his life hell. I think Republicans have a lot more balls than Democrats. I think the fourth estate is dying - except for Fox which is thriving. I think an awful lot of people are dumb or don't care. I think there are a lot of really smart people who disagree with me. I think Obama knows and is very worried that he has lost his base.

I have written and called.

As to that white flag....I'm dancing with the gal that brung me (oh we miss you, Molly)and I'm not carrying no white flag.


Anonymous said...

This made my morning. Thanks. I hope you keep writing.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I'm a Democrat who will not vote for Obama again. The only way to hold politicians accountable is to have them lose. It's the only way. There is no other way. You can complain and whine and write emails and plaintive sardonic blog posts all you want. You are dreaming if you think any of that actually matters. THE ONLY REAL POWER YOU HAVE AS A CITIZEN IS WHEN YOU VOTE. THAT'S HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS. YOU HAVE NO OTHER REAL POWER.

By limiting BO to a single term, you are sending the only kind of message a politician understands. In order to win the next time around, he/she will have to do things differently. And if a Republican wins, frankly things won't be much different from BO and people will be hungry for a real Democrat in 4 years.

This business of 'the lesser of two evils' is just a sad intellectual rationalization to justify doing evil as the 'realistic' choice. As if supporting illegal war, persecution of whistle-blowing, bending over for your corporate masters, etc, etc, and generally lying about everything is 'realistic'. The fact that Obama is ostensibly a Democrat just gives him cover to do Republican things and have his Kool-Aid swilling fan club love him for it. The only thing more warped than the inside of Sarah Palin's mind is the inside of a Democrat's mind who rationalizes Obama's behavior and votes in its favor. But I guess that's what love does to you, huh?

I think Obama will win in 2012 because the rest of the field is a joke, but he won't win with my vote and he shouldn't win with yours.

Jay - Ottawa said...

This ain't my house or my gig for to say this, FWIW, but I sure am grateful you stopped by with that comment. I hope you stick around.

The war against political amnesia and compromise ne plus ultra at home is just about as hard to tackle as the wispy war on terrorism. We need more voters who believe in consequences for lies and betrayals. I too have no intention of buying into the Stockholm Syndrome come 2012.

On another matter during the colloquy between VLT and Ned, please help me out. Where is the "left" on this Court. I see the Right and the right leaning Middle-of-the-Roaders much more than any left. Brennan went home ages ago, you are aware?

OK, Ginsberg. She was the only dissenter in a recent 8-1 decision, described by Linda Greenhouse a month or so ago in the Times. Obama's picks stood with Roberts on that case, on what I recall, without a lookup right now, was a fundamental individual rights case. But does one frail lefty, Ginsberg, hanging on heroically despite her health constitute "a left"?

That said, does any tough-minded "realist" out there suppose TLOTE, if given the chance, would even appoint -- never mind fight for -- a judge who has a record of protecting the interests of the common man or woman?

The best that TLOTE can do is what he's done.

Karen Garcia said...

If Romney or Huntsman win in 2012 it won't make much difference. Obama was not about to give up the imperialistic powers handed to him on a silver platter by Bush and Cheney by reining in the security state and international aggression, let alone actually prosecuting them for war crimes -- nor will the next guy. (maybe a woman will change things in 2016).

The only way to vote is to vote your own conscience. If you think it's OK for the FBI to spy on you because you might commit a crime sometime in the future, by all means vote for Obama. If you're so rich you can live with Social Security cuts and the raising of the retirement age, then he is your man. So is any Republican.

With any luck the Democrats will retake the House next year and exert a little more control over this imperial executive branch. Best thing we can do is concentrate on getting progressives, preferably socialists in the vein of Bernie Sanders, in at the local level. As far as Republicans going after Obama at this point are concerned, let them have at him, regardless of their evil intent. He has shown he can be partisan and despotic when he needs to be (Libya), so his persona as a great consensus builder has once and for all been proven bogus. He serves himself and his corporate masters.

The "progressive" name, meantime,has been co-opted by the meat puppets of the DNC. Think Daily Kos. Anybody still claiming to believe Obama is even remotely interested in progressive causes, or that his innate liberalism is being thwarted by his political enemies, is either lying or seriously deluded.

VLT said...

Wow! Great comments, everyone! (And that includes you, Ned.) I have learned so much and have been given so much” food for thought!” Thanks, Jay, for keeping up with the SC rulings. Your input was very informative. While I already had formed ideas on this issue, this debate has forced me to really think about my decision and refine my opinions.

While I don't think anyone writing in has changed sides, this kind of debate brings all the good arguments out into the open. My League of Women Voters side really is impressed. This is the kind of debate that SHOULD be taking place in a democracy. Thank you so much, Karen, for providing are rare venue and excellent moderation.

Anonymous said...


I am aware of that 8-1 decision. I am aware Brennan has left the court. You cite ONE case. Perhaps every ruling is litmus for you. I will cite the following cases:

Citizens: in opposition: Stevens, Breyer, Soto, and Ginsburg.
The miranda/minor case: Soto, Gins, Breyer, Kagan, Kennedy
Mutual Fund case: Breyer, Soto, Kagan, Ginsberg
AZ illegal immigrants case: Breyer, Soto, Ginsberg - Kagan recused
Crowded prisions case: Kennedy, Ginsberg, Soto, Kagen, Breyer

If you can't see left from right here, it is foolish of me to indulge in any argument. Have a conversation with any legal expert in the country - left or right - I do believe they will be able to tell left from right. Sorry you can't.


Anonymous said...


If you will permit me one more point. I don't like to make assumptions, but I'm pretty sure you would consider yourself on the left. Now consider those cases I cited. How would you have voted? Would that vote align Breyer, Kagan, Ginsberg, Soto? Or would your vote align with Scalia, Thomas, et. al? Let me know and then maybe we can agree to call the side that captured your vote - the left.


Jay - Ottawa said...

I didn't mean to ignore -- or run from -- your comments of June 20, Ned. I thought we had moved on to other posts, and I just happened upon your comments late on the 22nd.

That there is a pro or con, affirm or deny, a majority and a minority in split decisions does not mean that one side is the Right and the other is the Left. It might be a handy conflation for some, but I don't buy it. Some kind of logical fallacy requiring a redefinition of terms. Something like TLOTE's recent play of words to avoid the terms of the War Powers Act. We mustn't use cheap tricks like that here on Sardonicky.

Kennedy is regarded as the swing vote. Should he be listed among your Team Left?

Wouldn't you agree that in the past thirty years the true left is in retreat on the Court? What's vaguely Left is herded into one dissent after another on key matters affecting regular people. And some in that grouping are soft Left at best.

On that May decision, Kentucky v King, Ginsberg was the only dissenter. Kagan and Sotomayor, siding with Scalia, Roberts et al, helped to shred the Fourth Amendment (search & seizure) right to privacy. It's OK for police to knock on your door, imagine that they hear evidence being destroyed, and so, based on suspicion or pretext, can smash their way in without need for a warrant. 8 to 1 just said they trust the cops to play fair. That is an astounding new development in American jurisprudence, as commentators like Linda Greenhouse wrote in the Times.

The real Left is mostly in Court history. The so-called Left still on the Court is soft and sometimes disappears, as in Kentucky v King. The Left in that case was a total of One. Do you think TLOTE's next appointment to the Bench will be as tough as Ginsberg? Or more like Kagan?

O dear me, yes, every ruling is a litmus test for me. But I also keep a cumulative tally of all those pink and blue litmus strips, and keep track of just whose ox keeps getting gored. Trends, that kind of stuff. Rights long established are steadily being decided away. But perhaps you haven't noticed that shift yet. A real Left could stop it, even reverse it; but there is no such force on the Court. Maybe you can see things the rest of us cannot.

I don't confuse affirmations and dissents with Rights and Lefts, moving my own center of justice and fair play to some ever-shifting middle ground between Scalia and Ginsberg. Common people are now and have been for a long time ending up with the short end of the stick, economically and in rights.

Surely you will agree that the entire spectrum of opinions on the Court has shifted massively to the conservative end of the scale. The remnant worthy of the label 'Left' has not pulled the spectrum any more to the Left. So what is "Right" today is way, way to the right, no? And what is termed "Left" today by so many forgetful people -- or with a con up their sleeve -- is really Center or Center Right. And sometimes Right!

Since TLOTE has not appointed real Lefties to the bench so far, I doubt he would in the future. By every other standard of measure he has betrayed the interests of millions of common men and women. He is not a man of the Left, i.e., a man of the people. He is not even Bush lite anymore, having bested Bush on many fronts at victimizing little people at home and abroad. His court will reflect his views.

So please don't confuse a few weak reeds on the Court for a Left worthy of the name. And please stop selling me TLOTE on the steps of the Court.