Sunday, October 18, 2009

BETTER THAN I HAVE

Here's an article making the points I've been making since before the last election and in response to those who continue to contend (and in my perspective pretend) that there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans etc., only doing it better than I have.

11 comments:

Butch in Waukegan said...

No serious person would agree that there are “no difference between Democrats and Republicans”. Setting up the question so critics of Obama and Democrats have to defend an hyperbole is a straw man —there are differences, ergo support the Democrats.

It would be better to question what are the differences between actual policies, and are these differences substantial.

For instance, what are the differences between the Republicans and Democrats with regard to Afghanistan? (In this case there are 3 players. Obama seems closer to the Republicans.) Are Democrats significantly better on Afghanistan than the Republicans? If you think so, how are they?

Same for the economy and Goldman Sachs ( the two are inseparable ). What are the differences and how are they important?

Unless one can offer specific, positive, fact-based reasons to support Democrats, it quickly descends to a “but they are not Republicans” justification. This gets us no where.

(Also, I think its time to question the article of faith that Obama is a great politician because he’s a good speaker. His signature domestic initiative, health care reform, is a cluster if there ever was one. Seriously, knowing what we know about Obama now, who thinks he would have been able to get the Voting Rights Bill or Great Society bills passed if he was in Johnson’s shoes?)

harryn said...

truthout nails it again - but you've been doing a pretty fine job of shining the light ...

Lally said...

Thanks Paul, as for Butch, either you never read the article I linked to above, or you are deliberately ignoring the points it makes and the points I've made. If there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans than there wouldn't be any difference in their votes in Congress. If their policies on Afghanistan were the same then Obama would have already sent 40,000 more troops as the military commander there has asked for and as McCain says he would have done already had he been elected. And so on endlessly. Yes Obama needs to be pressured from the left so that all the pressure's not just coming from the right while the left whines and threatens to drop their support for Obama and give up. Which means the rightwing, as has been proven for the past several decades, ends up winning not because they have a majority among the people (who in almost every survey agree with the "liberal" or "progressive" side on almost every issue—i.e. gay rights, environment, healthcare, etc.) but because the right don't stop supporting their candidates even when they don't come through with their political goals (e.g. banning abortions, allowing prayer in school classrooms, etc. etc.). That's how they've managed to control the politics and the media in this country even though they've always represented a small minority and still do.

JIm said...

Inadequate Analysis of Media and Current Political Trends

“By the end of the 12-year Reagan-Bush-41 reign, the Right had assembled an impressive media arsenal – and the Left continued its unilateral disarmament. “ Robert Parry
More nonsensical quotes are refuted below.

This statement is silly on the merits. The left had National Public Radio and TV plus, CBS, NBC, ABC, NYT, Washington Post, Boston Globe etc,etc. Rush began broadcasting in the late 80’s and single handily rescued AM radio. Fox New started in approximately 1996. About the only national outlet the right had prior to Rush, Rush imitators and Fox News was the Wall Street Jr. Op Ed page. Since the WStJr’s target audience is tiny and specialized compared to the combined national media that existed at that time it was an uneven fight. If the merits of liberal vs. Conservative ideas are to be measured by circulation and ratings, liberals are getting trounced. Republicans lost at the ballot box because they abandoned fiscal responsibility and acted like Democrats lite. The names Snowe, Collins and Spector, McCain, Bob Dole come to mind as examples of Democrat light or RINOS.

This is a false statement. Numerous news agencies recounted the election in Florida and Bush won every recount.
“So, there was little outrage on the Left when Bush stole the presidency by preventing a full recount of votes in Florida. Some Nader supporters told me it wasn’t worth protesting because there was no meaningful difference between the two candidates”

This is another false statement. The Tea Party spark was actually lit byRick Santelli on CNBC in February. Tea Parties sprung up all over the country. I attended two of them in the Winter/ Spring in Denver. The outrage was against big spenders and taxers in both political parties.
“As this summer’s angry health-care town halls showed, the Right’s media -- led by Fox News and talk radio -- can be used to popularize right-wing arguments and bring out people to rallies, much as WBCN and other left- wing media outlets did over the Vietnam War nearly 40 years ago.”
Independents and Conservatives are angry at the run away spending, neglect of the economy and job growth. There is no indication that the Democrats will change their focus and end their war against American business and job growth. Hopefully this will be fixed at the ballot box next year with the election of many conservatives.

Note: One of the more recent surveys counted liberals at 20% of the population with Conservatives at 40%.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Which means the rightwing, as has been proven for the past several decades, ends up winning not because they have a majority among the people . . . but because the right don't stop supporting their candidates even when they don't come through with their political goals (e.g. banning abortions, allowing prayer in school classrooms, etc. etc.). That's how they've managed to control the politics and the media in this country even though they've always represented a small minority and still do.

How have the right wing won? They haven’t on the 2 issues you mentioned - abortion and prayer? These issues, like gay rights for the Democrats, are the shiny keys the party jingle in front of their base, to be deferred until the next election. Not only do the right wing not “have a majority among the people”, the Democrats have overwhelming control of the government. Obama and the Democrats are calling the shots.

The most pressing domestic issue is the economy, which includes health care. Obama and the Democrats have turned the economy over to Goldman Sachs. and other big banks. The banks are robbing us blind.

What are we to do? According to you we should not “stop supporting [Obama and the Democrats] even when they don't come through with their political goals”. You have our vote, fellows, great job. Don’t worry, we won’t criticize you. See you in 2 years.

I guess this is why I don't remember you ever offering a criticism of Obama or the Democrats. Am I wrong?

This is a winning strategy? This will stop bank pillaging, job loss, foreclosures? This is democracy?

Anonymous said...

those farmer's who started the Society of the Grange wer probably aware that there was a difference between republicans and democrats, but that they both supported the design of the Banks and the Railroads that were screwing them. We have the right to organize and participate in our Gov't. After all the principle is to have a Gov't of the People, By the People, and For the People, not Buy the Go'vt.Will it be, Yes we can, or no we won't?

JIm said...

Butch,
I suspect the failure of Republicans at the ballot box in 2006 and 2008 could at least partially be attributed to the disgust of Conservatives with Republicans losing their way fiscally. Earmarks disgust many on the left and the right. Republicans were certainly guilty of abuse. Democrats were guilty of it but we expect that of Democrats. Republican voters expect better behaviour from their leaders.

Butch in Waukegan said...

If their [Obama administration] policies on Afghanistan were the same then Obama would have already sent 40,000 more troops as the military commander there has asked for and as McCain says he would have done already . . ..

Actually there are reports that McChrystal is asking for as much as 60,000. At any rate Obama will send more troops, he just hasn’t made a decision on how many to deploy in his “necessary war.”

That doesn’t mean Obama hasn’t escalated. Jane Mayer, in The New Yorker:
The U.S. government runs two drone programs. The military’s version, which is publicly acknowledged, operates in the recognized war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and targets combatants in support of U.S. troops stationed there. The C.I.A.’s program is aimed at terror suspects around the world, including in places where U.S. troops are not based. The program is classified as covert, and the C.I.A. declines to provide any information to the public about where it operates, how it selects targets, who is in charge, or how many people have been killed. Nevertheless, reports of fatal air strikes in Pakistan emerge every few days. According to a new study by the New America Foundation, the number of drone strikes has gone up dramatically since Obama became President. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, the defense contractor that manufactures the Predator and its more heavily armed sibling, the Reaper, can barely keep up with the government’s demand.

So what will be your response once Obama announces how many troops he will deploy? Thanks for waiting? Thanks for not sending more?

JFK knew that Vietnam was unwinnable. Eventually Johnson did too. They kept at the war for the exactly the same rationale you are advocating - don’t give your political enemies an advantage. Many, many people died.

I think we should leave the “graveyard of empires” as soon as possible.

Lally said...

Butch, Yeah right, I've been advocating the Johnson strategy in Nam for Obama to emulate in Afghanistan. Nice straw man argument. We should have gotten out of Viet Nam as fast as we could, but not as we ended up doing. Any instant withdrawal from Afghanistan will mean the certain death of thousands, if not more, of supporters of change and anti-Taliban policies etc. including many many women activists or just plain women who have dared to challenge the Taliban dress code etc., let alone those who actively worked with "our" side since the Bush administration invaded their country to overthrow the Taliban. Your idealism is commendable and I share many of your goals, at least as you seem to imply them in your constant criticisms, but achieving them seems to be based, in your mind, on some sort of instant dictatorial whim rather than real world realities. I believe Obama is trying to figure out a way to withdraw all our troops from that part of the world, if not elsewhere as well, but he knows that he cannot accomplish this without support in Congress, in the military, among our allies, and most of all from the public, and the left does not help that cause by abandoning him prematurely because he hasn't accomplished 100 per cent of some particular person's (in this case yours) idea of what a "progressive" agenda should accomplish.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Obama campaigned on Afghanistan being a war of necessity.

Obama chose McChrystal to direct the war.

McChrystal's strategy is to escalate to "win" in Afghanistan. He and his advisors have stated we will be there for 10 to 50 years.

How can you believe Obama is trying to withdraw?

Butch in Waukegan said...

Mike, I think this is clever and very funny. You will too.