Democrats & Liberals Archives

Can a Campaign Become a Movement, or at Least an Engaged Citizenry?

The election of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States raises the hopes of many (in the U.S. and internationally) for a change in course from unilateralism to cooperation; from concentration of power and economic resources in the hands of the few to a more equitable balance; from continued erosion of Constitutional protections and imbalance to justice; from more than a generation of “me” to a reinvigorating of “we.”

A lot of hope. However the true question is whether a citizenry that actively engaged for a campaign will remain engaged for the changes that must happen.

Obama has become an icon since accepting his party's nomination. On one hand an icon of hope and progress, on the other a demon set to undermine the "American way." Underneath that he is a human being with strengths and weaknesses, susceptible to the same forces as any of us. The question is how much of his integrity will resist the erosive force of the power he will soon wield?

Since the first Clinton administration, the Democratic party's response has been to "lead toward the center." Meanwhile, the Republican party's response has been to run to the right. Within that long strategy, the center has moved further and further right, and more and more into the sphere of corporate interest and influence. Witness that both Obama and McCain volubly supported the $700 billion (plus) bailout of Wall Street and financial interests, while touting the struggling "Main Street." We cannot be "centrists' at this critical moment for the life of the planet and those upon it.

Many of us have been under no illusions of the "radical" leanings of Obama. It became obvious that Clinton and Obama were only fingernails apart in their positions during the primaries - Clinton is an avowed centrist (as Bill became while in office). This is not to denigrate the other character and experiential strengths that Obama brings to the White House. However, in terms of policy, he is not "left" or even "progressive" despite McCain campaign rhetoric that he is a "socialist."

The messages sent during the Obama campaign raise worries for many - particularly in his role of Commander in Chief. While ardently arguing for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, he embraced Afghanistan as a "just war." While promoting negotiation and collaboration, he also argued he would engage in unilateral, preemptive military strikes. He moved further and further into the full embrace of unquestioned support for Israel.

Throughout the campaign, Obama collected an entourage of advisors. Now he evaluates who will move to positions of power within the Obama administration. His first choice of Rahm Emanuel is telling regarding the influence of existing Democratic party power brokers (the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)). The DLC describes itself as a "centrist" Democratic organization to which Obama was connected though not involved in 2007, but now apparently embraces. Emanuel is a significant figure within the DLC (and seen as an "enforcer" by many).

The pressure is on Obama to move to the defined "center," but can he resist doing so? I believe that he can with the citizenry as an active, vocal force behind him. Either the powerful engagement of the people in the Obama campaign must remain active participants in the dialogues, or there is a need to transform a political campaign into a social movement. As the house continues to collapse around us, we need bold action - not the promise of action. Obama has a mandate and the hopes of the world riding on his shoulders. He needs to take that momentum to first recraft the direction of the Democratic party leadership and power brokers or he will be stymied by his own party before he ever takes the oath of office.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at November 8, 2008 11:47 AM
Comments
Comment #269955

Rowan, the greatest obstacle in Obama’s way of improving our nation’s future, is going to be the Democratic Party itself. The Democratic Party has proven time and again, that it exists for one primary purpose, to secure and hold power. The nation, her people, and their future are all secondary to this raison d’etre (reason for existing) of the Democratic Party.

Will congressional Democrats be willing to risk election in 2010 in order to invest in our nation’s future and progress that can only be measured in years and decades? Or, will Congressional Democrats givaway the future health of our nation in order to secure from their constiutents enough votes to remain in office another 2 or 6 years?

I think history answers that question rather completely.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2008 12:29 PM
Comment #269958

DRR,

You need to take some Proazk…that response to Rowan was about as depressing as anything I’ve seen out of you. I understand your concerns, and even share some…it is easy for a president to lose his way when he walks in the stratosphere, but I think Obama can handle it. I have a lot more faith in the system than I should, by far, but to dwell on the negatives seems a horrible waste.

Democrats currently in office are not there for idealistic reasons, we all know that…but, cross your fingers, the ‘bully pulpit’ can restore some idealism, and Obama has proven, so far, to be pragmatic in his approches to problems.

The glass is half full…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 8, 2008 12:57 PM
Comment #269960


Rowan:

The economy will improve and that is probably all that Obama and the Democrats need to stay in power over the next 2 or 6 years.

The Democrats can and will govern from the center-right and most of the liberals will defend their actions.

Perhaps Obama will feel some obligation to the many Americans that contributed small amounts to his campaign or those who believed his messenger of change campaign but, the Congressional Democrats are far more obligated to the corporations than the people who voted for them. This is especially true when the politicians know, for a fact, that partisan voters are willing to reward corruption with reelection.


Posted by: jlw at November 8, 2008 1:29 PM
Comment #269961

david

” The Democratic Party has proven time and again, that it exists for one primary purpose, to secure and hold power.”

won’t argue with this. they will also need to adress problems like illegal immigration. doing what needs to be done will go against thier own instinct for self preservation, as they see illegal aliens as a new pool of votes. a double edged sword if you will.

Posted by: dbs at November 8, 2008 1:45 PM
Comment #269962

Rowan wrote; “However, in terms of policy, he (Obama) is not “left” or even “progressive”…

One can hope that’s true Rowan as I certainly do. Are you suggesting that Mr. Obama should abandon the campaign positions that got him elected? How dishonest and confusing would that be for his supporters and the nation?

Rowan also writes; “Since the first Clinton administration, the Democratic party’s response has been to “lead toward the center.” Meanwhile, the Republican party’s response has been to run to the right. Within that long strategy, the center has moved further and further right, and more and more into the sphere of corporate interest and influence.

You are somewhat correct in saying that the center is moving to the right and very wrong in saying that the Republican party is running to the right. The party has been moving to the left and consequently is loosing elections. A conservative candidate would never have approved this bailout scheme.

And…please understand, Mr. McCain is not a conservative.

Posted by: Jim M at November 8, 2008 1:49 PM
Comment #269964

I wonder how Obama will deal with his Democratic, Liberal election and an expectation that he will enact and deliver on many of the promises he made to his party (I agree with Jim M here, how can abandon what got him elected?). But I am wondering more how the United States can move left of center while France, Italy, Germany, and potentially England are all moving right of center.

Posted by: Honest at November 8, 2008 2:00 PM
Comment #269965

Marysdude, you object to my comment without answering the central thesis question in it:

“Will congressional Democrats be willing to risk election in 2010 in order to invest in our nation’s future and progress that can only be measured in years and decades?”

Answer that question honestly, and then see if you still have a leg to stand on in objecting to the thesis of my comment that Obama’s biggest obstacle to improving the nation will be the Democratic Party itself.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2008 2:01 PM
Comment #269968

Jim M,

I don’t think Rowan was talking about the conservative right, I’m pretty sure she meant the fundamentalist right. Frankly, I think the Republican party has forgotten everything it had in its platform when Abe helped draw it up…Hoover killed that part of the party, with slight resurrections under Reagan (who forgot that the bills would eventually come due, and continued to grow government while attempting to cut taxes).

Now spending more, while taking in less has become one of the planks in the platform.

Falwell and Robertson created a black hole in your party and conservatives fell into it. Probably the very reason the party lost its way…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 8, 2008 2:08 PM
Comment #269969

DRR,

I said nothing against your thesis…my objection was to your tone. It sounded like the world was coming to an end…uhoh! do you know something the rest of us don’t?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 8, 2008 2:12 PM
Comment #269970

Jim M said McCain would win. Why should anyone give his comment credence now, that the GOP isn’t running to the right. Especially when the exit polls demonstrate that Republicans ran toward Palin, not McCain, and that was a clear run to the RIGHT, not the center.

Many Republicans are, as we type, looking at the potential of a Palin run for 2012. If that isn’t running to the Right, I don’t know what is. The Right on cultural issues, the right on values issues, the right on religious issues, the right on Constitutional issues. I can’t say that is a run to the Right on Economic issues, because Palin hasn’t anymore clue the field of economics than her running mate had. But, surely, her supporters will expect her to run on trickle down supply side economic fantasy.

So, yes, a great many, likely a majority of Republicans are running to the right. The one’s who aren’t, supported Obama, like:

Colin Powell,

Jim Leach (former Republican Representative)

Susan Eisenhower (Policy Expert, Author and Granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower)

Tag Tognalli (Executive Assistant to Connecticut Director of the ‘84 Reagan-Bush campaign)

Joel Haugen (Republican Candidate for Congress)

Bruce Bartlett (Domestic policy advisor to President Reagan)

Delbert Spurlock (Assistant Secretary of the Army under President Reagan), and many others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2008 2:14 PM
Comment #269971

Marysdude, you sure read a WHOLE LOT of tone into some very straight forward objective words and sentences.

Try taking words at their face value, and you may not have to backtrack like this on your replies.

So, do you agree that the The Democratic Party may be Obama’s biggest obstacle to progress for the nation going forward? Or will you not answer this question like you didn’t the previous one?

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2008 2:17 PM
Comment #269972

Remer wrote; “Jim M said McCain would win. Why should anyone give his comment credence now, that the GOP isn’t running to the right. Especially when the exit polls demonstrate that Republicans ran toward Palin, not McCain, and that was a clear run to the RIGHT, not the center.

Having the candidate I supported defeated is hardly evidence that my comments lack credence. If Remer believed that Gore or Kerry would win then his comments also would lack credence…right?

The GOP has not been lead by conservatives since Reagan and Gingrich. Would any of you argue that Bush was a conservative? Hardly!

As to Governor Palin, she was not at the top of the ticket. Had a conservative in the Reagan mold been at the top of the ticket the outcome could have been much different. That Palin attracted conservative voters is not disputed, that McCain is a conservative is disputed. McCain is a Republican…not a conservative.

The GOP, as a party, has been moving left and the nation, as a whole, has remained a little right of center.

Posted by: Jim M at November 8, 2008 3:01 PM
Comment #269978

Here’s part of an interesting take on the election of Mr. Obama.

Election Lessons From Michael Crichton
by S. E. Cupp


“In warning Jurassic Park scientists that they failed to consider the greater implications of playing god with genetics, Jeff Goldblum’s character says, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

This is a fitting metaphor for the Obama campaign. He was the embodiment of so many utopian hopes and promises – the face and voice of a new America – that at some point along the way he stopped being a candidate and became a concept. His inarguable lack of experience, his unseemly relationships, his troublesome voting record, a long list of questionable decisions and statements – all seeming non-issues to those who supported him. Whether it was young voters and black voters, both of which turned out in record numbers, Democratic and Republican elected officials who wanted a stake in the made-for-Hollywood Obama narrative, his countless celebrity supporters, or his allies in the media, some of whom admitted they threw objectivity out the window for him, it seemed as though there was a point at which his presidency became a pre-destined inevitability.

Momentum gained and steamrolled over nonbelievers with unstoppable speed, and somewhere between his explosive DNC speech and the creepy video of 8-year-old Obama supporters singing his praise, it was clear that reason and healthy skepticism were but relics of a Jurassic era – specifically, 2004 – when we collectively looked at the promising senator from Illinois as a man, not a mandate.

And the question of whether or not America would actually elect an untested candidate to the highest office in the land based solely on his inspiring rhetoric and infomercial promises, buried its roots deep into the socio-political soil of the country’s center-left, and even became an international point of speculation. Obama supporters essentially went on auto-pilot, and focused intently and passionately on the question, “can we?” and forgot about “should we?” And at every turn Obama was there to answer back with an assuring and resounding “Yes We Can!””

From; http://townhall.com/columnists/SECupp/2008/11/07/election_lessons_from_michael_crichton

Posted by: Jim M at November 8, 2008 4:03 PM
Comment #269980

Rowan good article.

DRR the democrats in Congress will be the biggest stumbling block to progress for Obama and we the people. But what will be realized by this stumbling block is the fact that the dems are only slightly less owned by the corporate and foreign lobbyist than the repubs in Congress. That is just the sad facts of the situation. Until our politicians can get elected without corporate money the only difference will be which lobbyist gave the most to the winning party and for what reason. Those that pay get their voices heard and are favored when laws are decided.
As Rowan said “However the true question is whether a citizenry that actively engaged for a campaign will remain engaged for the changes that must happen.” If not then it will be little that will change as far as favoring the people of this country over the corporations and foreign lobbyist.

I still find it amazing the repubs and conservatives favor the corporations after being on the short end of the stick this election cycle.IMHO the issue of corporate interference with our system of government is the issue those of us with opposing liberal/conservative viewpoints can work together on to restore our government to some semblance of representative democracy.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 8, 2008 4:32 PM
Comment #269984

“Obama has become an icon”

icon, noun

1. a picture, image, or other representation.
2. Eastern Church. a representation of some sacred personage, as Christ or a saint or angel, painted usually on a wood surface and venerated itself as sacred.
3. a sign or representation that stands for its object by virtue of a resemblance or analogy to it.
Origin: 1565–75; L - Gk eikon likeness, image, figure

Posted by: ohrealy at November 8, 2008 5:44 PM
Comment #269988

I think that people are rather grotesquely overestimating the amount of power a US President genuinely has.

Whoever holds the job is routinely called “the most powerful man in the world,” but that is really just because the United States is the most powerful country in the world. Unlike a third world dictator, a president doesn’t really “run the country,” and can in fact do nothing at all without a huge amount of cooperation from a whole lot of people who aren’t inclined to give it. In the meantime, large groups of people always want you to do something completely different from what you are actually doing, and they have numerous ways of punishing you.

In Obama’s case, that will include the 46% of American voters who never wanted him for president, members of both the opposition party and his own party, the competing special interests which are part of his party’s base, the Supreme Court, the US Constitution, business leaders, foreign leaders, terrorists, and everyone in between.

He will have more than the usual means at his disposal for trying to influence all of these people, or to role over them when he can, but the presidency doesn’t come with a magic wand that you can just wave to get whatever you desire.

Personally, I think that this is something Republicans know all too well and Democrats have forgotten.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at November 8, 2008 8:00 PM
Comment #269992

The GOP has not been lead by conservatives since Reagan and Gingrich. Would any of you argue that Bush was a conservative?

Jim M what about Santorum, Delay, Frist and Lott for starters. The infamous leaders of the 108th and 109th Congress. They were terrible for this country. They let their ideology get in the way of good policy and are just as much to blame as Bush for the Reagan conservatism that finally resulted in the most liberal Senator in the country elected as President.

As far as Bush not being a conservative puleezze Jim M up until the ship sank whilst he was at the helm he was a conservative that brought out the conservative voters in ‘04. Now all of a sudden he is a leftie as he bails out his rich friends on wall street. RIGHT. Bush worked hand in hand with the fore mentioned conservative champions to bring this country to the brink of disaster. They did it intentionally as was their plan, the starve the beast philosophy of the “real” conservatives. Yes he was a conservative and only those with their reality blinders on failed to see where Reaganomics, deregulation, war mongering and profiteering and borrow and spend tax relief for the rich, all hallmarks of conservatism, would lead this country.

“There is little doubt that Bush, as he noted last week, is “proudly” conservative. Domestically, he has cut taxes, limited stem cell research and advanced bold proposals to replace cherished government social programs with an ownership society that offers recipients both greater risks and greater rewards while curbing taxpayer outlays.”
And
“I think Bush is a solid conservative in terms of his views, but above all else he is a coalition builder,” said John C. Green, senior fellow at the Pew Forum for Religion & Public Life. “The president is keenly aware that he has many parts to his coalition, some of whom don’t see eye to eye with religious conservatives.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/08/AR2005100801093.html

Posted by: j2t2 at November 8, 2008 8:22 PM
Comment #269993

An interesting article in Salon, about “How Bush made a mockery of the nation’s environmental laws and values — and what Obama must do to get us back on track.”

People have many expectations, but how many of them can actually be met by an icon.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 8, 2008 8:44 PM
Comment #269994

>So, do you agree that the The Democratic Party may be Obama’s biggest obstacle to progress for the nation going forward? Or will you not answer this question like you didn’t the previous one?
Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2008 02:17 PM

>Democrats currently in office are not there for idealistic reasons, we all know that…but, cross your fingers, the ‘bully pulpit’ can restore some idealism, and Obama has proven, so far, to be pragmatic in his approaches to problems.
Posted by: Marysdude at November 8, 2008 12:57 PM

DRR,

The top is your question and challenge…the ;ower was my earlier entry…I guess you don’t accept that I say our current crop of Dems in Congress are not idealistic, and demand that I use your exact terms???

I’m not absolutely sure what his BIGGEST obstacle will be, because he’s not President yet…frankly, I think yours is just an opinion as well.It may be a good guess on your part, but it is a guess none the less.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 8, 2008 8:46 PM
Comment #270000

“Obama supporters essentially went on auto-pilot, and focused intently and passionately on the question, “can we?” and forgot about “should we?”

The “should we” was asked and answered during the primaries. Just 4 days ago the “can we” question was answered.

Repubs had the same “should we” with McCain and the question was answered yes. The “can we” was also answered just 4 days ago.

This town hall article, Jim M., is nonsense.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 8, 2008 10:15 PM
Comment #270002

Loyal Opposition
“I think that people are rather grotesquely overestimating the amount of power a US President genuinely has.”

This is a stunning statement after eight years of an administration committed to reshaping the presidency around the concept of a “unitary executive,” and putting Roberts and Alito on the Supremes who also support that concept.

Those usurped powers will pass to the next President. I don’t want any President with the powers that Bush has taken - not even Obama.

Posted by: rowan at November 9, 2008 12:42 AM
Comment #270008

Rowan, Obama is getting all the support he is ever going to get right now during his honeymoon. As the NY Times writes, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann who told Chris Matthews when it came to Mr. Obama, “I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views”, is now saying she was “extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year” and called Obama’s victory “a tremendous signal we sent”, referring to her state.

That’s it. This all the support and honeymoon Obama is going to get, and it won’t last very long, I assure you. Perhaps, 6 months, if he is lucky and Republicans remain engaged in civil war between their Wm. F. Buckleyite Intellectuals and their Joe the Plumber crowd who vote against their own interests to prove themselves loyal Hard Righties and ‘common folk’.

The honeymoon will likely not end with Republicans first, but, with Independent Voters who, tending to be a bit more informed and perhaps somewhat better educated, will seize on the opportunity costs of any policies Obama proposes and question them, loudly. That’s the “downside”. The upside is, sound reason and logical information can assuage their concerns. If only that were true of the Joe Plumber crowd. But, it isn’t, and won’t be.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 9, 2008 5:01 AM
Comment #270022

David, I don’t know what you mean by “the Joe Plumber crowd,” but that profile of voter (as opposed to that one indvidual) actually broke very heavily for Obama in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.

Obama was able to appeal to them by promising to improve their economic lot, which included actually doing something Republicans have based their appeal on in the past—promising tax cuts.

If and when the economic circumstances of these folks don’t improve, that’s when I suspect they’ll start turning against Obama. And considering where the economy appears headed, that’s probably what will occur. Democrats will try to blame Republicans and the economy which Obama is inheriting, but history shows that the public doesn’t buy such arguments, whether or not those arguments are right or wrong. And if, as I suspect, taxes actually rise for the middle class, Obama will reap a large share of the blame.

I also foresee (one thing that Joe Biden was right about) a whole series of foreign policy crises on the horizon which will be extremely difficult for any President to address. Odds are that Iran will go nuclear under Obama’s watch, Russia will continue to flex its muscles and abuse its neighbors, and if there are any terrorists attacks here or abroad, then Obama will be in a whole world of political hurt. He’s basically on a high wire without a safety net and has virtually no room for error—and in fact, may be facing problems totally beyond his control.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at November 9, 2008 3:46 PM
Comment #270027

Funny LO, how a large percentage of the voters “bought” the fact that the last administration pretty much holds the blame for the mess we find ourselves in. History showing that the public doesn’t buy such things…is a crock. All one has to do is open eyes and engage brain.
As for the rest of your comment, you sound very much like Chicken Little….

Posted by: janedoe at November 9, 2008 4:50 PM
Comment #270034

Rowan,

What can I say, but right on! It’s a waiting game. I do like the fact that Obama’s transition team will be moving swiftly to “blot out” the past administration. (that’s mostly serves my witty urbane side).

Truly, we will have to wait and see what character develops. Of course, an engaged citzenry is NOT dependent on the GOOD character of a president (or in the case of the last 8 years the White House resident). If we could have learned that lesson sooner, perhaps we would not have had 8 years of GWB.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at November 9, 2008 8:47 PM
Comment #270037
Funny LO, how a large percentage of the voters “bought” the fact that the last administration pretty much holds the blame for the mess we find ourselves in.

Janedoe, my point is that voters (in numbers large enough to swing elections) automatically associate the circumstances of any given time with the current administration. Not right away perhaps, but certainly by the time four years has gone by.

As a Republican, I’ve seen this happen both to my party’s advantage and detriment numerous times. When Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan, some of what he was blamed for simply wasn’t his fault. When the first George Bush lost to Clinton, he was blamed for a recession (likely a pretty small one compared to what’s coming in the next two years) that was already over by the time voters cast their votes.

Obama, more than any other recent President, is coming into office making incredible promises, and in talking to many Obama fans, I’m convinced that many of these are simply not within the power of any President or human being to deliver.

I can’t tell you how many Obama-philes I’ve spoken to believe that they’re soon to get free, world-class healthcare and enjoy a much higher standard of living (based, no less, on cheap, sustainable energy sources). And lots of people think that’s it’s going to be a lot easier to send their kids to college and that their taxes are going to go down. What’s more, they think that all of this is going to happen while they bask in the glow of an admiring world who will suddenly respect America. Russia, North Korea, and Iran, international terrorists—none of this registers with them, except as some kind of blurry confidence that Obama can handle all of this much better than George Bush.

Obama promises “change.” And change there will be, but if the change doesn’t live up to Obama’s sky-high promises after a term in office, he isn’t going to save himself by just continuing to make the same promises he couldn’t or wouldn’t deliver on the first time.

Obama supporters don’t like to think about it, but we’ve got a guy on our hands who promised the sun, the moon and the stars at the very time there are severe foreign policy challenges mounting and we have a tanking economy.

If things are even as good in 2012 as they are RIGHT now, hell, I’ll vote for Obama because holding the line would be an impressive achievement. A lot of the others who voted for him this time likely won’t, however, because they’re not expecting competence but miracles.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at November 9, 2008 9:23 PM
Comment #270040

L.O. -

Thoughtful reply - but you must admit that ‘competence’ is not something we’ve seen for the past eight years.

And NO, I’m not expecting miracles. I’m expecting things to get worse before they get better. I’m not expecting the MUCH-needed Universal Health Care by then, but simply a watered-down compromise to keep the HMO’s and Big Pharma from dumping hundreds of millions into the next election for the Republicans.

I DO expect we’ll have a much better reputation worldwide, thanks to the fact that Obama is obviously at least somewhat adept in diplomacy…which, like ‘competency’, is not something we’ve seen for the past eight years.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at November 9, 2008 11:45 PM
Comment #270045

LO, “The longest journey begins with but a step.”
But that’s okay….you’d bitch if you were hung with a brand-new rope.
He is making his choices to fill staff positions, and he is listening to people with age, and experience. He is far more prepared right now than many before him….including the current resident of the White House.

Posted by: janedoe at November 10, 2008 2:42 AM
Comment #270047

Loyal Opp said: “Janedoe, my point is that voters (in numbers large enough to swing elections) automatically associate the circumstances of any given time with the current administration. Not right away perhaps, but certainly by the time four years has gone by.”

That is sadly, so very true. They don’t realize that the Congress is a co-equal branch of government capable and charged with the duty to represent voter’s interests even more directly than the President. Yet, they place nearly all the blame on the president. Not that this last president didn’t earn an inordinate amount of blame. But, his Congress did not check and balance his excesses and failures.

But, the voters will reelect their congress person and turn on a president. It is neither logical nor rational. It is, well, American as apple pie.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2008 6:02 AM
Comment #270048

Jim M said: “The GOP has not been lead by conservatives since Reagan and Gingrich. Would any of you argue that Bush was a conservative? Hardly!”

Then conservativism is dead. Without a party to govern from, they have no influence on government or the course of events in American policy and government. Just how did conservatives become so inept as to lose complete and total control of the GOP? Is it because they are more a minority than the Alaskan Independence Party membership of secessionists? Doesn’t speak well of the validity of their principles if so very, very few actually subscribe to them, does it?

Your argument lacks credence. Conservatives are found in the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party and mostly the GOP. The fact is, they have always been a minority and stupidly reached out to the uneducated and bigoted to increase their numbers and allowed their Party to be taken over by the uneducated and bigoted.

No matter how you slice this issue of conservatives, they simply don’t have much influence, and certainly not enough smarts to be able to elect themselves to high office and demonstrate sound leadership and governance. The fact that conservatives supported GW Bush, pretty much says it all. The fact that they supported McCain over Obama, also speaks to their governing ability. They can’t govern their own party, let alone a nation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2008 6:11 AM
Comment #270065

David -

Y’know, I WAS going to say “Yeah!” about your “can’t govern your own party…” line - until I remembered you probably have equally scathing remarks to say to us Democrats.

So in order to build up the conservatives’ paranoia concerning the non-issue ‘Fairness Doctrine’, give us your criticism of the Dems!

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at November 10, 2008 11:13 AM
Comment #270078

Glenn, as I have written many times before, the Democrats have two enemies within, those that would rob the future to profit today (the politicians who would borrow from the future with deficit spending in order to buy votes for their own political career today), and what I now will call, The Big Tent syndrome.

The Big Tent Syndrome is the propensity of the Democratic Party to undermine the health and welfare of the nation in order to maintain power, as evidenced by their preference for illegal immigration over national security, their propensity to go way overboard on federal spending to address individual constituent’s needs, and their propensity to avoid third rail issues which simply must be addressed at enormous political risk, in order to save the future of the nation, i.e. Medicare and Medicaid.

Obama, if you listen very closely to his carefully chosen campaign words, is not a typical traditional Democrat. He is a pragmatist, a problem solver, and that leads me to the prediction that many in his own party are going to react to his presidency in years 2,3, and 4, as negatively as religious right conservatives do now.

While his party focuses on keeping their majorities in 2010 and 2012 at any cost to the nation’s future, Obama will be focusing on saving the nation’s future, and they will be at odds, again and again over issues like Political reform, lobbyist reform, campaign finance reform, deficits and debt, military spending cuts, earmark reform, and health care reform.

Though the health care reform issue will be fought not by the Democratic Party as a whole, but by the Blue Dogs, and the more far left socialist wing of the Party, friends of Bernie Sanders.

The great test of whether the Democratic Party will succeed despite itself, will come with Obama’s veto threats against factions and coalitions of his own party. Will they see the wisdom of getting behind their Party’s presidential leadership and actually selling restraint, belt-tightening, and moderate hardship to their constituents as the means to saving the nation’s future? I have serious doubts about that. But, remain open to the possible surprise that the Democratic Party Congressional leadership and rank and file, have learned something of fundamental importance from their stay in the wilderness since 1994.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2008 11:50 AM
Comment #270083

Remer wrote; “Then conservativism is dead. Without a party to govern from, they have no influence on government or the course of events in American policy and government.” He then followed with a bunch of prognostication and miraculous thinking that doesn’t deserve comment.

Conservatism is alive and well merely waiting for a leader. Every abhorrent socialist liberal scheme dreamed up by congress and promoted by Mr. Obama will just increase our ranks.

Liberals such as Remer seem to believe it was their ideas that won the last election and not voter fatigue with 8 years of President Bush, the financial crisis, and the constant drumbeat of negativity of the MSM. Four years of Obama and his liberal congress will only serve to prove, once again, that their failed ideology does and and will not appeal to the majority of American’s.

Well, goodbye for now. My wife and I are heading for Rome for a little vacation time.

Posted by: Jim M at November 10, 2008 12:29 PM
Comment #270101

Jim, WB is littered with your wrong comments and judgments about conservatives prevailing, McCain winning, and liberals having no clue.

I fail to see from this record any basis for giving any credibility to your prognostications going forward.

You can call me liberal, but it doesn’t make me one. I am a thinking person seeking solutions. The conservative Party provided us with their solutions and they all failed, every major one of them. The fact that I predicted those failures all along didn’t make me a liberal. Just an objective thinking person.

Your comment’s propensity for thinking and responding to labels instead of real facts, data, and events, is a big part of why those comments fail at every turn to be accurate, or even rational. I don’t mind the label, because it is a relatively meaningless label the way you use it, “anyone who disagrees with your comments”.

It’s actually rather humorous. I thank you however for using me as a standard for what liberals are, and I certainly hope liberals in government adopt a lot of my critical evaluations and priorities; that would indeed create a more fiscally responsible and better future of opportunity for my daughter to live out her adult life in.

Your consistency is to be respected. I have to give you that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #270129

“The pressure is on Obama to move to the defined “center,” but can he resist doing so? I believe that he can with the citizenry as an active, vocal force behind him”

Obama does not have the “citizenry” behind him and by no means does he have a “mandate.” If Obama chooses to be the far-left Obama of the recent past instead of the moderate Obama that got elected, he will divide this country more than Bush ever did.

IF Obama is as smart as you guys claim he is, he will do what clinton and Bush did not and that is represent all Americans and govern from the center. That would be true change and that is what would bring us together.

Anything less than that and you guys will be leading a movement which will only enrage half of the citizenry.

Posted by: kctim at November 11, 2008 9:43 AM
Comment #270132

“Anything less than that and you guys will be leading a movement which will only enrage half of the citizenry.”

kctim are you referring to the same half of the citizenry that stood by the past 8 years as Bush and the conservatives trashed the country? Seem to me it should be these same people that need to rethink the need for change. The same people that fell for voodoo economics, deregulation and lax enforcement of wall street, and the ever foolish borrow and spend for the war effort that has left us in such a sad situation. Where was the rage from these people then? Perhaps they should consider engaging the brain in lieu of enraging each other over the steps the people of this country have taken to rectify the errors of the past 30 years of conservatism.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 11, 2008 10:43 AM
Comment #270133

J2t2, the key word is half. It is your opinion that everything is the fault of conservatives and others believe it is the fault of liberals. You wish them to engage their brain and they wish you to do the same. As a country, where has that gotten us? Nowhere.

We will go nowhere as a country as long as we continue to ignore the concerns and beliefs of those we disagree with. We must listen to each other and find solutions which helps who needs it, makes those who want it feel good and which respects the rights of all.

Now, you can wrongly place all blame on ideas you don’t agree with and try to force your ideas onto everybody if you want, but Obama ran on working together, he won and he is now going to be my President and I am going to keep him to his word and support him.

Posted by: kctim at November 11, 2008 11:45 AM
Comment #270137

David -

Thanks for complying with the ‘fairness doctrine’ - I knew you couldn’t resist ;)

But the criticism is well deserved, and hopefully well-taken.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at November 11, 2008 12:26 PM
Comment #270161

kctim it seems we are in some agreement on the this. Whether Obama has a mandate or not isn’t the important issue. The issue is what will he do to fix the problem. We all need to help as he will need it to stop the lobbyist from destroying any progress he can gain. This includes conservatives as well as liberals. Our Congress cannot help themselves they are beyond self help. It will take the voters to keep on those they voted for to take the interest of the people seriously.

You see I don’t blame conservatives for all things evil and for all the problems of this country. I simply ask that they look at the failures of the past 30 years of conservatism and adjust to the fact that Reaganomics hasn’t helped but the top 1% of the country. I ask these movement members to see what the constant barrage of “cut taxes” and increase spending has brought upon the country. I further ask these proud and ideological individuals to understand that the deregulated capitalism they call the free market has caused us to lose the middle class in this country. But most of all I ask them to take a serious look at what the corporate lobbyist have done to our government and understand that they to need to be curbed.

IMHO kctim once these people can come to terms with what doesn’t work and can stop blaming liberals, the left, the repubs moved to the left, well… everything but conservatism and it’s leaders for these follies then perhaps there can be a middle ground. As long as they continue to deny the reality of their failed movement where is the middle ground? How can we reach a middle ground if they are unwilling to work towards the middle from where they are on the extreme right? I believe recognizing the problem is the first step then we can work to forge a middle ground in this country.
Until this hatred of liberals by those conservative movement members is abated what progress can truly be made? You yourself had said in your previous post that half the people would be enraged.. yes.. enraged were Obama to move to the left. But lets face it the right has failed us again. The only rage that is deserved is rage at their failed ideology and the movement leaders that tricked the faithful into believing it.

The conservatives need to get over their rage at anything they consider to be liberal or left. It has proven to be unwarranted and unjustified. But make no mistake IMHO the ball is in their court. Then perhaps we can find a workable center in this country.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 11, 2008 3:24 PM
Comment #270165

J2
Ask them “to see” what you ask, but only if you are willing “to see” what they ask. Until both sides are willing to do that, there will be no middle ground.

Your entire post is about how they need to see where they are wrong and once they do that, they will see that your views are right and then all can work together. Thats not going to happen man.
Individual freedoms and rights are important to those on the right, and if the left does not take them into account when they start changing things, there will be no working together at all.
And yes, the right must also be willing to understand and work with the left on matters too.

Posted by: kctim at November 11, 2008 4:26 PM
Comment #270172

kctim,

“Your entire post is about how they need to see where they are wrong and once they do that, they will see that your views are right and then all can work together.”

Perhaps the point is that “they” lost.

I seriously doubt that anyone that supported Obama expects the right to come, hat in hand, to the table. That said however, with the diatribes aimed at anything “liberal” for the last 20 years I wouldn’t be surprised.

Some one has to take the first step. Whether that step comes from the left or the right doesn’t matter, but if we are to pull together, and save this country from itself, that step has to be made, and made soon.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 11, 2008 6:54 PM
Comment #270174

kctim It seems to me Obama has extended the olive branch to all Americans. Through out his campaign he has not wavered on this point. Does this mean that he will now view supply side economics as the way forward for this country after we have seen the income gap widen to pre-depression levels. I hope not. I hope it means that we can move away from this mistake without incurring the rage of the conservatives. But then I also hope we can move away from Reaganomics even should we incur the wrath of the conservatives. IMHO it is time for the conservatives to come to grips this, not the other way around. I believe we the people have spoken loud and clear on this issue.

Same with taxes kctim. Obama put forth a tax plan prior to election that raised taxes on the wealthy while cutting taxes on the middle class. He was voted into office by a wide margin. It seems people favor this bottom up approach to coming out of the recession. Should the conservatives become enraged with this approach then shame on them, not the liberals , not Obama IMHO. We have seen the results of the trickle down approach favored by the conservatives and have rejected it. We the people have by over 7 million votes rejected it.

You see kctim I have seen what the conservatives have seen. I do not see where they think that liberals are out to take away any rights. Especially after the last 8 years, If habeas corpus isn’t a constitutional guarantee then nothing is.

Now I have heard the vicious rumors that once in office Obama will confiscate guns and repeal free speech with the fairness doctrine but this is tin hat stuff IMHO.The fairness doctrine was around back in the days of better elections and no one lost any free speech rights. I’m also not sure the gun dealers didn’t start the other rumor just to drum up some business.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 11, 2008 7:26 PM
Comment #270192

Good points Rocky. I just think we have reached the point where the leadership needs us divided, so its up to the voters on both sides to take that first step together.

J2
Obama is not in office yet, so he has only spoken of extending an olive branch. But you know very well that if his economic plans intrude on individual rights and freedoms, they will not be accepted by almost half of Americans.
We will end up right where we were with clinton and Bush. Half the people sitting back and allowing rights they don’t worry about to be violated and the other half complaining about it.

I really think it is a mistake for the left to think that they have some kind of mandate to start doing whatever they want, with no concern.
Only some of the people, not all or a significant majority, favor Obamas approach J2, and a large number did not. The right will only become enraged is Obama and his liberal house and senate decide to step all over them and push things on them. Obama won and it is his turn to play his cards, but how he plays them will determine whether we come together or remain divided.

J2, if you don’t see where they believe liberals are out to take away rights, then you have not seen what they see. They have legitimate concerns over their right to live their life how they want, over taxation, religion, the 2nd Amendment etc… and to simply dismiss those concerns is not working together.

The “rumors” about Obama and guns, comes from Obama himself when he said states should have the right to take away a Constitutional right and ban guns.
It will be in Obama’s own best interest to leave this issue alone and to make sure the liberal house and senate leave it alone also. The lefts history and Obama’s own words on this issue make it a landmine for him.

The fairness doctrine is an issue because it dictates how people run their personal business and is targeted at one medium in particular. I have no problem with moveon, kos or Rush doing their thing or the people supporting them. If I don’t like it, I don’t give them my business. We don’t need govt to make that choice for us.

More importantly though, why call it “tin hat stuff” when you just got done mentioning habeas corpus? Would we be working together if I now just said your concerns over that are tin hat stuff? No. I should acknowledge your concerns, open my mind and see how you are worried about how the policy could lead to Americans being denied HC and work together to protect our rights and our country.

I know I’m just dreaming, but I am getting tired of all this division. I want campaign Obama to run this country, not pre-campaign Obama and I am going to do my best at trying to give him a fair shake to do so.

Posted by: kctim at November 12, 2008 10:19 AM
Comment #270199

kctim here is a quick blurb on Obama’s intentions. Seems the olive branch has been extended already.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/us/politics/09memo.html?bl&ex=1226379600&en=d53c43c58015c0b6&ei=5087%0A


“if you don’t see where they believe liberals are out to take away rights, then you have not seen what they see. They have legitimate concerns over their right to live their life how they want, over taxation, religion, the 2nd Amendment etc… and to simply dismiss those concerns is not working together.”

I have seen kctim, yet I have not seen rights taken away by the liberals. Taxation is a responsibility that we all must except. Those of us that danced must pay the fiddler. What I have seen is over reacting fear mongering by talk radio conservatives and at least one member of Congress. The right simply must accept responsibility for these guys and seek to curb their attempts to keep us divided as a people.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iRxZox4GFoIweckPDP1oRhKBlHOwD94CDDM80

kctim the fairness doctrine has been blown all out of proporation by the talk radio conservatives. It was the law of the land for years and yet no loss of free speech rights. To say it is unconstitutional “because it dictates how people run their personal business and is targeted at one medium in particular” is simply not correct. If we are to become less divided as a nation it is time to stop these inaccuracies from spreading as if they are true statements.

“More importantly though, why call it “tin hat stuff” when you just got done mentioning habeas corpus?”

Read the article on Georgia congressman Braun. Where was he when habeas corpus was the issue of the day?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 12, 2008 11:37 AM
Comment #270206

J2
Intersting. People on the right don’t see any rights being taken away by Conservatives, but they do see fear mongering by liberals.
I guess it’s just going to be something we cannot overcome.

“If we are to become less divided as a nation it is time to stop these inaccuracies from spreading as if they are true statements”

Then we should also deal with simple facts.
- Will it dictate what a station owner has to air? Yes.
- Does it affect one medium more than others? Yes.
Those are the facts J2 and doing those things in the name of “fairness” is hardly fair at all.

Do you share Brouns concerns over that? You should.
Maybe Broun believes your HC concerns is tin foil hat stuff the same way you believe 2nd Amendment etc… is tin foil hat stuff? We don’t know because we automatically dismiss the concerns of others because we deem them not as important as what we believe in.

Posted by: kctim at November 12, 2008 12:36 PM
Comment #270219


“- Will it dictate what a station owner has to air? Yes.” I disagree kctim. The corporations that control the media can air what they choose, they just have to balance it out with the opposing view when it is part of the election campaign. Much less an issue than what the Limbaugh’s would have us believe.

”- Does it affect one medium more than others? Yes.” What is the relevance here kctim. Most legislation effects one industry, one part, one thing etc. Because it doesn’t effect print media as it does Radio and TV doesn’t make it a loss of rights for the corporate media.

“Do you share Brouns concerns over that? You should.
Maybe Broun believes your HC concerns is tin foil hat stuff the same way you believe 2nd Amendment etc… is tin foil hat stuff? We don’t know because we automatically dismiss the concerns of others because we deem them not as important as what we believe in.”

Did you read the article kctim? Gestapo, Marxist, Nazi! from a congressman? Tough to have respect for leadership like that. No proof just conjecture yet Marxist and Nazi allegations. The man’s center is so far right their is no reasonable middle ground. He is the problem kctim.

This guy makes my point for me kctim, the conservatives need to deal with their unjustified rage at anything they consider to be liberal or left. The conservatives have not proven their leadership is superior in any way, they have not proven their ability to govern is superior in any way, they have not proven they are the champions of rights, justice and liberty in any way and they have not proven their reasons for liberal bashing is justified in any way yet they condemn anything they deem to be liberal as wrong. They need to lose this false sense of superiority after the past 30 years conservative agenda in this country and come to the table with an open mind.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 12, 2008 3:14 PM
Comment #270230

J2
“They just have to balance it out with the opposing view” is dictating what they air. As long as they are paying for the rights to the station, they should be free to air what they want. Left, right and center.

The revelence is in that it is targeted towards what is successful for the opposing view. We both know that if liberals ruled the airwaves, the right would be pushing this and the left would be screaming about their right to free speech.

Yes, I read the article and it sounded just like the things we have heard about Bush for the past 8 years. But, are we really working towards common ground by calling his concerns tin foil hat stuff? Or should we be asking why he see’s it as a concern?

Broun makes no more of a point for you than reid or murtha make the point for the right and their concerns are no more unjustified than yours my friend. To us on the right, liberals have not proven their leadership or ability to govern and they have only shown that they are even less concerned about individual rights and freedoms than Republicans. Their policies have taken away every Americans duty of personal responsibility and turned us into a welfare state. And liberals have not proven their reasons for right bashing in any way: abortion was not banned, religion was not pushed onto anybody and we did not become the wild west. Yet, they condemn anything not in agreement with them as wrong.

You see J2, the right can dismiss you, point for point, just as easy as you dismiss them. That is where we have been since I have become politically active and that is where we will remain until both sides are willing to come to the table with an open mind.

In no way am I saying the left is wrong and right is right. But from what I have read on here, heard said in public and aired on TV and radio, the left seems to think it has all of the people behind them and they are going to push their agenda without a care of the right. You want them to work with you if they agree with you and to sit back and shut up if they don’t. IMO, that is the wrong thing to do and will only divide us even further.

Posted by: kctim at November 12, 2008 5:57 PM
Comment #270282

“Broun makes no more of a point for you than reid or murtha make the point for the right and their concerns are no more unjustified than yours my friend.”

I have to disagree with this kctim. Can the Congressman show any valid proof that would justify his use of the term Marxist, Gestapo or Nazi when refering to Obam’s future plans? That rhetoric is used to cause fear in the unsuspecting conservatives in his district. On the other hand what more evidence do you need than the current financial situation this Country finds itself in to justify my previous comments regarding failed conservatives principles?

“You want them to work with you if they agree with you and to sit back and shut up if they don’t. IMO, that is the wrong thing to do and will only divide us even further.”

Well that is not exactly my point kctim. What I am asking the conservatives to do is to realize that some of their closely held beliefs, such as Reaganomics, deregulation and lax enforcement have damaged the country and need to be re-thought and probable done away with. The borrow and spend/cut taxes while at war plan is in the process of bankrupting this country. To think this was done intentionally to destroy OASDI and Medicaid should make conservatives wonder what they were thinking. To want to continue on this path is wrong my friend and to bring it to the table after this election is also wrong. Conservatives need to bring something productive or run the risk of further dividing this country.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 13, 2008 5:09 PM
Comment #270321

J2
Would you be willing to see his “proof” and then provide your own “proof” of why you believe him to be wrong?

Look, I’m not trying to avoid your questions or anything like that. I could sit here all day and point out why I see his and the rights concerns as being valid, just as you could easily dismiss them and present why you see the lefts points as valid. But in doing that, we are just telling each other why we are right and the other is wrong, and that has not been working for us as a country and is why I believe both sides need to try a different approach and start working together in the respectful way Obama campaigned on.

Posted by: kctim at November 14, 2008 9:38 AM
Comment #270334

kctim I understand your point, I believe, and pretty much agree with your point. All I am saying is well… the same thing as your last sentence. A different approach is needed which includes not settling for absolutes that have not served us well in the past.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 14, 2008 2:36 PM
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