The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Are You In?

    Barack Obama's re-election bid has launched and I guess that means the silly season is upon us.  We all have to band together to beat Michele Bachmann or some such nonsense.  So how are you all feeling about this, Daggers?  Too soon?  I know it's too soon for me.

    It should go without saying that Obama's got my vote in the general election.  I'm not going to put up with a President Romney or a President Pawlenty and there's probably not a third party candidate out there who is going to excite me much since these days the third party types tend to be soulless and dangerous technocrats like Michael Bloomberg or egotists like Joe Lieberman.

    But I guess you can also tell that "are you in?" isn't exactly motivating me to get off my "yes we can."  Even though I supported Hilary Clinton through most of the primary (and voted for her in New York) I felt like I was participating in something really special back in 2008 when I voted for Obama over McCain.  There was the social aspect to it and the historic importance of that particular election what with the candidate's unique background and all.  There was also heightened enthusiasm about Obama as a thinker and leader -- he excited people in ways that John Kerry never could.  Also, the financial world had just imploded.  The industry I worked in was being destroyed.  People were scared.  We definitely needed somebody to turn things around.  Obama seemed like the right guy for the job.  I was excited because it looked to me like the country was about to avoid catastrophe.

    And, Obama did a lot.  The stimulus was too small, but we'd still be in a recession had McCain won because he wouldn't have done a stimulus at all.  Healthcare was a jumble of goods and bads.  I sure didn't expect a third war in the middle east, though.  I really didn't expect that Obama would tightly hold on to each and every little incremental bit of power that Bush and Cheney brought to the White House.  I didn't think Iraq and Afghanistan would still be going on either.  I didn't think that when we had our pitchforks out and were ready to take Greenwich that he'd get in the way.

    Well, blah, who cares what I expected?  Some of what I expected wasn't even stuff Obama promised to do, after all.  The guy never said his name was Liberal McProgressiveson.  He ran as a moderate, won as a moderate and has governed as a moderate.  On one hand, I'm okay with that.  I would be an entirely ineffective president precisely because I'm such an extremist.  Obama has to govern in the real world.  I get it.

    But am I "in," is what the President wants to know.  I guess I have to say that the 2008 magic is kind of gone.  I don't have any buyer's remorse about Obama.  I think maybe, just maybe, I wanted to believe that he talked like a moderate but was more liberal deep down.  I've had to stop thinking that way.  Can't get into the man's mind, after all.  We can only judge him by his actions and what else can I say than that he's better than the guy before him and he's better than the guy he beat.  But I'm going to have a tough time getting excited about voting for him again.  The mystery's gone.  I know how he's going to govern.  I know that after two terms of Obama we're still going to need to elect somebody who will pursue economic justice, will reign in the excesses of the government security state and who will shrink the Pentagon and extricate us from conflicts.

    A pledge that he will veto any bill that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits for any Americans could change my mind, though.  Are you in, Mr. President?





    Agree. It will be tough to pull the lever for anyone this time.

    I'm going to follow Obama's lead for the past two years...sit it out and watch from the side lines in 2012. The changes since he's been in office weren't the changes I believed in...they all were a dollar short and a day late. In fact, I'm rooting for the tea-baggers to win at shutting down the government by Friday...I want them to succeed in their vision...I want them to bring the government down so hard they'll learn why Humpty-Dumpty couldn't be put back together again...something they should have learned in kindergarten...I want them to understand it's more than just about talking Racheal Maddow said - Words Have Consequences...and I want the people who voted those tea-baggers into office to understand they're responsible too for the actions their elected candidates take on the issues. In short, I want the tea-baggers to do the job Obama and the Democrats should have done to humiliate GOPer's for their follies with Bu$h and wasting the surplus Clinton gave them and running up the deficit to astronomical levels, getting us involved in two unnecessary wars, and giving tax breaks to those who can afford to pay them while saddling the rest of us with the burden of paying off their largess. I'm using 2012 as an act of civil disobedience to protest Obama's bipartisanship role which was nothing more than a severe lack of political intestinal fortitude.

    So just so we're clear here.  You're not in?

    That's a definite maybe.

    I'm in!

    Only I see real choice coming.  And the choice will be whether or not we wish to undo 75 years of social progress in this country or not.

    I will not abide a fascist repub as president of the United States who would act like the gov of Wisc, Ohio, Indiana.....


    This is the google ad that reading more of your post delivered.  I haven't really been paying attention to 2012 candidates yet so, seriously, is this the Republican field so far?



    Damn, that's spooky to be tapping my scroll key and to see that totem poll rising into view. 

    I think there are about 3 times that slate really.

    You can make money, a lot of money, running for the Presidency and losing.

    You make all these new contacts for your book deals, for your official and unoffical lobbying excercises, you can find jobs for your relatives....

    Bachmann has a better chance than Palin right now.

    Trump is supposedly running and the Huckster aint.

    So this 'slate' appears just to be another way of getting info from readers and running up 'clicks' to the site.

    the end

    You can make money, a lot of money, running for the Presidency and losing.

    Somebody ought to turn it into a musical.



    Too early I think, D.

    Anyone who wants to push Obama to the Left is still in a position where their greatest leverage comes from threats to not vote, not participate, not fund unless he does XYZ... or perhaps even to back a primary challenger.

    Commit now, and he's got you "kettled."

    Not yet.  I need more information.  There are 582 days until the election and more than 500 days until the Democratic Convention.  Seems like time enough for all sorts of sh#t to break loose.

    A lot can happen, sure.  But if you're wondering about a primary challenger for Obama, it seems rather unlikely.  He hasn't seemed to have inspired too many critics from his own party -- at least not public rivals who could mount an insurgent campaign.  Maybe I'm wrong but I just can't figure out who it would be who would challenge him.

    I can't imagine a primary challenger either, beyond the usual suspects, and I don't see any of them tossing their hats in the ring at this point.  But a whole hell of a lot can and will happen between now and then.  So we'll see, as they say.  But no, I'm not holding my breath.

    My need for more information has to do with other factors, mostly.  I'll need to see the landscape here in Washington.  The Govenor's Mansion will be up or grabs for one, and the whole electoral college thingy counts for something.  A-man surely has an opinion, but I don't think Washington's a lock for the President.  If it's tight it might sway me.  If it looks like he's up by 10, well I might be checking out a third party.  All in all, it just seems a bit early for me to be voting in an election more than a year away.  Especially for someone I've lost so much trust in. 

    No.  But...


    Or, as Vicky Pollard would say: No but yeah but no but yeah but...



    Computer says...

    Ah, finally, someone who knows his classics...


    Exactly why we defer to you on matters of fine art films, Pug.   Kiss

    Yes, I'm in, but I'm not ready to let Obama know that.  He needs to experience some sizable fear in order to do the things he knows he needs to do for us.  The last thing I want from him now is complacency. 

    WOW! One tough woman.


    The more I think about it, the more I think you have this right.

    Hmmm what do you think, as the resident Greatest Living Democrat, or was that the Democrat who has the greatest time living, whatever, I'll ask Donal, I forget exactly which one I am now, but of course I am in 100%.

    I am not in.  But then, I am not a registered Dem, so I don't really have to say I'm in or not right now.  As an independent, the silly season is the only time I have any power at all because my independent vote is what either party needs to win.  So, I get my ass kissed every four years and I kinda like it.  The fact that I am an independent with my boots nailed to the floor over here on the left makes it more difficult for a candidate to pull to the right because there is more than one of me.  Me and my kind cannot be ignored.  And, me and my kind actually vote.  As far as I can tell, one person, one vote is still how it works.  Any candidate who wants my vote needs to recognize that me and my kind will not tolerate drifting to the right.

    So, come and get us, candidates...whoever you may be. Kiss

    Big surprise...yep, I'm in. Not as excited as I was in 2008, but I'm in nonetheless. The President has not been everything I hoped he would be, but I think I understand why he was unable to be. I had some unrealistic expectations, and I believe he did as well. Given all that he has had to face, I think he's done a reasonably good job, and I still think he deserves 8 years to try and repair the 8 bush had to destroy us.

    There is a small (very small) part of me that would like to let the repubs have the reins again, just so people can see how screwed up they really are, but I'm too afraid of what they can do, especially now that they are even CRAZIER than they were before. WI is a GREAT example. 

    I am still a disillusioned Dem, but I AM a Dem, and I am more militantly anti-repub than I was in 2008, if that is possible. I will do NOTHING that will help to get one elected, not even to dog catcher.

    Destor makes a good point to consider...

    • A pledge that he will veto any bill that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits for any Americans could change my mind, though.  Are you in, Mr. President?

    Yessiree... Obama better crap or get off the porcelain throne.


    I will heartfully welcome any progressive contenders in the 2012 primaries, and likely vote for a good one over Obama.

    Should Obama win the Democratic nomination, I will evaluate his attention to issues important to me, and noting the amount of head-feint bullshit in this last time, I will compare his record and attitude and positions to the Republican and any Independent contenders.

    Based on my feelings of real potential for my vote to be effective, deter calamity, rock the house, or be completely irrelevant, I will either pull the lever for the Republican, for Obama, for a 3rd-party, or abstain from voting.

    Now, I can't imagine the Republicans fielding a real candidate at this point (i.e. making it to the top of the ticket), but I'm somehow not terribly infatuated with the "you gotta support Obama at all costs because he's there and what else ya gonna do?" argument.

    Frankly I wish he'd gone back to Chicago to be mayor instead of Rahm. But I do like the summation of Obama as the "sitting-on-the-sidelines-until-convenient-to-make-an-advantageous-decision" president.

    I also disagree that the stimulus would have been smaller. Frankly I think pressure would have been more on McCain not to screw it up, even though there would have still been tax-breaks and Wall-Street-bailouts galore.

    I'm in.  Not because Obama is my dream president, but because of what is at stake.  It's not only about who is sitting in the Oval Office, but the make-up of Congress and who is in control at the state level.  Wisconsin, Michigan, et al I thinks shows there is a significant difference.  The presidential candidates represent their party and have a major influence on the outcome of the other races.  Regardless of the reality about Obama moderate/conservative stances on policies, the Republican/conservative sphere paint him as Mr. Liberal McProgressiveson and that he taken the country too far to the left.  A victory for Obama and the Democrats would have the effect of saying, "no we don't think he and the other Dems have gone far enough to the left."  A loss would be perceived as a mandate to impose Walker-style policies on a national level.

    An Obama administration in its second term with a Democratic majority just might some progress on issues that need to be dealt with (and things like SS would be much more safe).  The primaries are a time to get the liberal voice out there, to work like hell to push the discourse on the issues, even understanding that inevitably the general election tends to shift toward the center.  If the progressives can make gains on a Congressional and state level in the process, then we might have a chance come 2013.

    Destor, I started writing a thing to explain my thinking on this, and cripes, it's turned into a veritable tome.  I sorta hate to post it here; it's already almost 1300 words and not quite finished; Arrrgh!  I could instead stick it up as a blog, even a Crap Blog.  Or even delete the whole mess.

    I'll wait to hear; don't feel shy about saying 'thanks ,but no thanks.'   ;o)

    Submit it to the National Archives, they always need a few more thick dust collectors.

    Or WIkiLeaks.

    Or Ilkileaks.  NA would require printing...  Destor's got another blog up; maybe I'll just post the little focker.  Fock; Oy 'ave a bloody 'eadache now...  ;o)

    In the 1960’s we had accession by assassination.  You get used to it after a while.  In the end a complete lunatic became President, a man who today would be adjudged as mildly rational but vilified as a radical progressive. More recently I watched a man, “arguably the most psychologically damaged president since Nixon,” be installed and then installed again. 

    As I sit and contemplate six more years of the Obama brand, I am at once horrified and bored.  Obey put up a link the other day of a cartoon debate “Huxley vs Orwell*.”  Obey and others averred in favor of  Huxley but they are wrong.  The “Brave New World” is coming to an end.  What will remain is what Orwell described, in the person of some Republican President, eventually.  So for now I choose boredom.  I am in.  Like the man said:

    “Cake or death?”



    *Huxley v. Orwell:


    You know what Lar, you really are one of my favorite people... Boredom for the Win!

    There are not enough zeros moving right to put between a decimal point and a one to express how tiny a part of a nano-nothing cifer of a non-entity nada null nit is the power of my vote to affect the democratic election of our next president. My vote is absolutely meaningless in my state and so is of zero importance to anyone else on the planet. Because I knew that going into the last election and I wanted some input I choked off some bucks and sent them to Obama. While my vote is meaningless to anyone else, [Obama has shown that he is included in that large set] it is important to me. I cannot vote again for Obama. I want my money back. I am confident, though, that I will have the opportunity to vote against someone.

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