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Obama’s Presidency Isn’t Too Big to Fail

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Posted on Sep 15, 2009
Obama
AP / Charles Dharapak

President Barack Obama addresses the AFL-CIO convention on Tuesday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

By Robert Scheer

A president has only so much capital to expend, both in tax dollars and public tolerance, and Barack Obama is dangerously overdrawn. He has tried to have it all on three fronts, and his administration is in serious danger of going bankrupt. He has blundered into a deepening quagmire in Afghanistan, has continued the Bush policy of buying off Wall Street hustlers instead of confronting them and is now on the cusp of bargaining away the so-called public option, the reform component of his health care program. 

Those are not happy sentences to write for one who is still on the e-mail list of campaign supporters urged to back the president in the face of attacks that are stupidly small-minded. But to remain silent about his errors, just because most of his critics are so vile, is hardly an example of constructive concern for him or the country.

Yes, Obama was presented with a series of crises not of his making but for which he is now being held accountable. He is not a “socialist” who grew the federal budget to astronomical proportions. That is the legacy of George W. Bush, who raised the military budget to its highest level since World War II despite the end of the Cold War and the lack of a formidable military opponent— a legacy of debt compounded by Bush’s decision to first ignore the banking meltdown and then to engage in a welfare-for-Wall-Street bailout. And it was Bush who gave the pharmaceutical companies the gift of a very expensive government subsidy for seniors’ drugs.

But what is nerve-racking about Obama is that even though he campaigned against Bush’s follies he has now embraced them. He hasn’t yet managed to significantly reduce the U.S. obligation in Iraq and has committed to making a potentially costlier error by ratcheting up America’s “nation-building” role in Afghanistan. 

Just as he was burdened with the Afghanistan situation, Obama was saddled with a banking crisis he didn’t cause, and the worst that can be said of his attempted solutions to the financial mess is that they were inherited from Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. But Obama, who raised questions before his election about the propriety of a plan that would rescue the banks but ignore the plight of ordinary folks, has adopted that very approach as president. He elevated Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner, the two Democrats most closely aligned with Paulson’s policy, to top positions in his government. 

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Obama’s proposed new regulations, while containing some kind words about better informing consumers, do not portend any breakup of the “too big to fail companies” whose problems were permitted to fester by previous deregulatory measures. His answer is to increase the regulatory capacities of the Federal Reserve, which failed to use its already existing and considerable powers to avoid the debacle.

The promise is that next time the Fed will behave better. As Obama put it Monday, “So our plan would put the cost of a firm’s failures on those who own its stock and loaned it money. And if taxpayers ever had to step in again to prevent a second Great Depression, the financial industry will have to pay the taxpayer back every cent.”

Why not now? And why has he accepted the Wall Street line that all this represents a “collective failure,” as if the con men and the conned had equal responsibility? According to Obama, “It was a failure of responsibility that led homebuyers and derivative traders alike to take reckless risks that they couldn’t afford to take. It was a collective failure of responsibility in Washington, on Wall Street, and across America that led to the near-collapse of our financial system one year ago.”

Hogwash. The chicanery of the financial system, securitizing highly suspect mortgages, was codified into laws that made the hustle legal. 

That insistence on equating the swindled with the swindlers is also what is wrong with the evolving health care reform plan. The assumption from the beginning, when Obama reached out to insurance companies to come up with a deal, was that they had the interest of their customers at heart. They don’t, and it is the purpose of government regulation in the area of health as well as banking to even the scales between the powerful corporations and the consumers from whom they profit. That is the purpose of a public option worth its name.

Without a government program as a check on medical costs, Obama will end up with a variant of the Massachusetts program, one that forces consumers to sign up with private insurers and costs 33 percent more than the national average. He will have furthered the Bush legacy of cultivating an ever more expensive big government without improving how the people are served. 

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By sophrosyne, September 16, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look, Obama would never have been made president by Wall Street, Big Oil and Israel unless he would do their bidding.  He has done so.  Is anyone really surprised?

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By Folktruther, September 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

The Obama regime has completed the electoral change in the American power system initiated by the Bush regime.  Now that the Dems are continuing Bushite policies, while the US inherited electoral rules, not to mention money, media and management, prevent a viable third party.  Therefore the American people have no electoral power relative to the American power struture, who can simply continue to promote the interests of the plutocracy as they have been doing.

therefore, in the foreseeable future, war, power inequality, destitution, and the deceit and irrationality to conceal, disguise and justify it, will increase as the US sinks into barbarism.  As the White population becomes a numerical minority in the coming decades, one can expect White Christian power exponents to increase, fueled by the perceived loss of entitlement.

Eventually, with or without a staged Terrorist attack, it is to be expected that martial law will be declared, and a full police state initated to replace the current neoliberal police state.

Under these conditions, a mainstream resistence is not possible, since the American people have been indoctrinated by the plutocracy to be highly racist.  The racism is divided into neoZionist racism against Muslims and opponents of Israel’s ethnic cleansing, and White Christian racism, which is largely anti-Semitic.

Therefore the resistence to the militarized plutocracy must take the form of a movement rather than a party.  An ideology must be developed which unites a small group against the neolibcons and the two forms of racism that they promote accross class barriors to unite the population under their banner. 

this is an enormous historical task since the Amereican Educated are so cowardly and the US power structure is homicidal.  But this is the only viable form of resistence as the US sinks into barbarism in the coming decades, and the only way to at least threaten the Anerucab power structure against the use of nuclear weapons.

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By Mrsanfran, September 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert Scheer has hit the nail on the head.  Just like Angelo Dundee to Sugar Ray Leonard in the first fight against Tommy Hearns, He is saying “Your blowing it kid”.
Obama had all the stars aligned with him to start moving towards major change.  A collapsed economy, a mandate,
the house by a long shot, the senate with a little bit of arm twisting, or forcing the blue dogs to filibuster.
What does he do?  He caves on just about every issue so
far.  He needs to reevaluate Afghanistan, Start fighting for a real public option, close Guantanamo, Scale down
Iraq (quit replacing troops with Blackwater).  I could go on and on.  Scheer is telling him, the publics patience won’t last forever, and you are leaving the door open for a Republican populist movement.

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By mick koz, September 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, Robert, but your criticisms are premature and misdirected…

Even though this forum is more civil than most, I am frankly stunned by the level of vehemence and vitriol. I am deeply saddened that demogogery has finally triumphed over reasonable rational debate…

Sadly, I’m filled with a sense of weltschmerz (world pain/weariness). I shudder to think what magnitude of existenial crisis it might take for all us to cease this unproductive, constant tendentious roar of cynicism.

I know there are many who feel disillusioned, yes even betrayed by Obama’s actions, or inactions…but lest we forget, that it is the congress, not the president that creates/ratifies legislation. You want meaningful change, change campaign finance and lobbying rules…through the legislature. Then and only then you can even have a hope of meaningful change. But it cannot and will not happen overnight. This is the genius of Obama…he understands the human condition and how change must come incrementally.

Those of you who would have the president veto a so-called Healthcare Reform bill because it does or does not contain A or B are living in a political parallel universe…

If you were facing bankruptcy from a medical catastrophe, would you trade a moral victory for some measure of predictability, i.e. universal coverage and insurability? I think not.

What epiphany do you think made the corporate healthcare unregulated monopoly even consider reform?...the MERE ELECTION of Obama sent shudders of fear that they are better inside than outside…it sent the signal that this time it would be different…the people had spoken. Will it be perfect? Of course not, but it is ultimatelly up to the legislature, not the president to pass meaningful reform. That’s where to apply the pressure…relentlessly.

This is as close as we have ever come to having some semblance of a fair and just healthcare system…far from perfect, but it’s a start…only a start. You want a cure for cancer, first excise the malignancy out of the politcal process. It won’t be cheap, but morally it’s the right thing, the only thing to do.

The Corporate Complex has ruled this country even before president Eisehower uttered his famous military industrial complex caveat. The Corporatacracy defines the rules of engagement…including and especially healthcare and defense appropriations. The only way to redefine the narrative is to redefine the constitional status of corporations.

And finally, I believe that qualtiy healthcare is not a priviledge…it is a human right, here and anywhere in the world where people are facing unnecessay pain and misery. It defines us as sentient compassionate beings and differentiates us from other mammals. It should not, indeed it must not be sacrificed on the altar of hyper-captialism.

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By liecatcher, September 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

Despite the majority condemnation of both Scheer & “3”,

I’m amazed at the amount of optimism expressed by some

in terms of another presidential election. How will

it be possible to run such huge deficits for several

more years? The Chinese may be ruthless, but they’re

not stupid.

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By dr wu, September 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Please keep your comments to less than 20 words.

Example:

Obama is a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman-Sachs

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By billofwrites, September 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Despite your simplistic, foolish talking point excuse, maybe, just maybe matters would improve if Obama quit digging the ditch deeper.THAT is the point.”

ah yes, RdV, your “stop digging” metaphor is so much more profound than, say, my “marathon, not a sprint” analogy.

i’m like, so chastened.

and i hasten to remind the many whiners, ankle-biters and outright whackjob responders here—(“Bush 3? Negro, please.”)—i’m still not seeing real-world solutions from any of you.

y’know, real solutions for those pesky minor irritations like, oh, i don’t know,  like terrorist training camps supported by Afghanistan- and Pakistan-based Taliban…

sidebar: when a douchebag like George Will calls for a pullout of troops from Afghanistan, i dunno, i feel the need to re-think my position…i couldn’t POSSIBLY imagine he’d have ulterior political motives…possibly he’s a stopped clock who is accidentally right twice a day, i’m still gonna re-asssess…but i digress…

what’s obama done? tax cuts for the middle and working classes…the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act…the Renewal and Re-investment Act…planning the close of Guantanamo…the “Making Home Affordable” re-financing plan…(complete disclosure: this law alone helped me save my home, so yes, i’m grateful to the guy…)

and yes, you ungrateful $@#@@!, you’re welcome.

what’s he done lately? take on health care. imperfectly, yes. but unlike Hillary, this guy’s gonna get some—not all!—good things done…please, stop with the hand-wringing and the sighing & the whining and the kvetching and hold his feet to the fire…

unfinished business? financial re-regulation, for sure…but let’s stablize the economy first, mmm-KAY? obama could actually leverage the “Taxed Enough Already” crowd…channel their anger to help get it done by calling out CEO bonuses and golden parachutes…

my god, get out the smelling salts and call the WAH-bulance, there’s so many pants pissers with the vapors here…

y’know, some of you might even be able to stop your hyper-ventilating if you just hold your breath a bit…that’s OK. start holding. i can wait…

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By Folktruther, September 16, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

testing again

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By california dreamer, September 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

I too am disillusioned and angry at myself for falling for the rhetoric of the campaign.  I heard part of Obama’s comments about 9/11 the other day and unfortunately was not able to detect very much feeling or sincerity in the words.  It seems that Obama has taken to acting out the script written for him by his political advisors whose main job is to get him re-elected.  Why shouldn’t this be the case, when that is the nature of politicians. 
  It is very discouraging for me to realize this.  It means essentially that Obama is not going to risk anything to really change anything unless there is a dramatic change in the status quo in this country.  I can only hope enough Americans begin to appreciate that this is an oligarchy not a democracy and that the oligarchy has learned how to buy our votes.  If we wake up to this fact, maybe we can rise up and call down this president to be held accountable for the promises he made.

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By G.Anderson, September 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

It’s time for everyone to stop blinking in disbelief at the headlights of president Obama’s political moves.

It’s hard to know what do, when you’ve waited so long for something, then find out that the moment was never really here at all.

And it would be sad, if at some future date, Obama’s re election depended on him running against some glaring right wing monster, rather than what he has accomplished in office.

Maybe it’s unrealistic to believe that congress, which is a failure, can accomplish anything but more failure, maybe it’s unreasonable to think that anyone at all could succeed.

Yet at this point, it looks as if, what has happened is only more political, posturing and billons transfered to corprate crooks who continue to gut the people of everthing they own.

What’s it going to take. Remember, remember the 5th of November.

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By Capt rick, September 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Full of crap. We told you so in NOV. stop your whining.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, September 16, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

The United States government is a fraternity and sorority of thieves and liars, with Obama the latest power drunk hustler to hold the title of Chief Pickpocket and Ass kicker.

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By felicity, September 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

mick koz - BRAVO!!!  Politically and economically dysfunctional, Reagan/Gingrich/Clinton/Bush/Cheney (actually for years it’s been a government/Wall Street community effort) turned the world’s richest, freest country into a decaying, plutocratic, militarized rogue state.

No one, absolutely no one can ‘fix’ this country in 9 months and I doubt in 9 years - or ever for that matter.

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By prole, September 16, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

More of Scheer’s left-handed apologetics, not only for the oily Obama, but for the political system that bred him. If these are “not happy sentences to write”, they’re even less happy sentences to read. Obama “has blundered into a deepening quagmire in Afghanistan”...here comes the ‘tragic error’ alibi again for another pre-meditated campaign of American terror in a backward land. And he “has continued the Bush policy of buying off Wall Street hustlers instead of confronting them”...surprise, surprise, the same hustlers who bankrolled most of his record-breaking election fundraising - and will be hit up again come re-election time. “And is now on the cusp of bargaining away the so-called public option, the reform component of his health care program”...in keeping to the script, there never was any serious intention of a public option in his so-called health care program. “Yes, Obama was presented with a series of crises not of his making but for which he is now being held accountable”..he did run for president after all, or maybe he just thought he would be presented with a series of photo opp’s. “He is not a socialist”...precisely - and therin lies the explanation for all the other unsavoury things he’s done and will likely continue to do; he’s just another run-of-the-mill capitalist-imperialist pig. Which, of course, is why “even though he campaigned against Bush’s follies he has now embraced them.” All perfectly predictable. Only a fool or a crafty exponent of the system posing as a critic, could have ever thought otherwise. Giving Scheer the benefit of the doubt on the former, the only way to explain his feigned disgruntlement is the latter. Even then, the worst he can find to say of his tarnished hero Obama, is to accuse him of being “nerve-racking”. In order to continue defending St. Barack while pretending to criticize him, Scheer has to resort to standard palliatives, i.e. “hasn’t yet managed to significantly reduce the U.S. obligation in Iraq and has committed to making a potentially costlier error by ratcheting up America’s ‘nation-building’ role in Afghanistan.” The only “obligation” the U.S. has in Iraq is to vamoose. Not “reduce” - vacate. And Afghanistan has been “committed” to another spate of America ‘nation-destroying’ by design, just like Iraq. “The Afghanistan situation” has been “burdened” by Obama and his own ‘surge’ strategy. He has “saddled” the taxpayers with a banking bailout they didn’t cause. And the best “that can be said of his attempted solutions to the financial mess is that they were inherited from Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson” - and lack any vision or integrity of his own, despite all his alleged intelligence. “It is the purpose of government regulation in the area of health as well as banking to even the scales between the powerful corporations and the consumers from whom they profit [at least according to high school civics textbooks] That is the purpose of a public option worth its name” - but not if it’s shifty name is Barack Obama.

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By Presumptive, September 16, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Mr Sheer writes, yet again, discerningly.

A courageous article as his is not a welcome message by many on the left.

Our President may indeed be all that he seems (smart, gracious, caring and the long list goes on) but radical societal change does not just happen in Washington DC or ‘out there mysteriously’ but with each of us radically in our own lives.

Once again we the populace chose with Mr Obama a ‘pretend solution’ as we are apt to do in the face of the truly numerous, pivotal challenges which now face us.

Mr Obama was electable while what is needed desperately are of course the Kucinics and Feingolds. But then of course we shall all have to make those uncomfortable real changes, which are so easy to rationalize away.

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By RdV, September 16, 2009 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

“...obama took over a country deep in a ditch and WAH!  WAH!  WAH!  WAHH! he hasn’t pulled us out in 9 months!!!11!!

jesus, get a grip. it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

  Despite your simplistic, foolish talking point excuse, maybe, just maybe matters would improve if Obama quit digging the ditch deeper.THAT is the point.

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By Jean Gerard, September 16, 2009 at 11:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mick Koz speaks my mind.  We’re talking failure already?  For all the verbal complaining, there are too few constructive suggestions, too few reports on what commenters are actually doing themselves to help rather than to merely sound off. And what can be done, what we all-too-ordinary people can do—well, there’s almost nothing said about that.  I wonder why, because that’s where “the change you can believe in” will come from, if at all.

What do you say to that, Robert Sheer?  Any ideas? You are in a position of leadership, you know.

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By liecatcher, September 16, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Obama’s Presidency Isn’t Too Big to Fail
Posted on Sep 15, 2009 By Robert Scheer

Hey Robert Scheer:

Obama’s Presidency can’t fail because he is
continuing
the usurpation of power & we the people can’t do
a thing about it. He represents Wall Street & screws
Main Street every time. Please stop talking about the
Bush legacy as if it was static history & start
thinking
of Obama as Bush ” 3 ” continuing to pursue the
cabal’s
objective of destroying America. Then all of sudden
all
the pieces of the puzzle fit together nicely.  Bush
“3” didn’t
blunder into Afghanistan or anywhere else. Every
move
he makes, every speech he reads ,every word he
speaks is carefully provided to achieve the
objectives
of the NEW WORLD ORDER:ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT
cabal. “3” is in Afghanistan for the heroin, & there
are
more private contractors there than regular military.
“W”  raised the military budget to its highest level
since
World War II & “3” surpassed it with money created
out
of thin air without a chance that the debt created
could
ever be repaid. This sets the stage to create a new
world
currency to go along with the NWO:OWG. Don’t let
yourself
get nerve-racked by “3s” campaign promises & actual
performance. Think of the country western song:
“I’d lie to you for your love ” & just substitute
the word
vote for love. “3” wasn’t saddled with a banking
crisis,
he was installed to allow Government Sachs to finish
plundering America, & to make sure no dollar will be
left behind, he gave Bernanke unlimited powers to
make
sure the rich got richer & the rest of us would be
enslaved
in a debtor’s abyss.  When Bernanke sent countless
$trillions to the cabal in Europe with arrogance,
impunity,
and no accountability,there was no doubt left about
the
game plan & who was pulling the strings. There are
enough
red herrings being bandied about to get sea sick.
However the reality is this: the fascist oligarchs
are in
charge of the government & America is once again an
English Colony.

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By filosofe, September 16, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

Forgive me, I execrate the plutocrats as much as the next gal, but, do you mean to tell me that you simply cannot find it anywhere in your heart to execrate, if only just a little teeny tiny bit, the fatuous, gullible lumpies whose entire purpose in life is to mow ever-bigger, chem-er and chem-er lawns and watch fixed sports on TVs greater than all outdoors?

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By SavvyRead, September 16, 2009 at 9:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:  Observations of Mark, September 16 at 10:36

Of all that can be said with regard to the administration of George W Bush .. nary a criticism has been lodged against Laura Bush, who is unfailingly charming,intelligent, and very fashionably groomed and attired.

My first impression of Michelle Obama is lasting; that fiery and hostile outburst as to how she had never before been proud to be an “American” until Barrack was nominated.  Both were benefited by Affirmative Action and generous support of student loans.  It seemed at the outset they were intent on posturing as “role models” for Black Americans, as “parents,” when so many struggled through so many obstacles and overcame.  One wonders how that settled on many of those people?  For those of us long admiring dynamics of diversity, it just seemed “out of order.”

As discordant practices of Obama have emerged, those observations posted by Mark add to the “gaps.”  How?  Why?  Who?

In the frame of who wrote, scripted, directed and produced “President Obama?”  What powers are in the shadows?  How far, how long ago?  “Dreams of His Father,” albeit he was educated at Harvard, but became a drunk and womanizer, did not seem to linger on a son who met him once in a lifetime.

Then the issue of legitimacy of a birth cerfticate, and now the rise at The University of Chicago in such a short period within that venue of a political machine long recognized for voting blocks residing in local cemetaries.

The very sensitive TV network biography of the late Senator Teddy Kennedy during the pageantry of his burial ceremonies included a segment where he was portrayed as a mentor of Obama who identified Obama as “presidential material” many years prior when Obama addressed the Democratic Convention, seen as almost as a “political barometer?”

Given the office of “The Presidency” is one all of us value and for which we urge respect, in an era of widespread corruption and perversion of our political structures, we have to insist on accountability and due diligence of ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS.  It is curious that the stamp Obama would have first imprinted was that there be no “looking back,” as to investigation of conduct of the Bush administration; was that a clue?

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By billofwrites, September 16, 2009 at 9:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

god, i hate liberals.

obama took over a country deep in a ditch and WAH!  WAH!  WAH!  WAHH! he hasn’t pulled us out in 9 months!!!11!!

jesus, get a grip. it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

obama’s a pragmatist / centrist. if you bought the campaign Koolaid and now you’ve got buyer’s remorse, boo-freakin’-hoo.

frankly, all you posters—i don’t see any viable economic or counter-terrorism solutions being offered up here…except the risible threat of defections to an impotent third-party. we see how well that worked in 2000, and would only strengthen the republican hand in 2010.

ron paul, commmander in chief?  BWA HA HA HA HA HA! my god, i’d never stop throwing up.

do your job, bitches. write. call. email. go outside with signs and protest. but all this liberal keyboard carping is nauseating.

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By mick koz, September 16, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

I have great respect for you, Robert Scheer, as a journalist and a person.  Your irrepresible courage in confronting the flawed status quo, for the most part, constructively, is a shining example of what the traditional role journalism and media should serve in this contemporary world of ‘media-ocrisy’. 

But I find that I must disagree, strongly, with you Robert on your rather cranky and yes even puerile assessment of Barack Obama’s positions and policy since taking office a skance 8 months ago.

Without going into specific issues, I would profer this more patient, pragmatic assessment:

I believe a fair assessment of the political reality of the American politcal system is that it is dysfunctional. It is essentialy a failed state disguised as a democratic government, directed, not governed, by the corporatocracy.

Just act yourselves: What if Obama had not won? It will take time to reverse the vicissitudes of the previous administrations, including Clinton’s abandonment of government regulation of financial markets etc.

In my opinion, Obama is not over-reaching…he has the unique distinction of having a field of vision and prespective that few mortals possess…he knows that he will have to make very unpopular compromises that will anger both political persuasions and in some cases all, but I submit that the American people are very fortunate indeed this young brilliant energetic man is willing to sacrifice all, perhaps even his life to serve the interests of all of us.

Is Obama perfect? No…but, no one could possibly meet the expectations of a spoiled-rotten culture that is so self-absorbed and selfish, that it cannot bring itself to suffer even the most insignificant inconvenience.

As one contributor noted, piling seems to be the new American pastime…

So I would say to those who are disappointed in Obama’s performance so far, try to look at the big picture, and realize how close this country came to sinking into total chaos had Obama not won.

Patience brothers and sisters…patience…

Mi dos pesos(.0002US)

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By Frederick Fuller, September 16, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t doubt Scheer is right in his assessment of the Obama administration. I was an enthusiastic supporter of his campaign, and I am not completely disillusioned by his presidency so far. It has been only nine months, so I hope that he will step out and put some muscle behind his desires for our country.

But I am increasingly concerned about all this talk about our becoming a fascist state or a socialist nation. Understand, there is a mindset that is primed for such takeovers. Russia did not rally behind Lenin because he was cool. They rallied because he suggested he and his party could bring them out of bondage by the czar. But, Russians always lived in a totalitarian nation. There was no illusion that Lenin’s communist government would give them freedoms like we have.

Germany forever has seen itself as home of the master race. When they lost WWI, their ego was so shattered that all Hitler had to say was follow me and we’ll conquer the world because we are Germans.

So my point and question is how would Obama or any president succeed in taking over America and ruling like dictator? Nothing in our history supports that. We have fought four wars to keep that from happening. Do you think we are so weak that we’d just give in?

All totalitarian takeovers, I think, have had armies behind them. Do you believe our American soldiers would follow some dictator who wants to subjugate us under any form of socialism or fascism? I cannot conceive of that happening in America. (And, we do have all those wonderful gun-toters out there who repeat Heston’s announcement, “from my cold, dead hands.” See we got nothing to worry about. Yeah, I’m being sarcastic.)

What I see happening now is vitriol hurled at Obama, the man, the human being, not at his policies or his administration. Hated is pointed very sharply at the man. So, since I am willing to walk it a nest of hornets, I will say this: It’s because he is black.

Indeed, large numbers of people—liberals, conservatives, dems, repubs, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Northerners and Southerners—cannot accept the fact that there is a n***** in the White House. Many in Washington have not accepted his as president, thus the birthers and others who have attacked him viciously and are busy working to destroy him. Even is wife catches it for her arms or the failure of her garden at the White House.

Yeah, as Scheer suggests, he’s doing a lot to destroy his presidency, and he may fail. But he won’t fail because he is unAmerican, or a socialist planning to take over the country. He is a brilliant young man who has been legitimately elected and swoarn into office. He is OUR president, and he has a vision just like all presidents have had.

As good, patriotic Americans it is our obligation to criticize his administration and its policies and actions, but it not our right to attack him as a person. It’s always wrong to go after the person who is president; we are not our brother’s/sister’s judges.

He will fail if his critics keep excoriating him and destroy any chances of his succeeding. Then it will be our fault he fails, not his. Yes, he is a politician, and he did not get to where he is without kissing some backsides and will kiss more to keep his job. He is a politician, but I sincerely believe he is a good, loyal American.

I may be naive as a three-year-old and a wishy-washy liberal, but I think I have a point.

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By Anarcissie, September 16, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

It seems to me Mr. O has been cut quite a lot of slack by the sort-of-Left, by the progressives so-called who ardently supported him.  This is in spite of the fact that he unequivocally dumped them as soon as he had the nomination tied up (May ‘08).  They’ve been crying softly by the telephone, but, O Progs, he’s just not that into you.  Evidently he thinks he and his party can win elections with or without you.  I guess we’ll see.

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By Fat Freddy, September 16, 2009 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Crimson Ghost

Honest politician is a contradiction in terms. Yes, Ron Paul subscribes to the Austrian School of Economics, but my biggest problem with him, other than he’s from Texas (just kidding), is that he refused to break with the Republican Party and run as an independent, or for the Libertarian nomination. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out why. And, I think he has a long way to go regarding social policy to be a true Libertarian.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 16, 2009 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

BobZ writes: “Obama or any other president coming in had little choice but to bail out Wall Street and the banks or 25% of us would have been on the unemployment lines.”
This reads like a “cut bait” statement if ever there were such a thing. Little choice? I find this remarkable when you consider that a previous President, FDR, actually declared a bank holiday, and then looked into the books of what banks were viable to remain open and the ones who were not. Perhaps this poster has swallowed the “too big to fail” hemlock? The “or 25% of us would have been on the unemployment lines”. This of course assumes that you are eligible for unemployment compensation, which millions of temporary workers are not.
I suspect cutting President Obama some slack, has less to do with compassionate reality, than a slacker attitude of inevitability, that eliminates the need for bold decisive actions.
For a President to represent the interests of the American people, corporate enablers are simply not up to the task.

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By ElkoJohn, September 16, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

1)-Obama is a smooth-talking, Blue Dog Democrat / Moderate Republican
Politician.

2)-They told me if I voted for Hillary in the Primary and she got into office, the
war in Afghan would be escalated—I voted for Hillary, and sure enough, the war
in Afghan was escalated.

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

Hi BobZ,

Re: “Afghanistan could yet be the achilles heel for Obama but I am still with him on health care and on regulatory reform of Wall Street.”

Man, that medical marijuana must be good in your part of the country. It’s time to wake up and smell the oleic acid, my friend.

1) Obama just raised the DoD budget by 7%. That means he’s a bigger thief of the nation’s wealth for the sake of the brasshats than even George Bush could get away with. The fans of Barry seem too mesmerized by his smooth talk to pay any attention that policy is being set, and it’s worse than ever.

2) Afghanistan is shaping up to be the Obama’s Vietnam. Let’s not mince words about having 80,000 troops shooting up a population of 20,000,000 hostiles. Obama’s course is insane from the perspective of what’s good for the people of this nation. It can only be explained by suggesting that Obama is giving away the U.S. treasury to a bunch of thieving war profiteers.

3) You may be with Obama on health care, but he is silently slipping the stilleto in your back on this matter. Look at what his “reform” is going to amount to. It’s going to end up being a government coercion to force indigent people to either pay an insurance profiteer, or pay a government fine. This is extortion in most countries.

4) Finacial regulation? What sort of hashish haze are you lost in? There isn’t going to be any financial regulation. Haven’t you figured that out yet? The time for re-regulating was when the Federal government and the FRB held all the cards last September and should have insisted to the criminals who run Wall Street that the only way they were going to get taxpayer cash was by submitting to prudent rules. We all know what happened. The greatest looting of a public treasury in the history of civilization occurred on the Bush and the Obama watches. It’s as if the two are Siamese twins with regard to how radically they’ve encumbered the taxpayer with outrageous amount of coddling for the crazed conspirators on Wall Street.

I’m beginning to worry that the Obama fan club seems to be just as imbecilic as the Bush fan club,  albeit with a bit more compassion for their fellow souls. But with essentially no comprehension about what’s really happening at the strategic level.

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By StuartH, September 16, 2009 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

I agree with some of the author’s points.  But the piling on goes over the edge.

My first grade teacher brought a TV in so we could watch the inaugural of John F. Kennedy, and so I have watched Democratic presidents from then on and have read enough history to have some sense of what Obama is having to deal with.

Obama comes into office at a most unfortunate time.  The Bush administration left a truly nasty mess that we probably don’t yet know the full dimensions of. He left nastier politics.  The financial elite on Wall Street got used to thinking they were Gods that not Congress nor the President nor the public were qualified to criticize.  Reigning those people in won’t be easy.

Huge amounts of money are being spent to sour the public on Obama by the same banking and financial interests that just got bailed out.  Huge amounts of money are being spent by insurance company interests. 

What they hope to do is go back to robbing the till without accountability, after the 2010 elections create enough of a Republican comeback to pretty well paralyze Washington, which would the only real purpose in supporting Republicans.

How much of that money is involved in efforts within the blogosphere to create more muddying of the waters?  That kind of money can stir the pot in all kinds of places both directly and indirectly. 

Think progressives can’t get played?  There is legitimate criticism.  Always is. But there is also the question who benefits and who wins the next election.  Very dangerous situation.

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By Itmaybesaid, September 16, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is doing a great job in spite of the huge problems he inherited. 

We are disgusted over the fighting between members of the major political parties.  We need real health care reforms.  Americans who worked hard all their lives are losing their homes and going bankrupt because of the present health care mess.

Major problems, such as the huge prison crisis and illegal immigration issues, cannot be solved until politicians get themselves together for the good of the country, rather than for the good of their parties.

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By keepyourheaddown, September 16, 2009 at 7:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NEW BOSS SAME AS THE OLD BOSS!

US GOVERNMENT = PATHETIC

It’s already over… THE RECOVERY IS A LIE!!!!

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By BobZ, September 16, 2009 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Sorry to disagree with all of the pessimism about Obama but I am still in his
corner - eight years of George W. Bush should have given all of us the ability to
cut Obama a lot of slack. The reality is this country almost went under last
September and Obama or any other president coming in had little choice but to
bail out Wall Street and the banks or 25% of us would have been on the
unemployment lines. Afghanistan could yet be the achilles heel for Obama but I
am still with him on health care and on regulatory reform of Wall Street. I never
thought Obama would be a miracle worker but I knew he was smarter than
Bush and was not a religious fundamentalist. If you look at the current
Republican “kookiness” from its leaders what choice did intelligent people have
but to vote for Barack Obama. Or move out of the country which some on this
board have done. Obama has brought racism to the forefront which was a
surprise to me, but then I live in an urban area and don’t see much of that. I
didn’t realize just how wacky much of our country is.

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By LostHills, September 16, 2009 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

I never supported Obama’s candidacy because of his coziness with big coal and the insurance companies. All of my friends seemed to believe in him and I couldn’t figure out why. I quit Moveon when they became part of the Obama campaign. When he came out in favor of the war in Afghanistan after representing himself as a peace candidate in the primaries, I viewed it as a disgusting betrayal of the Democratic party voters. Yet, when push came to shove, I voted for him and I wished him well. That will not happen again, and I’m not the only one that feels that way.

His adventures as president so far have disillusioned the left, energized the right and pissed off the independents. That is not a recipe for success. We all know that he inherited major problems from the Bush administration, but they are his problems now, he was hired to fix them, and on every single front he seems to be making things worse—not better.

The way it looks to me is that the Democrats are bound to suffer big losses in 2010, and the only way he can hang on in 2012 is if the Republicans nominate a complete looney tune, like Sarah Palin, to their ticket. That might not even save him. In fact, he may very well be paving the way for a conservative demagogue that will be even worse than Bush. America is heading into a new place that is not like the America we grew up in. You can’t predict the future by looking at the past anymore. The election of Barack Obama was a turning point in the history of this country, and it looks like a very wrong turn to me.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 16, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

re: Ray Duray

You are correct that most of the intelligent criticisms of President Obama have been directed at the hypocrisy of implemented policies. But there are those who actually believed his candidacy was an instrument for national change, like Robert Scheer, and now fret about possible failure.
Sadly, because the corporate-owned news media (I know, Charlie Rose tells me that this is not so!) have driven their agenda to the point that the Presidency itself has become merely a cosmetic talking point of celebrity pageantry (What did Obama really say about Kanye West?). Meanwhile the fraud that dare not speak its name, continues unabated.

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By janeykins, September 16, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

All I have to say is
O One
B Big
A Ass
M Mistake
A America

When will all you Obama lovers wake up and realize he is a sham and not the “savior” you all thought he was.

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By Mark, September 16, 2009 at 7:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Couple of observations:

Re: Obama as a “constitutional scholar”

A close look at his vitae will reveal the truth. Obama graduated from law school in 1991. He began lecturing on constitutional law at the University of Chicago in 1992!

So with maybe a year of experience as a full fledged lawyer, Obama is lecturing on constitutional law at a national law school which charges its students several thousands of Dollars in tuition every year.

Trust me, that never happens, UNLESS the guy in question has loads of “pull” with the decision makers at the law school. And given that the law school in question is the U of C, those decision makers are powerful members of the political and business establishment.

Obama is a constitutional scholar in name only, and only by virtue of his clout.

Verbum sapienti sat.

Re: Obama’s broken promises

Ironically, it turns out that, generally speaking, Joe Wilson was right. He’s right for the wrong reasons, of course. But nevertheless the amount of mendacity emanating from the Obama administration is staggering.

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By SavvyRead, September 16, 2009 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posting is not a hobby/passtime and if so inspired, prior to doing so, it is my practice to review other posts to get the tenor of the community; that includes the “give and take” of contributors; I don’t spend an entire day .. nor do I have the time to do so .. and when posts are not entered timely, the intent and potential contribution is lost

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By Southern Gal, September 16, 2009 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

I keep thinking that things can’t get worse, but then they do. Obama has only been in office for 9 months and has already overturned many campaign promises. I hate to think what happens next. We keep hoping that the people in charge understand the complex economic, environmental and social problems that we face and know what to do. The truth seems to be that the answers and solutions to problems are based on what’s good for capitalism,  the multi national corporations and the war mongering military industrial complex. There’s simply no room for we the people in the problem solving process. How can the economy be improving as Federal Ben says, when the umemployment rate is climbing, the debt is growing and we are at the mercy of Wall Street? How can our lives be improving when our sons and daughters are being shipped off to fight wars based on vague ideology and the need to capture resources and bomb civilians in the name of fighting terrorism and forging democracies? I’m tired of Obama, the Congress and the commercial media treating us like we’re stupid and don’t understand that we are being screwed by the power brokers. Hello third party, I’ve had it with the Democrats and the Republicans.

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By SavvyRead, September 16, 2009 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A very thought provoking work, Mr. Sheer.  How?

The monumental need is to excavate for the real backdrop of the “installation” of President and Mrs Obama. His “election” and “the media” choir in continuous and superfluous celebration of a meager margin is astonishing.  2010 is likely to be a political earthquake; some of us look for Hillary Clinton to emerge as candidate and be elected to the presidency in 2012.

Why is former Senator Clinton now Secretary of State when clearly she was the better presidential candidate, eminently the most qualified, also an attorney, and spouse of President Clinton?  Why did the campaign manager of Sen Clinton for President not expose Jeremiah Wright and those elements of the Chicago machine, one of which is White House Chief of Staff renowned for foul language?

Many of us who empathized with the tragedies of the life of the late Senator Teddy Kennedy questioned how he supported Obama over Sen Clinton when she, too, embraced NATIONAL HEALTH CARE and very early on? Perhaps an attempt to perpetuate a symbolisn of “Camelot?”  Obama does not “get it?”

President John F. Kennedy was indeed youthful, but also highly educated, well seasoned with military and political background.  Articulate.  Obama had little qualification, relies on a Tel-e-Prompter, seems to have little grasp of conflicting policies and their implications that are continually revised and re-phrased; as a Senator he voted “present,” and as candidate he limited himself to promises of HOPE and CHANGE.  Who could buy into that ambiguity?  Many of us could not.  Leave the United States?  No way!  We have to rebuild our national strength and character.

A big CLUE is the DIVE on SINGLE PAYER UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE, issues of IMMIGRATION REFORM, and the “economy.”  “REFORM” would balance the “PUBLIC INTERESTS” versus UNIONS, INSURANCE COMPANIES, PHARMACEUTICALS, FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS and WALL STREET.  Not happening.  CASH OUT OF POLITICAL PROCESS!

JPMorgan/CHASE?  After years of begging balance transfers at fixed low rates for life of those loans, suddenly minimum payments were hiked from 2% to 5%; CHASE received a bail-out for its own contribution to the financial carnage; no sanctions have been applied as those victims have been financially dismembered in an economy beset with decimated investors, those unemployed and without health care?  And those “FICO” scores; issues never raised?

Rep Wilson?  Not a time to play “nice, nice.”  A real political SHAKE-UP is overdue. A major component is the US Senate, the few members of that club not enlarged to expand representation as the US has grown exponentially.  And in this vernacular, The US Constitution is not fixed, but interactive.

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By Big B, September 16, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

I recall telling my wife back in November that, just give it six months, and poor dumb Barry will be blamed by the ignorant american populace, for all of the transgressions of the previous administration.

I stand corrected, it took about eight months.

That being said, the problems facing america today are indeed his to deal with. And he has done the piss poor job one would expect from a corporate lacky and neo-liberal clintonian asshole. He has become just another in a long line of impotent american leaders, forever linked to, and wholly dependant on, the big money that got them elected. But that’s capitalism folks, it’s the steed we have hitched our wagons to for 200 years. The system has followed all the logical steps, the big have eaten the little, bought influence with their booty, and now are the only entity in this once great nation to have a voice in it’s daily operation. We are past the point of no return, so sit back and enjoy our downward spiral to obscurity, and hope we don’t take the rest of the world with us.

remember, we voted for this. over and over again.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, September 16, 2009 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No one has been betrayed.  It is simply that he never
cared from the beginning, meaning that he is no better,
no worse, than anyone else in Washington and how could
we expect him to be?  If progressives have at long last
stopped crying in their beer about Ralph Nader and
Florida 2000, maybe there is hope of an awakening.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, September 16, 2009 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

As some of you know, I am also an expat.  By marriage but also by need.  Too damned expensive to live on my limited resources.  We reside in Eastern Europe which is an interesting experience by any measure.  I sometimes look at the situation here as a precursor to what is happening to America.  It’s not a pretty picture.

With the current political structure in Washington, there is no president who can make much difference.  How can one make progress when both parties are essentially right of center?  This is a formula for stagnation and, given the huge influence of corporate money, a slippery slope to a corporatocracy.

We all suffer from terminal optimism when it comes to our politicians.  We always want to believe they are with us and working for our benefit.  How terrible it is to discover they are not.  Money trumps votes every time in Washington and elsewhere.  I’m sure Obama and his advisers believe progressives have no alternative so can be safely ignored.  They are playing to the independents and centrist voters who can vote either way.  And, unfortunately, they are right.  We have no true representation (other than a few liberal legislators but they aren’t nearly enough) and will be ignored as long as Democrats occupy the center.  So we should just resign ourselves to being marginalized or work hard to create our own political entity.

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By Paul_GA, September 16, 2009 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

I still like Dr. Paul best, but I don’t put my faith in him; the only true faith is faith in God, as I see it.

As the Psalmist said, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3).

I’d say that’s what’s wrong with the so-called “progressive” camp—they’ve put their faith and trust in Mr. Obama, and for at least some, it’s a blind faith.

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By amex, September 16, 2009 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

Ardee,

The problem for me is that when I fought the Government in court for changing a law in favor of the corporation, even to the detriment of the local citizens, I came out with a broken jaw from the government and de-virginized by the court system. And when I went to the hospital to get myself fixed, they turned me away because of a lack of health insurance.  You see my colesteral is 20 points over normal so I was rejected by multiple insurers.

Nah - I am done futily fighting with a government gone insane

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By archivesDave, September 16, 2009 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

No Problem Mr Scheer: When the time is ripe, the bankruptcy of our nation’s economy will simply be rolled into the new Global economy much the same as
the original states’ massive Revolutionary War debts
were rolled into the new Union under the tutelage
of Alexander Hamilton.

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By ardee, September 16, 2009 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

AmEx, September 16 at 6:21 am #

You made a choice to leave the nation of your (presumed) birth. I think I will remain and continue to fight as best as I can.

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Hi Crimsom Ghost,

Re: “Is Ron Paul the last honest politician in America?”

Well. No. Not even remotely close. If you take the time to examine the record, Dr. Ron Paul the Libertarian newsletter writer was quite specific about his propensity to white supremacy. There was quite a controversy about this in some circles last summer and candidate Ron Paul was completely disingenuous about how white hate polemics happened to end up anonymously in his personal newsletter. I found the episode quite repugnant. Though I do agree with Ron Paul on his anti-war stance and his antipathy for the Federal Reserve Board.

But it would be dreadfully naive to consider Ron Paul to be honest. The best we can say is that, honestly, he’d wreck Social Security in a South Texas second if he were given half a chance.

For my money, if I were to vote on an honest politician on the national scene I’d be looking at Senators Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold as being pretty much straight-shooters. In the house Lynn Woolsey, Raul Grijalva and maybe Jan Shakowsky come to mind. Not many others come to mind off the top of the noggin’.

In comparison, here’s an interesting rogue’s gallery of Congressional scoundels: http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org/

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By joell109, September 16, 2009 at 4:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ralph nader quotes seems more on point now than when he made them in 2000:

“there is one corporate party, with two heads wearing different make-up”

“the greatest power the major parties have over voters is their belief that they
have to vote for a democrat or republican”

it should be obvious to anyone, “change we can believe in” will not take place by
voting for a democrat or republican.

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By ezio, September 16, 2009 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

AmEx - I found your comments tragic but true! I am contemplating leaving the US myself! May I ask where you moved?
Thank You!

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 4:03 am Link to this comment

Hi thebeerdoctor,

Re: “So the political ones who are disturbed at the idea of the Obama administration being a failure”

I have to say, I’m not reading many criticisms of Obama saying that he’s a failure.

My contention, along with much if not most of the intelligent criticism of Obama coming from the progressive perspective is that Obama is a fraud.

There’s a big difference, you’ll have to admit, between being an incompetent and being a working tool of amoral imperialism. I have no illusions that Obama is incompetent. Nor should anyone else examining the record.

Obama’s Broken Promises to Date: http://bit.ly/jxPM
[This list did not include Obama’s reversal on FISA while he sat in the Senate, nor does it address the acquiescence of Obama to permanent garrisons in Iraq among other failures of progressive policy.]

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By archivesDave, September 16, 2009 at 3:59 am Link to this comment

Already commented but have yet to see it.

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By Crimson Ghost, September 16, 2009 at 3:59 am Link to this comment

Is Ron Paul the last honest politician in America?

I don’t agree with everything he stands for but he is miles above Obama and every other mainstream poliitician. His forthright oppostion to the war party and Wall Street bailouts truly is a profile in courage.

I recall that during the campaign Paul said that nothing fundamental would change if Obama was elected.  Truer words have never been spoken.

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By ezio, September 16, 2009 at 3:53 am Link to this comment

Obama the betrayer! If I hear one more idiot call the President a Socialist, a Progressive or even a Liberal? Look up the meaning of the damn words!

The right has nothing to fear from this guy! Despite all the great oratory skills, he is 100% Corporate Whore! We could have elected McCain or even Bush for a third term and got the same result!

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By thebeerdoctor, September 16, 2009 at 3:49 am Link to this comment

OK, up until this moment, what has been Barack Obama’s great accomplishment? Being elected President of the United States. Like others in such a position, he spent all of his time and energy in completing this task, after that, to paraphrase George W. Bush, of all people, “wait until he finds his butt in that seat, and see how he manages it”.
Despite the perks (limo, Air Force One, Camp David) there is really only the rewards of the ego and its dreams of “making history”, to justify the monstrous amount of time and money spent, just so he can wear that jacket that says “President Obama”.
It keeps being said, as simply a given, that Barack Obama is a constitutional scholar. This provides a simplistic and superficial perception that the former law professor is some kind of legal wunderkind, seeking truth and justice like Clarence Darrow or William Kunstler. These same folks are shocked, absolutely shocked, when the political pragmatist president reveals he is cool with keeping the torture investigations on the back burner, because we need to “look forward” as he himself has said.
His domestic economic decisions are disastrous, and that should not be surprising, because the political pragmatist, who wants to remain, according to the assumed system, politically viable, can not be perceived as being too hard on the forces that gave him the money that helped get him to the job in the first place.
Politics is all about being well connected, so it is quite natural that President Obama would turn to the well connected for guidance, no matter how loathsome their advice truly is. Too much has been made of his personal narrative about his single mom having at one time to use food stamps, which helps to create the illusion that Barack Obama, like nearly all the political operatives in Washington, are actually ‘in touch’ with the needs of the people who do not belong to their ownership class. When actually, true poverty, which is prevalent in this country, can not truly be grasped, because in a corporate-consumerist culture it is not even suppose to exist. Which also helps to explain why the President thinks a solution to economic misery is get the credit markets back on their feet. This is the neoliberal mind set in a nut shell; whether it is Bangkok, Thailand or New Orleans, Louisiana.
The liberal version of empirical control disguises its violence and brutality with well place symbols and language, but essentially, when push comes to shove, those altruistic motives disappear, whenever the ownership elite feel their wealth and power threatened… hence, single payer undergoes a transformation into public option, and finally completely disappears.
The U.S. empirical designs on the world’s resources, whether physically actual, or even worse, simply to enforce an abstract idea of control over them, will continue, no matter who sits in the oval office. Throwing aside the false notion that these wars are about protecting the American people, the “right war” that President Obama speaks of is a way to assuage the American’s exceptional collective ego, and also ensure the military industries and associated adjuncts, will continue to prosper.
So the political ones who are disturbed at the idea of the Obama administration being a failure, should have taken stock of what their candidate actually said, instead of projecting their own desires. As Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland, California, “There is no there, there.”

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By twodogs, September 16, 2009 at 3:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer, you are quite right. I came to a similar conclusion some time ago. It
was the appointment of Geithner and Summers that set off alarm bells, and
lately I have come so suspect that Rahm Emanuel may also have been an
unfortunate pick. How else do we account for the growing disparity between
Obama’s words and the administration’s actions? I assume Mr. Emanuel has
more than a little influence in guiding the administrations actions with respect
some or all of those issues you have enumerated, but most particularly the
administration’s ever-shifting position on health care reform.

I fear that Mr. Obama will learn too late that he is being ill-served.

Like you, I hesitate to criticize Mr. Obama when he is being attacked on so
many fronts by racists and whackos. As you say, though, only by doing so can
we hope to save Mr. Obama and ourselves.

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

Hi ardee,

Re: “Nothing more bitter than an author realizing he was duped, I guess.”

Leave the guessing behind. The world is full of messy divorces that are far more fun to watch than America’s impending sheet-spliting from super-dish Barry O. (the Gen X Jackie O., eh?).

Take for example the salacious saga of the sex-crazed Swedish countess who now needs a counting room for her $50 Million divorce settlement from her ex… http://bit.ly/150Cd

And the hits just keep on happening…

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By amex, September 16, 2009 at 3:21 am Link to this comment

I look back and feel ashamed that I fell for his campaign nonsense.  I left America years ago, right after Bush’s 2nd selection, in order to look in from the outside and keep my children safer.

Living on the outside is very eyeopening.  You see just what a tragic comedy America has become.  There are plenty of clowns for your viewing pleasures, plenty of government sponsored predators to steal what little you might have saved, and plenty of fear to keep our children fighting make believe wars.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my true health care, the quality of food that I eat, and the general civility that is all around me on the outside.

I just don’t believe that America is going to pop out on the other side of fascism without a revolt.  Unfortunately I don’t see any fire on the horizon.  Maybe when the food runs low something will change?

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By archivesDave, September 16, 2009 at 3:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No problem Mr Scheer: The coming Global Empire is upon
us and our humongous national debt will simply be rolled over into the new Economic Order much as Hamilton convinced the original states to roll their
huge Revolutionary War debts over into the new Union.
archivesDave

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By ardee, September 16, 2009 at 3:09 am Link to this comment

Nothing more bitter than an author realizing he was duped, I guess.

I seem to recall, during the campaign for the presidency, many voices speaking to Obama’s lack of national experience, his ties to big business and big finance as illustrated by the many tens of millions he continued to collect from those sources, his short but telling voting record that negated his overblown claims to liberalism, et al.

These voices were shouted down by those who said McCain was worse, Palin would be a disaster, Obama is our newest superhero…..Even after his cabinet became a playground for those who were far closer to Bush than to those who voted for Obama, even after Obama extended the futile and hugely expensive war, even after he pandered to crooks and liars on Wall Street, even after he made a mockery of justice by refusing to investigate possible illegalities of the previous administration, even after, and perhaps the most venal of all, after he proposed health care “reform” and then fled the field leaving Congress directionless and impotent.

I share your anger, Mr, Scheer, but I wonder what took you so long?

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By Joe Davidson, September 16, 2009 at 2:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For the sake of our country and our fellow citizens - total withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan - NOW. Wasted lives, wasted money. Our lives, our money.

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By Ignatz Farquad, September 16, 2009 at 2:51 am Link to this comment

Next time: Kucinich.

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

Outstanding column, Mr. Scheer,

One can only hope that such pellucid, pragmatic thought will have to eventuate in a White House that clearly must be embarrassed in some measure by its own hubris, its amoral beguilement of the naive Left and its betrayal of the multitudes whom it would now seem have put their bets on the wrong sparkle pony.

Is the Barry Obama Brigade America’s Trojan Horse? I’m a decent speculator, and that where I’m placing my bets in the casino capital of the world. Af-Pak, Van Jones, health care capitulation…. the hits just keep coming.

Thanks for pointing out to your readers that the current drift of policy being discussed for health care amounts to nothing more than an abominable mandate on millions of struggling Americans who are currently gambling on their youth and good health to avoid the predatory and outrageously immoral insurance rackets. One can only look at the foul behavior of the White House and Congress as an indication that Lincoln’s “People” have well and truly lost Washington and their Federal Government to a “bunch of f***ing bond dealers” and an army of predacious power brokers who see the public as a twitching carcass to be sent to the abbatoir. A public abandoned by the White House to the cannibal capitalist clutches of Cigna? I don’t find the image to be too gritty, too vulgar or too far off the mark. [Oh, I suppose one should take cold comfort that Speaker Pelosi labeled the insurers “terrorists”, just before she invited them to a posh fundraiser. There are limits to cynicism, and by all decent standards America is off the charts on this measure today.]

I’m reminded of a film I’ve seen recently, “The Baader-Meinhof Complex” about the struggles of a generation ago to fight the New World Order madness of the American imperialist juggernaut. Still we protest this monster today, but with much less color commentary than in our prime.

“Off the pig” was the slogan of that bygone era. Perhaps we need to bring it back.

1968: “Hey, Hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?”
2009: “Hey, Hey, Barry O., how many bribers did you blow today?”

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Russian Paul's avatar

By Russian Paul, September 16, 2009 at 2:27 am Link to this comment

Ever so slowly, Scheer seems to be inching closer to the inevitable truth: Obama’s
administration is a fluid continuation of the last one. The Democrats and
Republicans are working together to table health care reform, expand the wars
overseas, and give our money away to the felons on Wall St. But with all this phony
Left-Right bickering in the corporate media, you’d think there’s some sort of
genuine debate going on in this country. Would be nice if Truthdig could act
like the alternative, progressive news source it’s supposed to be.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, September 16, 2009 at 2:27 am Link to this comment

Must say, Obama seems to have succeeded where Bush failed.  Is it the economy, our nation seems to be flailing in crap, the racists may achieve their goals.

Obama does seem to be placing nails in his own coffin, now his administration is in support of the Patriot Act? As a Constitutional scholar, Obama does seem to be giveing away things which suggest an undercutting of our liberitys.

People are upset and Obama may turn out to be the fall guy. Must say my anticipations of Obama have turned into disappoints and feelings of continued subjugation.

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Dale Copps's avatar

By Dale Copps, September 16, 2009 at 2:23 am Link to this comment

It is past the time to rehash the failings of this administration. If the opposition isn’t to sweep back into power in 2010, we must begin to build a coalition of progressives and liberal democrats committed to a government of, by, and for the people. It will not be easy wresting control from the corporate masters in Washington. However, it is our only hope. http://alltogethernow.org

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By Bubba, September 16, 2009 at 2:16 am Link to this comment

Obama—overwhelmed since Day One.

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