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Posted on Aug 19, 2010
White House / Pete Souza

By Eugene Robinson

This is a radical break from journalistic convention, I realize, but today I’d like to give credit where it’s due—specifically, to President Barack Obama. Quiet as it’s kept, he’s on a genuine winning streak.

It’s hard to remember that the inauguration was just 19 months ago. Expectations of the new president were absurdly high. If Obama had done back flips across the Potomac River, when he reached the other side he’d have faced probing questions about why it was taking him so long to cure cancer, solve the Arab-Israeli conflict and usher in an age of universal peace and prosperity.

But look at what he’s accomplished in just the past few weeks. Let me highlight four recent headlines:

Last U.S. Combat Troops Leave Iraq. Obama campaigned as an early and vocal opponent of the Iraq War, calling it a distraction from the more important conflict in Afghanistan. When he took office, there were about 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq on the heels of George W. Bush’s combat surge. Obama said he would bring our combat forces home and he did—ahead of schedule.

Before dawn Thursday, the last U.S. combat brigade crossed the border into Kuwait, effectively ending the military misadventure that Bush named “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” About 50,000 American military personnel remain in the country to train Iraqi government forces, protect U.S. installations and conduct special forces operations. We leave behind a messy, uncertain political situation, which the Iraqis will have to sort out. We also will have to deal with the most disturbing geopolitical consequence of Bush’s elective war: The theocratic dictatorship in Tehran, its ambitions no longer checked by Saddam Hussein, is much closer to its goal of making Iran a nuclear-armed regional superpower.

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But Obama did as well as anyone could have with the situation he inherited. Even his scorched-earth Republican critics, by their silence, are acknowledging that the president has fulfilled his campaign promise to be “just as careful getting out of Iraq as we were reckless getting in.”

General Motors to Launch Stock Offering. One of the many crises Obama faced when he took office was the imminent collapse of an iconic industrial giant. The demise of General Motors would have wiped out hundreds of thousands of jobs in the company and its supply chain, and, it’s safe to say, would have been a mighty blow to the nation’s psyche.

Obama ended up pouring $50 billion in the company, acquiring a 61 percent ownership stake. Critics complained about the advent of “Government Motors” and raised the specter of bureaucrats in Washington holding public hearings to redesign the Corvette. But now, after making more than $2 billion in profits so far this year, the restructured company is confident enough to sell stock on Wall Street—and begin repaying the government’s investment.

The company was saved, workers kept their jobs and taxpayers are going to get their money back. That’s nice work.

Gulf Oil Spill Contained. When BP’s Deepwater Horizon well went rogue, the Obama administration was criticized for being slow off the mark. Some of the criticism was justified—the initial response did seem unfocused. But the administration managed to turn things around and quiet any talk of “Obama’s Katrina.”

Obama convinced BP to put up $20 billion as a guarantee that the Gulf Coast residents whose livelihoods were damaged or destroyed by the spill would be compensated. Republican critics who called this a “shakedown” were quickly shushed—by other Republicans. Meanwhile, the administration ramped up its response operation and found effective ways of keeping oil from reaching the shore.

The administration’s claim that three-quarters of the oil was disposed of—by nature or by human intervention—before it could despoil the environment looks overly optimistic to some researchers. Moreover, serious questions remain about the long-term effects of the chemical dispersants that were used in unprecedented quantity. But a few months ago, who imagined that the president and his family would so soon be able to enjoy a day on the beach and a meal of Gulf seafood?

And finally: President Wades into Mosque Controversy. Yes, I’m serious. Supporting the mosque in Lower Manhattan didn’t score any political points. But Obama saw his duty to uphold the values of our Constitution and make clear that our fight is against the terrorists, not against Islam itself. Instead of doing what was popular, he did what was right. 

He still hasn’t walked on water, though. What’s wrong with the man?

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2010, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Inherit The Wind, August 22, 2010 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, August 22 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

ITW,

You’re arguing with a characterization of a Neo-Con phantom you’ve created by your own devises.

It’s unhealthy.
*************************

You need to stop practicing quack psychology without a license.  And your license you take with facts doesn’t qualify.

Report this

By ardee, August 22, 2010 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

ITW

Ardee:

You misunderstand me.  We are not as far apart as you think.  I don’t fundamentally disagree with your criticisms of Obama (maybe on a few points).  What I’m saying is that EVERY Dem President in the last 45 years carries the ADDITIONAL burden of attacks by his own party’s Left and those Left of the Party. It’s a burden Republican Presidents have little of from the Right (other than Gerry Ford).

In doing so we are playing against the Rethugs with loaded dice.

I do understand that we share opinions on many subjects, what we do not share,however, is the road to a solution. Democrats have not been done in by its left wing, sir, but by its right!

That the leadership of Rham Emmanuel, Chuck Schumer,et al has all but silenced the left elements within your Party, the Progressive and Black Caucuses as well, is a simple fact, a reality. I would ask you to remember that, fresh off their mid term victories inspired by the fifty state strategy of Howard Dean, both Schumer and Emmanuel quickly took to the pulpit declaring that Dean’s strategy was ineffective and meaningless and extolling the slide rightward as the only way to continue Democratic success.

Your party used to be known as the “big tent” party because of the disparate elements that called it home. That simple truth is no longer true and that is to the detriment of that party. Your intimation that it is the left that causes problems within is simply a rejection of the truth that the leadership refuses to stop dragging democrats to the right, in part to fill the void left by the even further rightward swing of the GOP.

When you say “we” are fighting the GOP you do not encompass my own stance, nor those of the majority of centrists, moderates and liberals ( progressives if you wish), in my opinion of course. What “we” are really fighting is the trend that makes both parties far too similar and far, far too obeisant to the corporations that fund our hideously expensive elections.. Further out on the limb if you please, I think that much of the ennui and disinterest we find in American politics today is due to the increasing similarities of the two parties, people wander when there is no real choice to be found.

Lastly, you and I are certainly allies in this struggle, we certainly have far more in common that we do with some who post here and we share many goals and aspirations for our nation. I wish you would concern yourself more with fixing your own party, to which you continue to hold allegiance, than in being critical and demeaning to those who reject that solution.

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By Go Right Young Man, August 22, 2010 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

ITW,

You’re arguing with a characterization of a Neo-Con phantom you’ve created by your own devises. 

It’s unhealthy.

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By Leefeller, August 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Maybe I missed it, but nobody posted a comment saying Obama is not an American Citizen, nor did I see anyone touting Obama as a Muslim, otherwise….. I clearly see Bill Oreally Fox News is caucus posting on the Truthdig comments section.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

GRYM feels so self-righteous talking about Michelle Obama’s trips and the Clinton wedding and the Kerry Yacht (Hey! Kerry’s married to the Heinz fortune).

You’d think George W. Bush was a monk in comparison.  Of course that’s a lie.  Bush took more vacation than any President in memory—he was on vacation 40% of the time.  He’s the guy who said there are two types, the haves and the have-mores.  His daughter’s wedding was an extravaganza.

GRYM is perpetual hypocrite who condemns Democrats for doing things he praises Republicans for, or defends them for doing.

It gets tiresome to see him CONSTANTLY and self-righteously apply a different standard to Dems than he does to GOPers.  Situational ethics rule supreme. It’s all for politics and power, with a phony veneer of “morality”.

But he’s no different than ALL the tea-baggers, the reactionary Fox “analysts” and most of the current GOP as the decent ones, the Charlie Crists, get forced out of the party.

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By CaptRon, August 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

What I feel that LJL is trying to have understood is that there was no time for dedication to progressive cause. It has been scramble-scramble to try to fix enormous leftovers along with appeasements to progressive issues. It got to be a “just get something done” in difference to “doing it right”. None-the-less, it was progress though not all that we want or desire. It’s not as important to me, on his scorecard, that he is left-center-right at this point. I am more impressed with progress forward. No doubt it could have been better, but it was progress. The different progress as opposed to the self-proclaimed “victory” in Iraq by the previous guys. You know, all those successes that got us so far ahead. The only success I feel they had was the failure to privatize Social Security, yet the GOP is mainly still trying to kill it. Without it, recession would be something we would aspire to today instead of regretting. As bad as those might feel about the progress of this administration, a better Congressional record would have helped him to be better, and a GOP administration would have been disastrous with their current and past agendas. There is still time to be able to better define the President, but it needs to be a fairer assessment. Given that chance with SOME support, but stronger coercion from us, larger progress can be attained. In hindsight, if you now feel that you should have voted differently or will, at least be fair. Even a little progress in these times was the direction he took us. What if Bush would have started and maintained 50,000 troops with subversives only in Iraq instead of all-out “war”? Grade that. Grade the Social Security issue, the over-all progress of the GOP in their last 8 years. Can you honestly say that Obama has not progressed? I can. I don’t like where we are, but compared to where it could have been. I don’t belong to the elite who could ride this out. To me, I’ll take what we got so far and help to make it better.

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By BR549, August 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

Gerard,

Watch how effectively all of those reptilian legislators manage to keep avoiding discussion of preserving the Constitution, repealing the Patriot Act, reinstating Posse Comitatus, 9/11 Investigation, securing the borders with the troops we bring home, closing down the FEMA prison system, etc. etc.

They can’t go there. That might take integrity, and only a small handful in office even know how to spell the word.

Come November, those are the issues that need addressing. The health care bill and the Gulf oil crisis are just two in a long series of planned diversions.

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By gerard, August 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Right now my impression of “middle America” (though I hope I’m wrong) is a huge number of people who do not want to face up to what is happening, who wish they could go to sleep and wake up and it would all be wound back to, let’s say, 1935, or maybe 1955, or ... well anyway, not what we have now.  Which is two plus wars, a heap of unpaid bills, no jobs, an inadequate social service net, and a lot of destructive criticism void of creative ideas and energy.  A self-defeating crowd of media blabber-mouths,most of whom, even though certifiably insane, think they know what they are talking about—or not talking about.
  No moderate voices pointing in the direction of reason and possibility.  No courage to clean up our act and move intelligently into a problematic future as full of possibilities as of dangers.
  For starters:  Get out of Afghanistan and get a handle on the military/industrial complex.  Turn it toward rebuilding civilized life—I mean the brotherhood of humanity, or at least the distant-cousinhood.  Flood relief.  Environmental clean-up.
Legal limits on greed and redirecting wealth more to the needs of ordinary people.  Stuff like that.
  The saddest thing of all is that it’s all entirely possible!

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By Anarcissie, August 21, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

I can’t see Mr. O as any sort of proggie.  For instance, most Americans, and certainly 99% of proggies, want the U.S. to get out of Afghanistan.  Mr. O ramped up the war.  I suppose we could go down the list of such issues: bailouts, the Patriot Act, Single Payer and so forth; I think you’re going to find Mr. O on the small-c conservative side of most or all of them.

The fact that he’s not some kind of bible-beating fascist reactionary is nice, of course; I’m enjoying that part.

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By Go Right Young Man, August 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkus,

The president is a progressive.  A staunch progressive, in fact.  He’s simply not “progressive” enough for you.

The president is not withering against the pressures of the, so-called, Right.  The White House and Congress are feeling the wrath of over 70% of the voting public.  A public which has yet to agree with a single major issue in this legislative agenda.  Not a single one!

Progressives do not win national elections.  The president did not win by campaigning as a progressive.  He won by not being Bush or “McSame”.  He won by appealing to “middle America”.

-

Reality: Americans who identify themselves as Progressives make up roughly 22% of the American public.  That’s nearly 80% who do not agree.

President Obama is not in office to ram or impose your agenda on the majority.  In the United States the majority rules.  To be very frank, you lose.

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By Peetawonkus, August 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

LJL,
You seem like a nice person, and I know you want to believe what you’re saying. I’d like to believe it, too. But Obama isn’t a progressive. He isn’t even a Liberal. Politically he’s closer to old school Republicans than FDR, say. Eisenhower was further to the Left than Obama. And all those wonderful things that Obama has done—well, let’s just take Health Care for example. He and his Cabinet bargained away the Public Option before it even went to the table for debate. He never showed leadership on the issue and actually participated in even further weakening the legislation. And so and so on down the line on all his “accomplishments.” If he had actually behaved like a Progressive and stood up and fought the Right Wing in this country, instead of trying to appease them at every hand, much of America would have responded positively. When Progressives act like Progressives and wade into the Right Wing, they win. When they sell out their base, act like indecisive wimps and live in fear of Republican disapproval, they lose. At heart, Americans want a President with Progressive ideals who knows how to fight. Sadly, unless events prove otherwise, Obama’s legacy will be little more than having been the first black President of the USA.

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By ofersince72, August 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Thankyou Go__Right__Man__Man

Just when you think that the U.S. government can’t be
run any more inept possibly,  here come the Democrats,
and shows Republicans, of all parties, how to really screw
a government up.

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By Go Right Young Man, August 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Is not there some old Harry Truman Democrat still around to advise the new Democratic aristocracy to live it down a bit in these tough times?

After presidential calls for sacrifice in our rough days of recession — and coming on the heels of the Gatsby-like Clinton wedding, the H.M.S. Kerry, the Gore getaway in Montecito, and “John’s Room” — the enormous movable feast of Michelle Obama’s from Marbella to Martha’s Vineyard does not go well with “two nations,” “raise the bar,” downright mean country,” and all the other progressive complaints. What was that about one selfish America living one way and another less fortunate America living quite another? More mundanely, who says a life in government doesn’t pay?

Aristocrats: Raising the Bar on the Costa del Sol

The problem with Michelle Obama’s Marabella-to-Martha’s-Vineyard August is not that the first family doesn’t deserve time off but that Michelle, in the past, has gone on the record that the country’s elite (of which she claimed not to be a part) had created one nation for themselves and quite a different for most others — at least that’s how I interpreted never having been proud of her country until the rise of hope and change.

So the Versailles-like aura around her trips suggests that her prior angst arose not because millions were not able to share the lifestyles of the elite but that she herself had not yet quite partaken in the sort of life she felt she deserved — which she is now apparently enjoying to the fullest. The fact that her Costa del Sol trip coincides with hard times back in the states, comes on the heels of the Kerry yacht and the Clinton wedding, and clashes with her husband’s anti-wealthy rhetoric (e.g., “at some point you’ve made enough money”) makes it all the more weird, both for her adminstration’s equality-of-result politics and for the larger liberal narrative of talking truth to power.

Of course, all this puts a terrible burden on a sycophantic media with a long tradition of trashing the slightest hint of aristocratic enjoyment on the part of first ladies (e.g., Nancy Reagan’s china). So, just as golf, around winter 2009, ceased to be an aristocratic distraction from the nation’s pressing problems, so too luxury on the Mediterranean must be a sort of federal employee’s deserved state vacation.

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By Go Right Young Man, August 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Technocrats: A Downright Mean Job

Recently, the New York Times had a puff piece on the “exhausting” nature of White House work, pegged to the recent wave of administration departures. The list of grievances: the grueling 12-hour days, the burden of dealing with an inherited recession, two wars, etc. Of course, in the weeks after 9/11, administration employees had to develop an entire protocol to prevent serial terrorist assaults in the wake of the most successful attack on the continental United States in the nation’s history. I don’t recall profiles of Bush people who were “exhausted” dealing with the partisanship and pressures.

Bush aides left over policy disagreements and anger over wrong-headed policies; Obama aides leave due to burnout in service to the Great Cause. (Though I do remember President Bush looking a bit haggard in the dark days of Iraq and Katrina, as an Alfred Knopf novel and an award-winning docudrama imagining his assassination were winning applause.)

Does this serial complaining come from the top, or is it simply characteristic of the urban technocratic class? One protagonist of the Times piece complains about the incessant Blackberrying of the 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. grind, and the sheer exhaustion that required days of restorative long sleep — but landing a job as CEO of a multi-million-dollar publishing company must be some consolation.

The Times wants to draw a sympathetic portrait of the heroic Obama cadre that suffers so much on our behalf. These are six-figure jobs that wear out one’s hands on the Blackberry, true, but serve as valuable stepping-stones to even higher-paying corporate jobs. And this is still a recession. This raise-the-bar griping will not go down well with the coal worker in Montana, the welder on a 30-story scaffold, or the oil worker offshore (e.g., it is not as if a Blackberry is going to blow up in one’s hands, or an acoustical tile is going to fall and crush one in the West Wing). It is all too reminiscent of the various explanations we’ve heard for why Michelle’s Costa del Sol sojourn was an understandable and much-needed refresher before the more arduous odyssey ahead on Martha’s Vineyard.

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By LJL, August 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

BR549,, your gripe, as it turns out, is neither with me nor Obama since you cannot name a more progressive US President.  Your gripe is with America which just cannot produce a political solution to its problems progressive enough for your approval.  Just to remind you about the country under discussion:  America is a ‘globalist’ capitalist country with a military agenda.  The vast majority of Americans are lamentably pretty happy with the way things are give or take a recession or a failed war.  Obama is an effective political leader on the progressive side of the American spectrum.  If you want better, come to Germany where even our conservatives are more progressive than 75% of Americans.  Remember that it was a Germany conservative more than 125 years ago who invented Social Security and universal health care.

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By Peetawonkus, August 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

LJL,
“Robinson is absolutely correct.  President Obama has accomplished more throughout the past 20 months than any other President in living memory.”

Excuse me while I wipe tears of helpless laughter from my cheeks.

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By BR549, August 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

LJL stated, “He (Robinson) wrote what is true, because there is no doubt that Obama has accomplished more progressive change in the first half of his first term than any other president in living memory.”

You can repeat this over and over if it helps you sleep at night, but you’re so far off base, I’d be wasting my time. Had you been following the tenor of the rest of the discussions here and on other non-partisan sites, you’d realize that Obama is just the next political patsy following a dictated script from globalist
interests.

It was YOUR BUDDY who was ready and poised to just sign us up for carbon taxes even before it had been ratified. Obama is just the next used car salesman in the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama race toward corporatism and the destruction of the Constitution.

Hopefully, you might wipe the sleepers out of your eyes in time to see what everyone’s been getting at here and on nearly every other thread here on TD and other sites. Obama’s a bright guy, he’s charismatic, but he ain’t who you
think he is ......... I voted for him.

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By thisisnodrill, August 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

What is Mr. Robinson smoking?  The Patriot Act is still in effect.  Wiretaps, email recording, still occur without warrant.  Obama and his Democratically controlled Congress bailed out the banks to the tune of trillions, but let the homeless, foreclosed, and unemployed twist in the wind.  BP, which donated more to Obama than it donated to other candidates, gets a smooth ‘pass’ on the oil disaster.  And Mr. Robinson says Obama has succeeded?  Hardly the truth, unless you live inside the Beltway and are beholden to the White House for your living.  Mr. Robinson should work for the CIA, or the Voice of America, as he’s obviously in the clutches of the Obama reality distortion field.  Out here in the real America, we know what is going on—-we’re being played big time.  The tables are about to turn.

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By Dom11, August 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve just removed truthdig.com from my bookmarks.

Bye.

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By LJL, August 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

BR549, August 21 at 2:36 pm;
Just because Robinson doesn’t parrot your seriously myopic mis-perception of American political realities does not make him into some racist stereotype like you did.  He wrote what is true, because there is no doubt that Obama has accomplished more progressive change in the first half of his first term than any other president in living memory.  Perhaps you are so old as to remember FDR?  Roosevelt was undoubtedly ab excellent president even though he avoided challenging segregation and pointedly refused to confront universal health care,  moreover he purposefully saved American capitalism and helped it conquer the world.  The sad truth is that political reality in America is far too nuanced for ideologues to comprehend.

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By gerard, August 21, 2010 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Anarchissie:  Hey, it was a golden opportunity—and he is not so stupid that he didn’t know it. Opportounity knocked, and he did not open the door. Just as now, opportunity is banging our door down, yelling “Come on, people!  Where are you?  I know you’re in there somewhere!  Let me in, will you?  It’s raining cats and dogs out here.  It’s starting to look like Pakistan!”

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By BR549, August 21, 2010 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

LJL, August 21 at 1:55 pm
(More likely, this should be LOL ROFL WTF?)

“Robinson is absolutely correct.  President Obama has accomplished more throughout the past 20 months than any other President in living memory.” 

and   ” People who say Obama has done nothing for the cause of progressive politics in America are neither ‘progressive’ themselves nor intelligent.  They are only that fringe of mentally disturbed malcontents that is always found at the edges of society.”

=====================

This isn’t some goofy satire that won a Reader’s Digest Award; Robinson, actually believes this crap. His bobble headed- “Yes, massa” support of Uncle Barry is despicable for someone claiming to have a journalistic background such as his.

Personally, when journalists lose that much of their objectivity,
that’s when we put them up for fiction awards.

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By LJL, August 21, 2010 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Robinson is absolutely correct.  President Obama has accomplished more throughout the past 20 months than any other President in living memory.  Of course, he hasn’t managed a bloodless revolution nor has he walked on water, but his accomplishments have, against the background of American realities, been solidly progressive.  Universal health care, re-regulation, student loan improvements, tax reform for American workers, broadest based series of environmental initiatives ever, spousal benefits granted to federal employees in non-traditional relationships, And the list goes on.  These are in comparison to anything else done in American government recently miraculously progressive.  Of course, they could be better, but America doesn’t have to be effing America either.  People who say Obama has done nothing for the cause of progressive politics in America are neither ‘progressive’ themselves nor intelligent.  They are only that fringe of mentally disturbed malcontents that is always found at the edges of society.

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By Peetawonkus, August 21, 2010 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

Muslim Socialist who hates white people or…Clintonite neo-Liberal slightly to the right of Richard Nixon? Which version more closely fits the actual deeds of this President?

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By ofersince72, August 21, 2010 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Dear,

  Slave Mexicans, illegal or otherwise, and
  Slave getto dwellers,  you black ones
  and Mosque dwellers,

  It’s all your fault! !  Everything that is wrong with
  America. How do I know? Just listen to the MSMs, you
  get all the informations you need to know this.
  I bet your you all the news a lot from now till 2012.
  Ha, Ha,  I’m white and your not! ! !

  And you mosque dwellers,  if you believe that
  Keith Ellison is your friend,  ha, ha , ha,  again.
  He learned quick,  Just say the right things, nobody
  will notice how you vote…..such is America.

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By ofersince72, August 21, 2010 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Hey Eugene, has Barrack told you any new

  DRONE JOKES lately?

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By Anarcissie, August 21, 2010 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

gerard—You’re asking Mr. O to be a fire-eating revolutionary instead of the cautious, conservative accommodationist he actually is and always has been.

That fact is, the Democratic nomination came down to the two most conservative candidates running, so that is apparently what the people wanted, that’s what they got, and that’s what they have now—pretty much more of the same as what they had during the Clinton and Bush years, but delivered with a different style. 

Some of the proggies who comment on this web site seem to think skin color determines people’s minds, but that’s not the way things work.

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By gerard, August 21, 2010 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Mr. Robinson, please:  Mr. Obama, when he was elected, had the majority of people in this country behind him—a rare gift to be given so enthusiastically from so many hearts eager for peace and justice.
  When the going began to get tough behind the scenes and the financial threatening started, why did he not go directly to the people and tell them the truth—something like “Look, people.  I want to do at least some of the things I promised you, but these big shots here—these corporate operators and legislative dependents are getting in my way and tying me down.  First things first.
Wall Street, get off my back!  Republican nay-sayers and corporate welfare queens, I’m not your slave!! Turn me loose.  The people need me.>”
  Something like that!  He could have, you know, and he CHOSE not to, for whatever reason I’ll never understand.

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By freelyb, August 21, 2010 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

Love ya, Truthdiggers. Best responses from the progressive peeps found anywhere. Keep it coming. We shall prevail someday.

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By ofersince72, August 21, 2010 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

H A R R Y   B E L E F O N T E

First Artist to sell one million albums
Close friend of Martin Luther King
Bank rolled the Civil Rights movement of the early sixties
Sacrificed his life to civil rights and civil liberties

THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
has yet to invite HARRY BELEFONTE to the White House.

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By ofersince72, August 21, 2010 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

  should have been

  H A R R Y   B E L E F O N T E


  Secretary of State….Hilary Clinton..wormtongue of
                  the year award
                co-recipient…Barrack Obama
Funniest Joke of the Decade
Eugene Robinson has won a Pulitzer Prize for Journalism.
Most ignorant public in the World
The UNITED STATES citizens…Most really believe that
their vote still counts…for some dumb reason that no
one can figure out….

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By expat in germany, August 21, 2010 at 5:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Give me a break! Obama has done nothing but leave a wide trail of broken promises in his wake. From FISA to his cabinet, Obama is merely the PUPPET DU JOUR.

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By BR549, August 21, 2010 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, August 21 at 12:57 am

You really put this so perfectly and in such a short statement.

I, too, had goosebumps on election night (even though Ron Paul was my
candidate of choice). I remember thinking that perhaps I’d been wrong about
him. Sad thing is, though, that I wasn’t. Obama would not let himself get
pinned down over NAFTA, while every other candidate had unwittingly or not
postured themselves one one side of the fence. He just refused to speak of it.

I heard a clip from Obama this morning on NPR; yet another piece of rhetoric
about his striving to create jobs in American. I was all bullshit. If this guy had
any intentions about creating jobs, then he would have been having align
himself with Ron Paul, bringing the troops home and where needed putting
them on the borders, stop siphoning off what little wealth we have left to feed
the FEMA prison system, and most importantly, dump NAFTA like a hot potato.

I kept saying to friends back in 2008, “I don’t trust this guy, he won’t talk about
NAFTA,” and here we are. He claims to support the Constitution, but like his
NAFTA reverse-policy, is doing damn near everything he can to quietly subvert
it.

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By ofersince72, August 21, 2010 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

Eugene, I have criicized you every week for months.
I am glad but really I am sad.

Redhorse,  we tried that.  The American public in two
straight elections trashed the Republican Party and were
on the way to putting this party right out of existance.

The Democrats revived the Republican Party, and on
purpose,  for the overlords.

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By SR, August 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, luckily I decided to take a stab at this puzzle before reading the article.  What in the world could the author be talking about?  Oh of course—Iraq.  That would be just like a typical American, with a video-game attention span.  We will know in about ten years how things worked out in Iraq, and that’s being optimistic.

The economy is clearly in very serious trouble.  There are no jobs.  There is a hidden unemployment problem that is growing rapidly, that is pernicious, and that no one in this administration is willing to acknowledge.  Our statistics are way off, but no one could hide the 500,000 new claims for jobless benefits.  When you stop and think for one moment about how difficult it is to meet all the criteria to qualify for benefits, then you will begin to understand that the true number of new unemployed is easily several times that.

More banks are being closed.  More will be closed in the coming months.  More and more people are borrowing against their 401(k) accounts.  Anyone not in the top 10% of net worth has much hope of ever retiring—yet more and more retired people are back in the market right now, desperate for jobs.  Minimum wage job fairs draw thousands of applicants, who start forming a line at 4 a.m.  What an accomplishment indeed.

Fewer than half of all mortgages that should be renegotiated because they were granted on a fraudulent basis are being renegotiated.  People cannot jump through all of those hoops.

What is the administration doing about any of this?  Nothing.  Face it.  NOTHING.

I don’t recall the last time we had such an elitist “Democrat” in office.  Indeed, we haven’t had a real Democrat in office since the Reagan revolution.  At least in Britain, a country whose politics are equally abysmal but whose average educational attainment has not yet fallen to what we see here, everyone knows that Blair was a Thatcherite.

I want to like him, I really do.  Contrary to most of the commentators, I thought his speech on the Gulf Oil disaster was mostly excellent.  I am very happy when I see him doing something right. 

I don’t see it happening now.  Nor do I expect to see anything better from him for the rest of his term.  Gee . . . I wonder whom Wall Street will annoint as President in 2012.  I can hardly wait to find out.

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By Anarcissie, August 20, 2010 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

TheJerk—I don’t know.  The night Mr. O was elected there was dancing in the streets, mostly fairly young people, and I thought, Wow, this guy has unleashed a lot of energy.  I wonder where it will go?  Even if Mr. O turns out to be the same cautious, conservative servitor of the ruling class he’s been so far?  But it disappeared instead of breaking loose.  It’s somewhere out there, though.

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By TheJerk, August 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie - I meant the general public as opposed to those that post here.
AdmittedIy, I brought up the question of voting with some of Chris Hedges work in
mind. I was thinking about his ‘Left has failed’ statements and how that might
translate into a different result. If all these stats, statements, and polls claim such
a mighty discontent or disenchantment within the left, isn’t it possible that there
would be another outlet for them? The world is in the worst shape now, than ever
before, so how much further are people going to let it go?
Feel like I’m beating a dead horse.

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By Money is funny, August 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

If there is a left right and center than maybe there should be three parties. The center party should be known as the everything stays the same party aka: ests.

From now on the left will be known as the right and the right will be known as the left, just to spice things up.

It is important that everyone gets the memo so that no one votes in the wrong direction.

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By Anarcissie, August 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

TheJerk—People on Truthdig were complaining bitterly about Mr. O’s shortcomings last winter, yet as far as I know none of them did anything about starting or finding an alternative to the Democratic Party for the midterm elections in the intervening months.  Now it is too late.  It is probably also too late to do anything about 2012, although there will be much more huffing and puffing at that time.  So I think the answer to your question is obvious.

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By TheJerk, August 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

I’m wondering about these stats and things. Go Right Young Man mentioned at
3:12 that “There is not a single major issue in which the majority of the public
agree with President Obama. ” and spoke of Politico’s article 7:55 that left wing
supporters were beginning to realize the failures of ‘Obamacare’. Also,
RudySpeaks1 had said that “Obama’s supporters are NOT celebrating his
accomplishments, they are desperately spinning.” Another similar idea is from the
Worm when they said 60% think Afghan is a waste of time, money, etc.
So, is this possibly a positive thing? Who are the left leaners going to vote for in
the next election? Will they AGAIN choose the so called ‘lesser of two evils’ or does
anyone think that people will wake up?

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By MeHere, August 20, 2010 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Robinson, you mention four accomplishments by Obama which are in fact
far from having been accomplished or fall short from being accomplishments.

1) Combat troops leaving Iraq. He is not ending the Iraq war. He is in effect
leaving an army made up of US soldiers and US mercenaries—thousands in all,
while Baghdad is still struggling to get electricity at the pre-invasion level.

2) General Motors launching stock offering and repayment to taxpayers. A
dubious accomplishment at this point.

Excerpt from Reuters 8/18/10 “GM needs to double earnings to repay
taxpayers.”

“On Ford’s PE multiple, GM needs to earn just shy of $11 billion next year to hit
the desired target. Extrapolating earnings in the second quarter, GM would
make as much as $5 billion this year. But thanks in part to higher commodity
prices and other costs expected in the second half of the year, that figure is
probably flattering.

If car sales continue to improve GM reckons it can increase production without
pushing costs up too much, meaning the bottom line should get a significant
boost next year. But it would require a heroic combination of bumper sales and
stringent cost control to more than double profit. Until the new GM can prove
it’s caught — if not overtaken — Ford, it doesn’t merit a valuation that will
make taxpayers whole.”

3)Gulf oil spill contained.  Is this an Obama achievement? Do you mean to say
that if he had been a really mean president he would have ordered the
containment work to stop and allow the oil to flow forever? Do you or anyone
know right now what work is being done to ensure that the fines and
compensations from BP will be appropriate down the line?  The Obama administration kept in office some of the most corrupt officials in charge of overseeing BP’s operations.

4) President wades into mosque controversy.  Just words that even Bush would
have said (and actually said more than once)...... while persecuting and
destroying Muslim lives far from Ground Zero.

I think you forgot to mention two of the most important “achievements”:
Progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which is an issue we own and is
central to our foreign relations. And then, the expansion of the war in
Afghanistan—the war Obama considered worthwhile. Please expand on those.

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By omygodnotagain, August 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

The problem Obama faces is one that most liberal face, they believe in being reasonable hearing both sides. When you have Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck etc calling you a communist, a muslim and all these other things, for goodness sake call them out. Same with Israel, he should have called Biden back and said to Israel, look here we call the shots, by the way we are going to hold up the delivery of those planes.
When LBJ was trying to get votes for the Civil Right Act,
he called up wavering Democrats, slammed them against the wall and said you will vote for it.
Obama comes off as a lightweight. Everyone thought Reagan was a lightweight until someone turned off the mic in New Hampshire during a debate, and he yelled at the organizers.  I would like to see more of that from him. The Community Center at Ground Zero issue summed it up. All he had to say was its not a Mosque and it is not at Ground Zero, cut the BS. Its a pity he never worked on a construction site or in the media or advertising where people yell right in your face and speak their mind.

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By Anarcissie, August 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

What’s a ‘professional leftist’?  I never knew you could make money and get professional status as a leftist.  It looks like I’ve been missing something.  Where’s the gravy train schedule?

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By BR549, August 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

The Worm,

That was priceless. The only change I would have made would have been to see if that notched belt of his could be wrapped tight enough around that asshole’s pencil neck to make those already cyanotic lips of his turn bright fcuking blue.

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By JDmysticDJ, August 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Tropicgirl

NO, NO, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOUR ARE SAYING. When the Weimar monopoly board was thrown up into the air, the players looked to the Nazis to put the pieces back in order.

You equate Neo-Liberals with Neocons when there is a drastic difference between the two. The Neocons are right-wingers who advocate a New World Order arrived at by military conquest, and economic dominion, while neo-liberals are right-wing economists who advocate a New World Economic Order. Neo-liberalism has been discredited by events and Neo-Liberalism is only adhered to by the Right of the political spectrum. Even Clinton has disavowed Neo-Liberalism.

In the Weimar Republic the center and bourgeois left was represented by the Social Democrats. The left was represented by communists, and labor unionists, while the right was made up of Industrialists, militarists, and most adamantly by Nazis.

Tea partiers are geriatric brownshirts, xenophobes, racists, and dupes of the Right. They are mini-Nazis, and they are the willing and ideologically attuned dupes of the Right.

The dichotomy between right and left is made manifest by the irrational hatred expressed by the Tea Partiers and the Right.

Obama is not acceptable to the Left or the Right; that places him in the center. As objectionable as Obama is to the left, he is still preferable to any candidate from the Right, to any rational leftist, or person who objects the worst excesses of past policies.

These are the political realities, and as distasteful, and tragic as they are, they are what they are.

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By CaptRon, August 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

I take this article for what it was, an attempt to walk in support of a President who can’t even get his own party to call him President, from the outset. I feel the same way in that if he had a positive following for his accomplishments and attempts the Republicans would split even farther. Keep in mind what the GOP wanted as troop involvement in the Middle East. I even heard nukes mentioned. I heard the GOP try to force privatization of Social Security by way of the Stock Market, and they are still trying to destroy Social Security. They have not participated in the democratic process in Congress as their way of destruction for political advantage, but when put to task by we the people, they cave because they know what will happen if they don’t. Just some examples. It’s not as much “are you better off since President Obama took office” as much as where we would or could have been if the GOP had won.
I waited to the end here to say that I would walk the path with both ITW or Anarcissie, and I agree that they are not that far apart, but they walk in the same direction. I walk that same path in my own way. I knew if I stated my agreement with both those contributors earlier that people would quit reading. I waited because I want Democrats, all people, to be involved with politics in their way, but realize there has been progress in spite of stalling/obstruction type tactics. Congress are the culprits. They review and vote or not vote. We get some blame because we let them. Take the country back from corruptness, but don’t put all the blame on this President unless you can accept it of yourself for allowing idiots like our Congress to be corrupt and unethical. I do believe you can fight city hall and win for the better. Move forward with people in mind-we the people. You should know right from wrong by now.

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By the worm, August 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

The President is certainly a winner by some standards.

Just look: He’s been in office less than one year, and already the President’s
three priorities have been achieved:

1. Bailing out Wall Street with middle class tax payer dollars (telling the public
‘trickle down’ will eventually ‘turn the economy around’ and presiding over the
largest single transfer of wealth from the middle class to Wall Street and the
wealthy - all this with George Bush/Republican hold-overs and while all
credible alternatives were blocked from the White House and from participation
in the ‘debate’)

2. Extending the ‘war’ to provide the military/mercenary complex with
promotional and profit opportunities (telling the middle class we ‘can win!’ -
though apparently 60% of the country believes Afghanistan is an absolute waste
of men, women, children, wealth and prestige)

3. Increasing the revenue stream for health insurance industry (telling the
middle class they must be purchase or face fines; though over 60% do NOT
favor the ‘reform’, he was ‘able to get it passed’).

These are truly remarkable achievements. In the face of both liberal and
conservative opposition and rejecting the views of credible experts as well as a
majority of American voters, to have achieved what he has achieved deserves
note.

The President may simply want to step down with these three “major
accomplishments” notched in his belt , ensuring his ‘place in history’ - at least,
in the history of facilitating corporate greed and beggaring the middle class.

Should Obama not run for a second term, I would suggest the Democrats run a
Democrat in 2012.

He has left us with basically no way to defend him or his actions from ridicule.
How did accomplish so much in such a short time? !
Historic.

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By Go Right Young Man, August 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Change Accomplished But Unpopular
The president’s grand achievement is a bust.

Politico has obtained and published a confidential messaging-strategy presentation that essentially admits ObamaCare supporters are losing the battle for public opinion.  The presentation was delivered to professional leftists by the left-wing Herndon Alliance, based on public opinion research by Democratic pollsters John Anzalone, Celinda Lake, and Stan Greenberg, in a forum organized by the left-wing group Families USA,  “one of the central groups in the push for the initial legislation.”  It is a stark admission that the public has not warmed to the new health care law, despite predictions that they would do so.

Here’s how Politico describes the presentation and its implications:

  Key White House allies are dramatically shifting their attempts to defend health care legislation, abandoning claims that it will reduce costs and deficit, and instead stressing a promise to “improve it.”

  …The confidential presentation … suggests that Democrats are acknowledging the failure of their predictions that the health care legislation would grow more popular after its passage, as its benefits became clear and rhetoric cooled. Instead, the presentation is designed to win over a skeptical public, and to defend the legislation — and in particular the individual mandate — from a push for repeal…

  The presentation concedes that groups typically supportive of Democratic causes — people under 40, non-college educated women, and Hispanic voters — have not been won over by the plan. Indeed, it stresses repeatedly, many are unaware that the legislation has passed, an astonishing shortcoming in the White House’s all-out communications effort.

  “Straightforward ‘policy’ defenses fail to [move] voters’ opinions about the law,” says one slide. “Women in particular are concerned that health care law will mean less provider availability – scarcity an issue.”

  The presentation also concedes that the fiscal and economic arguments that were the White House’s first and most aggressive sales pitch have essentially failed.

  “Many don’t believe health care reform will help the economy,” says one slide.

  The presentation’s final page of “Don’ts” counsels against claiming “the law will reduce costs and deficit.”

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By bpawk, August 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

America is going down no matter who is in power - Obama was not the person for the job of president - he’s too weak and conciliatory and not strong enough to tackle Big Business - since they paid for his election he’s not really in a position to fight with them anyway. He saved Wall Street, hoping their success would trickle down to Main Street (where have we heard this before) which it hasn’t. He should never have continued bailing out Big Business through corporate welfare taxpayer funded $$ - they haven’t come back to the taxpayer via jobs but instead given corporations free rein to risk $$ again knowing they will always be bailed out. His healthcare plans are off topic compared to the major problem of the financial meltdown and he has yet to get out of Afganistan and Iraq completely and decrease military spending substantially so he can concentrate on fixing up the country. The 2 party system (which is really 1 party with 2 wings) doesn’t work - there’s no voice for dissent and no one is protesting like they did in the 1960s (what are they waiting for). AS long as no one protests, silence will be taken as complicit and that the public is in agreement with what the government is doing. Without protesting, it’s sad to see America declining, with no one complaining, except in a blog or newspaper article such as this.

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By balkas, August 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Redhorse,
I understood you as saying that voting matters. Also that you think that it is a trick to think or assert that voting doesn’t matter.

I respondent by asserting that voting in modern times makes things worse! Thanks for your response!

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By Steve E, August 20, 2010 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Thank God not that many people fall for this BS article. You can take an old
clunker of a car with a bad engine and give it a paint job but it is still an old
clunker with a bad engine. Barry apologists will be coming out of the woodwork as
election time approaches. Just praising the sorcerer’s apprentice for withdrawing
from Iraq is enough to prove this article is flat out misleading. Isn’t the continual
presence of 50,000 troops, and many of them professional mercenaries, enough
to make the author of this propaganda piece feel a little silly? By the way,
Haliburton has just been awarded drilling rights in some pretty substantial oil rich
real estate in Iraq. Uncle Dick and crew are happy. Thanks for completing the
circle Barry and up yours Mr. “nobody is above the law”.

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By tropicgirl, August 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

““We need to destroy the center, and the bourgeois left and relinquish power to
the Right… That’s the ticket! That’ll get her done. It’s the Weimar solution; it
worked once, why not again?”“

YES, YES, THAT’S WHAT I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SAY… Real liberals are just too
out of control for Obama and the NWO. (and of course those pesky tea partiers
they are trying to control, but not too well).

THAT IS THE OBAMA PLAN, THE RAHM DEAD FINGER PLAN, THE BANK PLAN,
THE NEOCON PLAN, THE NEOLIB PLAN, THE NWO PLAN, THE EU PLAN, THE
NORTHAMERICAN UNION PLAN, THAT’S IT!! OBAMA’S PLAN. Pretent to be a
liberal, insult the real liberals, and turn to the (bought and paid for - like
Lindsiee) Republicans for support.

And he’s doing a fine job for his master. Doesn’t matter what he calls himself.

Look at us. Antiwar movement is destroyed. Real social justice has been
replaced with raice-baiting and NO social justice. Spying, warmongering, etc.,
no problem for the left anymore! Obama did it all in a very short amount of
time with most liberals left spinning, confused, hurt. Like a rape.

Look, the New World Odor will work through self-proclaimed liberals, to
destroy freedoms through social engineering and big brother programs. OR we
will return to the right-wing, neocons, fearmongers, warmongers who will
destroy our freedoms via war and fear.

Some choice. I think its better to step back and try to identify who is who, and
what is what for a while. There is no depth that the right-wing neocons have
stooped that the neolibs and Democrats aren’t happy to go down to as well.

So where does that leave all the faithful? First you have to admit you have been
totally and completely sold out by the entire fake progressive Senate and
Congress caucuses, the “liberal” blogs, of course the mainstream news, and
liberal Hollywood “heroes”. If you can’t do that, then anyone can fool you
anytime. It IS really shocking how many people turned out to be fake, but it is
what it is…

To me, we might as well just throw up the Monopoly board and make sure
nothing lands in its place. That will keep them busy for a year or so, trying to
figure out who to blackmail for the next indoctrination program and whether to
pretend it comes from the right or left… By then, if the rate of enlightenment
continues, there should be some real action, perhaps a new American
revolution.

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By REDHORSE, August 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

BALKAS—I followed most of what you said—and agree. Some of it went right over my head. I was just considering your vote stats.

    If 40% of Americans don’t even bother to vote, either things aren’t as bad as most of us here think they are, or haven’t reached a point where most of the population feels any negative impact on their lives.

    Your concern about the spooks and shadowboys who interface key decision points and the K-Street bagmen who bribe our political decision makers is a serious one. The political revolving door serves the elite.

    Mrs. N. Klines book on DISASTER CAPITALISM illuminates Oliver Stones character Gorden Geckos’ belief that “greed is good”. Except, it is American Democracy being sacked, not a private company. Campaign Finance Reform, and the thousand other issues needing political action, represent planned political chaos. It holds us all hostage, destroys the American future and allows business as usual. We can complain, but little else.

    Wipe out the Republithugs this election and fill the Democratic White House with the President of our choice the next one. “If one” takes his vote seriously,at least “one” is involved.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

ardee, August 20 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, August 20 at 8:00 am

So, let me see if I have this straight….The problems this nation faces are all due to the criticism we on the left dare to heap upon Obama, oh and because obstructionist Republicans stand in the way of everything Obama tries so valiantly to achieve ( sarcasm alert).

I seem to recall the Harry Truman desk top placard noting that “the buck stops here”. But of course Harry had the balls to stand up and say what he thought was right, whether anyone else thought so was not relevent to him. That is what a leader does, lead, rightly or wrongly, and he suffers the consequences of his actions, incorrect or unpopular , at the polls next time around.

In contrast, Barack Obama has the annoying flaw of giving populist and progressive speeches and refusing to lead, either his own party or the nation.

You cannot effect change if you spend all your time trying to please the GOP and not trying to ram his so-called progressive agenda through a recalcitrant Congress. You are refusing to blame the right folks here ,ITW, and by railing about the criticism you forget to look at the hard and cold facts of the matter. That criticism is deserved.

Barack Obama has been made weak because he does not stand up to the GOP’s tactics or his own party’s waffling and divisiveness.
He has continued the govt secrecy he said he deplored, some say his administration is even more secretive that was Shrub’s. He has failed to end rendition, torture, the incarceration of people deprived of charges or trials. He calls Iraqi warfare ended when fifty thousand fully armed combat troops remain there alongside noone knows how many mercenaries. His health care is a useless mess made impotent because he puts bipartisanship over the right things to stand for. His economic policies continue those of Shrub’s and Reagan’s, pandering to the billionares and allowing the USA to slip further and further towards third world status each passing year.

Oh drat, now that my criticism has assured Obama of being a one term President and a footnote in history I will have to learn to live with my guilt. Just as you will have to learn to live with your loyalty towards a party continually disloyal to you ...

You know,ITW I still think you would make a great ally on the left, why not see clearly and come on down?
***********************************

Ardee:

You misunderstand me.  We are not as far apart as you think.  I don’t fundamentally disagree with your criticisms of Obama (maybe on a few points).  What I’m saying is that EVERY Dem President in the last 45 years carries the ADDITIONAL burden of attacks by his own party’s Left and those Left of the Party. It’s a burden Republican Presidents have little of from the Right (other than Gerry Ford).

In doing so we are playing against the Rethugs with loaded dice.

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By Mg8, August 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I truly wish Robinson were correct in his assessment. But I just don’t see it. Obama’s been vetted and purchased by the corporate powers-that-be. Even if he isn’t, the decision-makers in his administration have been. His politics of hope have blanketed many continuations of the status quo, almost every one. Most cringe-inducing is Robinson’s flailing, uncritical analysis of Obama’s supposed successes in the context of headlines written by the mainstream media.

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By JDmysticDJ, August 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Radicals and leftists must take their 38’s, 9’s, Mac 10’s, shotguns, 30-30’s, and AR’s and take to the streets to face tanks and helicopter gunships. They must learn how to make explosives, rob banks, resort to extreme sabotage, destroy every semblance of Capitalism, kill the cops, and all resistors and collaborators, take over state and local governments, and eventually the Federal Government, and establish a new order… Well…? On second thought, maybe that’s not a good idea… Let’s see… ? How about this? We need to destroy the center, and the bourgeois left and relinquish power to the Right… That’s the ticket! That’ll get her done. It’s the Weimar solution; it worked once, why not again?

Hum… ? This political strategy stuff is tough. There are other solutions, but they require patience and rational thought. Screw that! Man the barricades! Burn, Baby, Burn!

As you can see, I’m conflicted… I think I’ll go shopping.

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By ardee, August 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, August 20 at 8:00 am

So, let me see if I have this straight….The problems this nation faces are all due to the criticism we on the left dare to heap upon Obama, oh and because obstructionist Republicans stand in the way of everything Obama tries so valiantly to achieve ( sarcasm alert).

I seem to recall the Harry Truman desk top placard noting that “the buck stops here”. But of course Harry had the balls to stand up and say what he thought was right, whether anyone else thought so was not relevent to him. That is what a leader does, lead, rightly or wrongly, and he suffers the consequences of his actions, incorrect or unpopular , at the polls next time around.

In contrast, Barack Obama has the annoying flaw of giving populist and progressive speeches and refusing to lead, either his own party or the nation.

You cannot effect change if you spend all your time trying to please the GOP and not trying to ram his so-called progressive agenda through a recalcitrant Congress. You are refusing to blame the right folks here ,ITW, and by railing about the criticism you forget to look at the hard and cold facts of the matter. That criticism is deserved.

Barack Obama has been made weak because he does not stand up to the GOP’s tactics or his own party’s waffling and divisiveness.
He has continued the govt secrecy he said he deplored, some say his administration is even more secretive that was Shrub’s. He has failed to end rendition, torture, the incarceration of people deprived of charges or trials. He calls Iraqi warfare ended when fifty thousand fully armed combat troops remain there alongside noone knows how many mercenaries. His health care is a useless mess made impotent because he puts bipartisanship over the right things to stand for. His economic policies continue those of Shrub’s and Reagan’s, pandering to the billionares and allowing the USA to slip further and further towards third world status each passing year.

Oh drat, now that my criticism has assured Obama of being a one term President and a footnote in history I will have to learn to live with my guilt. Just as you will have to learn to live with your loyalty towards a party continually disloyal to you ...

You know,ITW I still think you would make a great ally on the left, why not see clearly and come on down?

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By Usha Abramovitz, August 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Mr. Robinson,

I was truly surprised to read your article. I picked it out as one to read, because I
have felt that your opinion is always wise, well thought out and has true integrity.
How it hurts, when one by one, our “idols” fail us. These last two years have been
unbearable, with all who caved in, starting with Health Care Reform, Financial
Market Reform and on and on.

You cannot mean this one!

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By Night-Gaunt, August 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Fooled you again!

1) 4 major bases and the largest embassy, “Fortress America” (7,000 guards) with 56,000 troops reclassified for rapid response and back up. Plus an unknown number of armed mercenary troops too. The final stage that Bush had planned already.

2) Ah yes GM which got into trouble when it became a bank is ready for action again, as a bank. No improvement there.

3) Scientists and Georgia U say otherwise that it is at least 72% dirty—not cleaned up.

Boondoggled again. Sometimes you can be too close and lose sight of the truth. Unfounded optimism can do that too. Founded on disaster fatigue.

<b>Oh and the depression grows ever deeper with no end in sight.<b>

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By GoyToy, August 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Robinson: You’ve totally lost it.

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By balkas, August 20, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Redhorse, with respect.
My post like all my posts are always connected in my thoughts and s’mtimes in my posts with the FIRST CAUSE of all our ills.

One does not remove it, voting in recent times always changes things for worse, but obviously not for all americans.

I always keep in mind [i go nowhere without it] that the SECOND GREATEST CAUSE for ills that befall us is use of money.

However, even leaving these causes aside: division of people into more- and less-worthy or more- and less-needful] and abuse of money, balloting appears by far the least important structural member of any governace.
Far ahead in importance than balloting appear army, cia, fbi, police, informers, media, schooling, cults, democrats.

In fact, a democratic repub or dem should never be elected until at least of year of trial in office.

And if one or two timocrats run for office i suggest one put the gun to herhis head and throw himher bodily into office and ensure s’he be prevented from leaving the it!

And why? Because a timocrat would rule for joy and honor of managing our affairs and not solely for vainglory and money.

Voting would be extremely valuable only if one would vote for an antipodal party to present one uncle’s party.
Or does one think that a small group of people who own 90% + of america would have two opposing agents to represent them in judiciary, army-cia-fbi-police echelons, congress, WH, media, schooling.

Those people who ran egypt, akkad, sumer, assyria, persia, greece, rome, russia, china, UK were the people who owned totally or near-totally all those evil empires. More could be said!
Always look for FIRST CAUSE of cancer or wife beating. Because of necessary truth, every event is caused by factors-actors preceding it.
Shit never ever happens in other words; s’mthing always happens before it happens; so let us connect all dots and not just one, two, three..thx

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By Go Right Young Man, August 20, 2010 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Comrade Phi, - “I’m saddened by the majority of comments I have read in this thread.  Let’s be clear, as POTUS Barack Obama has encountered a level of obstructionism and organized character assassination unlike anything I have ever experienced in almost 60 years.”

-

This president has been the recipient of the most supportive media in well over 60 years.  The organized character assassinations have not come close to the vitriol hurled toward past office holders. Both Bill Clinton and George Bush had it far worse.

As for Mr. Robinson’s blind cheer-leading: There is not a single major issue in which the majority of the public agree with President Obama.  Not even one.

With all that said; I actually like the man on a personal level.

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By REDHORSE, August 20, 2010 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

I agree w/ITW. There is a huge difference between Dems and the Republithugs. The legislative stalls and obfuscation Black Boehner and his “Whores for Hire” would be less, if there were less Republithugs. And as mentioned, if you can’t see the dif between Cheney/Bush and Obama, get your eyes checked.

      BALKAS point toward vote stats, and the jaded “We the people—” indifference toward real political change, illustrates an American problem, as serious, as the fascist tinkering with our Civil Rights and Constitution, we all despise. The ingrained belief of so many, that the vote will change nothing, is a great propagandist trick, that feeds off the serious depression and hopelessness splitting the American Political Psyche. Hence, the unrealistic projection and desire for rescue,and a hero, who will slay the dragon. Daddy ain’t comin’!! And Obama ain’t Daddy.

      I still believe, that destruction of the Republithugs, through use of the vote, is the sure but slow change America needs. Surgical removal of Boehner and his minions,will at the least, stop the good cop/bad cop ploy. Get rid of the Republithugs while taking control of the Dumbocratic Party. Most posters at TRUTHDIG who’ve outlined that strategy are ignored. Why, and what’s the alternative?

      Too much trouble to get involved? Then live with the consequences!!

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By BR549, August 20, 2010 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Comrade Phi,
All the prose doesn’t change anything. Reaganomics wasn’t some ticket out of hell; it was a readjustment of a moral compass that led us right back to hell.

You can apologize for Barry all you want, but until he starts reading the Constitution and teaching the public just exactly how far and why we’ve been led away from it, he’s just one more cog in a dysfunctional gear train.

Obama “could” still do it, even Bush could have, but they can’t and they won’t; not if they want to see their children again.

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By willymack, August 20, 2010 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t want to go on a rant about this, but:
Although encouraging, the baby steps taken by the Obama administration are overshadowed by their failure to prosecute the bush crime family for multiple capital crimes, and a host of lesser ones, including election rigging and fraud.
As long as the bushie monsters are free, the wounds they caused during their eight year crime spree will NEVER heal and the door is open for a repitition.
Just look at the ninnies who can’t wait for November, so they can vote for the same criminal cabal who disgraced their offices, turned their backs on ordinary citizens, started two phony “wars” based on dirty lies, and nearly ruined our economy, while ruining the finances of millions of hard-working Americans.
Make no mistake; I’m talking about MAJOR CRIMES, inflicted on us by those who were supposed to be acting in the best interests of our people, but instead chose to side with pathologically greedy corporate types.
Don’t forget the write-in ballot, folks.

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By Comrade Phi, August 20, 2010 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

I’m saddened by the majority of comments I have read in this thread.  Let’s be clear, as POTUS Barack Obama has encountered a level of obstructionism and organized character assassination unlike anything I have ever experienced in almost 60 years.  That so many of the commentators here and in the common discourse have the feelings about Pres. Obama that they do, reflects the shortcomings of our culture and the inability of many of our citizens to detach themselves from the slogans of the right and the so called “hopium” of the left.

In truth, we are infinitely better off than we would have been with the catastrophic collapse of the global economy which 30 years of “Reaganomics” had as its legacy.  That we are able to be here having this discussion is profoundly better than the world in which most of us would not be able to access the internet for this discussion, because we would have been standing on BREADLINES hoping to bring home anything to eat for our selves and families.

We have dodged that bullet.  Have no doubt that if we had found ourselves in the same conditions as the Weimar Republic in Germany, the same individuals in the Birther, Tea Party, and Militia movements would be our Brown Shirts actively putting their Fuhrer into power.

Thank you Barack Obama and the forces of Centralism.  My only concern is that the desire for bi-partisanism prevents us from adequately resisting these fascistic forces of national dissolution.

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By G.Anderson, August 20, 2010 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

This article is exactly like president Bush’s statement of mission accomplished, when he landed on the carrier deck.

President Obama is another Bush, owned and operated by the corporations. There’s no need even to refute, the Robinsons statements….

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By SoTexGuy, August 20, 2010 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Even Rachel Maddow telling me (live from Baghdad) we are out of Iraq didn’t fool me.. we are still there. Worse, our uniformed people (subject to some code of conduct and accountability) are being replaced in large part by mercenaries. This is a shameful time for us all.

Pulling troops out of Iraq is at best a recognition of the facts on the ground both in that country and regarding public tolerance for the wars here in America..

Here’s two other plausible reasons for this not-so-quiet adjustment of manpower in Iraq..

One.. Obama is cynically courting the anti-war and progressive vote in November for troubled Democrats.

Two.. Israel is going to ‘bomb, bomb, bomb Iran’ .. with our hardware and acquiescence (if not direct assistance).. How will they do this with the largest share of our military and hardware in Iraq and in complete control of the skies between Tel Aviv and Tehran? Fly over Egypt? Turkey? .. best if we just leave first.

Oh I’m not completely thumbs down on Obama on this! He may be showing some political savvy.. with the Israeli lobby in charge of Congress.. he can’t do anything to stop the maniacal Israeli leadership.. and Fox news openly supporting the Rethuglicans.. This may be his only option to survive the storm.

Adios!

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By Anarcissie, August 20, 2010 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

ITW—I was thinking of the Greensboro Sit-In, which occurred on February 1, 1960, at the Woolworth’s in Greensboro, N.C.  Within weeks Woolworth’s, faced with numerous sit-ins and a boycott, ended segregation in their stores.  It’s one good example.  No direct government intervention or inspiration at all, as far as I know.  There had been sit-ins before, back to the 1930s at least, but this was the one that finally did the trick.

In general, the Civil Rights movement was against the government (then segregationist), against the state in general.  In the late 1950s, polls showed that something like 80% of White people wanted some forms of segregation or discrimination.  I remember those days well; I lived through them as a child and a young person.  Older people used to rant at me about how Negroes were no good, unworthy of full citizenship, lazy, dirty, and so forth.  That was in a sophisticated, urbane northern city, too, not in some Old South backwater.  I recall distinctly the furious resentment of White people about the Civil Rights workers who demonstrated against overt, 100% job discrimination at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.  Civil Rights cut no ice with the electorate then, or its politicians.  If it had gone up for a vote it would have been killed immediately.

The Civil Rights movement had just one power: to make trouble, to stand in the way.  They made just enough trouble to get the ruling class worried about them, so that with great agony the government began conferring on Black people what should have been theirs in 1776 at the latest.  It was only long, long after that that any of the Civil Rights activists got any power as elected officials or business people, and then of course they started to act like most other politicians.

Basically, power, like great wealth, seems to paralyze and stupefy its possessors, because I guess they have to spend all their time worrying about how to keep it.

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By tropicgirl, August 20, 2010 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

So pathetic about Gene. GENE…ITS NOT WORKING! Gene is the Affirmative
Action version of Newt Gingrich.

So funny about the American people…

Gene’s Gang tried to race-bait anyone who didn’t agree with Obama. Didn’t
work. Fact remains the American people elected a (somewhat) black man with
a dark, black wife and very, very dark kids. Not just Democrats.

Gene’s Gang tried to religion-bait the Evangelicals who didn’t agree with
Obama. Didn’t work. Christians are praying for peace and hope and that other
thing, charity.

Gene’s Gang tried to violence-bait conservatives and gun owners. Didn’t work.
Most people actually feel safer around guns in responsible hands (not in the
hands of police that shoot pets and taze grandma). And most especially since
the police are only too happy to announce that they will no longer respond to
“petty crimes”.

Gene’s Gang tried to religion-bait everyone against Muslims, if they are against
tax funding for mosques or against inappropriate State Department alliances
with Muslims, or against inappropriate building sites for mosques. That ALSO
didn’t work the way they wanted. Fact remains that, since 25% believe Obama
IS a Muslim, as well as being black… and still voted for him…

So Eugene is really a failure. Mostly what he has done is insulted and baited
what he perceives is the “other side” to the point that he has actually
strengthened the positive aspects of the anti-positions.

Like a vaccination. We’ve been vaccinated against the likes of Gene. Stronger
and more resistent to the baiting.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 20, 2010 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Thank you.  You all prove my point.

(Anarcissie: Much as I admire MLK and the Civil Rights movement, they would have achieved NOTHING without the series of Supreme Court decisions and the CRA legislation of 1964 and VRA of 1965.  From Brown to Loving and the CRA and VRA—that was what “won” the denied rights.  The marches and the protests helped “soften” the nation up to the idea that Segregation and discrimination were fundamentally and totally WRONG, but with the courts and the laws, it would have been meaningless.

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By BR549, August 20, 2010 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

camnai, August 20 at 10:30 am
“What have most of you been smoking?”

That’s not smoking, it’s called breathing fresh air.

Robinson’s having become another Obama apologist, his articles have only shown that he has yet to learn the difference between the candidates of the Obama/McCain/Biden/Palin corporatist platform.

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By Bubba, August 20, 2010 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

It’s not nice, Eugene, to pretend the house isn’t on fire when there are men, women, children and pets inside.  Even if Obama is out front in natty fireman’s gear pretending he’s celebrating the fourth of July. 

Shame, Eugene. 

Shame.

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By Rosa Luxemburg, August 20, 2010 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Just keep hittin that hopium Eugene you unconventionally conventional Obama apologist you.

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By rudyspeaks1, August 20, 2010 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Well, reading the responses to this pathetic apologia it’s clear Mr. Robinson has
not fooled many people. May I simply point out the irrefutable observation that, at
a year and a half into his presidency, Obama’s supporters are NOT celebrating his
accomplishments, they are desperately spinning. The “accomplishments” are thin
gruel when compared with the job that needed to be done (as he himself
described it) and there’s only silence from his supporters on a range of Civil Rights
violations, lack of aggressive leadership on HCR, staffing Treasury with Goldman-
Sachs criminals (or, more generously, incompetents). “But what about the “Lily
Leadbetter Act?” Very nice, but in the face of absolute inaction on Global Warming
it’s like vacuuming the living room rug while the house is on fire.

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By balkas, August 20, 2010 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

“Expectations were absurdly high” from obama. Well, i expected greater evil long before voting day from USA; oops, hillary, obama, or mccain!

That’s because i know USAUSAUSA and could care a bit less getting to know obama, hillary, biden, palin, et al.

I thought that each election for prez bouys up expectations of ‘absurdly’ naive voters from a new prez?
However, i am told, ca. 40% of balloteering americans choose balley[ing] over casting a vote.

An election merely being a tacit ‘political promise’ by the uncle that with change of horses, the coach would run faster, better for every american!

And the 30-40% who do not vote see this? tnx

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By camnai, August 20, 2010 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

What have most of you been smoking?

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By Dhamma3, August 20, 2010 at 6:22 am Link to this comment

Well, to start off, I like Eugene Robinson. He typically states a lot of intelligent and reasonable points. His last two articles have taken a different tone and does appear that he is laying off Obama for the election. What does that show us? Only that Robinson probably believes that the Democrats are the lesser of two evils, something a lot of people on the Left still think. One only need look at how unions, year after year, support the Democrats regardless of the fact that over the last 35 years working people incrementally keep getting the shaft. When will that change?  It appears not too soon.

It is a fact that working people are a tad better under Democrats than they do Republicans. It is true that Obama has done some things for working people (extension of unemployment benefits, money to handle refinancing of mortgages, etc) that Republicans vociferously fought against. Of course,they fight against everything.  I was once one of those who, like Robinson, thought we could make the Democrats a better party.  I no longer think this and I won’t be too harsh on those who still have faith in that delusion.

We’ve all witnessed the slow decline across the arc by the policies supported by the moneyed class. Let’s face it, the Democrats have gotten a good ass-whooping. With little opposition within his own party, we see a president who supports privatization of public schools, who took a weak position on health care (really health insurance) reform, who failed to work to overturn the egregious invasion of privacy by the corporations and the evisceration of civil liberties, who supports the Patriot Act, supports unilateral assassination of American abroad without trial, who supports Wall Street, the Geithner, Summers, and Bernancke’s of the world, a president who just put 700 troops in Costa Rica, sat quietly during the Honduran coup, whosupports the arming of Columbia and when given the chance seek a free trade agreement with it. We see a corporatist, neo-liberal, business as usual kind of guy president, who will not fundamentally change anything about our foreign policy (think Israel).  Everyone can add to this list.

The question is, should leftist Democrats support a party that allows these things to happen?  No.
Enough is enough. 

The eternally fractious Left, whose groups war with one another over small political rifts, needs to overcome its self defeating and too often petty parochialism, and pull those with them who within the Party keep wasting energy with the pipe dream they can transform the Democrats. And when will the unions come to their senses and stop putting gobs of money and boots on the ground only to be forgotten after the election? When will the clean break occur, and we form an alternative, a pointedly class conscious party that supports the interests of the working class and poor? Eternal questions, eh?

Thus I wouldn’t be too harsh on Robinson.  Maybe better we should be too harsh on ourselves if we don’t work 24/7 to build the real alternative,  otherwise we are armchair dabblers who have no right to excoriate the Robinson’s of the world.

Maybe as a people we are content to go gently into the night. I hope not though.

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By Anarcissie, August 20, 2010 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, August 20 at 8:00 am:

‘... You can’t effect change if you are out of power. ...’

Not so.  The Civil Rights movement never had any power, except to make some trouble here and there, and put ideas of a new kind of society in the minds of the public.  Same thing with the radical feminists.  No power, but substantial and pervasive influence.

You seriously overrate power.  Those who have power have to spend most of their time and energy maintaining that power.  They usually can’t get much else done.

Anyway, the Democrats’ trouble with power is inevitable.  Their job is to manage the Left, or leftist impulses, on behalf of the desires and interests of the ruling class, and the fundamental principles of the Left—peace, freedom and equality—are in opposition to power.  The disaffection of the proggies for Mr. O is a good example of the game.  They backed Mr. O because they thought he was the opposite of Bush.  He turned out to be about the same: he’s fond of bailing out bankers and brokers, wars in the Middle East, unconstitutional surveillance, and so on.  If the proggies had better analysis they would have seen it coming—but if they had better analysis, they’d be radicals, not proggies.

Then they might accomplish something, instead of getting snookered year after year.

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By Fat Freddy, August 20, 2010 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

Change Accomplished

Are you shittin’ me? Was the *sarcasm* tag mistakenly omitted? I don’t know why I read Mr Robinson’s posts.


News flash:

Under Obama, the US government now targets American citizens abroad for assassination with no judicial or Congressional review, or oversight or due process. (Coming soon, to a neighborhood near you.) That alone negates any “good” that Obama has done.

Get a clue, Robinson.

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By FRTothus, August 20, 2010 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

Lies.

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By BR549, August 20, 2010 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

Hammond Eggs,
I couldn’t have said it better.

Gene, is hitting that bowl of Hopium pretty hard again and I don’t care how many hits he takes off that tar encrusted bong of his, the only thing that will be seeming to get better for him is his own personal view of the fairyland he’s dreaming of. Why do they even print his drivel here?

If Obama was sincere in filling the shoes of the guy that campaigned in his place, he would have been opining on the necessity of repealing the Patriot Act, reinstating Posse Comitatus, ending the FED, having a real investigation into 9/11, and most importantly, having meaningful discussions on why we need to enforce our present Constitution.

THAT is when our country, at least the PEOPLE who comprise this country, can start the healing process. Until then, Obama is just one more in a long line of sleazy, pontificating and orally defecating, politicians catering to corporate interests.

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By Big B, August 20, 2010 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

I guess I am one of those “ingrates”.

Prez Barry, like his predesessors dating back to Reagan, has only served his corporate masters to try and convince us that living with less, like in our new banana repulic, is a GOOD thing! Us “ingrate” americans are supposed to get used to working harder for less, because since Barry has sheepishly abandoned REAL healthcare reform, REAL regulations on wall street, a REAL stimulas plan that wasn’t one third tax cuts and half the size it need to be. We wanted the illegal wars to stop, instead of being privatized (and of course, using american soldiers to guard the pipeline) We wanted REAL education reform, not just the lowering of student loan interest rates(it won’t make difference if costs are not addressed)

Yes Barry, you inherited a fucking mess. But just trying to take us back to the way things were in 2000 is not nearly enough. Barry needs to learn that if you need 10 widgets, you ask for 20, and hope you get 15. You cannot do something symbolic and hope that the REAL reform will be revisited on down the road. This is america in 2010, we need RADICAL change, we need it now, or there won’t be any revisiting healhcare reform, wall street regulation, ect. because you won’t be in office to do so.

They were going to call you socialist, muslim, and yes, nigger, no matter what you did. Why didn’t you go balls to the wall instead of this half-assed, waterdown bullshit? You lack of vision (and guts) is about to cost your party in the mid-terms. your chance to implement REAL change may have already passed. And you will be stuck writing another memoire of “could have beens” and “should have beens”.

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By ProfBob, August 20, 2010 at 4:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I live in Europe and travel throughout much of the world often. His foreign-policy successes seem to go unnoticed by Americans. Bush had us an international laughingstock. Obama has restored international confidence in America.
Relative to his not getting a public option, he wanted it but was prevented by the lobbyists indebted legislators. He also wanted to be able to reduce medical malpractice suits as a major way to cut medical expenses and improve medical services. The legislators prevented both.  Now that there is a basic bill the other elements,  which will reduce costs and increase services, can be added—if the medical and legal lobbies can be overcome.
  My major concern is whether he can eventually start reducing the national debt. He was saddled by a huge debt incurred by both Republicans and Democrats. It seems that what he added to the debt was necessary to keep the country’s economy from falling down the well. So far, as a 50 year Republican, I think he has done a fine job.

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By RayLan, August 20, 2010 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

The ‘changes’ that Obama made are grand gestures with more officialese than practical substance. A health care bill without a public option-  A foot-dragging exit from Iraq and an increase of forces in Afghanistan, drones over Pakistan etc…
I am very disappointed with this performing political wuss of a president, trying for bi-partisan cooperation with the bulldog party of no.
The old saw about trying to please everybody means you end up pleasing nobody could not apply more vigorously in his case.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 20, 2010 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

What’s wrong with Obama is he’s a Democrat.  That means every Republican will criticize EVERYTHING he does from his choice of wife and kids to the color of his suit to EVERY policy he enacts, even if IDENTICAL to ones George W. Bush enacted and they supported.

It also means that a large portion of Democrats (1/4 to 1/3) and those to the left of the Dem party will do what they’ve done to EVERY Democratic President since Nov 22, 1963, when Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office—try to effectively commit hari-kari by loudly and viciously criticizing EVERY action of a fundamentally sympathetic President.

They did it to Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and now, Obama.  Johnson quit the 1968 race. Carter was undermined by Ted Kennedy and the Left of the Democrats. Clinton was shredded up and down by his own party.  Now Obama faces the same.

Republican Presidents have it easier.  No matter HOW they fuck up, no matter WHAT promises they break to their party, the GOP pretty much always sticks together, swallows their bile and supports their President.  They KNOW Dems will attack any Republican President, so they don’t.

Democrats are too fucking stupid and self-righteous to have the brains to do the same. 

You can’t effect change if you are out of power.
You can’t effect change if you undermine every attempt to regain power.
You can’t effect change if you undermine your allies when they have power.

I’m not thrilled with many of Obama’s policies, from Afghanistan to using rather than repealing the Patriot Act.

But Bush and the GOP were actively SINKING our nation into more and more war while actively destroying our economy AND our liberties.  Actively. Deliberately. With malice and greed.

Those who think there’s no difference between Bush and Obama are as ignorant as Sarah Palin.

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By Robespierre115, August 20, 2010 at 3:15 am Link to this comment

It looks like the Obama regime is sending out its propaganda team to convince us before the November elections.

- Iraq? Are you serious? 50,000 troops left there, an INCREASE in mercenaries, the Vatican-size embassy and other bases. Do we really believe the Iraqi people will just let their country be turned into a nice, quiet colony? Anyone remember Cuba? Muqtada al-Sadr is simply waiting in the shadows for the right moment.

- GM? So what? The country is still pretty ravaged by unemployment, a loss of industry and the fatcats have more control now than ever.

- The Gulf spill? Didn’t we just find out the government LIED about the amount of oil still floating around?

- The Mosque. People keep forgetting Obama backtracked the next day on this issue. Now he’s on vacation while a fascist madness grips the airwaves.

Robinson is just a sad clown licking the boots of power. What a joke this man is, a perfect example of the kind of corporate hack journalism which has created nothing but a new generation which cares less and less about even informing itself. Shame on you.

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By ardee, August 20, 2010 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

What do you know, akready one of Mr. Robinson’s propaganda points is refuted..so soon, oh how fleeting is the lie:

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/08/19-8

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By ardee, August 20, 2010 at 2:54 am Link to this comment

This is NOT a radical break from the author’s penchant for pimping Obama and the Democrats.

The facts of Iraq remain, despite Mr. Robinson’s unfortunate nonsense, that 50,000 of our kids remain in harms way, an unmentioned and unknown number of mercenaries being paid with our tax dollars are still in country as well. I would speculate that, the moment the last soldier or merc leaves that nation, civil war will begin.

Welfare for the wealthiest and next to nothing for the average citizen is a hallmark of both Bush and Obama’s presidency. Rant all you want Mr. Robinson, our government is pimping for the wealhy and turning its back to the rest of us.

Hooray the Gulf spill is FINALLY and only speculatively contained. Yet the damage continues to remain mostly unknown to date.Further, BP is already attempting to wriggle out of its promised twenty billion dollar fund and, given the pandering to big business common in today’s governance, I see their successful wriggling in the near future.

Mr. Robinson, I find your article almost nauseatingly treacly and not at all indicative of the facts.

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By truedigger3, August 20, 2010 at 2:51 am Link to this comment

Eugene Robinson wrote:
“Quiet as it’s kept, he’s on a genuine winning streak.”
__________________________________________________

Yeah Right. Obama is on a winning streak transfering more wealth to the super-rich.!
Yeha Right. Obama is on a winning streak screwing the common people and bullshitting them with make belief measures that have no substance in it whatsoever.
I am baffled why truthdig publish articles for that kiss-ass Jackass.??!

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By Egomet Bonmot, August 20, 2010 at 12:12 am Link to this comment

Hell yes, the most accomplished president since FDR.  I only wish the whiners could look out their windows & see the crippling depression he saved us from, with apple carts and breadlines and dustbowls and pencils for sale and all the rest of it.  Buncha ingrates.

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By rollzone, August 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

hello. every other day is a party, health care
reformed, under employment grows, war with Arizona,
Wall Street collusion, the country is flooding, Blago
gets a pass, Fannie and Freddie mushroom, and the blow
out preventer was never plugged; and i like the shine.

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By Hammond Eggs, August 19, 2010 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

“This is a radical break from journalistic convention, I realize, but today I’d like to give credit where it’s due—specifically, to President Obama. Quiet as it’s kept, he’s on a genuine winning streak.”

Have another drink of Kool-Aid, El Flacko.  If you call this a “winning streak”, you’re either demented or a truly pathetic out-and-out fool!

“Last U.S. Combat Troops Leave Iraq.”

The occupation of Iraq has simply been “revised” or “rebranded”.  The occupation goes on.  If you, Mr. Robinson, want to flack shamelessly for Obama, say so openly. This isn’t journalism; it’s pathetic drivel!

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