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What Obama Should Learn From Wisconsin

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Posted on Aug 18, 2011
White House / Pete Souza

By Joe Conason

With Wisconsin’s epic state Senate recall battle now over, the results carry a clear message that ought to resonate all the way to Washington—and especially the Obama White House. The essence of politics in America today, for Democrats at least, is to understand and communicate the political nature of the opposition.

Having suffered a bad beating last November, the Wisconsin Democrats and their allies have succeeded in building a strong movement that fights back explicitly against the right-wing policies of Gov. Scott Walker’s Republican Party.

Last week, they won two out of six recall campaigns mounted against GOP state senators, which was widely interpreted as a defeat or at best a draw. But on Tuesday, they won all three recall efforts against Democrats, giving them an overall series victory, and cutting deeply into perceived support for the Walker agenda.

A third seat would have been turned over from the Republicans to Democrats, but for a thousand votes or so in a single senate district—or but for a profusion of ballot-counting irregularities that alleged benefited Republicans in a single big county.

To hear the Republicans and their supporters crowing, you wouldn’t know they had held onto control of the state Senate by only a single vote. So it is clear that the governor remains vulnerable to recall himself—which must be why he now sounds more like the bipartisan, reasonable, constructive Republican, the very scarce kind that President Obama has pursued so long and so fruitlessly.

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On the day after his party forfeited two state Senate seats—matching the total number of elected officials recalled in Wisconsin’s entire history—Walker told reporters that he realized voters “want us to do more working together” and that he would henceforth focus on “jobs” (with no mention of his previous union-busting initiatives).

Surely he is also concerned with his own plummeting poll numbers, which show a profound sense of buyer’s remorse among Wisconsin independent voters, as well as the continued determination of the state’s progressives and unions to remove him from power. And if the results of the recall elections of the past two weeks have encouraged him to reconsider the confrontational attitude he displayed during his first six months in office, so much the better.

But what do the Wisconsin results mean to President Obama, whose gauzy dream of a “post-partisan” era in Washington have been so bitterly dashed by the rise of the tea party? In a battleground state that could go either way next year—and that went sharply rightward last year—the progressive Democratic mobilization over the past six months has been nothing short of remarkable.

Consider that Wisconsin has only seen 20 or so recall elections over the past century, and that of those elections only two have previously resulted in the recall of an incumbent. Consider that incumbents generally have a powerful advantage in any election, especially an off-year recall. Consider further that only a few months ago, the Republicans used their majority to pass a highly restrictive voter ID bill that probably suppressed the vote of Democratic-leaning constituencies, including low-income families, elderly Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries, ethnic minorities and students.

And finally consider the lukewarm attitude of the Obama White House toward the Wisconsin struggle, despite the president’s past vow to “walk the picket line” in defense of workers’ rights. Although the Obama political operation was reported to be lending help to the Democratic recall effort, there wasn’t much visible support from the president or his surrogates.

Perhaps it would have been inappropriate for the president to involve himself directly in a campaign against state officials. But whether he ought to have spoken out or not, there are still two profound lessons for him in this outcome.

The first lesson is that bipartisanship seems to be encouraged among Republicans these days only when they suspect that voters may be sick of their extremism. Just as Walker is now worried about his future, so is Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has suddenly realized that he prefers cooperation to confrontation over collective bargaining—evidently because he fears the results of a potential repeal referendum on the issue in November.

The second lesson is that there is only one way to instill such fear among Republicans, in Wisconsin or Washington: By demonstrating the will to push back, as hard as necessary, on behalf of the principles Democrats have always promised to uphold.

That is what the Republicans do with great consistency on behalf of their own ideology, however extreme or unpopular. That is what inspired the Democrats who have fought them to a standstill in Wisconsin. And that is what could still save Obama’s presidency.

Joe Conason is the editor in chief of NationalMemo.com.

© 2011 Creators.com


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kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette,

Your hero’s list of achievements seem pretty insipid to me.

From the very first moment of Obama ascending to the throne he made it clear that he was intent on shafting those who put him there. He chose the same old tired failures of previous administration to populate his cabinet, Summers, Gates etc. That alone sent the message load and clear.

And the health care reform - a joke. He didn’t even give the non-corporate lobby a hearing and took the public option off the table right from the start. Better to put up a real fight and lose than allow the corporates to set the framework. IMO he and the corporate wreckers have always been on the same side.

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By rend, August 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Michael Cavlan RN, you need to read Counterpunch for balance of that nature.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, August 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

At this point Laffy, your grandiosity is a little wearing…

Has Obama accomplished things, certainly, but those are different things than he was elected to do..

Did he give the FDA, to the pharmaceutical companies, the USDA to Monsanto?

Did he prosecute the Bankers, who trashed the economy, did he close Gitmo?

But since we’re talking about it I remember, how he used his mothers death from cancer, as a way of getting elected, then turned around and gave a big payday to the health insurance companies. Nothing could be lower…

Then he appointed Ron Williams as an advisor. The CEO of one of those very same health insurance companies. Mr. Williams got a 72 million dollar bonus from the health care company he used to head up. After that same health care compnay laid of thousands of its employees, just so he could get that big bonus, and now that company is planning on moving its operations to the Phillipines.

That same company, was disqualified from getting a government contract, because they got inside information, by hiring an ex officer of a compeditor. Their compeditor complained, so they lost the contract.

The governement also questioned how Mr. Williams planned on getting cheap workers to service the government contract. Well, they planned to higher that same compeditors work force after they got laid off, at much lower wages.

All of this is a matter of public record.

Wonderful….And he’s and advisor to the president.

Mr. Williams should be behind bars.

Mr. Obama, is a corporate shill… If the Democratic party doesn’t rid itself from him it will cease to exist.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, August 21, 2011 at 12:38 am Link to this comment

MIAMI SUNSHINE

kulu: If the only choice available is between one corporately bought candidate such as Obama or another from whichever party then I would choose none.

That was not the choice, especially in the midterms of 2010. The above statement becomes the choice of nihilists, the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism, who could not find the sunshine in Miami on a day in July.

You are shortsighted. Correct that and debate the facts. Here is a list of Obama Accomplishments that sooooo many of you wish to deride.

Go for it ... debate the facts, not the nonsense.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, August 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

OBAMA’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS

pd: He should also learn that real Democrats don’t need him to win.

Oh? And therefore who ... Bernie Sanders? Is he a “real Democrat”, like you?

Obama, despite your tortured thinking of him, has accomplished much given the constraints (in Congress) that we, the sheeple, imposed stupidly upon him.

No, he doesn’t walk on water and if you think he should, then may I suggest your see a shrink?

He is a PotUS that has effected real change to American Health Care, even though insufficient because it maintains private insurance at its source. He has repaired our image abroad, though tarnished by both the Iraq War and the Great Recession (Made In America and delivered to the world).

The list is actually quite long, unless you are short-sighted - see it here.

This list is mostly “below the radar” of media coverage that likes to stuff you with Pyrotechnic Journalism - sparky lights, big bang and then ... nothingness. (“Where’s the beef?”)

CHALLENGE

OK, now take that list apart ... get involved in some real debate and eschew the Tired Polemics.

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By Silverado, August 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I voted for him one time only. Never again. I’m sure he’ll accomplish something previously promised just pre-election time. But, look at who he has appointed to be around him, he has a Corporate Republican cabinet disguised as diversity.

We are going to be rung out a couple more times before we learn we have no savings, no retirement or safety net.It all went to the bankers.

Then our wages will be down 40% and we will see the result of Ross Perot’s audible indication of the giant sucking sound. Then we will be equal to the Mexican labor force. Hungry and Fighting over a few shitty jobs.

Obama could have avoided this…but he didn’t because he had to bail out his campaign contributors in finance and banking.

It’s gut wrenching

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kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette,

What on earth are you rabbiting on about?

“Americans do not vote in sufficient quantities to substantiate the above allegation. See the voting record here.”

So what?

If the only choice available is between one corporately bought candidate such as Obama or another from whichever party then I would choose none. Why on earth reward Obama for lying and deceiving and helping to destroy America and much of the rest of the world along with it.


So in the absence of a Nader/Sanders like candidate in my mind there is no choice at all.

I confess I am not American but I am well aware that what the American public choose to do about their dysfunctional and corrupt government has profound global ramifications.

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LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, August 20, 2011 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

“...president’s past vow to “walk the picket line” in defense of workers’ rights.”

Oh man, that’s rich.

The corporate bitch in the White House wouldn’t be caught walking a picket line any more than he’d be caught walking point in Afghanistan. That’s for the brainwashed sycophants.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, August 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Oh and when will truthdig decide to stop doing one Obama/Democrat apologist article after another?

Just saying, ya know?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, August 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Sigh

One more article on what Obama “should” do. Instead of dealing with the reality of what the pro-war, corporate prostitute is actually doing.

A better analysis and discussion would be this.

What has the Democratic Party, as an institution learned from Obama? The answer, for any who possess the moral and political courage to admit is this.

Obama successfully dismantled the anti-war, anti-corporate movement. The Democrats in Wisconsin did the same thing successfully there. There were called and deliberations on starting a GENERAL STRIKE. Then the Dems started the re-call bullshit. Which changed NOTHING.

When will we learn is the REAL question.

See you all October 6th in DC.

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By Birch, August 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

@Lafayette. I am deeply gratified to learn you are able to read
the dictionary definition of things. You should be the self-
appointed censor for Fox News since most of what they report
“as news” about Obama is far more “defamatory” than anything
that has been said on this web site. But what has been shown
time and time again is that the difficulty of “proving
defamation of character is the protection of free speech
guaranteed by the First Amendment. Courts generally agree
that an opinion, no matter how malicious, is not the same as a
stated fact.” Moreover, your purpose in blabbing on about
defamation is to shut down discussion and debate on this
thread, unless we all agree with you.  While I admit you may be
an expert on fecal matter which you seem to be full of, I reject
the idea that you are the arbiter of “truth,” on this site.

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By em, August 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i do not think this obummer experience has been a learning experience for obummer , after all there are those who are considered noneducatable , too bad for the u s as we slide down a very well greased sewer

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, August 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

DEFAMATION AND CRITIQUE

Birch: I think I earned the right to criticize.

Criticize as you may wish, but factually with solid arguments. Any trained eye can see the difference between defamation (derogatory remarks) and critique.

And, in case you do not know:
Defamation: A false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel.
Critique: The act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a person, thing or event.

Sure, there are plenty of things to criticize but such accusations as “being bought be BigFinance” or of this nature is public slander unless it can be proven. As I have said, repeatedly, the Federal Election Committee shows that donations to the Obama campaign have not been one-sided.

You may not like certain decisions he has taken, but debate them without the slander. (That is the purpose of debate ... to consider and exchange upon the details of a subject.)

And if anyone thinks Obama is beholding to business interests, they should just ask him. Otherwise it remains hearsay ... of the defamatory kind.

MY POINT

Learn to distinguish between the “buzz” and “truth”. Much of what is said in blog commentary is just emotional fecal matter. Do you ever see journalists doing the same thing? No, they’d probably find themselves before a judge.

And if they don’t, they are pretty damn lucky.

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By Birch, August 20, 2011 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

@Lafayette

Feeling a little defensive are we? You have managed to call
everyone on the blog a shill for the Republican Party as if there
could be no Democrats here who are utterly disillusioned with
Obama’s performance. You should read Charles Blow’s oped
piece in the New York Times today and the variety of
comments from former supporters of Barack Obama. I am a
registered Democrat and I would care to wager that I
contributed more, in terms of both time and money, to
Obama’s campaign than you did. I think I earned the right to
criticize. Like many I have held back my misgivings for two
years giving every benefit of the doubt. I refuse however to be
an unthinking Obamabot. People like you who have obvious
blind faith should wake up and realize the extent to which
former Obama supporters are leaving the fold. Go listen to
Bernie Sanders and find out how a true progressive stands up
for the issues he cares about.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, August 20, 2011 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

He should learn that there are some real Democrats in this country that are willing to
fight.

He should also learn that real Democrats don’t need him to win.

He should learn, that he’s not guaranteed a job.  Since he’s not doing his he should get
a pink slip.

It doesn’t take any talent to bend over and take it….

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, August 20, 2011 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

AMBIVALENCE

Kulu: How long can progressive Americans continue to vote for the so-called “least worse” option

Americans do not vote in sufficient quantities to substantiate the above allegation. See the voting record here.

In fact, most are perfectly ambivalent about politics - which is why it is so easy to manipulate them. (How do you think the Crazies got into Congress?)

Besides, this sort of backhanded question indicates someone who is shilling for the Opposition. Are you (plural) that terrified of next year’s elections?

I am soooooo pleased ...

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, August 20, 2011 at 12:17 am Link to this comment

SHILL-ON-A-BLOG

Birch: Why is it that Obama could never lay out such a clear statement of principles? Could it be that he doesn’t have any principles

Could it be that you don’t have any principles either? The above - and other comments on this forum - is unsubstantiated innuendo, slander and defamatory. Yet another Amurikun who thinks freedom-of-speech allows character assassination. It doesn’t.

The law regarding defamation in the US is described here. What state do you live in? (Not really a question, because your computer will tell all.)

Pray tell, how much does the Republican Party pay people like you to shill-on-a-blog?

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kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

How long can progressive Americans continue to vote for the so-called “least worse” option only to find that once again they are disappointed and watch their country slide further and further into a economic, ethical, humanitarian and ideological mire as it continue to expand its wars, the power of the corporations and the assault on human liberties.

I merely ask.

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By Margaret Currey, August 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Someone here made the comment about it does not pay to vote and I disagree maybe because in my state the voteing is by mail and you do not even have to use a stamp because the city has a special mail box at Pioneer Court House Square that only takes mail ballots and Washington state does the same thing, their might be voter fraud but I do believe that the process is on the most part honest.

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By Birch, August 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, that link for Sen. Sanders didn’t seem to work. If you go to his newsroom Video/Audio, you will find his speech to the United Steel Workers.

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By Birch, August 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Here is a link to a speech by Bernie Sanders: http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/media/view/?
id=aa8a4fa7-ab03-42a6-ad7f-c5b50383710b

Why is it that Obama could never lay out such a clear
statement of principles? Could it be that he doesn’t have any
principles he actually believes in or is he so surrounded by
people like Republican Timothy Geithner that he has lost all
sight of why people actually voted for him. Sadly, he seems to
be just another another creature of the DLC, the neocon wing
of the Democratic Party.

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By Tucker Richardson, August 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Obama is doing a lot of bad stuff that is not forced on him by the Republicans.  President Obama has really embraced warfare, with no concerns about criminality (killing people in Pakistan, with whom we are not at war) or accountability (no Congressional approval for going to war in Libya).  And President Obama has embraced spying, assassination squads, and black prisons.

Giving President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize is something right out of the Newspeak of the novel “1984”, where War Is Peace.

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morongobill's avatar

By morongobill, August 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Keep on dreaming folks, keep on dreaming.

The only fighting this guy does is when he swings those sharp Chi- town elbows at his liberal supporters.

I sure hope he is Barry “One term” Obama, because this country can’t take much more of his bipartisanship.

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By FRTothus, August 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

(con’t)

The ratings agencies chimed in and threatened to downgrade Cleveland’s credit rating if the city did not privatize its utility. The financial tactic was to offer the carrot of corrupting the mayor politically, while using the threat of forcing the city into financial crisis and raising its interest rates. If the economy did not pay higher utility charges as a result of privatization, it would have to pay higher interest.

But standing on principle, the mayor refused to sell the utility, and voters elected to keep Muni light public by a 2-to-1 margin in a referendum. They proceeded to pay down the city’s debt by raising its income-tax rate in order to avoid paying higher rates for privatized electricity. Their choice was thoroughly in line with Book V of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations which provides a perspective on how borrowing ends up with a proliferation of taxes to pay the interest. This makes the private sector pay higher prices for its basic needs that Cleveland Mayor Tom Johnson and other Progressive Era leaders a century ago sought to socialize in order to lower the cost of living and doing business in the United States.

The bankers’ alliance with the Cleveland’s wealthy would-be power monopoly led it to be the first U.S. city to default since the Great Depression as the state of Ohio forced it into fiscal receivership in 1979. The banks used the crisis to make an easy gain in buying up bond anticipation notes that were sold under distress conditions exacerbated by the ratings agencies. The banks helped fund Mayor Kucinich’s opponent in the 1979 mayoral race.

But in saving Muni Light he had saved voters hundreds of millions of dollars that the privatizers would have built into their electric rates to cover higher interest charges and financial fees, dividends to stockholders, and exorbitant salaries and stock options. In due course voters came to recognize Kucinich’s achievement and have sent him to Congress since 1997. As for Mini Light’s privately owned rival, the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, it achieved notoriety for being primarily responsible for the northeastern United States power blackout in 2003 that left 50 million people without electricity.

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By FRTothus, August 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Here’s what a man with backbone does:

Cleveland had a potential cash cow in Municipal Light, which its Progressive Era mayor Tom Johnson had created in 1907 as one of America’s first publicly owned power utilities. It provided the electricity to light Cleveland’s streets and other public uses, as well as providing power to private users. Meanwhile, banks and their leading local clients were heavily invested in Muni Light’s privately owned competitor, the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company. Members of the Cleveland Trust sat on CEI’s board and wielded a strong influence on the city council to try and take it over. In a series of moves that city officials, the U.S. Senate and regulatory agencies found to be improper (popular usage would say criminal), CEI caused a series of disruptions in service and worked with the banks and ratings agencies to try and force the city to sell it the utility. Banks for their part had their eye on financing a public buyout – and hoped to pressure the city into selling, threatening to pull the plug on its credit lines if it did not surrender Muni Light.

It was to block this privatization that Mr. Kucinich ran for mayor. To free the city from being liable to financial pressure from its vested interests – above all from the banks and private utilities – he sought to put the city’s finances on a sound footing by raising taxes. This threatened to slow borrowing from the banks (thereby shrinking the business of ratings agencies as well), while freeing Cleveland from the pressures that have risen across the United States for cities to start selling off their public enterprises, especially since the 1980s as tax-cutting politicians have left them deeper in debt.

The banks and ratings agencies told Mayor Kucinich that they would back his political career and even hinted financing a run for the governorship if he played ball with them and agreed to sell the electric utility. When he balked, the banks said that they could not renew credit lines to a city that was so reluctant to balance its books by privatizing its most profitable enterprises. This threat was like a credit-card company suddenly demanding payment of the full balance from a customer, saying that if it were not paid, the sheriff would come in and seize property to sell off (usually on credit extended to customers of the bankers).

(con’t)

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, August 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

mad: Except for a few loyal hangers-on, he’s losing support from the left and the middle by the day.

Do put my mind to rest. How much do they pay people like you to shill for the Republican Party?

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By NABNYC, August 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

What difference does it make what Obama thinks about a recall in Wisconsin?  He did not show up, did not side with the workers, did not stand up for the right of working people to join unions.  So who cares?  He forfeited his right to weigh in on the issue.

It wasn’t a win, either—it was a loss for those opposing the Republicans. 

For me, the only question is what lesson progressives learned.  For me, the lesson is that you cannot control the nation through elections.  The Koch Brothers bought that election, and the upper classes will continue to do so.  They’ve got the money, we don’t.  They can buy all available airspace and blanket the (mostly uninformed) public with so many lies that they will always win.

Therefore, the conclusion I reach is that people should not waste their time or money on elections.  If you want to vote, vote.  But don’t invest large amounts of time in the election process, because it is corrupt.

What people should do is to organize groups that are issues-oriented, groups that do not beef up to get out the vote and raise money for candidates, and do not disappear the day after the election.  Groups that continue perpetually, like the political parties do, like the corporations do.  Our own groups.  Citizen unions, if you will.  The issues should be to end the wars, bring the troops home, demand the federal government stop starting wars and limit itself to using our military to defend our borders.  Which is pretty much as the constitution envisioned the role of the military—not to patrol the world, but to protect our own borders from enemies. 

Demand jobs, jobs, jobs.  Demand free and good education through college, and a free national healthcare program, including dental, for all citizens, paid by taxes.  Increase taxes on the rich to the 1950s Eisenhower level (over 80% for incomes above $1.0 million, or thereabouts), eliminate capital gains preferential tax rate, and cap charitable write-offs at $5,000 per person.  Rescind all the trade deals.  Make it, create it, grow it, ship it, buy it, use it, here in the U.S.  Tax all imports.  Any company that sends work to other countries, or buys components from other countries will lose the right to exist inside our country.  Go to China, see if you like it there. 

Prosecute the criminals on wall street and take back the money they stole from us.  Pass blue sky laws making it illegal for any politician or their staff to communicate with any person on any subject that may come before them or their body (i.e. congress) other than in public hearings in which every American has an equal opportunity to speak.  Online, or televised.  No more secret meetings between cheney and the oil corporations, between Obama and the medical industry, or between Obama and the CEOs he met with last week.  It ends.  Make it illegal for any politician to accept anything of value from any person while they are in office.

Issues, not personalities, not elections.  That’s the lesson.

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By Hans, August 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ Madisolation, I would point to Obama’s campaign promises of healthcare reform (check), ending the Iraq war (check), Shifting Iraq war resources to Afghanistan (check), preventing total economic collapse (check), returning America to a respected position in international relations (check)... All in all, a fairly respectable track record with regards to campaign promises kept. Now, if you are still pissed, I suggest you climb down off your Ayn Rand warhorse and take a double dose of reality pills, Objectivism is dead.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, August 19, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

INDIVIDUALIST CUPIDITY

Wisconsin was just the opening battle, which we should discount due to the fact that Walker went out of his way to “ask for it”, that is, the Replicant debacle.

There’s still a long row to hoe till November, 2011. Let’s not get our hopes up too high. Let’s certainly not think that November, 2011 is a slam-dunk.

The objective is to rid both the House and the Senate of Republicans and Dem-BlueDogs. The T-P Replicants can’t be ousted since they are not likely up for balloting. But, there are plenty of other Replicant Congress-reps who are good enough targets.

It’s the moment to get our Progressive Asses in gear. Replacing the targets with as many candidates as possible who adhere to a platform of progressive Social Democracy would be an ideal way to shift the Dems Leftward, which the party badly needs.

It could assure the demise, finally, of Reaganomics that has help ruin this nation by means of its Individualist Cupidity.

Wisconsin was just the opening battle, which we should discount due to the fact that Walker went out of his way to “ask for it”, that is, the Replicant debacle.

There’s a long row to hoe till November, 2011. Let’s not get our hopes up to high. Let’s certainly not think that November, 2011 is a slam-dunk.

The target is to rid both the House and the Senate for Republicans and Dem-BlueDogs. The T-P Replicants can’t be ousted since they are not likely up for balloting. But, there are plenty of other Replicant Congress-reps who are good enough targets.

It’s the moment to get a Progressive Movement in gear. Replacing the above targets with as many candidates who adhere to a platform of progressive Social Democracy would be an ideal way to shift the Dems Leftward, which the party badly needs.

With any luck it could help make progressive ideals become core beliefs of our people, which would help insure that the plutocrat rip-off does not repeat itself in the future and that our children suffer.

Success could assure the demise, finally, of Reaganomics that has help ruin Income Unfairness in this nation by means of its Individualist Cupidity.

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Jack Kerouac's avatar

By Jack Kerouac, August 19, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

How can it get worse?

I tell you : By continuing this trend to fascist-like shift into voters and non-voters. Bye preparing civil war that will come off that, when people realize to what extent they have been fooled and robed, when they will lose still more in standard of living.

When (now hidden) inflation will rise to two digits, even eating will become a problem for a great number of people. Those still with jobs will fight their guts to gain raises.

Class struggle aims will get clearer and arms will begin to show everywhere. Welcome to American Nightmare.

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By Ogar, August 19, 2011 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This has nothing to do with Repubic or Democrap and to continue to say so is just more media propaganda, the people are sick and tired of ineffective governance and irresponsible leadership. While these political hacks have become expert at getting re-elected and shunning responsibility, and wasting our tax dollars. They are next to useless when it comes to operating any part of the public system properly. The real message here is the people are awake and watching closely. Do your job politician or you will be fired. Repeal congressional benefits. Reduce the cost of Government, lay off 20% of elected officials. How can it get worse?

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By madisolation, August 19, 2011 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

Obama could “push back, as hard as necessary,” and I would consider it just election politics. It’s way too late in the game for him to be pretending to care about average Americans and the state of the country. No one trusts or believes him, anymore.
After all the destruction he’s caused, and all the promises he’s broken—from escalating the wars to the destruction of our civil liberties, from extending Bush tax breaks to attempting to destroy the hallmark of the Democratic Party: Social Security and Medicare—he has no political capital left.
Except for a few loyal hangers-on, he’s losing support from the left and the middle by the day. Like with Bush, he still has his hard-core cult followers—the 29%-ers—but as for the rest of us: good-bye, Obama, and good riddance.
Ron Paul 2012

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By sofianitx, August 19, 2011 at 3:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why should anyone want to save Obama’s Presidency?  He has already done more harm to poor and middle class Americans than John McCain ever could have possibly done.
Anyone who believes Obama has the “will to push back, as hard as necessary, on behalf of the principles Democrats have always promised to uphold”, is in need of an immediate psychiatric evaluation.
Most important, there is an overriding moral issue:  Betrayal must not be rewarded with continued support.
Progressive Democrats to should give up on this coward in 2012, and look to a leader who has the will to fight in 2016.

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By shelbyanne, August 19, 2011 at 2:11 am Link to this comment
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Recall petitions against 6 of 9 democrats failed.
Republicans lost the first round. Lost two seats and
gained none in the second round. Lost the final round.
Resulting in the people electing two qualified women
democrats and rejecting a tea party fanatic. I hardly
think there is any reason for the President of the
United States of America to be alarmed at poor losers
who think they won something.

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By Robespierre115, August 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

Of course the problem is willing fools like Conason assume Obama isn’t some free market-worshipping capitalist suit. Seriously, wake the fuck up.

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