This is the first of what I’m calling Extreme Tidbits. Short pieces on politics and I just like the word tidbits. :)
Watching Marco Rubio blame President Clinton for 9/11 in last nights Republican debate reminded me of a speech I saw by the late, great Molly Ivins, not long before her death.
She told a story about a conversation she had with President Clinton. How is that for a name drop? It was about the meeting President Clinton had with the incoming president George W. Bush on inauguration day. This is from memory, so don’t quote me. She told how Bill warned W. that he would spend a lot of his time worrying about this guy named Osama bin Laden. Bush’s response, according to Molly Ivins, was dismissive and went something like, no, Iraq is the real problem I will need to deal with.
Now that we are into the campaign in full force, I was reminded how cathartic it is reading a good rant from someone who thinks similar to me.
I’ve been very frustrated with the vitriol, snarky hipster memes and young millennials that think they invented liberalism and “revolution.” They are so freaking narcissistic that they have trouble listening to anyone else, they know it all.
I tweeted this the other day to sum up my frustration in debating politics with a millennial.
Talking to a millennial #berniebot is like trying to reason w/my 3yr old granddaughter abt bedtime.The subject keeps getting changed & then they cry.
…AND I’M SICK OF HAVING TO APOLOGIZE FOR LIKING HER, FOR HAVING TO QUALIFY AND SEE YOUR SIDE AND RESPECT YOUR OPINION WHEN I FUCKING DON’T AND YOU FUCKING DON’T RIGHT BACK. I LIKE HER!
AND MOST OF YOU LIKE HER POLICIES AND PLANS TOO BECAUSE A) THEY’RE BASICALLY FUCKING OBAMA AND B) THEY’RE NOT THAT FUCKING DIFFERENT THAN FUCKING BERNIE.
THIS IS BASICALLY TWITTER RIGHT NOW:
Hillary: College should be affordable.
Twitter: Establishment puppet, no better than GOP.
Bernie: College should be affordable.
AND THE THING IS–I LIKE BERNIE! EVERYONE LIKES BERNIE! BECAUSE CRAZY GRANDPA IS TOTALLY ELECTABLE BUT CRAZY GRANDMA NEVER COULD BE. BUT WHY DO WE HAVE TO HATE HER TO SHOW HOW MUCH WE LOVE HIM? SOCIALIST JESUS TAKE THE FUCKING WHEEL.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY GUT WRENCHING THAT THIS BADASS, IMPORTANT WOMAN HAS BEEN DIMINISHED AND WRITTEN OFF AND HATED HER WHOLE CAREER, HER WHOLE EXISTENCE AS A PUBLIC FIGURE. YOU LIKE BERNIE BECAUSE HE DOESN’T PLAY THE GAME, BUT FOR HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FOR A WOMAN, SHE HAS HAD NO OTHER CHOICE.
The Democratic Party is very diverse. We welcome all flavors of voters, liberal, “progressive”, moderates…even conservative Democrats. We work together to get things done. It’s always the outsiders, the independents, that like to throw wedges into the party and try to divide us up.
We will not be divided.
We will stand strong against those that try to apply a purity test to our diverse, inclusive party.
Start your own political party if you want to be pure.
This is excellent. The full interview hasn’t appeared online yet, but CNN has been running clips from it today. This is how journalism should be done. I’ve always been impressed with Poppy Harlow as a fair, hard-hitting interviewer.
In Aaron Schock’s final speech on the floor of the House, he compared himself to Abraham Lincoln…which should be a clue to what is wrong with the man. The hubris with which this guy operated, like many who get elected to office, both Democrats and Republicans, is just over the top. We’ve only begun to learn what this guy did, I’m sure there will be more that will come out as the investigation continues.
I dug deep into the archives and found this rare photo of Abraham Lincoln acting just like Aaron Schock. (Photoshop is fun for the whole family)
As most politically informed people know, the Supreme Court is taking up the King v. Burwell case which could unravel provisions in the Affordable Care Act as they relate to state exchanges. The effect of this decision will have repercussions to millions of Americans who are just starting to reap the benefits of the law and get the care they need to live better lives. Personally, I have many family members who have health insurance for the first time in their lives and are getting their health under control. They are getting the medicines they need and have been freed from the worries that go along with not knowing if something may be wrong with them.
The Republican Party, in their zeal to disrespect, delegitimize and try to undo the last two presidential elections where President Barack Obama whooped their asses are walking blindly into the most serious blunder a political party has ever made, in my opinion. Their hatred, venom and racism has overcome any political common sense that might have existed in the far corners of that party. They are driving their party over a cliff, and taking millions of American with them. Sahil Kapur at TPM has a great piece about this.
“It’s an opportunity that we’ve failed at for two decades. We’ve not been particularly close to being on the same page on this subject for two decades,” said a congressional Republican health policy aide who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. “So this idea — we’re ready to go? Actually no, we’re not.” Republican leaders recognize the dilemma. In King v. Burwell, they roundly claim the court ought to invalidate insurance subsidies in some three-dozen states, and that Congress must be ready with a response once they do. But conversations with more than a dozen GOP lawmakers and aides indicate that the party is nowhere close to a solution. Outside health policy experts consulted by the Republicans are also at odds on how the party should respond. The party that has failed to unify behind an alternative to Obamacare for many years now has five months to reach an agreement. It’s an unenviable predicament, especially for the congressional Republicans leading the effort to devise a response — all of whom hail from states that could lose their subsidies.
The new Republican controlled congress has a tremendous responsibility, they actually have to govern. A party that has invested in being the anti-everything-Obama-Supports party for 6 years no longer knows what they stand for. Ideas that once were theirs have been abandoned due to President Obama considering them or merely mentioning them. It seems they don’t consider any consequences of the actions they take, they just want or have to placate the racists and lifelong “liberal haters”.
I’ve said over and over that Republicans act like they know they won’t win the White House in the foreseeable future, so they just live for the moment and play to the base – Limbaugh, Fox News, Tea Party nuts, KKK, gun manufacturers (NRA) and the village idiots. But killing the exchanges in states that have not set up their own exchanges, which by the way are almost entirely Republican states, is going to directly hurt the people they count on to elect them to office. They don’t seem to consider the fact that their constituents aren’t free from medical problems, medical debt, medical bankruptcies and the worries of having sick family members and children. More from TPM…
As the court gets closer to hearing arguments in the case, there is a gap between the excitement among GOP political operatives and the nervousness of at least some GOP policy aides. “Our guys feel like: King wins, game over, we win. No. In fact: King wins, they [the Obama administration and Democrats] hold a lot of high cards,” the congressional Republican health policy aide said. “And we hold what?”
It’s hard to predict how the Supremes will rule. Something in me thinks that Chief Justice John Roberts is just a little bit smarter than the average Republican and will have the foresight to see the consequences for both the country and his political party. A middle ground solution may be what we end up with. Even though I am a political animal and think a “win” in the King v. Burwell case will benefit my party, the Democrats. I really don’t want to see millions of people return to the insecurity and pain of fending for themselves in the “medical marketplace”.
The only thing the Republicans seem to do well these days is keeping their voters uninformed, misinformed and angry. Oh, and they have the media helping them with that, and it’s not just the right-wing media anymore.
I have this fantasy that there are real journalists left in the world of cable news. But just like my other fantasies, they never seem to come true. (Insert Rimshot here)
Glenn Greenwald’s latest piece of “advocacy” journalism deals with events that started in 2002 and ended in 2008. It involves the NSA under President Bush spying on 5 prominent Americans who are Muslim. For the record, at the time the Cheney/Bush administration was selling their lies to the American people, I was marching against their march to war.
What was Glenn Greenwald thinking in 2002, when this spying began. From the preface to one of Glenn’s books, his own words…
I believed that Islamic extremism posed a serious threat to the country, and I wanted an aggressive response from our government. I was ready to stand behind President Bush and I wanted him to exact vengeance on the perpetrators and find ways to decrease the likelihood of future attacks. (emphasis mine)
Think about that for a minute. Greenwald was 36 years old at the time, according to my calculations. Not some young naive kid. Whenever he has tried to refute my pointing that out, he usually says something like, “everyone was doing it.” As my mother would occasionally say, if everyone jumped off a cliff, does that mean you should too?
More from Glenn Greenwald’s own keyboard…
During the following two weeks, my confidence in the Bush administration grew as the president gave a series of serious, substantive, coherent, and eloquent speeches that struck the right balance between aggression and restraint. And I was fully supportive of both the president’s ultimatum to the Taliban and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan when our demands were not met. Well into 2002, the president’s approval ratings remained in the high 60 percent range, or even above 70 percent, and I was among those who strongly approved of his performance. […]
Each President marks his term with a leadership legacy that defines his administration. For Barack Obama, one of the hallmark characteristics of his time at the helm is unapologetic pursuit of policies that help the country. While this may seem like a given, under the circumstances, Obama’s tough stances on some issues has nonetheless sparked heavy resistance from the political right.
In order to set his own pace, however; the President has had to first clean up many of the lingering issues that predate his administration. In addition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama has faced a hornet’s nest of residual domestic policy that has also required strong leadership to rectify. As a result, the President has maintained an unwavering commitment to tackle tough issues – both here and abroad.
Real Issues At-Hand
Effective leadership requires proactive approaches to public policy, but it also relies on the ability to react quickly, in response to issues that arise. President Obama was thrown into the fire immediately upon securing the position, forcing him to reconcile very real issues facing the country. From domestic economic concerns to multiple foreign wars, the current administration has been elbow-deep in major policy reform since taking control of the executive branch of government.
To some; the President’s actions are off-putting, due to the decisive and unapologetic strategies he has implemented. But when held-up to the alternatives, it becomes clear that the President’s responses to some of this century’s most challenging realities have been tough, yet prudent.
Ineffective International Organizations
In addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s administration has faced vexing foreign policy concerns elsewhere; including aggression and human rights atrocities in Syria and Russia. And while international support is put-forth by organizations like the United Nations, Obama’s policies have had to account for the fact that help from the UN and others does not always sway outcomes significantly. As a result, bold U.S. strategies and foreign policy decisions made by the Obama administration illustrate the tough stances the President has adopted to protect American interests.
The recent global recession and meltdown of important U.S. markets took its toll on the country and the world. Unemployment, home mortgage foreclosures and other important indicators illustrated never-before-seen economy turmoil that eventually reached every sector of the U.S. economy. Even so, the President understands the economic might at his disposal and operates accordingly on the world stage. Bold moves Obama made to correct the housing market downturn and Wall Street waffling show how the President’s tough policies have led to productive outcomes.
Public Support Drives Policy Decisions
While each President exhibits autonomy in his leadership role, policy outcomes are also influences by prevailing public opinion. In the case of health care reform, Obama took a tough position, which didn’t align with the beliefs of the political right. Tea Party protests and other displays of dissent followed, but the prevailing need for public health care overshadowed the misgivings of a few citizens clinging to the status quo. Though tough, the President’s initiatives would have been dead in the water, if not for the support of forward-thinking Americans lending their voices and activism to the collective cause.
Obama’s Personal Style
The President’s style has been characterized as “inflexible” and “unwavering”, so Obama has left his indelible mark on policy outcomes of the past 6 years. While ideological gains are a part of each presidential administration, Obama’s bold actions eclipse some of the cronyism seen in prior administrations. As a result, what some see as overly rigid or inflexible pursuits are actually a reflection of the President’s personal style. Whether from working within the Chicago political machine, or gleaned from years mobilizing support for grass roots issues, the current President is not afraid to adhere to his core beliefs.
Strong leadership cues from President Obama lead detractors to call him out for being too tough, at times. In reality, however; the President’s track record of decisive moves is simply a reflection of the issues he has faced and the prevailing public support for his policies.
Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from www.ArrestRecords.com and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.