Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Charles P. Pierce Tom Junod*

gets it just about right:
He had been accused of squandering the demographic advantages of his presidency, and of missing the chance to become a truly transformational politician. But he must have known that if he remained true to the very things his enemies feared in him — his rationalism and modernity — the country could get on with the task of transforming itself, and tonight he celebrated the most sweeping political transformation in American political culture since the one Reagan cemented in his electoral victory of 1984: 
He had turned a center-right country into a center-left one.
So allow me to repeat -- calmly and with hope -- what I wrote two years ago:

In order to avoid wasting his presidency, squandering the opportunity we have given him, and letting the country spiral into a permanent corporate feudal pest-hole, Barack Obama must do the hardest thing of all: he must exceed his design specifications. This is not unprecedented, but like Franklin Roosevelt the capitalist-turned-social-Democrat or Abraham Lincoln the compromiser-turned-Emancipator, Obama must let go of a central pillar of his identity and embrace the brutal fact that our modern house divided against itself cannot stand.

That we cannot endure permanently half-Fox and half-free.

That we will become all one thing, or all the other.

And that this is your fight, President Obama.

This burden has fallen to you: it cannot be shirked and cannot be delegate.

If you take up this challenge, millions of us will have your back, Mr. President.

But if you cannot summon the inner strength to evolve past your reflexive need to compromise with people who want to destroy you, then we are all well and truly fucked.

*Thanks for the catch, Anon.


Anonymous said...

I agreee totally with your sentiment, but the Esquire post you refer to is a "guest post" bu Tom Junod, not from Charlie Pierce.

Pinkamena Panic said...

Any bets on how long before some bomb-chucking emoprog comes in to lecture us all about how that'll never happen because it's Bush's Fourth Term and Droooonneeezzzzz and NDAA and executive powers and no public option and besides he's not Jill Stein so he sucks?

We'll be getting four years of that no matter what happens, so let's just get it out of the way now, I say.

Anonymous said...

Caught snatches of NPR coverage last night and then today, and the overall tone of the reporters/hosts was like listening to a room full of Romney advisers trying to figure out what went wrong while constantly emphasizing how WELL he did and if not for Sandy or picking Ryan as a VP (or whatever) he could have won.

If they bothered to mention Obama at all it was in a gloomy light, or picked clips of speeches where his voice gets scratchy or high-pitched.

I mention this because NPR USED to be a genuinely OK source of news - then in the Bush Administration he came in and purged the Corporation of Public Broadcasting of decent, civic minded people and replaced them with blatant party hacks.

If Bush was able to mess up the CPB, why can't Obama fix it? What is it about him that just lets it remain as a cesspool of barely suppressed Republican rage - bashing him at every turn?

It's like, he wants so badly to prove he is not out to bash Republicans, he lets the CPB stand as is. But hopefully the experience of this last election energizes him a bit. I dunno, all I can do is HOPE for some CHANGE from Obama.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

some bomb-chucking emoprog

Oh hai!

Enjoy your Grand Bargain™, servile bootlicker.

bluepillnation said...

"If Bush was able to mess up the CPB, why can't Obama fix it?"

In this, as in so many other things, could it not be that he had more pressing priorities - such as the entire freaking economy tanking at a rate that threatened to make the Crash of '29 look like a mere fender-bender by comparison, perhaps?

Look - I winced as much as anyone else every time President Obama reached across the aisle only to have his hand metaphorically bitten off, but if we progressives want to hold on to our "reality-based community" credentials, we have to accept a few things, chief among which is the fact that BushCo not only turned Clinton's surplus into a yawning deficit, but also asset-stripped the federal government to the point where Obama had practically nothing to bargain with. Political capital is nothing without actual capital, and the financial institutions holding the capital weren't going to give him any unless he brought them on board.

In short, the price of halting the economic freefall, saving Detroit and reforming healthcare among other things was the continued presence of Goldman Sachs alumni at the Treasury. In hindsight, doesn't that look like a relatively fair (albeit somewhat distasteful) deal?

Some progressive voters took this among other things as such an affront that they stayed home in 2010, making the poor bugger have to fight an effectively Republican Congress for the next two years on top of everything else. I have to ask - how did that deal work out in hindsight?

Moving the thousand-ton boulder that is the political centre is easy for the side that can afford an endless supply of cranes and backhoes to do so - it's much more difficult if all your side has is their hands and determination. Even with a million hands and all the determination in the world, moving it will be slow, back-breakingly hard work and it will seem at times like an insurmountable struggle - but the only way to keep it moving is if you keep pushing with everything you've got.

FDR famously told his supporters that after electing him to fix things, he still needed their help to make him do it and President Obama is no different. You gave him a second chance to make a difference - now help him make the difference you want to see.

Blotz said...

Hai Back at yah... now go fuck a light socket you clueless child.

blackdaug said...


ex fucking actly

Obama the hard ass killer = Obama the one term wonder.

He knows it. Its not 11 dimensional chess

The kraken is out....long live the kraken

Anonymous said...

Pink, Blotz, and blue are symptomatic of the problems with the 'progressive' community.

According to Pink you're an emoprog for being against imperialism and murdering children with sky robots in the middle east.

Forget about how Bush was vehemently criticized for the same behavior during his term and that Hillary's whole campaign was destroyed because of a vote for the Iraq war that Obama was not keen to end until the Iraqi's refused immunity to American soldiers for their crimes in Iraq. The hypocrisy is just shameful.

Blue clearly has no knowledge about how much time Obama has for things - he has been pictured golfing, and performing various fundraising and HoS roles so certainly taking 5 minutes out of his day to re-right the CPBis well within the realm of possibility. It is also curious that blue would say something about the necessity of voters 'helping' out Obama, yet no one can dare criticize the President. Talking out both sides of his mouth.

Blotz seems to imply by his lame - not childish, lame, like 4 years ago on 4chan that would be funny lame, comment that he has some sort of insider knowledge that makes thunder 'clueless'.

Why not go over CIA studies that conclude the drone campaign is a prime recruiting tool for terrorist organizations - a way to increase our risk of being attacked, before you go about blithely attacking people as 'clueless' when you lack the capacity to accommodate even a single 'clue'.

Beleck said...

heard FDR said "make Me" as a reason for his behavior. no one could force Obomney to do anything, nor did Obomney "push" anything, even his version of Romneycare. thanks to the Senatorial Gang of Nine/Senator Baucus' advisor from wellpoint healthcare, inc. who wrote the Bill, thank them for any Obamacare we do or don't get. and in the push for Obamacare, Obama was strangely reticent.

Watching Obomney let others do the "dirty" work was proof of who wasn't in charge. His Savvy Businessmen friends got what they wanted. to say Obomney didn't earn what he "achieved" is comical

watching the Obomney "bipartisan" sell out to the Grand Bargain/Catfood Commission, coming once again in the Lame Duck Congress for Fiscal Cliff time.

we have seen such Leadership. not! the Great Obomney push back to "you lie" joe Wilson, or Shirley Sherrod was an awesome display of power/not. not a word or presence in the whole Wisconsin Walkerstan coup, either.

leaders need to lead and make others do their bidding, while fearing he won't be seen as an Angry Black Man in this case doesn't work, as we saw.

What? defer to some white people/votes who weren't going to "like" Obomeny no matter what he did or didn't do. like he had a lot to lose anyway. just look around today. he gained so much of the "White vote" by being such a nice polite Black Guy. lol.

he certainly lost a lot of the pajama clad cheetos eating left this time
by such deferential behavior, as he did in 2010 as well. History will rate Obama for what he was, not what he wanted or Hoped to Change. Look Forward, Not Backward!

Bukko Canukko said...

Hey Pinkamena and Blotz: I'm an expatriateoprog! Back'atcha both. Only, I'll let Glenn Greemwald do the 'splainin' about the upcoming sell-out. He does that kind of thing for a living, so he's better at i than I am. If you're Balloon Juicer Obots, I know Greenwald's name is like the smell of sulphur that Hugo Chavez talked about when George Bush preceded him at the United Nations. Enjoy your new boss -- same as the old boss.

blackdaug said...

Cue circular firing squad...sharks eating their own guts.
More functions for Roves next algorithm.
(Dems who don't know Obama not all powerful demi-god / by raging christopaths x swing state ev)
God this is fucking getting old.

Bukko Canukko said...

Anonymous, Blotz has several bios linked to his Blogger ID that trumpet his love for Dungeons and Dragons. 'Nuff said, eh?

Pinkamena Panic said...

The attitudes of ifthethunder, Anonymous Pants-Pisser, and Bukko should tell you all you need to know. Just more cowardly bomb-chuckers looking for someone to take their tiny, impotent rage out on since people here care more about real issues than white male privilege-driven wedge issues.

By the way, Bukko, you can take your little HURR DURR STOOPID NERDZ shit and get out. Fucking hater.

Anonymous said...


I played Dungeons & Dragons for over 20 years. I started with the red box, and even have a copy of Chainmail. I'm old enough to have played Top Secret and Star Frontiers.

Please explain why that is a sign of mental deficiency?


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, bombing brown children to death and their family members that show up at their sad funeral is such a while male wedge issue.

Bukko Canukko said...

Please explain why that is a sign of mental deficiency?

Because it's a game for fantasy-addled teenagers. Cool when you're 14. "Simpsons Comic Bookstore Guy" when you're grown.

It's your life, dude, but when you think about all the hours spent immersed in doing that, wouldn't it have been more soul-enriching to have gone out in nature, or read books, or anything not involving a board game of pretend?

I've spent four years reading "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (in conjunction with the three or four various other books I'm always reading simultaneously.) I finished the 1,100-some pages of Volume I -- Western Roman Empire finally falls to Goths -- and I'm in the mid-200s of the 1,460 pages of Volume II (history of the rest of the world up to Gibbons' time in the late 1700s.) That's as obsessive on my part as D&D is on your part. Only, I'm expanding my mind with my obsession.

It enables me to do things like name-check Belisarius tonight with a hard-ass security guard I work with who served with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan. Not that either one of us was trying to compare ourselves with a brilliant general, but hey, I can work my mania into conversations with regular folks. Can you, with yours? Aside from other D&D "tragics" as the slang went where I used to live in Australia.

By the way, Bukko, you can take your little HURR DURR STOOPID NERDZ shit and get out. Fucking hater.

Are you 14 years old? Maybe you should pick up a Dungeons and Dragons set. Step away from the 4Chan!

And BTW, I have gotten out. Out to Australia for four years, up to Canada after Prez. Hopey (who I voted for via absentee ballot from Down Under) was elected. But no way will my wife and I move back to the tottering militaristic empire that is the United States. I like my secure, good-paying union job in the socialized medical system too much to return to the armed madhouse that is Amerikkka. You stay IN, Pinkamena. I reckon you're a good fit for what that country is becoming.

Swede said...

I will have to disagree and say that this election proves nothing regarding the president ability to exceed his design specifications. Their god is the grand bargain and Brooks.

tata said...

Drifty, I agreed with you then and agree with you now.

Anonymous said...


I can tell you do not want an answer, you want to be right. There is a scurrilous wag around here who occasionally puts together a good sentence, who used the phrase, "Traded truth for certainty."

I'm sorry your experience has only been with the Tragics. I know RPG's tend to accumulate those. If your experiences are entirely with people who cannot differentiate "entertainment" from a mania, obsession, or delusion, I've met them too, so I understand. I'm sorry I was annoyed with you. I must presuppose that your opinions come from experiences that are not mine to judge.

We will never cross paths, so anything you would like to project or assume is fine. Between being gay and Wiccan, the D&D thing is childish to me, but some people need their boogeymen.


bluepillnation said...

This is where part 2 of The Boulder Theory comes into play. A lot of radical right policies are actually really easy to implement. With a working majority, "general welfare" programmes can be gutted, civil rights legislation repealed and public monies transferred into private hands by the trillion with the stroke of a pen. All the voters who support those policies have to do is vote. With progressive policies, money to create and restore those policies and programmes needs to be found, and therefore progressives need to stay politically engaged long after the election, because it's a lot harder work to get politicians and private entities to work together and build these things.

Giving up, running abroad etc. is a cop-out. General De Gaulle and the Free French military would have been stuck in London for far longer if it hadn't been for the work of the French Resistance making it possible to do so - and that was with their homeland under a regime that was actively trying to kill them. Progressives currently have the most sympathetic administration to their cause since that of Jimmy Carter - if you don't at least try to leverage that opportunity then railing against it's shortcomings is nothing more than hollow bitching.

Cliff said...

So, my thoughts on Obama are:
The drone war is shitty.
The whistleblower prosecutions are shitty.
The pipeline is going to be shitty.
The Grand Bargain is going to be shitty.

But Mitt Romney is Buffalo God Damned Bill. His whole campaign was essentially that creepy dance where he tucks his junk back, all so he can woo in the Republican base.

So the choice was pretty clear.

Bisham said...

Hey, 21 comments for driftglass?

Should have known that quantity would not equal quality.

My only comment on the post is that I forgive you for thinking it must be Charlie Pearce who wrote anything that resonated.

Bisham said...