Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 07, 2011

The Elephant In Donkey’s Clothing

Obama disappointed on many, many issues.

He escalated the war in Afghanistan and started new ones in Somalia, Yemen and Libya. He kept Guantanamo open and found new ways to hide prisoners. He let the CIA torturers get off for free. He gave hundreds of billions to Wall Street and made no effort to clean it up. He doesn't give shit about the constitutional war powers. He is more zealous about whistle blowers than anyone before him. He is pandering to Israel and its lobby.

The people in the U.S. might have been okay with most of the above. But now, I hope, they will find him overreaching and this should be the deserved end of his presidency: In debt talks, Obama offers Social Security cuts

President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue.

This used to be the holy grail for the Democrats. Selling out on Social Security and Medicare is something large majorities in the U.S. are against. Doing so would probably be the end of the party.

Will this finally result in a serious primary challenge for Obama?

Posted by b on July 7, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Permalink


the boomers gotta choose: israel or social security...

the boomers have lots of political juice because of their numbers, but it could be that political juice wont count for much in the emerging police state.

i think we should anticipate an anti-boomer propaganda campaign that will further isolate boomers from the younger generations.

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 7, 2011 11:44:30 AM | 1

"Will this finally result in a serious primary challenge for Obama?"

By whom? Who's entered the race that could 'result in a serious primary challenge?' Michelle Bachmann?

Pardon my cynicism this morning, but I feel sure Obama will carry 2012 in a landslide.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jul 7, 2011 11:44:30 AM | 2

Can't think of any Democratic Party 'progressive' that doesn't suck on Israel.

Posted by: Biklett | Jul 7, 2011 12:58:49 PM | 3

From the left political blogs I read in the US, the first words of this dirty deed against Social Security is hitting like an earthquake. Obama's duplicity, his mendacity, the utter hollowness of his character, his role as Cornel West said, as mascot for Wall Street, is all coming home to roost. On the comment threads of Democratic blogs, so many are writing, "He's done"," He's finished".

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 7, 2011 1:35:01 PM | 4

it may be too late. he can do this before his term is up. I seem to recall he predicted he would be a one term president.

problem is, we have no choices. the republicans certainly won't do anything for the little guy.

the system is rigged beyond hope. there is nothing anyone can do. hopefully we will learn survival skills and weather the storm. there are some hard times ahead.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 7, 2011 2:13:10 PM | 5

Nobody to challenge him, not in the Republicans, nor in the Democrats. Romney? Palin? H Clinton? Bachmann? Hargh hargh hargh hargh hargh .He can only win by a default landslide next year - unless there is a military takeover or the US gets becomes part of Canada or Mexico.....or maybe they'll cancel 1776. Elizabeth Windsor for Prez.

Posted by: hilerie | Jul 7, 2011 2:30:22 PM | 6

No, this will not result in a primary challenge.

And, remember, Obama himself was a primary challenge to the Clintons. So you better look at any "serious" challenger pretty closely.

Those who put their faith in primary challenges will wait a world of Sundays before such efforts bear fruit.

Posted by: Mercutio | Jul 7, 2011 4:07:45 PM | 7

I'm pretty sure his is how a late capitalist society dies. It's essential institutions have been corrupted, thrown out of balance, overwhelmed by service to a singular interest ($$$$), and are rabidly resistant to change or reform. It will continue with increasing intensity to seek expansion of wealth through alternative (theft), dubious, (and ultimately self destructive) means that mimic the behavior of an addict.

The simple fact that Obama (like 43 before him) would entertain the idea of sucking the blood from massively popular, virtually traditional peoples programs like social security and medicare is indicative, not so much of a veiled political desperation, but a clueless, cynical, and hubric detachment on the level of pre-revolutionary French elites. What other explanation would suffice to explain the profound gulf between what Obama ran on, and the massive fraud he has since committed in office. Why else would he do this?

Obviously and on balance, he and the democrats have to be confident they can get away with it. At least as long as the republican alternative continues to ratchet deeper and deeper into the lunatic fringe.

It doesn't seem even remotely possible, for any of this to end well.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 7, 2011 5:06:39 PM | 8

I’d like to see a left primary challenge to Obama. It would force the MSM to give some ‘Road to the Whitehouse’ airtime to the interests of the struggling folks on Main Street who are supposed to be the Dem constituency.

I think that the opponent would ideally be a black person (Conyers?) to finesse charges that progressives who don’t support Obama are racist.

In the general election, I suspect that Obama in 2012 will be like Bush in 2000 and 2004: he could have been toast, but there was no toaster.

Posted by: Watson | Jul 7, 2011 5:46:10 PM | 9

@anna missed

You are so right. And there's probably a severe crackdown on civil rights coming behind this collapse, as well. It won't be pleasant at all. If past is prologue; there may possibly be statutes that verge on sedition laws. The Palmer raids come to mind, under Woodrow Wilson, rounding up political prisoners, circa 1918-1920. What H.L. Mencken called "a saturnalia of oppressions."

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 7, 2011 5:58:02 PM | 10

Both parties are performing their duties flawlessly. Their duty being to preserve the American global military presence at all costs. The Democrats have signaled that they will slaughter their sacred cow (medicare and social security) and soon Republicans will slaughter theirs (more taxes.) But the cow sacred to all and worshiped by all is the military industrial complex, and it will feed heartily on the carcasses of the other cows.

The bad news is that the American public will pay more and more for less and less. The good news is that the empire will endure.

There are some signs that Americans are becoming less sanguine about all this (Ron Paul's growing popularity is one) But I don't think a critical mass will be reached in time to make a difference.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 7, 2011 6:23:42 PM | 11

Elizabeth Warren for President!

Posted by: lizard | Jul 7, 2011 10:17:11 PM | 12

but seriously, Obama has been phenomenal. his ability to suck corporate cock is quite impressive, matched only by the servile supreme court. while the sacred cows of entitlements now sit on the funeral pyre waiting for the match, our founding documents are increasingly irrelevant, and the police state is as strong as ever. yes he can.

and the whole country seems too locked in to illusions to imagine alternatives.

Posted by: lizard | Jul 7, 2011 10:28:22 PM | 13

Primary challenge, no. Potentially credible third-party challenger, yes. This is a bit like the distaste in 91-92 for either Bush the Elder or any of the Democratic challengers, or the eventual nominee (Bill Clinton), that led to a substantial minority of voters going with Ross Perot.

The 'Ross Perot' in 2012 will most likely be a clarion-calling, sweet-singing, fire and brimstone-invoking outsider on whom discouraged people pin desperate hopes. Sufficiently plausible to draw double-digit percentages away from the two parties combined, but insufficient and insufficiently articulated in terms of specific plans and policies to be elected.

Thus one or the other mainstream wing of the same big national party will win with whatever plurality it ekes out, with results too demoralizing and stupefying to contemplate.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Jul 7, 2011 10:52:15 PM | 14

I would love for my home state of California to secede, and wouldn't mind if it finally broke itself into California Sur and Jefferson Norte. Trouble is, we have a few strategically placed military installations to act as sleeper cancers should we actually try this.

I'm so old and set in my ways now that the concept of 'detachment from the grid' seems as distant a fantasy as the concept of 'interstellar travel' does.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jul 7, 2011 11:35:27 PM | 15

Does Michelle Obama Know About This?

I'm w/lizard Elizabeth Warren for President! Warren /McKinney ticket...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 7, 2011 11:46:14 PM | 16

Both major parties are corrupt to their core. Whether Warren or whomever... if they pretend they can govern effectively from inside either party... we know they are suffering from some sort of delusion.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Jul 8, 2011 12:06:31 AM | 17

If the Democrats can't finally muster 40 votes to filibuster this, then all ordinary Americans are doomed. But so far, things do not look hopeful. Democrats have not filibustered anything. But when Republicans hint at a filibuster, Democrats cave. That's because most of Democratic Senators are really elephants posing as donkeys.

If this doesn't give rise to a serious third party candidate, ordinary Americans are also doomed. Lack of a serious third party candidate would mean that all credible leaders outside the duopoly have been thoroughly intimidated by the parties that be.

Posted by: JohnH | Jul 8, 2011 12:24:31 AM | 18

The Wall Street Gang Banksters who gave Obama wads of seed money to get in the primary are getting extremely good returns on their investment, maybe billions of the dollar. Obama has been very good to them.

He opened in Iowa in 2008 by talking about "fixing" and restraining the entitlement programs -- a Repub term for SocSec, Medicare, and Medicaid. Even before he announced his run, back in 2007, he had made noises about taking on Medicare.

He does not work for the run of the mill voters, and he knows his bosses will take very good care of him if he does what they want.

He will probably get enough ConservaDems, Corporatists, to get his plan through.

He will also destroy the Democratic Party.

The American people will suffer direly for this man's presidency.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 8, 2011 12:53:58 AM | 19

Oh, edit would be so nice!

Wall Streeters probably made "billions on the dollar" by funding OBama's run.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 8, 2011 12:55:29 AM | 20

I hate to say I told you so.....but I told you so. Yeah, I know, it's no consolation, but it needs to be said, so that those who arrogantly and dismissively shouted down those of us who called Obama what he was long before he was elected, will refrain from making the same mistake again.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 8, 2011 8:52:47 AM | 22

Jawbone, Obama was tapped for 2008 at least in 2004, maybe prior. When he gave the Keynote Speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention, I said, I kid you not, "that's the President in 2008." It's that transparent when you remove the conditioning.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 8, 2011 8:55:57 AM | 23

disappointment = sadder.

sadder is only the goad. it is not even partway to wiser.

Posted by: rjj | Jul 8, 2011 9:50:20 AM | 24

disclaimer: that is not directed at the esteemed B.

It is a general peeve at the pissers and moaners who refuse to ask how/why they misoverestimated this guy.

Posted by: rjj | Jul 8, 2011 10:17:07 AM | 25

So many salient posts on this. No b, there will be no challenge to Mr. Obama. He's the perfect corporate mole. We here in the U.S. are toast. The corporate elites are in total control of the electoral system, "our" government, the media, and the military. Enjoy the ride folks. Cynical? You bet, and apt to stay that way. The only card left to play is the hope people will take to the streets. Na, never happen.

Posted by: ben | Jul 8, 2011 10:22:56 AM | 26

anna missed & copeland

yes, it will not end well for empire & all its constitutive elements

the sooner the better

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 8, 2011 10:37:04 AM | 27

anna missed at 8 puts it sharp and clear.

Social payments (costs, redistribution, whatever you want to call it) have always been a mess in the USA, because they are built on the idea of profit, of benefit, of charity. In short, relations between groups or individuals, and all that comes with it: lobbying, fraud, power-plays, domination, back-door deals, etc.

Taxation is used as an incentive (buy a house), as punishment (on the lower middles), as cream, oh the yanks call it pork? (subsidies to agri), as something one can escape if privileged (corporations, the rich), etc. The US actually has a pretty massive ‘welfare’ state, in terms of the sums collected and handed out, but it is a patchy mess, opaque, deadened by bureaucracy which combines all the worst characteristics: arcane, error ridden, inflexible, unjust, and completely illogical. Combine that with the ethos of freedom and the ‘free market’ and it is no wonder that anti-tax sentiment is traditional and pervasive. The US is a submerged state - not just underwater financially, though that fits, but away from the surface, lost in the muddy depths. Imperceptible, annoying, even frightening.

Mucking about with the one program which is ‘for all’ and for the common good - see other posts.

One press photo (small), have it illustrate the future of the boy...


Posted by: Noirette | Jul 8, 2011 10:49:48 AM | 28

The US is a submerged state - not just underwater financially, though that fits, but away from the surface, lost in the muddy depths. Imperceptible, annoying, even frightening.

Much like the oil in the GOM. It's great metaphor, and the Corporate Media is the Corexit.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 8, 2011 10:54:11 AM | 29

Pelosi got all huffy about the proposed cuts. But she has zero credibility.

Democrats' outrage smells of their outrage in 2006-2007 when they ran against the war in Iraq. But in time they walked back their phony positions and grew to love the war.

The same thing will happen here. And they'll say that they "were" against all those cuts.

Posted by: JohnH | Jul 8, 2011 11:04:16 AM | 30

Video link to excellent speech by Glenn Greenwald: "Civil liberties under Obama"

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 9, 2011 2:35:31 AM | 31

@groundresonance - just deleted a bunch of your comments

- they were spam-like in their number (collect thoughts and put them in ONE comment instead of five)
- they didn't fit the threads theme
- they did nothing to further the discussion

I'll delete more of your comments and block you if you continue this behavior.

Posted by: b | Jul 9, 2011 6:13:17 AM | 32

I think that the opponent would ideally be a black person (Conyers?) to finesse charges that progressives who don’t support Obama are racist.

Right. The Herman Cain solution. Those darkies will swallow anything in black face. I don't know about progressives who don't support Obama, but you're clearly a racist fuckwit.

Posted by: Rack 'Em | Jul 16, 2011 1:52:59 PM | 33

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