Obama’s angry. How should we feel?

By Duganz

This AP story today about an upcoming Rolling Stone interview with President Barack Obama has left me with lots of questions, and a substantial need to dedicate time to introspection.

On President Obama’s end, he’s mad as hell about perceived apathy on the left. He is tired of progressives being down about what he sees as success––the left being comprised of glass-half-empty types.

“People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up,” Obama told Rolling Stone in an interview to be published Friday. The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and “if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.”

In President Obama’s view, the more time we spend complaining about  what we see as his failures (ones he does not see), the more time we’re not watching Republicans.

But we are watching, and it’s scary as hell when we see people clapping for Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin. The Right is gaining power and enthusiasm and will probably take out a good deal of Democrats in the upcoming elections. It’s defeating, and scary, but it’s reality.

So yeah, we are mad  because we all worked hard, gave money, and voted in 2008 to change America for the better. And to see that these people are gaining power instead of being left in the dust of their flat Earth ways, it’s desheartening.

However, do not doubt how serious we are about changing America.

We are serious when we say we want equal rights for our gay friends and family members.

We are serious when we say we want an end to perpetual war.

We are serious when we say we want affordable healthcare for all.

We are serious when we say we want change.

It’s been two years, and these wants are not yet met. Our hopes are as of yet unfulfilled.

In the interview Obama says that change is hard, and I cannot agree more. Change is difficult, and hard, and we’re not a society that likes to wait. Of course some are mad, and anger breeds apathy. But those apathetic people don’t need to be admonished publicly for their malaise, they need to be brought back into the fold with actions and not just promises. It would be nice to see President Obama come clean and say that things aren’t moving as steadily as they should with Democratic control, or condemn regressives within the Democratic establishment who are just as damaging as Republicans.

We cannot live on insistence of success, we need to feel the results by seeing our friends married, our families back from war, our sick well, and our world a better place.

I believe I was right to vote for Barack Obama, and maybe this is his attempt at recreating Jimmy Carter’s “Crisis of Confidence” speech (but in a more successful way).

The thing to remember is: I am not your enemy, Mr. President. CarFreeStpdty is not your enemy (seriously… so don’t clandestinely assassinate him). The Left got you into office because we saw you as our chance. Those “HOPE” stickers weren’t passed out with apathy, but with honest hope and desire for change. And we saw it embodied within you.

Don’t blame us for being upset that you’re not holding up your end of the bargain.

  1. Progressives cannot take our ball and go home.

    Baucus took it away and I haven’t seen it around for months.

  2. Meant to say baucus took it off the table…..

  3. Well, I don’t think the President could realistically have done better on either of the wars, or on health care. Our society isn’t really mature enough for more than we got, so far. And you can’t really blame him for DADT, when the opposition in Congress is willing to filibuster the Defense Appropriations bill (and will pay no political price whatsoever for doing so).

    Invoking the state secrets privilege, though? That’s purely within his purview, and he should rightly take the hit for it. I think his people seriously underestimate the importance of restoring the rule of law to his appeal to his supporters. Sure, people are pragmatic — but he’s done nothing at all to sell this on pragmatic grounds, really.

    Of course, the reason his party will lose seats in Congress is that unemployment is too high. Lots of people knew, and told him, that the stimulus was too small, and that he’d get no political advantage for going with too low a bill if the thing didn’t work well enough. It didn’t, and he won’t.

  4. Ingemar Johansson

    Did ya catch his dig on Fox News? AOS rant.

    “Can you imagine if George W. Bush spent 1/10 the time whining like a little girl about the press that Obama does?

    Obama is the most thin skinned, lying, anti-prosperity, anti-American exceptionalism President in memory and he’s lecturing people about what is destructive to America? The irony, it burns!

    Call me when Fox News has put this country on a path to fiscal ruin. Call me when Fox News has endangered the health care of nearly every American. And call me when Fox News has sold out freedom loving allies to authoritarian thugs.

    Until then Mr. President…shut the f*ck up.”

    • “And call me when Fox News has sold out freedom loving allies to authoritarian thugs.”
      Okay, give me your number, Ace, because Fox was cheerleading the authoritarian thugs in charge from 2001-2009.

    • The Polish Wolf

      When Fox rallied for the Iraq war and the Bush tax cuts, which both cost more than TARP, and which combined dwarf the stimulus.

      • CFS

        Yes, but nobody could actively watch things explode with TARP. I remember my whole dorm flore being fixated around the tv as we started the invasion… And no matter peoples opinion… we still just watched likeva bunch of sheep as the tv screen exploded with color.

        • The Polish Wolf

          Maybe TARP would have been better spent demolishing Citibank headquarters – would have at least garnered an audience.

  5. Turner

    We’ll show him. We’ll elect Denny Rehberg to go back to Washington with his always-ready no vote. Denny will punish Obama and Pelosi for us for not being progressive enough. Denny and his friends will stand up for wealthy people, who’ve been terribly victimized by this socialist president. Denny and his friends will work toward Bible-centered government.

    He’s our man!

  6. ladybug

    Think of Obama the N. American representative to G-20, no longer President of the U.S. It may dull some of the pain. Not working? There’s always a pill for that.

  7. JC

    Progressives on the left are just getting setup as the fall guy for when the elections go south in November.

    It’s really sad to see a president so out of touch with his base, that he has to resort to ad hominem in order to coverup his own failures at leadership, messaging, and communication. And for not knowing who his base is was, and how far left it extended.

    Again, what did FDR say?


    Sorry for shouting. Now the arguments about what a progressive is, and what they should support can begin.

    • Now the arguments about what a progressive is, and what they should support can begin.

      Or, it can just be pointed out that “progressives” thinking of themselves as the Democratic base is a false assumption. No argument necessary. But do take the quiz, regardless.

      • JC

        We’ve debated endlessly here and elsewhere for years about what a progressive is. WHat a liberal is. Etc.

        I think that everybody but the right is confused about the ambiguity posed by the word “progressive” and whether or not it constitutes the democratic party base.

        And if progressives are not considered by the elected as part of the “base” then why should they give a rats ass about anything that Obama or any other dem pol tells them to do?

        There used to be a thing called “pandering” that the electeds, and elected-wannabes did. Democrats can’t even bother with pandering any more. Better to just beat up on those that voted for you, and guilt you into coming back to the polls.

        Wonderful strategy. Right up there with “it could have been worse,” and “President Palin.”

  8. The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and “if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.

    I agree with him. Change isn’t just hard, it takes time. I’ve been and remain committed to that change. But, it’s kinda funny that I got a lecture very similar to this post from a co-worker who still has a Baucus sticker on her car. It shows ‘magic pill’ thinking. After the great health care conflict, I was stunned at how many were willing to claim commitment to the idea of single payer/public option but because they didn’t get it quick, they’re now done. No, you’re not. I like to think you aren’t done till you get what you want. Maybe I’m wrong on that.

    Equal rights for our friends and families? How many states recognize gay marriage today? How many in 2004? DADT is going extinct … unless Republicans take control again.

    An end to perpetual war? That’s a fair complaint. We’ll see if the July timetable actually means anything.

    As for civil liberties, that Obama uses the tools handed to him doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’ve been warning about that for 5 years now. The control of the state security apparatus is not in the hands of the Executive branch, save that it be given to them by the Legislature, and the Judiciary. The object of my anger is the Senate, not the President. And guess what, I don’t get to vote for either this election. And yet the media/teabagger/right wingnut narrative is that this election is all about Barack Hussein Obama. Funny how willingly “progressives” have embraced that tall tale.

  9. Before I trundle myself away from this thread, I should write plainly that ‘progressive policies’ aren’t why the Democrats may get slaughtered in a month. It’s about the damned economy, not DADT, or HCR or Hippie Punching. It’s people being scared, working people who don’t obsess over every slight possibly handed from the President; it’s the real democratic base. The working/middle class is being asked to support the growing weight of the wealthy, while the wealthy cajole us that we aren’t doing enough for the POOOR! We’re a dying breed, and we know it. Tel;ling the President that he hasn’t placated our fee fees enough won’t change anything. He could hold a speech, rip his shirt open and declare an executive order tonight that Corporations are bad guys, he will introduce a 3 trillion dollar stimulus that will have people working painting rocks, DADT won’t be tolerated, Single payer will be the law of the land in January, the Defense of Marriage act is now null and void … and it won’t mean shit to people who hear everyday of layoffs, job loss, foreclosures and growing American poverty. People need to spend. They haven’t got the money to do it. And the Teapublicans are terrifying them with tales of DEBT!!!

    Progressives are, for the most part, indulging in arrogance. Instead of bitching about Obama saying bad things about them, they should be working to ensure a cost effective health care reform, a bigger stimulus package and fighting the media narrative that we’re all screwed. Because when Teapublicants take over, we really will be.

    • Turner

      Amen, brother!

    • JC

      “Progressives… should be working to ensure a cost effective health care reform, a bigger stimulus package and fighting the media narrative that we’re all screwed.”

      And what makes you think that they aren’t?

      And why can’t the president and other electeds be criticized when they have far underperformed their campaign rhetoric?

      At one point Obama said about his promises “make me do it” and so when leftprogs point out the failings of, say the HC bill, or finance reform, suggesting that further work needs to be done, they get shot down with remarks like “professional” left from the white house.

      With people like Gibbs and Rahm lobbing flame bait at the left, they deserve every piece of crap that gets flung back at them. And their words reflect the president’s feelings. Or they’d be gone.

      • And what makes you think that they aren’t?

        This insane willingness to hand the country back to the Teapublicants?

        And why can’t the president and other electeds be criticized when they have far underperformed their campaign rhetoric?

        JC, I never said they can’t be. But there is a pretty huge difference between criticizing “them”, and urging people to punish them and themselves by not voting.

        • JC

          “urging people to punish them and themselves by not voting”

          I’ve not encouraged “punishment” nor have I told people to not vote. I myself plan on voting. Outside of the Rehberg race, there’s plenty of stuff on the ballot to get me out to the booth.

          Even in the midst of my third party/write-in protest days in decades past, I still got out and voted ballot issues, and for good candidates, whatever political stripe they might be calling themselves.

          And I don’t equate holding politicians accountable to their campaign rhetoric and other speeches as being “punishment.” What I really feel is that a lot of democrats have decided that accountability is less important than maintaining power. And in that respect they aree no better than republicans–or teapublicans.

  10. Turner

    Instead of piling on Obama, maybe Dems ought to go after Blue Dogs like Baucus. I see that he was one of 4 Democrats to join Republicans in filibustering a jobs bill that would’ve offered a payroll tax break to companies that move jobs from overseas to the USA. It also would’ve withdrawn tax write-offs from companies that laid of US workers and replaced them with employees overseas.

    Baucus helped kill the bill because, he said, it would put US companies at a “competitive disadvantage.”

    This is the sort of Democrat Obama has to work with. How can we expect him to deliver a progressive agenda when he’s constantly being undercut by Blue Dogs?

    • As I said above, if Obama cares what Progressives think he will call out folks like Baucus. Obviously he doesn’t much care what we believe.

    • JC

      Ditto Duganz’z thoughts.

      Obama let Baucus go his merry way on his quixotic quest for bipartisanship on the HCR bill, which drew the whole thing out and let it get out of control.

      Of course, with Jim Messina fresh out of Baucus’ office, and into the side room off the oval office, it is easy to see why Obama deferred to Baucus.

      Obama not reigning in Baucus was the first really bad sign that his admin was going to be lackluster and tepid. When he had a mandate for change, he squandered it by pandering to the insurance industry instead.

      Obama had te opportunity to say what he stood for, and draw a line in the sand, for say a public option, or reigning in Wall Street compensation packages. But no, we get a bunch of ambiguity instead of leadership.

      • Obama let Baucus go his merry way on his quixotic quest for bipartisanship on the HCR bill, which drew the whole thing out and let it get out of control.

        Actually, Senate rules did that. Let’s us just be clear.

        • ok a few days ago i figured it was about time to stop my tantrum over the stupidity of the past two years. so with jack on the rocks in paw i am going to try to calmly give my response to obama’s attempt to blame the majority for his failure to recognize what people wanted from him.

          if you try to push a boulder from the right side of the mountain to the left, i have found it behooves those rolling the boulder to not stop half way up the mountain if you want to reach the other side.

          the problem is when you quit pushing it tends to squash you on it’s way back down the mountain.

          i and 70% of americans said to keep pushing that damn boulder until it reached the top and rolled down the left side. but those who didn’t listen are now blaming those who asked for help and we were not even given the courtesy of a chair at the table; not on health care, not on wars, not on the economy. nothing.

          that boulder is heavy and it is going to gain momentum rolling back to the right and it is going to squish us this year. a shame because with a little more effort from the lazy, cowardly democratic party leadership, we could have had that same momentum working for us on the left side of the mountain. but they preferred half way.

          halfway is nowhere to be. not if you really believe in working for change.

        • JC

          Rules are an easy excuse.

          Either the president is the leader of his party and leads (which means behind the scenes pushing and shoving), or gumbies like Baucus get to go on their merry way, fantasies of bipartisanship, and led by corporate lackies and all.

          • The Polish Wolf

            Baucus is more of a party leader than Obama ever will be. There is nothing Obama can take from Max – Obama can’t help Max win Montana, and he can’t push through any agenda Max might want. Max, on the other hand, has inordinate control over the implementation of Obama’s agenda. Obama may be higher ranking, but Max is sadly more powerful.

            • JC

              What visual did Baucus run on last go around? A picture of him standing next to a smiling Bush as he signed the tax cuts for the rich bill.

              You think a president has no bearing on what Senate leaders do? Crazy. If Baucus f%^&s up bad enough that the Senate swings republican, then he loses his cushy Finance Committee chair. And if that comes to pass, it is because he single-handedly torpedoed health care reform to a mish mash of insurance industry give-aways.

              And Obama does have inordinate control over Baucus’ agenda. It’s called the power of the pen. It’s called access. It’s called the photo op with a smiling president.

              • The Polish Wolf

                Baucus was elected literally decades before Obama. He doesn’t need Obama’s photo op – he’ll be sad if he’s not finance chair, but he’ll stay in office. Obama without Max’s help can’t get his progressive agenda passed; Max on the other hand knows Obama won’t veto his pork and certainly won’t call him out unless he has a weird desire to be a one term president.

            • P-Wolf (How man P-Animals can one blog hold?) has a point. Max has Obama’s whatnots in a sling. Max knows that pandering to the middle, nay Middle-Right, is the way he wins. So he’ll continue to do that.

              Well, unless he can run a campaign ad of his opponent cutting men’s hair during the disco era. That won one race.

              • the only chance mcdonald has to catch rehberg is to blow the dust off of evel’s jet-rocket and jump accross hell’s canyon….

                without a parachute.

                probably not much chance it will be successful but….
                either way it turns out i will be a happy bear

              • He’ll need all the Wild Turkey in Evel’s “drinking cane” for that to work.

              • those in the know used to say the reason it didn’t work was because evel couldn’t keep the nose up….

                maybe mcdonald needs some ballast in the back – anyone know if driscoll is doing anything useful these days?

  11. I can’t wait to see how the “Gee it takes time be patient” crowd reacts when the Bush tax cuts are extended after the election.

    • JC

      Maybe the White House and others will quit blaming the “professional left” once the House shifts republican. Of course, there’re many that think the WH would be happier with a split congress, then they can lay the blame for tepid legislation, or inaction on the party of no.

      As it is, when you have huge majorities in both houses, and the country still has 10%+ unemployment after almost 2 years, you’ve got to find a whipping post. It’s always somebody else’s fault for why the country is in as bad of shape as it is.

      But a campaign built around the cry of “it could have been worse” will inevitably lead to a republican administration in 2012.

      • As it is, when you have huge majorities in both houses, and the country still has 10%+ unemployment after almost 2 years, you’ve got to find a whipping post. It’s always somebody else’s fault for why the country is in as bad of shape as it is.

        You are correct, sir, what with *HUGE* majorities and all. We will revisit the topic of what you want several months from now, no doubts. But progressives won’t be whipped … and won’t that be a fine thing?

        • JC

          As to the topic several months from now, which I assume will be a shrunken senate majority for dems, and republican control of the house, just what would you have progressives do about it?

          Vote democrat? Many will. Some won’t. Looking at the polls, the whole question revolves around voter enthusiasm, and likely voters, the two intricately linked.

          How do you propose that progressives suddenly become “enthusiastic?” Many progressives are pragmatic and will see that they need to get out and vote for dems, because they think it is their duty to do so.

          But there are a lot of progressives who are independents. And as with any election, a candidate needs to attract independents–even if they are “progressives” on the left.

          This assumption that progressive independents on the left are part of the democratic base and are automatic votes will lead to the downfall of the dem parties ambitions.

          Lefty progressives and independents need to hold strong, or the country will continue its slow slide to the right. And “hold strong” refers to critiquing the work of dems when it fails to live up to the mandate they were given, and the rhetoric they espoused during the last campaign.

          • The Polish Wolf

            “…critiquing the work of dems when it fails to live up to the mandate they were given”

            I dunno, the Bush strategy of ‘never ever oppose the president ever’ worked pretty well for his first midterm elections. Admittedly, it didn’t lead to the best decision making, but it was an effective political move.

            • JC

              You ever think that Bush wasn’t criticized because he continually fed his base? And the right wing crazies? And the neocons that ran his foreign policy?

              Bush gave in to every segment of his constituency. What would they criticize him for?

              Running up a deficit with his tax cuts? Hardly. It’s the unwritten law of the right to bleed the public trough until there’s nothing left except a military big enough to keep the rest of the world at bay.

              • The Polish Wolf

                They could have criticized him for massively expanding the Federal government, for reneging on promises not to engage in any more nation-building, for failing to take any decisive action on abortion, flag burning, gun control, or gay rights – all conservative causes. Indeed, he did things for the wealthy and to neocon hawks, and he talked about doing things for his social conservative and anti-government bases. Unfortunately, those bases generally get their information from media concerned by the bases he did act for, and so they THOUGHT they were getting a good deal. Compare how Fox talked about Bush his first term to how MSNBC talks about Obama these days.

                I’m not saying its an ethical political strategy – use corporate media to silence all dissent. But it does work.

  12. Well HOLY CRAP! There are so many folk out there wailing and gnashing teeth about how the “majority” want public option Health care. Well kids, lets see how many of those patriots who desperately, longingly, vote for PB healthcare as opposed to reducing the Teadeficit. Of course, that’s only because Gates pissed off the fee fees of the “professional left”. ~wink~

    Anybody want to place a bet?

  13. Turner

    What’s awry about this conversation, to me, is that we aren’t talking enough about what we’re going to do in this coming election. Our having hurt feelings and pointing out stupid pronouncements from Gibbs and being mad at Obama because he didn’t “call out” Baucus — these things don’t have much to do with where we find ourselves today.

    I have to say I’m truly frightened of what’ll happen to this country is the Republicans take over the House and Senate. We’re not voting for a senator this time, but our representative, Rehberg, is up for re-election. If he’s elected as part of a Republcian majority, he’ll be fully on board with the craziest of the crazies. Remember, he joined Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus in July.

    We need to steal an election. We need to elect McDonald. The best thing about him is that he isn’t Rehberg. But he’s also a decent guy who won’t work to jetison Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and Medicare. The Tea Party Caucus, of which Rehberg is a member, want to do in these programs.

    Let’s stop sniping at Obama even if some of us think “he started it.” Let’s convince young Montana voters to turn out and vote against the crazy right-wing, epitomized in Rehberg.

    • i haven’t heard a peep out of mr mcdonald lately. is that also the fault of the progressives mr turner?

      because i don’t remember hearing anything about him for months. maybe i just don’t travel in the right circles. my bad.

      i just assumed it was a new democratic leadership strategy since mr mcdonald’s candidacy is a very closely guarded secret and his “posse” seems to be a very selective about who he talks to. trying to win a political office by limiting access is certainly a novel approach.

    • “We need to elect McDonald. The best thing about him is that he isn’t Rehberg.”

      That is the exact reason for voter apathy. No one likes voting for “less bad,” as in, “I voted for _____ because he’s less bad than _____.”

      And it really is about “less bad,” and not, “better than.”

      At least that’s my take. Maybe McDonald will come out with something to make me a believer. But I’m like J-girl, I was all for Tyler.

  14. Turner

    I have it on pretty good authority that McDonald will do something very positive and newsworthy in the next few days.

    • i will try to keep a lid on that scintillating news so everyone doesn’t faint from the excitement.

      • mr benson

        Okay, that was funny!

        Worth coming out of hiding. All the subjects are too…democrat-ic for me to comment on.

        Your bizness.

    • Moorcat

      Too little, too late. The mailin ballots are already out and I would venture to say that at least 5 – 10% of them are already sent back in (mine is filled out but not mailed yet). McDonald is toast and I would be surprised to see him get more than 30% of the vote. You can’t win if you don’t run and the most noteworthy thing about his campaign was watching him stutter with a mop in his hand while a young Republican handed him his backside.

      Rehberg is a waste (sad because he is our only representative) but McDonald was never a real challenger.

  15. as far as answering the question posed in the title to this post:
    how should we feel? i guess bamboozled comes to mind first.

    that being said of course obama is right. we do need to get over this funk and regroup for the attack by the right.

    because as a friend once told me on a tough job where two contractors were vying for our services. “go with the one who lies to us, at least he bothers to take the trouble of lying before he screws us. the other guy will just screw us and make sure we know how much he is enjoying it.”

  16. Interesting phenomenon, from a psychological standpoint, like beaten spouse syndrome. What is it that keeps people coming back to the abuser? It’s simple: There is no place else to go. Given futility, no options, the beaten spouse imagines that the abuser has changed, will change, or was really never that bad and is trying hard.

    There’s a simple rule to follow in politics: If a politician believes in something, he/she will work to get it passed into law. The odds can be long, and there is never guaranteed success, but only frustration and perseverance.

    I get that, and see that this is how many Democrats like to see themselves … slugging it out, maintaining optimism, knowing that there is progress. Politics is not for the faint of heart. Right?

    But it’s foolishness. There is no will to succeed in party leadership. If there were, they had such impressive tools at hand – control of congress and the presidency, that they could have used those tools to make real progress in areas like health care and finance reform.

    They could have, but they did not. Success was never certain, but the failure to try was the “tell.”

    If Democrats wanted what you guys want, they would have fought hard, and win or lose, you’d have something to be proud of. But they did not fight.

    The battered spouse only need realize the true nature of the abuser and face real life. It can only be better without him/her.

    • F—. That’s a good point. Crude, but good.

      • Don’t really know how to help you if your sensibilities are offended. I tried to be careful about gender. I’ve addresses this matter before, shortly before my best friend was banned by an authoritarian guy.

        It’s about futility. How do you deal with it? I don’t have a problem … I don’t have any notions that you can just keep pushing at that old rubber tree plant. It doesn’t work like that at all. It’s just distraction to keep you busy – as one author put it, like elephants having sex – lots of noise on the ground, but the real action upstairs.

        So I think the message is grow up! The idea that there is somehow, somewhere an answer, and that you’re not wasting your time … sorry kids. There has to be leaders, and a whole lot of luck, as the future is not to be known by anyone.

        But party politics … please. It’s insulting to the thinking man. It’s like vacation in Cocytus.

    • The Polish Wolf

      As Wulfgar will point out in a second if I don’t – that would be a good point if there hadn’t been a year long fight leading up to a piss poor compromise. Remember the screaming town hall meetings, the death panels that many Americans STILL BELIEVE IN, etc. Democrats were not monolithic – some were enthused, some were apathetic, many were scared, and then some were plain opportunistic. And of course one of them was just Max. But lets realize this – we’re not dealing with a monolithic party. We need to leave some of them, and some of them we need to support.

      • Democrats were not monolithic.

        So tell me, if you can’t get the parade going the same direction, why march?

        • Arbitrary time frames are your bane. You’re being lazy again, Mark.

        • The Polish Wolf

          You can get the parade going the same direction – convince those who are deviating that they need to get with the program or get out of the party.

          But here’s a fact – Max Baucus will beat a real progressive in Montana every time. He’s not going to sacrifice a decades long career just to do the right thing. (though even in Montana, a public option would have been slightly more popular than not).

          • deviating?

            convince us?

            get with the program?

            what are you a football coach? and where the hell were you when we were begging the morons running this titanic of yours to listen to us while they were busy painting the bullseye on this colossal iceberg of a miscalculation?

            and i already don’t belong to your party. so i can’t be told to get out….

  17. lizard19

    i may have used this analogy before, so forgive me if i’m repeating myself.

    i have this friend who is a recovering addict, and how he looks at his decline into substance abuse may be instructive for where we are as a country.

    any addict knows you don’t change until after you hit bottom. my friend acknowledges that he would have slowly killed himself with drinking, but it would have probably taken decades. luckily (this is how he looks at it) he started smoking crack. within a month he was spending thousands of dollars a week and staying up for days at a time. needless to say, the bottom came quickly.

    nationally, i don’t know what bottom looks like, but apparently we’re not there yet. and i don’t know what the crack will be. it could be a vapid teaparty ideologue bimbo ascending on the spineless backs of democrats in 2012, or it could be some international conflagration that obama’s hawkish neocon side exploits to further american imperialism.

    whatever the accelerant is, i hope we make through to recovery.

  18. Turner

    Dang! I keep forgetting what a Missoula-centered blog this is. I forget which Missoulan said exactly what, but they seem in agreement that (1) they’re mad that Gernant didn’t win the primary, and (2) they’re mad enough about this that they won’t support McDonald.

    They’re also fond of outlandish metaphors, comparing someone like me who prefers McDonald instead of Rehberg to an alcoholic or a battered wife.

    Could the Missoula-centered plan be to work against McDonald so Gernant can run as The Great Missoula Hope in 2012? Do they actually want a Republican takeover in congress so we Americans can “hit bottom”?

    McDonald, who favors a woman’s right to choose, protecting social security and other New Deal programs, and gay rights, doesn’t deserve all the condescension he’s getting from certain quarters.

    By the way, I’d be supporting Gernant with everything I have right now if he’d won the primary.

    • lizard19

      to clarify, turner, my addiction analogy was intended to address the country, not you specifically. what you think are “minor quibbles” between democrats i see as major denials that we can keep ignoring the continuity between bush and obama when it comes to american imperialism. we are sacrificing the domestic health of this country in order to expand perpetual war, and it will destroy this country for everyone except the top few percent, who will remain immune to the consequences of american imperialism.

      if enough people in this country can be convinced to vote for republicans after eight years of their disastrous policies, well, then we deserve what we get. and in large part it will be the fault of establishment democrats for failing to use the political mandate we bestowed upon them two years ago by electing obama.

      • JC

        what liz said x2.

        And to that I’ll say to Turner, that you’ll not further the cauyse of your candidate by diss’ing Missoula and Missoulians.

        Nobody here is “mad Gernant didn’t win the primary.” Heck, many of us supported Gopher and voted for her.

        It’s just that McDonald hasn’t inspired any of us, and to see a guy with a mop get taken to town by an… an intern, just showed us what a novice McD was.

        That still doesn’t mean that he won’t get a big majority of MIssoula’s vote–he will.

        But everybody know that he’s a dark horse candidate at best. The only way he can win is if Rehberg loses by doing something really stupid–like ending up in the hospital again after another drunken cruise, or some such crap.

        • Turner

          I got snickered at for suggesting that McDonald would make a significant, quite bold policy announcement soon. Look for it in your papers on Monday or Tuesday.

          Meanwhile, I’ve responded to the dismissive, condescending posts of certain Missoulians, ones suggesting that I’m like a battered wife or an alcoholic for thinking that the far-from-perfect Democratic Party should get my support in the upcoming election.

          And the back-slapping mutual congratulations of these particular Missoulians (for their witty metaphors, I suppose) was especially annoying.

          • lizard19

            geez, quit willfully feeling sorry for yourself. my initial comment in this thread wasn’t in response to anything you said.

            and quit criticizing those who criticize for criticizing. you are wasting your energy. if you are as close to the McDonald campaign as you seem to be implying, then tell him to get out there and do some campaigning, or speechifying, or something to quell the skepticism some folks here seem to have regarding his political potency.

            since max bashing appears to be in right now, i’d suggest some clever distancing between establishment types like max. i envision an ad about how McDonald will go after bipartisan corruption, say: “i know max is drunk on corporate pork, but my opponent Denny is usually just drunk. after all, how can he explain accepting praise for stimulus funding he voted no for?”

            you never know, maybe some laughs in these trying times might actually translate into a little attention for a McDonald campaign that, as far as i’m concerned, seems non-existent.

            • Turner

              I have no connection to the McDonald campaign.

            • The Polish Wolf

              That would be an outrageously funny commercial, which might even appeal to independent voters. Alas, little we can do now will help us, but I think we can all agree that lack of Democratic action has put them in trouble. We’ll try to hold both houses this year and then we can really apply the lessons we learned – God willing we’ll have two years to get something done.

    • I’ve met McDonald several times. I really like the guy, and ultimately he probably has my vote. But he wasn’t my guy, and I shouldn’t be made to feel bad for expressing that.

      It’s not my fault that McDonald is up against the Beast, and that he’s got a war chest worth as much as a Honda. I would rather he win than Rehberg, but I’m not going to jump up with surprise if he fails to.

      Also, JC, we both know that he could run over a flock of geese in a drunken boat rage and most Montanans would say, “Oh jeez. Why’s everyone so mad? My uncle’s done that.”

      • JC

        Yeah. I guess so. But not every drunken flock of geese massacre has the same happy ending. Sully Sullenberger managed to coast his plane to a happy ending after the jets sucked up a flock of geese. Will Rehberg’s next drunken landing have such a lucky outcome? Brains on the rocks doesn’t always turn out so well…

    • I hope you are not referring to me, because if you are inferring that I am that “Missoulian”, what you are saying would be untrue.

  19. This post was about The Great Leader being angry.

    I don’t think his strategy is to scold Democrats into being enthusiastic, I can’t prove it, but I think he’s setting up everybody but himself to be blamed for the mid-term election results.

    Is Barack Obama a Narcissist? Or Merely Narcissistic?

    • He is certainly setting up progressives to take the fall. It’s a good strategy, as he, like Emanuel and Gibbs, has no use for us, so the further off the margins we are, the better he likes it.

      Narcissism is rampant in politics, Have you never noticed?

  20. Jim Lang

    I busted my a** for 8 years, canvassing, phone-banking, attending party meetings, donating and all the rest.

    A complete waste of time that had absolutely no impact on the corporatocracy that controls our government.

    And now this President, who has caved on every issue and shown virtually no leadership, is lecturing me and telling me that I am irresponsible?

    That’ll win my support and enthusiasm, right.

  21. there’s no pleasing you tonight jim.

    i meant payday lending. it’ll pass.

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