"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

May 10, 2010

Or, Because You Cover For Him...

"...Now, I hold no brief for George Bush, and I have no desire to launch a screed against the home-field advantage that Obama still gets in the non-Murdoch media. But I do marvel at how Obama has become the hallucinatory Escher drawing of our politics. It's hard to decide which way the stairs are built, whether they will lead to the roof or basement, and there is no flat middle floor to stand on. To those on the right, he's evil incarnate, but on the left, he still can do no wrong, or at least nothing so wrong that they are willing to take him on. That "blowout preventer" is still working..."

First, this only works if by "on the left" you mean "everyone not to the right of Dick Cheney, but excluding any and all vocal leftists."

"...Yet in many ways, and on many issues, Obama is pursuing, for want of a better term, Bushian policies, and in ways that would have brought the world down on W's head. Offshore drilling is a special example, given the Bush family's history in the business. But there are others. One is Guantánamo, which remains open; another is the Patriot Act, most of which the president supported when it was recently reauthorized. He has doubled down on Afghanistan, and there are still nearly 100,000 troops in Iraq. Despite the advent of Arizona's anti-immigration law, Obama says that this year he will not push Congress for federal reform (which Bush, to his credit, did). Fearful of the gun lobby, the White House is even shying away from a bill, proposed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to take guns away from persons on the terror watch list. Imagine if Bush had done that!

Then there is the Democrats' "financial reform" bill. Yes, the banks are squalling about all the new regulations it would impose, but the Obama administration is opposed to a whole series of amendments that would actually restructure the world of financial services. One proposal would have restored the old Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited banks from being stockbrokers. Another, proposed by Sen. Ted Kaufman of Delaware, would have taken the simple approach of limiting the size of the big banks. But the Obama administration, full of Goldman Sachs alums, didn't support the Kaufman bill, which was defeated last week. "Put it this way," Kaufman told me before the vote. "I'm not calling the White House for help." Of course not. There's a Bushian socialist usurper there...."


Second, perhaps because the Fourth Estate's paragons of self-policing conceive of themselves as trusted watchdogs of public order, on the terms of their class, and not as hounds hunting the abusive former master?

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