Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How Do You Write a Book Telling a Story That You Don’t Recall?

Anyone looking for a hint at the pathetic irrelevance that will likely characterize George W. Bush’s post-presidential life need look no further than Alberto Gonzales.

Gonzo, still apparently unable to find a job, now says he’s writing a book that will set the record straight about all those things he couldn’t recall during his testimony before Congress. Unfortunately, he still doesn’t seem to remember much, as he offered these gems (with my emphasis) during a recent interview:
What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?
. . . for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.
So I guess the book is going to include painstaking detail about how Gonzo had his “credibility” blown off by a roadside bomb? Too bad the Walter Reed Hospital couldn’t get the funding for that new “self esteem wing” they’ve been trying to build!

Of course, there’s also this:
Mr. Gonzales, 53 years old, doesn't have a publisher for his book. He said he is writing it if only "for my sons, so at least they know the story."
I guess it’s a little hard to find a publisher when you can’t demonstrate that you remember the story you are pitching to them.

Perhaps, after he’s finished documenting his recollection of the time he spent in the Bush Justice Department and is ready to lovingly present the book to his sons, he should go ahead and throw in a box of crayons!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rule Number One

When the primary topic of every interview about your presidency is whether it was a failure, then it was a failure!

When your wife goes on the most GOP friendly network, and is forced to disagree with critics calling your presidency the worst in history, then it was the worst in history!

When your "work wife" goes on CBS and tries to label as “ridiculous” those who question your presidency, while having to resort to lines like this:
"I think generations pretty soon are going to start to thank this president for what he's done. This generation will," (Condoleezza) Rice said.
. . . and this:
"One cannot yet judge the effects of decisions that this president has taken on what the Middle East will become," Rice said. "I mean, for goodness' sakes, good historians are still writing books about George Washington,"
. . . then it is your presidency that was ridiculous!

And by the way, is Condi aware of the extensive list of books that “good historians” are still writing about Jack the Ripper? A quick tally of the titles available on reaches over a hundred. Perhaps another couple hundred volumes and, for goodness’ sakes, generations succeeding the denizens of 19th Century London will start to thank Jack for what he did too!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Please Don’t Touch Anything!

Seriously, is there anything anyone in the Bush Administration can touch that won’t shatter into a million pieces of disastrous failure?

A week ago, we heard this:
United Nations - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at a farewell U.N. appearance Monday that Israel and the Palestinians have moved much further along the path to peace since President George W. Bush brought their leaders together a year ago - though they won't clinch an agreement by the end of the year.
Today, this:
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing more than 200 people and wounding nearly 400 in the single bloodiest day of fighting in years.
Like the parent who leaves her child in the car while she runs into a china shop, lest he inadvertently knock over an entire shelf of fine porcelain, can we just sequester the entire Bush Administration for a month until the responsible, competent, adults are ready to take over?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Decade of Him, Al Franken?

As it begins to look more and more like Al Franken will take the Minnesota Senate seat now held by corrupt Norm Coleman, it’s pretty funny to see that some GOP groups are in a panic!

Here’s a wild suggestion that might take full advantage of the unique skills Franken possesses to give those panicked Republicans a valid justification for their fears:

With Evan Bayh talking about creating a group of “Blue Dog” democratic senators to give moderates a higher degree of clout, I’d like to see Franken become the catalyst for a similar coalition of progressive-minded senators.

Given a likely 59 seat majority for the Democrats, with a small group of Bayh’s Blue Dogs constantly threatening to side with the GOP to stop legislation not deemed corporate friendly enough, the rest of the Democrats not aligned with Bayh should simply threaten to band together and let Franken filibuster unless proposed legislation isn’t beneficial to working class Americans.

According to this report, there’s a record out there that Franken would be the perfect guy to topple:
South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond holds the record for the longest speech in the history of the Senate. During debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1957, he spoke for a total of twenty-four hours and eighteen minutes.
With the fear of a Franken filibuster (and we all know he could do it!), even the Blue Dogs will be cowering like a beaten puppy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I’ll Bet Maria Shriver is Very Proud!

Remember when Maria Shriver was inspired enough to publicly endorse Barack Obama during the primaries? She gave a rousing speech at a rally in Los Angeles, in which she described some of the qualities that she most admired about Obama:
“He’s not about himself,” she told a cheering crowd at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. “He’s about the power of us and what we can do if we come together… . He is about empowering women, African Americans, Latinos, older people, young people. He’s about empowering all of us.”
I’m guessing she might have a more difficult time finding a similar level of inspiration toward her husband, seeing as how he seems to be exclusively about himself, flaunting what little power he has as California’s governor to veto a budget deal that just might be the only way to save his state from financial ruin, and then babbling to Larry King about how he aspires to be President!

At one time, Shriver was inspired enough to compare Obama to what she saw as being the good in California:
“I thought, if Barack Obama was a state, he’d be California,” Shriver said as the crowd of thousands roared in a chorus that rose as she ticked off each attribute: “Diverse. Open. Smart. Independent. Bucks tradition. Innovative. Inspirational. Dreamer. Leader.”
Her husband, to the contrary, seems determined to do what he can to kill off as many of those qualities as possible, by using layoffs and furloughs to plunge California as deep into economic collapse as he can, without regard to anything but his deluded personal ambition.

Perhaps Brian Leubitz at Calitics describes it best:
Arnold got to talking about vetoing the Legislature's budget plan, and it immediately becomes clear what is going on here: The Shock Doctrine. The Republicans, including Governor Schwarzenegger, are using the budget disaster to destroy labor and environmental gains. At this point they don't even try to hide it: they are going after CEQA, going after labor contracts, and going after the generations old experience of public investment in infrastructure.

This is a stick-up, an attempt to drive us back into the third world of economic inequity, class warfare, and a grim future. Say goodbye to Pat Brown's California, say hello to Kurt Russell's.
Yes, Maria Shriver must be very proud!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Forest Through the Fees!

As the State of California races toward the edge of its financial cliff, the Governator won't sign the only viable budget reduction and revenue package available – saying at a press conference minutes after the bills passed the legislature -“ I won't be pressured” into signing them.

Arnold is not happy with the "economic stimulus" portion of the package aimed at creating jobs. So what does he do? He sets in motion his plan to furlough and lay off state workers to save cash. How exactly does laying people off create jobs or stimulate the economy?

This budget fix presented to the Governor is a huge Christmas gift to both him and his Republican colleagues in legislature - but they are all too stupid to realize it.

After months of futile negotiations the Democrats took the only path available to them, maneuvering and contorting a way to pass a constitutionally legal revenue and reduction plan on a majority only vote. It would allow the state some breathing room and maybe the ability to see a faint light at the end of this economic tunnel. Instead, because of his decision to veto the bills - its almost impossible to see the f%$#ing tunnel!

The Democrats did all the work, took all the risk and would have taken all the heat for raising "fees" to help balance the states finances. The Republicans did nothing! They were allowed to stay in their ideological – "no new taxes" corner, as they continue to worship at the bathtub of Grover Norquist.

If the Gov would just reluctantly sign these bills the Reeps could brag about how they stood up to the tax and spend liberals - as they drive home for the holidays on the highways and bridges built and maintained by the taxes that they despise.

If the Republicans could only see the forest through the “fees” they would realize that they won. The Governor got many of his economic stimulus wishes, the minority party got cuts to education and health and human services without putting up a single f*$#ing vote for new taxes. And Californians had a chance for this state to survive a disastrous economic downturn.

But alas, they are too blind to see their good fortune.

I do have one last hope, however. The bills have not been vetoed yet, having not been transmitted to the Governor’s office. I say hold them for a few more days until Arnold travels out of state for Christmas - Vail Colorado or wherever the hell he goes - then send the bills to the acting governor (Democrat Lt. Governor Garamendi) and have him sign them into law.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Will President Obama “Agree to Disagree” on War Crimes?

There’s an interesting dynamic developing regarding the choice of Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration. Critics, including many GLBT advocates, are saying that the choice of Warren, who has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights and was a leading voice for Proposition 8 in California (which made gay marriage unconstitutional), is a slap in the face to many of Obama’s strongest supporters and financial contributors.

Obama has defended the pick by stressing his own support for gay rights, and asserting the importance of “agreeing to disagree on certain social issues.” His transition team also released a set of talking points justifying the selection of Warren, based on other issues where Warren's views are in line with Obama's, such as AIDS and poverty.

Obama's defense prompted John Aravosis to point out the irony in the fact that Obama would most certainly not “agree to disagree” about racism, which would directly affect his own family, but is willing to do so on an issue affecting other families. Atrios, commenting on the political calculus of Obama’s position, describes it rather bluntly when he points out that, in today’s world, “anti-gay bigotry is very centrist!”

But here’s my (somewhat related) question:

Dick Cheney just came out and admitted on national television to supporting and authorizing torture, which we now know led to the death of numerous uncharged and untried “enemy combatants.” These are acts that are universally accepted under any historical definition as “war crimes,” and Cheney now openly admits to facilitating them.

In his effort to change to a more bipartisan, cooperative, tone in Washington, where does Barack Obama place torture and war crimes? Will his “centrist” focus lead him to look toward glossing over the use of these tactics by treating them as a “social issue” on which we can “agree to disagree?” Will those who speak out toward rationalizing past acts of torture be given a seat at the table, because they agree with the President on other issues?

Or will these tactics be condemned as harshly, and eventually punished as severely, as would open acts of racism that led to the unconscionable killing of other human beings?

Simply put, in an Obama Administration, will a history of supporting torture be treated as being more akin to a history of racism, or to “social disapproval” of homosexuality?

Stay tuned . . .

Monday, December 15, 2008

Maybe Soon Everyone Will Be Doing It (I Can Dream, Can’t I?)

By now, I’m sure everyone has seen this clip, and a large majority of you probably laughed as heartily as I did when I saw it. I suppose it’s a little optimistic to hope that somehow this will catch on and become a commonplace reaction to Bush’s post-term efforts to travel the world promoting a falsely positive historical view of his presidency (a la Ronald Reagan).

Still, it does seem to have the makings of a global fad:
Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets Monday to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush, as Arabs across many parts of the Middle East hailed the journalist as a hero and praised his insult as a proper send-off to the unpopular U.S. president.


Many users of the popular Internet networking site Facebook posted the video of the incident to their profile pages, showing al-Zeidi leap from his chair as Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were about to shake hands Sunday and hurl his shoes at the president
Perhaps the viral symbolism might take a slightly less assaultive tone, like the Rude Pundit’s suggestion of sending old shoes to Dubya at the White House with an appropriately disdainful note attached, or maybe something like the outcry depicted in the movie, Wag the Dog, which led to a massive effort to use shoes as a reminder of something never to be forgotten:

Whatever happens, or even if nothing broader ever happens, thanks to Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the image of Bush ducking a flying shoe is the one that I’ll forever remember as the most appropriate response to him that I’ve seen in eight years.


In fact, I’m with Spencer Ackerman in noting:
I only regret that I will never get to throw my own shoes at this man.
And meanwhile, Andy Borowitz notes that al-Zaidi’s actions have likely earned him the honor of being tortured . . . by working for George Steinbrenner!

Wingnut Welfare For a “Bushie” Who Sucked?

As our new President Elect names his foreign policy team, including Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, I can’t help think about what will become of our current Chief Dip(shit)lomat after the upcoming transition of power in the White House.

Condoleezza Rice has been one of the most inept members of one of the most inept administrations in history. She went from doing nothing during her stint as National Security Advisor (whose lack of advice led to the 9/11 attacks), to doing virtually nothing of significance after her promotion to Secretary of State. Sure, she got to add a couple more lofty titles to add to a fluffed up resume that already included being a world renowned expert in the former Soviet Union, a fluent Russian linguist, a concert level pianist, a football aficionado worthy of consideration to be Commissioner, a namesake for an aircraft carrier, and a fitness junky who makes Lance Armstrong look like a slacker.

For a while, her name was among those thrown around as potential GOP candidates for even higher political office, but she says she wants nothing more to do with Washington D.C.

I guess she must have something really important (sounding) lined up for her post-political life, right?

I thought it might be in the bag when I started hearing rumors that she was slotted to take over the helm of the San Francisco 49ers, but apparently that’s been shot down. Too bad, it would have been fun to watch!

The latest rumor has her returning to Stanford to continue a fellowship at the aptly-named Hoover Institution, where she can keep collecting a conservatively-sponsored paycheck while she plots out her next high profile, low performance “achievement” to add to the resume.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Those Who Would Let the “Fundamentals” of our Economy Starve!

Remember during the campaign when John McCain made a big deal about how, when he said “the fundamentals of our economy are strong,” he was referring to “American workers?”

Funny how McCain’s prominent mug pops up in the montage above, courtesy of Jed at Dkos, showing the eighteen GOP Senators who voted for a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, but against a $14 billion emergency loan package to save the “fundamentals” currently working in the auto industry!

McCain, who proudly campaigned under the banner of “Country First,” is now joined by these seventeen other job killing traitors who would let the American automobile industry die to spite its workers, while remaining all too willing to keep the spigots wide open when it comes to the flow of money from taxpayers to the financial jackals on Wall Street!

In another era, these guys might be marched by an angry crowd, wielding torches and pitchforks, to the guillotine. Today, they get to smile for the cameras and pretend they represent the best of their country, while allowing its “fundamentals” to deteriorate to the point of no return.

Somewhere in Hell, there should be an afterlife version of Guantanamo with empty cells waiting for such traitors to humanity!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Time for Obama to Beat (Back) the Press?

When he was president, Bill Clinton was hounded by the press, as news reporters were eager to investigate any possible scandal they could twist and poke in order to manufacture public concern about Clinton.

Yet throughout nearly eight years of George W. Bush in the White House, the press willingly passed along whatever stupid talking points they were fed by a manipulative and blatantly scandalous administration, without blinking. In fact, it got so bad during the Bush years that an entirely new industry – citizen journalism - moved in to fill the void created by the suddenly compliant media, leading toward the path of possible demise for the entire newspaper industry.

Now that another Democrat is ready to take over the reigns of power, the press appears to be back in attack mode, as they seem willing to sidetrack the intended purpose of any press avail to drill into Obama’s possible connection to scandals like those involving Rod Blagojevich, and likely any future potential scandal they will be able to dredge up.

The signs are already popping up that the same tenacity and skepticism that was applied to Clinton’s every move will be applied to Obama. Never mind that few of these same reporters even cared that Bush was illegally wiretapping Americans, torturing “enemy combatants” without trial; or that he lied the country into a war that killed thousands of U.S. soldiers and probably hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

If this continues, it may become necessary for Obama to raise the same response that he used to shut down what he called the “phony outrage” of media criticism about his “lipstick on a pig” comment during the general election when he forcefully cried “Enough!”

If reporters in the press are going to repeatedly ignore Obama’s message in favor of picking at scandals, perhaps Obama should let them know that he could choose to use some of his political capital to draw attention to the scandals they deliberately ignored during the Bush administration!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blagojevich Makes the Guinness Book for Corruption!

Just when you start to think the GOP has cornered the market on slimeball politics, along comes Rod Blagojevich, setting what may end up being an unbreakable record for blatant arrogance and corrupt greed.

The list of charges includes one stunning revelation after another, but here’s one tidbit that I found particularly notable (my emphasis):
Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being "stuck" as governor; a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor; a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016; avoiding impeachment by the Illinois legislature; making corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office; facilitating his wife's employment as a lobbyist; and generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office.
Blago may have been completely deluded about his chances of getting away with all kinds of disgustingly slimy and illegal behavior, but he’s been a pretty astute observer of at least one thing: If you are a member of the U.S. Senate, you can do pretty much anything and the rest of Senators are going to use their vast “resources” to cover your ass!

Is it any surprise that Blago would think of the Senate as a corrupt politician safe house, when you consider that they:

a) Didn’t expel Larry Craig after his “wide stance” trolling in an airport mens’ room?

b) Gave Ted Stevens a standing ovation after his conviction on seven felony corruption counts?

c) Rallied behind Joe Lieberman’s chairmanship of Homeland Security, even as many who voted for him did so with knives still protruding from their backs?

Fortunately, the decision was made to pull the plug on Blago before he had a chance to blend into the woodwork of “collegiality” in the Senate, which means, and I know I won’t be the only one singing it again this holiday season:
It’s beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas . . .

Note to the GOP: The disgust and derision you see coming from the Left toward Blagojevich? This is what it looks like when a party doesn’t cry “witch hunt” to distract attention from obvious corruption!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Look Who's Joining the Bailout Parade Now!

OK, so I’ve finally come to terms with the idea of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in an Obama Administration. It took a while, but I got there. I’m willing to trust that Barack Obama wouldn’t put her there just for political reasons, and that he has a plan to use her talents and abilities to bring about the changes he promised for the country’s foreign policy.

At the same time, I watching the CEOs from the Big 3 shucking and jiving as they beg the Congress for $34 billion of taxpayers’ money to bail them out from a long series of misguided and arrogant business decisions.

Now, I get an e-mail from Joe Biden that says this:
Our campaign pledged to help Senator Hillary Clinton -- one of the vital members of our team and our future Secretary of State -- retire her campaign debt. That's the money her campaign owes to the vendors across the country that make our political process possible.

Barack and I had the deepest respect for Hillary as an opponent on the campaign trail. Her undeniable intellect, talent, and passion strengthened Barack as a candidate and tested our movement for change.

We welcome Hillary as a partner in our administration, and I hope you will show your support by helping Barack fulfill our campaign promise
And I can’t help but think that Hillary and Bill Clinton are millionaires, much like the CEOs from the Big 3. Yet here they are, refusing to pay off their “vendors” (cough, Mark Penn, cough!); when, if Biden’s characterization is correct, it sounds as if those vendors may be among the many Americans losing their homes or their businesses from the current economic collapse. All while Hillary Clinton is waiting for a bailout from the small-dollar donors on Obama’s e-mail list!

Sorry Joe, but I’m not buying it! I supported the Obama-Biden campaign with a number of small donations because I wanted the change you were promising. I wanted the chance to have a president who would restore accountability to government, end torture and extraordinary rendition in our names, and pursue an economic agenda that would shift the emphasis from the super wealthy (like the Clintons) to the middle class (like, well, most of the people on the Obama-Biden donor list!)

I supported the Obama-Biden campaign because I wanted the chance to have a president who would bring an end to the war in Iraq and bring our troops home - preferably all of them, although there are some signs, including Hillary Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State, that this isn’t actually part of the change you’re planning to deliver. Increasingly, it's looking like the plan may be to simply shift them over to another endless war in Afghanistan.

Sorry, but just because I donated to the Obama-Biden campaign doesn’t make me an ATM machine for any promise you made during the campaign, particularly before I see a return on the promises that got me to donate in the first place. Besides, from what I could tell from the primaries, much like the bumbling CEOs from The Big 3, Hillary Clinton’s campaign debts were largely accrued while she was trying to sell Hummers and it was clear that the American people wanted to buy a hybrid!

But I’m willing to be reasonable. I’m not opposed to considering a workable compromise. How about this one:

Hillary and Bill can use their own millions to pay off the vendors now. I’ll donate into a fund that can sit drawing interest until the day the last troops return from Iraq or Afghanistan. On that day, if it comes, the funds can be released to Hillary Clinton as reimbursement for her campaign debts. Everybody wins, and we will have helped Barack fulfill multiple campaign promises at the same time!

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Legacy Fluffers

I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the President who put Karl Rove in charge of overseeing the reconstruction after Katrina, or Karen Hughes in charge of improving our country’s image in the Muslim world, would put the two of them in charge of trying to “engorge” his presidential legacy.

On the surface, it seems pretty stupid – kind of like putting Jeffrey Dahmer in charge of promoting school nutrition programs, or putting Plaxico Burress in charge of gun safety!

But really, while critics complain about how Rove, Hughes and others are trying to rewrite history to improve George W. Bush’s legacy, I think it’s clear that what Bush is really doing is simply putting an exclamation point on his legacy.

After all, when he leaves office, Bush’s legacy is going to be that he is known forever as the president who put people like Karl Rove and Karen Hughes (and Don Rumsfeld, and Alberto Gonzales, and Mike Brown, and Condi Rice, and Hank Paulson) in charge of things!

Well, that and the results!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

Here’s a great example of the hornet’s nest of creativity and passion that was stirred up by proponents of a ballot measure that, at first glance, threatens to send the U.S. down the path toward religious theocracy.

How much do you want to bet that if the vote were held today, Prop 8 would go down in defeat? Its passing was a minor skirmish won for the self-righteous, finger waggers behind it. But their “war” of public opinion over same-sex marriage, as a younger, less fearful, generation eventually takes over the reigns of power, will be resoundingly lost!

And probably even sooner because of efforts like Prop 8!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dumbf**k Alert!

Oh. My. God. What a buffoon! When asked by Charles Gibson about his greatest disappointment as president, Bush’s initial response?

That there were “no WMD’s in Iraq!”

He’s actually disappointed that Iraq didn’t have WMDs?

This is like saying, of his stint as governor of Texas, that after wrongly executing an accused murderer, his greatest disappointment was that the guy didn’t slaughter an entire family!

When asked about what he’s going to do after he leaves the White House, he said he’s going to “write a book” (perhaps using the same ghost writer as Joe the Plumber?) and “build an institute” (perhaps using the same contractor as Ted Stevens?) - both because he wants to be “out of the limelight.!”

Sorry George, but selling your hastily penned memoir at Walmart, or building the George Dubya Bush Vanity Institute, do not qualify as “staying out of the limelight!” Staying out of the limelight would be going back to Crawford to cut brush on the back forty, or moving your worldly possessions to a jungle in Paraguay to escape investigators from The Hague. Now that would be staying out of the limelight!

Fortunately for all of us, however, on the day he walks out of the White House, there will probably be exactly zero people who truly desire to keep George W. Bush in the limelight. At this point, even the 26 percent who still approved of him at the end of his presidency have now moved on to their new shiny object of misguided, dead-end affection - Sarah Palin!

On the day he leaves office, Bush will be yesterday’s newspaper . . . which is quite a fall considering that even today’s newspaper is actually yesterday’s Internet!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Obama’s Cabinet: Building a Bridge to Somewhere!

Instead of complaining about the prevalence of “center right” appointees in Barack Obama’s cabinet, as many on the left seem eager to do, let’s look at it from a different perspective. If you want to change the country by moving it to the left, what’s the best way to actually do it?

America has been a country divided roughly down the middle, so stalemate has been the order of the day whenever a slight Democratic majority tried to accomplish anything substantial. So perhaps the best way for Obama to change the dynamic is to turn to his right and look for those whom he can persuade to adopt his vision.

While he could easily find many to his left willing to take up the cause (as is often recommended by his critics), it will be the allies Obama enlists from his ideological right who can then turn to their right and use their credibility and influence to pull even more allies to share the vision. Allies from Obama’s left won’t be able to do nearly as much to help him expand the coalition for change, so the decision to add Clinton, Jones, Holder, retain Gates, and possibly even to appease Lieberman, may serve to help much more than they hurt his chances of accomplishing his goals.

Think of it as a large tug of war where the rope has been evenly manned by liberals and conservatives and the line of “battle” has been right near the center. Under this scenario, the most conservative loonies at the far right end of the rope are as likely as anyone to be the ones moving it to the right, or at least preventing change toward the left. Factor in the unfortunate reality that some on the left are a bit weak, and you can see how, for the last eight years (and arguably even longer), “change” has only moved to the right!

But just move the line of battle a little to the right by picking up support from some allies from that direction, and then use them as a bridge to pick up a few more allies from their right, and suddenly the dynamic has changed completely. With just a few more supporters on your side of the rope, the far right wingnuts become irrelevant and marginalized because they can’t change the direction of momentum anymore.

And unlike the Bill Clinton era, when the goal was seemingly to pull everyone toward the center, Obama’s goal could still be to move the country in a leftward direction, hopefully in a way that will generate some clear initial successes and perhaps build even more momentum and support from a country that spoke loud and clear in favor of that kind of change.

And it all starts from looking to the right and finding allies who can be a bridge to those even further to the right!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Not So Deep Thought

If the oil companies can now afford to sell gas to an SUV addicted country for $1.90 a gallon, why can’t they use the profits made when they were selling it for $4.50 a gallon to bail out the auto industry?