Ron Paul is waiting in the wings — TRUST.
Back in January, a little story caught my eye that hasn’t really gotten a lot of attention: the creation of a progressive-libertarian alliance between Ron Paul and Ralph Nader. At the time, I thought (and argued) that our progressive betters would attempt to bleed liberal support from President Obama in favor of Ron Paul and Ralph Nader.
To disaffected liberals or “emoprogs” (and there are not as many of them as the Professional Left and media would have you believe), Nader is all that’s green and holy and progressive. And while Ron Paul is all that’s libertarian and batshit crazy — and holds positions that are anathema to most progressive ideals, to boot — he is staunchly anti-war, and pro-weed legalization. This, of course, appeals to so-called progresssives.
When I posted about this unholy progressolibertarian alliance back in January, it seemed to me that there was a problem with this new exercise in “transpartisanship” (to borrow a recently-coined term from Jane Hamsher); a lingering and pesky problem for our Progressive Betters. That problem, of course, is The Blacks™.
You see, The Blacks™ just love them some POTUS, and how in the hell could any nascent transpartisan progressive-libertarian alliance succeed if upwards of 80 percent of “Afro-Americans” support President Obama?
There has, of course, been noise of Cornel West becoming the Great Brown Hope for the white progressives. A black” in”, if you will; a way to reach black folks and potentially transfer some black support away from President Obama and to this new Alliance.1 But there was no serious talk of Cornel West joining any such doomed-to-fail effort; and so I waited for the other shoe — the third shoe — to drop.
Well, today, the third shoe dropped with a resounding “Pffft!“:
Liberal activists and academics displeased with the Obama administration’s handling of several issues popular with progressives say they are seeking candidates willing to mount a primary challenge against President Obama next year.
The group, led by consumer advocate Ralph Nader and scholar Cornel West, said it faults Obama for the escalation of military campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, for extending tax cuts first enacted by George W. Bush and for his actions during the recent debt ceiling negotiations.
The group said Saturday it is seeking six “recognizable, articulate” candidates who would not mount serious challenges to Obama, but “rigorously debate his policy stands” on issues related to labor, poverty, foreign policy, civil rights and consumer protections.
The group’s efforts come as Democrats are growing increasingly pessimistic about the country’s direction. Fewer than three-quarters of Democrats approve of Obama’s job performance, and less than a third believe the nation is headed in the right direction, according to the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.
But Obama is building a formidable reelection campaign that is easily exceeding quarterly fundraising goals and is on course to raise more than $1 billion. Campaign aides last week defended the president’s slipping approval numbers by noting that more than a year before the election, he is attracting thousands of volunteers and small-dollar donors.
Nader said Saturday it is “very unlikely” he would challenge Obama, and that he is gauging the interest of former lawmakers and governors, academics, authors and labor leaders.
Sure, Ralph. I’m sure you’re out there pounding the pavement looking for a potential candidate. I’m sure you have no plans to swoop in and “take one for the team” by offering yourself up as a candidate to primary President Obama, on the off-chance that you find no one else up to snuff.
Tell me true, Ralph. What does Mr. West think of the following statements which you made about President Obama?
“There’s only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He’s half African-American. Whether that will make any difference, I don’t know. I haven’t heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What’s keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn’t want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We’ll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards.”
“I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law. Haven’t heard a thing.”
“He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician. He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he’s coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it’s corporate or whether it’s simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.”
My guess is Mr. West doesn’t mind, given his statements regarding President Obama:
“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men. It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them. It’s a tension, given the history. It can be overcome. Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”
“Brother Barack Obama had no sense of gratitude, no sense of loyalty, no sense of even courtesy, [no] sense of decency, just to say thank you. Is this the kind of manipulative, Machiavellian orientation we ought to get used to? That was on a personal level.”
So what’s next for this “alliance”? Ron Paul.
Just you wait.
1 Ten bucks says the “group” is actually the New Progressive Alliance. Just a hunch.
UPDATE: Seriously, this fucking guy? This guy who wondered on the night of President Obama’s election whether Obama would be an “Uncle Sam for the people or an Uncle Tom for the corporations”? The guy who applied the phrase Uncle Tom to President Obama and then defended those statements on Fox News? This guy who got called out by Fox News for racist language?
God speed, asshats.
God speed.[cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
You write some intense stuff for a Saturday night!
Odie Hugh Manatee
This is a problem?! WTF?!
Gag me with a spoon.
Odie Hugh Manatee
@Raven (formerly stuckinred):
Yes it is and I sure enjoy reading it! Thanks ABL.
At this point, the tea party has more gravitas than these folks.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@Odie Hugh Manatee: I’m just so brain dead by this time on Saturday I have to read it and nod.
@Raven (formerly stuckinred): I’ve noticed that all the good stuff on this blog happens after my bedtime. :(
I’m sorry, but my first reaction was to laugh hysterically. Nader, Paul, and West are going to lead a charge to stand in front of the nearest television camera — preferably Fox — and that’s that.
Anyone who thinks union buster Ralph is a liberal can go fuck themselves.
Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker recently criticized Obama and his administration for their trying to find nukes in Iran when evidence suggest otherwise. Seymour Hersh exposed the abuses at Abu Ghraib and supported Obama’s election as President. He was also against Iraq war.
But I take it that he is a racist man in your eyes because he criticized Obama. Please do let black folks know he is a big racist and that it ok to support Obama attacking Iran or doing whatever it is he doing in those brown skinned countries. Only a black man can attack countries. whitey cant do it!!!
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@efgoldman: No shit, I’m entering the 11th hour of football and I’m getting sleepy (except after the hair raising win I just watched I won’t be able to sleep)!
@Raven (formerly stuckinred): 11 hours of football – now that’s how I want to leave this world.
@salacious crumb: :: gentle tap on shoulder ::
You schtick is now officially tired. We get it. You hate ABL. The fact that you need to trumpet this in EVERY. SINGLE. THREAD. of hers says more about you than it does her.
@salacious crumb: And I’m going to take the fact that I am bit drunk and loose to say: go screw yourself with a railroad spike, you imbecile.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@Yutsano: It’s amazing what that chum attracts.
@salacious crumb: The person who exposed the abuses at Abu Ghraib was a US soldier. Not Seymour Hersh. I know it doesn’t fit the narrative but geez facts are nice.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@Baud: I’m sure I will.
So this is what the Professional Left has been threatening to do? Where’s Waldo? Can we not waste any more pixels on these pathetic whining assclowns and just point and laugh now? kthx.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@salacious crumb: Obama attacked Iran? and here I thought I was a news junkie!
Those lousy “progressives”! They are weak and powerless! No one cares about them! This is why I will spend an entire post mocking them repeatedly. Also don’t pay attention to Obama’s approval numbers!
@Cat Lady: They are pathetic, but there is a good chance the MSM will puff them up. It’s a distraction, but one I would prefer that we didn’t have.
Stay the course. Get behind your president. In 6 months we’ll turn the corner in Ira… I mean America.
Number 1: Ralph Nader can go suck a bag of d***ks
Number 2: Cornel West has lost a lot of credibility of late, and I’m not sure why. What has turned him down this path? He used to talk about how all the forces were out to get Obama, is that still not the case?
Number 3: The Obama Administration is still a disaster. Fire the fucking economic team already. Jesus Christ. Oh…and the Democratic Party is a bunch of self-righteous blowhards, but sadly with assholes like Nader trying to position themselves as the alternative, I suppose I’ll have to keep voting for the assholes we have, then newer worse assholes.
You’re wasting your time on salacious crumb, folks. He’s just a troll.
I’m getting real sick of these white “liberals’ telling us how we should act, think, behave, and what we should believe.
Why don’t these guys learn to wipe their own asses without Obama doing it first?
Ralph Nader and Cornel West? What offices have they held?
@Cat Lady: None that I know of. Why?
@salacious crumb: Oh we are being such a whiny moonbat today.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Raven (formerly stuckinred): but how do they know, and get here so quickly? what kind of bat-signal goes out that tells them that someone’s picking on dear, noble Ralph, who has only ever done good and virtuous work for the country?
@Daveboy: Yes, they are weak and powerless. So why the hell are they the ones always on TV claiming to represent “the base”?
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@salacious crumb: Actually, I’m still trying to figure out what invasion we launched against Iran to go looking for their WMD.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: One of them news feed thingy’s?
Boomer Sooner huh?
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): The hikers.
They’re just gadflys. They have no organization, no message and no base. They’re transparent preening wannabe attention whores doing nothing and going nowhere.
I’m still pissed that Obama sold us out from our progressive dream of Wednesday. Thursday is a shit day, and everyone knows it.
Just . . . sigh.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@Cat Lady: And those are their good points.
Not gonna lie, the only thing I can think of is:
Nader and Paul
Sitting in a tree
The difference between ABL’s treatment of this administration and, oh, Fred Barnes’s treatment of the previous administration is not vast.
@Raven (formerly stuckinred):
LOL. I’d like to say what I really think.
ETA: Which is what Dennis G. said, with way less swear words.
Gods be good.
Nader is a sad old asshat. Back in the day (2001) Jack Abramoff bragged to College Republicans in a speech broadcasted on C-Span, that he worked with Nader to throw the 2000 election to Bush. And in that year off-the-books-money was flowing to Nader and the Green Party–money Nader always discounted whenever it was mentioned.
As for the great Dr. West, he is just another of the magical thinkers who have never done any of the work for progress. Talk, bitch and moan are his tools. Work, action and usefulness–not so much. But he does appeal to the Talk, bitch and moan crowd. Especially the white folk in that group looking for a negro to bless their irrational hatred of President Obama. It is an act and a profitable one and while I do not begrudge Dr. West his grift, I just cannot buy his snake oil.
Both Nader and West are also dangerous fools who willing serve as the Left Flank of Wingnutopia. They are ridiculous.
Thank you, ABL, for posting this.
I’m glad to know Nader and West are speaking truth to power.
@Cat Lady: I agree. My concern isn’t that they’ll achieve anything, much less successfully primary Obama. It’s that the MSM will give undue attention to them as part of their “Obama sux” narrative, which may have spillover effects for a potentially difficult general election.
@the fenian: Kneepads?
@Dennis G.: Are you really this fucking stupid?
ETA, speaking of the grift…
If this were a puff piece post, maybe, just maybe, you’d have a fraction of a piece of a smidgen of an iota of a point.
But it isn’t, so you don’t.
re:salacious crumb and others.
ABL quoted extensively from Cornel West’s corny and embarrassing “pyschological” deconstruction of President Obama because the president is only half black.
ABL then quoted Ralph Nader, who single-handedly brought us President George W. Bush, Iraq, The 1789-bound SCOTUS, tax cuts for the wealthiest, etc., being chastised on FOX News(sic) for calling President-elect Obama an Uncle Tom before Obama had even been sworn in.
….and then you accuse her by implication of being a racist and racialist by imagining ABL calling a critic she did not even mention a racist, and then moving from your hypothetical to the typical self-pitying white person trying to explain to blacks why whites are the true victims.
Totally silly salacious crumb. I am also white btw…
Ron Paul? After the whole Norquist debacle. Jeez, these guys sure know how to pick ’em. Who else out there is hankering for some “transpartisanship”? Principled “Paleocon” Pat Buchanan? Charles Koch, who’s totally against corporate cronyism because he said so in a WSJ oped?
Listen, Nader, et al. These right-wingers who want to form some of sort of “radically bipartisan” alliance with you? They’re not your friends. They spit on your most cherished beliefs. They’d toss you under the bus in an instant if they got the chance. The reason they’re “allying” with you is because Republicans know it’s to their advantage to try to divide and separate people. This is just another instance of that.
And that’s different than any other day, how? My feeling is that each of these clowns take their turn in the spotlight, and look what happens – they show their FAIL. Obama wins because they’re all a bunch of fucking assclown losers, and they know it. It’s ego.
@Cat Lady: True dat. It does seem like emoprog activity has been even higher lately, especially here. I think it’s because Obama is slowly entering campaign mode, so this may be their last chance to get attention. Today’s news story about this (non-)primary challenge may be part of that.
As the French say, well fucking put.
If Nader and West were legislators, and working together with Paul for something like the audit-the-Fed bill, there might be some room for agreement that their alliance is a Good Thing.
But they’re not legislators, they’re media figures, and allying with Paul does nothing but sink the message that libertarians like Paul aren’t going to help move the country forward. Which they aren’t, because they’re batty old goldbugs who believe the only place for government intervention is national defense and every good American woman’s uterus.
Nobis da panem et circenses, ABL!
Bread and circuses is a much fairer deal than many people in this country are getting. You think these three clowns are going to help that?
I’m as yet undecided whether writing about this gives them more publicity than they deserve. I hadn’t even heard about any of this and I texted a few friends of mine who are a bit more progressive than I am and neither had they. Does anyone on the progressive side who’s not neck deep in bullshit really think Nader has anything going for him anymore?
Okay, one more comment and I’ll STFU for a while.
My guess is that this is the exact problem: Nader knows no one gives a fuck about him anymore. He’s latching on to the anti-Obama left as a way to recover some of his popularity.
@beergoggles: It came up because WaPo has an article about it. Otherwise, I would agree that it wouldn’t be worth the mockery.
@the fenian: it’s on now
Emoprogs are worse than the teanuts who are all id and projection. Teanuts are crazy. Emoprogs are all ego sublimation, and Obama, who has a stable mind, triggers their rage against their unresolved infantile fantasies and daddy issues. They’re not crazy, but they’re not well.
I remember when Dennis Kucinich suggested he might choose Ron Paul as his Vice Presidential running mate. That convinced me, if there’d been any doubt left, that how ever much I agreed with him on the issues, I couldn’t take him seriously as a candidate.
I’m just not sure there is a better McGuffin Character than Mike Franks on NCIS.
That dude can do just about anything.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
otoh, no one can make the case that obama is really rather centrist, and not a soshalliizst,muslim usurper than a ultimately futile attention whoring campaign from the left. nader inc provides the chiarroscuro to make obama palatable to the people who know the gop is nuts, and has veered right of them, but were raised to believe liberal is a dirty word.
besides, even though they look bad doing it, there will be primary envy, and the attention on right wing narratives that come with it. not a bad thing for someone to be out there defining obama as too far middle for them.
don’t get me wrong, i don’t think this is part of an 11d plan, i just think attention whores like nader and west can serve a useful purpose.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@beergoggles: I’ll bet you a six-pack (of internet goodwill) that West and/or Nader will be on CNN, Fox, MSNBC (daytime, they’ll put anybody on during the day– I think I may have had the 1 pm slot for a couple of weeks) and maybe NBC, to talk about their Disappointment several times between now and the election.
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:
Possibly. I always thought that one of the mistakes Al Gore made was not encouraging Nader (and Buchanan) to be allowed on stage for the debates, at least one of them
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
sure he outlines how obama is not a liberal in the ooh scary sense, the way the purple people perceive it.
@Cat Lady: I also think attacking Obama (and Democrats generally) is a far more lucrative endeavor for some than supporting them would be. It’s the opposite of crazy – it’s economically rational.
Will they be debating the Obama impersonator on Fox?
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal: I think 9 times out of 10, that theory just doesn’t work out in the real world.
Well, it’s sure not about making progress. I don’t know much, but I know that.
@salacious crumb: I just don’t know if people like you are genuinely ignorant or just some racist assholes who, like the wingnuts, cry “reverse racism” or accuse people of playing the race card, whenever they rightfully object to or point out when someone makes a racially tinged statement.
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:
I dunno. The last time the far left had a huge, messy, public divorce with the Democratic Party, it got Richard Nixon elected president. I just don’t know how many people really think in those greater than/less than terms when evaluating candidates. For Obama specifically (or any president), he’s been a very public figure for quite some time, long enough for people to have formed their opinion on him. And one fact about the human mind is that it’s very hard to sway people from their fast-held opinions, even with evidence to the contrary.
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal: It’s art that displays strong contrasts between light and dark.
Villago Delenda Est
Ralph Nader is not a progressive.
He’s a megalomaniac.
@Villago Delenda Est: This.
Which are still better than Clinton and Reagan’s at the same time in their respective presidencies.
Which are still better, by far, than anyone else’s in D.C.
Which are still better, by a good margin, than Romney or Perry’s.
Come stronger, troll.
@Corner Stone: What’s so stupid about what Dennis G. said?
Right. Just like the difference between you and a moron is a vast chasm.
“..he is staunchly anti-war, and pro-weed legalization. This, of course, appeals to so-called progresssives”.
Is that to say you’re pro-war and anti-grass legalization, ABL?
You count yourself a staunch ally of the president. I contend that you (and partisans of your stripe) represent a chink in his electoral armor. You are intolerant of dissent, reflexively dismissive of all inter-party criticism, and scathing towards those who don’t see things your way.
You are the mirror image of Rahm Emanuel.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
until the gop chooses a nut, then you remind them of the consequences of being a spoiler.
Please tell us who you want to take you and the partisans of your stripe to the progressive utopia of your imagination? Who do you think will turn the Blue Dogs into progressive heroes with their magic bully pulpit, and make Eric Cantor cry?
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal: Why are you trying to hurt me dog? I’m very sensitive.
Eleanor Mondale, daughter of Walter Mondale, dies
@Corner Stone: I was just saying hello in BJ parlance.
Interretem vicīstīs, ō collega!
This is the other Obama stimulus no one really talks about. People are getting famous and making lots of money opposing/criticizing him.
How did she die? 51 is pretty young.
@Villago Delenda Est: I met Nader briefly back in the 70s. He struck me as pretty convinced of his own importance then and apparently this has grown exponentially. He certainly doesn’t believe he could be elected (to anything, much less president) does he? I wish he would get honest work.
Davis X. Machina
@Menzies: Tandem alter adest huius linguae verae ac decorae peritus….
I gotta believe a good mohawk haircut is essential at this point.
Odie Hugh Manatee
When you are a one trick pony like Nader, you gotta shill to pay the bills. There’s nothing to fall back on, especially in old age.
Call it Ralphie’s Political Social Security.
I am less convinced than many of y’all about the ridiculousness or wisdom of firebaggery, because I do think that we’ll only get a leftist president when we, you know, ask for one, but I sincerely wish that some left-wing douches would disabuse themselves of the silly notion that Ron Paul is anything but another patriarchal demagogue who is completely okay with society abandoning those that the richest/most powerful deem unworthy. That the man is completely okay with the federal government telling me what I can and can’t do with my internal organs should completely disqualify him from polite society in my mind, but instead, he’s begrudgingly respected by a sizable portion of the left wing simply because he doesn’t lose his shit at the thought of smoking dope. Fuck that. I get that all the left-wing hipster dudes want to commodify marijuana to the point that there’s an overpriced artisanal organic dispensary on every corner, but FFS, my right to my uterus is more fucking important and I actually think it’s evidence of the disregard in which women are held that drug policy is considered if not more than, at least as important as my right to, you know, say what gets to live in my own damn body.
ABL, I haven’t told you today that I love you. Consider this me now telling you that.
And Boomer Sooner!!!
KS in MA
“The last time the far left had a huge, messy, public divorce with the Democratic Party, it got Richard Nixon elected president.”
Yep. Listen to your elders, children.
I hope us third-party folks don’t get fascinated with this Nader-West bullshit. Grab some local offices and let these bozos ride in the clown car with somebody else.
Other than that, this. Fuck Ron Paul and his white male supporters who are just SO oppressed because they can’t score whenever. Support abortion rights as fervently, and then let’s talk.
It’s funny, isn’t it, that Malph has never channeled his seemingly limitless energy for bitching about elected Democrats into anything other than vanity runs for the presidency. Why doesn’t he go set up shop in Louisiana and try to primary Landrieu the fuck out of office, or Nebraska to do likewise with Nelson? Why doesn’t he make himself Heath Shitbag’s worst nightmare for a cycle, or help elect a real voice for change by working for Elizabeth Warren? Why does it always come back to Malph having to run for the presidency so he can save the country by helping to elect Republicans?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nader is on the ‘news’ channels every presidential election season to re-live his publicity for giving us Bush before people forget he exists for the next 3 years. Doesn’t matter what his current ‘narrative’ is.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
Never speak or act on principle when President Obama’s re-election is on the line.
This is why I love me some democrats: can’t attack the message, attack the messenger. Awesome! Can’t wait to see you all defend Obama’s medicare benefits cuts. :)
Uncle Clarence Thomas
@KS in MA:
Testify. The one thing President Obama should not do is something which will rally those gawdDAMNED awful peacenik firebaggers to his side. Remember – political expediency and opportunism in all things, chirrun.
What I can’t help but notice is that both of them – both Nader and West – can’t seem to look at or express anything regarding this president in terms other than his race.
That’s kind of a problem in regard to being able to take either of them seriously.
Darnell From LA
At some point those tho contend that Obama has a problem with his black and/or liberal base are going to have to produce some kind of data to back up their point. Because the facts show they are full of it.
According to the most recent NBC News /Wall St. Journal poll:
Dem Approval of Obama – 81%-14%
Liberal Approval – 74%-21%
African-American Appr – 92%-5% (UP 9% from July)
Hispanic Approval – 57%-38% (UP 12% from July)
And approval among Dems and Libs is essentially unchanged from 1 year ago.
Here’s a hint: if the data continues to refuse to confirm your thinking, then maybe it’s time to re-examine your reasoning!
@Uncle Clarence Thomas: Quite the ratfuck you got going here. You on Rove’s payroll?
Errrbody in the club gettin’ tipsy.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
No. I would ask the same question of you, ratfucker. Say hi to Commander Guy Perry when you report in to him.
Darnell From LA
@someone: Riiiight. Just like “Obama’s social security cuts!” You know, “the cuts” he wants to make by changing how they calculate the cost of living adjustments, resulting in an average of about $36 A YEAR less in cost of living increases? ZOMFG! Someone get the CATFOOD! Momma’s gonna die, even though SS benefits are still GOING UP, just on average $3 less a month! ZOMFG!
Never let the facts get in the way of a good ole’ emoprog freakout I guess, right?
Now, this is where you put down your iphone and type into your Macbook that you’re a “hippy.” LOL!
a geek named Bob
Nader has got to be a textbook example of differential intelligence in subfields. He’s pretty good at certain types of rhetoric, and lousy at making deals, or apparently understanding facts. He whines and pouts when people don’t kow-tow to him. (Find a copy of his conduct on Fox TV, or the even better Maddow interview.)
To paraphrase a line from one of my favorite authors: I piss on Ralph Nader, and the graves of his ancestors, from a great height.
This thread is one seriously narrow minded echo chamber.
Why doesn’t Ralph take his own advice seriously? I agreed with most of what he said during his Real News interviews the night of the election (although I agreed with Bill Fletcher a lot more).
Nader was arguing to focus energy on the Congress. Why the talk of primarying a sitting president — an unpopular idea that takes a shit ton of resources — when those same resources could be focused on the Congress?
Oh, right…that takes work.
Odie Hugh Manatee
You can safely ignore UnCTious Tommy. I’m sure you have something more productive to do with your time, such as looking for belly button lint or vigorous ass scratching.
And stop calling Ron Paul a libertarian. He’s a fucking paleoconservative a la Pat Buchanan.
@Firebert: Not really. Just a rich white faux progressive who thinks he’s better than us because he’s just that much more pure to the cause.
@Odie Hugh Manatee: I really should. But it’s fun when he can’t really get the reaction he wants from us.
“There has, of course, been noise of Cornel West becoming the Great Brown Hope for the white progressives. A black” in”, if you will; a way to reach black folks and potentially transfer some black support away from President Obama and to this new Alliance.1”
So Cornel West has no agency and he’s a tool of “white progressives.” This is pathetic commentary. I think West has his head up his ass and Nader has been proved a menace and a fool since his 2000 stupidity, but give Cornel West and his more high-profile pal Tavis Smiley at least enough respect to not characterize African-Americans who criticize Obama – out of egomania and political naivete, IMHO – as “the Brown Hope” of white progressives to undermine black support of Obama. The truth is that West and Smiley have staked out their turf and it exists independently of “white progressives.” The reality, that ABL seems unwilling to deal with, is that the most high-profile critics of President Obama to his “left” who tend to personalize and racialize their criticisms are Smiley and West, both African-Americans…next to, perhaps, Nader, who is increasingly perceived as a crank by Democrats.
West isn’t some tool of Nader’s or Jane Hamsher’s or anybody else. Nor is Smiley, who isn’t mentioned here but who endorses West’s critique whenever he’s discussing Obama. Smiley is someone who actually has name-recognition beyond the political compulsives or the “intelligentsia.” This is a very fucked up post and a puerile analysis. Why I find ABL less than useful as a commentator, and some of her fandom batshit crazy in their hysteria and emotionalism. The “Ron Paul connection” is also a stretch that renders this crap infantile and tendentious. You don’t need to fucking go into these contortions of asserting that the “white progressives” are scheming to turn West into their “Brown Hope” to make the point. Junk blogging.
As proven by Randall Kennedy…
PS – it’s also a fact that the prominence of Smiley and West makes a lot of ABL’s take on “left” criticism of Obama as “race-based” in terms of white racism suspect at best.
I like the anger. I like the angry black lady.
West is not a tool. a bit of a pompous prick, but I agree, not a tool.
Ralph Nader can eat the corn and peanuts out of my shit.
ya’ll suck. You’re supposed to be awake when the atriots sleep. stop sucking, goddammit.
@the fenian: You realize for that to work that the administrations of Bush and Obama would have to be roughly similar — the difference between them could not be vast.
So, well, no.
Better trolls, plz.
@Bruce S: And someone tell a certain front-pager to use better fake accounts.
at least weebey’s trying.
better commentators, goddamit.
“I’m glad to know Nader and West are speaking truth to power.”
I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that’s intended as snark. The only alternative would be to conclude that you are the dumbest person ever to comment on this blog.
“Tell me true, Ralph. What does Mr. West think of the following statements which you made about President Obama?”
Isn’t that actually a question that should be addressed to Cornel West? Or is Nader now managing the Brown Hope and all press questions go through the White Guy?
There’s a demonstrated need for a gadfly to run a smart, constructive ongoing left critique of the Obama administration.
There’s no obvious reason why Cornel West couldn’t be that guy.
Instead, he chooses self-parody.
You really don’t get the connection among Hamsher, West, Nader and Paul? It’s pretty simple.
They’re all running the same grift: THEY are all the same, but me, I’m different. Pure.
It’s a grift aimed at people who think as children think, so it really shouldn’t be hard to decode.
I’m sure that Obama was very apprehensive when he met Michelle Robinson, but only because he was afraid she was going to laugh at the guy with the big ears asking her out.
Explain yourself…I have no fucking idea what you’re talking about.
#127 – Weebey…
What I don’t get is calling West the “Great Brown Hope” of “white progressives.”
If you can’t understand why, you’ve got a problem. Call it the “Michael Moore/Bill Maher thing.”
there is new thread. everyone fight upstairs, please.
Well, I mean hells bells. Grifters gotta grift.
Why you gotsta call them out is on you.
Please stop writing polemic about ways that the left is divided. We have an election to win.
Why in God’s name would you bring up Ralph Nader? At all? Tonight or for the next thirteen months?
“A bit?” Honestly, I don’t understand how West and Smiley can get both of their egos in the same room. Their animosity toward President Obama actually reflects well on him. Hard to imagine how much of his precious time he’d have had to waste to turn them into courtiers. But, the sad fact about THEM is that I think he probably could have done it, if he’d really wanted to. (And I say that as someone who is a critic of certain of the President’s decisions and choice of advisors, but also a great admirer – which isn’t dissonant, particularly uncomfortable and certainly not disrespectful of the office or the man from my personal perspective.)
I am pretty sure all Democrats understand that Obama will be the next President and the Democratic Party’s strength in our two-party system is that it encourages healthy debate about policy.
Blacking It Up is gonna be epic on Monday.
What Obama really needs to do is go after those payday loans and predatory lenders with some kind of consumer protection agency. That’s the kind of thing he’d do if he really cared about black people.
I’ve read Balloon Juice for years, and I’ve especially enjoyed the panoply of divergent voices our gracious host has invited in since 2006 or whenever it was I started perusing.
And ABL has reliably provided (A) provocative commentary, and (B) batshit crazy comments attending to act (A).
As my time on this mortal coil is just as limited as every other reader’s, I have not read through all the comments.
That’s sublime. ABL has won all of the internets.
@Darnell From LA: For a person’s who’s 65 today it would be a $560/year cut at 75, $672 at 80, and over $1000/year by age 90.
That’s in today’s dollars. Despite what a bunch of you apologists wish was true, the amounts we see in discussions of this are not the actual amounts that would be cut by the time the person in question turned 75, 80, 90, etc. If you want to say that taking $500-1000/year right now would be no big deal then feel free to make that argument. You’re talking about cutting from people who are getting $674/month in SSI as well.
ps. Typed on a 4-year old PC that I built myself for $400, you patronizing asshole.
Facts not in evidence. Nader has not been shown to have any grasp on politics. At least as far as I know.
Do you have anything other than a press release and an editoral to back those numbers up? Like an actual study?
I’m pretty sure the point was not that those were the actual future amounts … but that those were the relative amounts as expressed in today’s dollars. Rather, um, small amounts, considering that over the years, adjustments of considerably greater effect have been made to the program to keep it in alignment with actuarial and fiscal realities .. dozens of them, the last time I looked them up and posted them in detail to these very pages.
I did Google the organization that one of the authors of the study represents and apparently the largest cut is about 9%. I still can’t figure out how they calculated it, which is a pretty important thing to know to evaluate their opinion.
ETA: Also, IIRC, the “cut” represents an increase that is not made, not a dollar amount cut in benefits received. It’s a slower growth of the benefit than is currently happening. So unless the authors can simultaneously show us that inflation is going to increase far beyond current calculations, I’m not seeing where the “cut” comes in. It’s like saying that my bank “cut” my savings because the interest rate went down and I didn’t make as much in interest on the principal as I would have if the rate had stayed the same.
I know. What’s really hilarious about these “cuts” is that they are bedazzlers thrown in to defuse the GOP’s obsession with entitlement reform, which will cost beneficiaries little, but the big effect has been to bamboozle the left, which has become so enamored with demagoguery of the entitlements that they sound like … Republicans talking about no new taxes. It won’t be long before people like Bernie Sanders are signing pledges not to cut Social Security and Medicare … as if either program could survive while bound up by ideological lines in the sand.
Maybe we should talk instead about how the Republicans are going to end Medicare
Anybody who has read Griftopia – and clearly, ABL has not – understands Obama is owned by the insurance industry, Wall Street and big oil. Like any other politician and presidential candidate he depends on the vast sums of money these industries provide during election cycles. This explains why he intervened to prevent the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 that exempts the entire insurance industry from anti-trust legislation. It was the one act Democrats and Republicans agreed to repeal but the Whitehouse intervened at the last minute because…oh the money, the money is very important.
I think he’s a nice guy. I liked him and all his wonderful speeches in 2008, but he’s not the person ABL continuously promotes while she dismisses virtually any criticism of him at all. The woman has NO objectivity when it comes to the Democrats, but particularly Obama.
He has broken umpteen campaign promises.
I trust Matt Taibbi explicitly and implicitly as an objective source of information on White House and Wall Street complicity. But I’m sure ABL will soon be calling Taibbi a traitor and a racist too.
ABL, just a heads up. The National Post is Canada’s most right wing newspaper.
Until Holder is shown the door, the current economic team is thrown out on their asses and some of the Masters of The Universe are in the slammer Obama is going to lose in 2012 if Romney gets the nod for the GOP. The Tea Party and Tablebangicals will hold their noses and vote in Romney over Obama in a hearbeat. When Obama sidelined Volker, that’s all I needed to know that he is going to be a one term president, barring a miracle.
@TooManyJens: THANK YOU. I was surprised it took so many comments before that most hypocritical statement was pointed out.
Hail Hail Rock and Roll.
What a well-crafted and informed rebuttal or (whatever it is this is supposed to be) to this well-sourced post.
A tag-team debate between West and Nader versus Bachmann and Gingrich. Not only would it be highly entertaining, but it would be proof that the United States has already been destroyed.
It’s pretty sad to have a bunch of ranters endlessly droning about messaging and Overton windows and lada lada lada…
Who then spend every waking hour talking about how OBAMA IS GOING TO CUT SOCIAL SECURITY and how bad he is on entitlements and on and on…
Without realizing, of course, that they’re doing the work of the Republicans by blurring the (very real) differences between what the two parties are doing.
Nader’s still alive? I’ll give him credit for saving us from Corvair explosions and getting W elected, otherwise, STFU.
You can always count on apologists for cuts in existing social security benefits to explain how they’re not cuts on these threads. No a cut in COLA adjustments currently written into the program isn’t a cut in benefits because…some guy on the internet says it isn’t.
“It’s like saying that my bank ‘cut’ my savings because the interest rate went down and I didn’t make as much in interest on the principal as I would have if the rate had stayed the same.” No it’s not like that at all. It’s like if your bank decided that the way of figuring the interest rate agreed to when you opened your account should be changed arbitrarily by them to “save money” and “protect your account.”
There may be a good argument for changing the COLA rate at some point AFTER we have brought at least the amount of total US income (90%) that Ronald Reagan wanted to see taxed into the future under the SS tax and the program needs future adjustments. (I’m for taxing 100% of income with payroll taxes, which would make it totally unnecessary to cut benefits.) But to argue that these are not benefits cuts is a lie. It’s the kind of crap argument on this issue one reads at People’s View. Not credible. I got banned from People’s View simply for making this point – which as the advantage of actually being true, as opposed to sophistic and polemical in the worst sense (like linking Cornel West to Ron Paul via Ralph Nader.) They operate like some little Leninist cell. Maybe they’re refugees from “People’s World.” They give off that vibe…
It’s also my understanding that Obama doesn’t have a plan to do this. But don’t lie about what the impact would be.
@Cat Lady: Well I’d suggest that Obama wins because he is a bag man for the corporations and Wall Street, but whatever. (Is that racist?)
There is no question that these people are not going to win a national election and probably few local elections. They are in the same position as the workers movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Correct for the most part, but ain’t gonna win.
I would have to agree with you that Nader is getting to be very old news though. But like with McCain the media want him on because he has a familiar face, I guess.
“The group, led by consumer advocate Ralph Nader and scholar Cornel West…”
West is working with Nader, who is a walking disaster for liberals; this isn’t being “made up”.
Past democrats didn’t have a demogogic so-called base turning small cost of living adjustment changes into “massive cuts” and “betrayals”. We don’t need Norquist-style purity tests, because they’re terrible for good policy. Perhaps the new formula captures inflation more accurately, for example; am I then required by the purity squad to oppose it because we should increase benefits artificially?
Hint: obsessing about being a victim of racism charges before they’re made is the sort of crap that right-wing republicans pull all of the time.
But you’re doubtless “a liberal.”
Right. Do you write letters to Penthouse about being a 23 year old cheerleader too?
@salacious crumb: Congratulations on writing the stupidest thing ever written. Do you have a helpmate next to you only because you have to be reminded to breathe?
Marc – what’s being “made up” is that West has been “chosen” by Nader as the “Brown Hope” of a cabal of “white progressives.” This is racist crap. Also drawing a line linking West to Ron Paul via Nader. That’s cheap at best. Address my points or don’t bother me.
Also don’t put words in MY mouth about “massive cuts” or “betrayals” because certain folks here happen to be full of shit in their attempt to deny that COLA cuts are cuts in the current calculation of benefits. You can’t accuse other people of being dishonest by using dishonest arguments.
@Corner Stone: Yeah, but can he unite the left? Nah, he’d probably just shoot them all. Either way, Franks should get to it.
You have an extremely arrogant approach to discussions, and it’s wearing very thin. You get to call other people all sorts of nasty names, and they have to walk on eggshells. It doesn’t work that way in the real world.
Too bad, because you can be insightful at times, and then lash out at random with nonsense like this.
Try and listen instead of making believe that you’re the only reasonable person in the room. And stow the self-importance and aggressiveness.
Guantanamo. Iraq. Afghanistan. Look forward, not back. Prosecute whistleblowers, but not a single Wall Street crook. Continue the Bush Administration policies, and forget everything said to the voters in 2008.
Obama lied, and many of his supporters can’t face reality, so they have to get angry at … people who call Obama out on his two-faced behavior as president. Since you can’t defend his policies, what else to do, but try to prop up Obama by smearing some fringe characters like West and Nader.
So sorry, ABL, that your dream candidate isn’t working out. I know a lot of people wanted Martin Luther King, but what we got was Clarence Thomas.
Gee, I’m Angry too, and it has to do with class, not race.
In favor of whom, idiot? And try to confine yourself to people who have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting confirmed.
Are you really that stupid? a decline in the rate at which something increases is not a decline in the absolute value of that thing. Or, to put in terms you might perhaps be able to get your head around, BENEFITS ARE STILL GOING TO GET BIGGER.
Jesus H. Kee-rist.
You know, I’m beginning to grow suspicious of this entire group here at Balloon Juice. When was the last time you actively denounced the Stalin/broccoli mandate? Hmmm?
@Rabble Arouser: Why I just finished denouncing Stalin as a matter of fact.
But not broccoli.
Fuck the haters.
It’s amazing how many people seem to die around Franks but he never seems worried anyone’s going to ask him about it. Just goes back to the beach in Mejico.
@Bruce S: I find it interesting that you continue to act like a jackass on my threads despite saying you wouldn’t. Funny that. So desperate for attention, aren’t we?
your script has a bug.
Perhaps you should pay attention to what candidates say. Or perhaps your emoscript needs revision.
Either way — Yawn.
ABL – I’ll quit “acting like a jackass” when you do. If you’ve got a more serious rejoinder to my comment, bring it on. Your post is framed in terms that are totally fucked up. You know it. I know it. And “desperate for attention” is a rather telling comment coming from your direction.
@Marc: I resent that. I am no liberal. I’m somewhat to the left of the CPUSA however.
R U Crazy?
While he’s smart and has a definite point of view, Cornell West could not organize himself out of a paper bag – and the election committee he’d assemble would only take 2 weeks to achieve the goal. And then they’d devolve into a typical evangelical debating society.
I listen and learn, but vote for him? Please.
Abl – you are being played by conservative fantasy.
These Fox News stunts have zero traction among progressives or liberals. Our eyes are focused on the prize of rule of law and Constitutional democracy.
We know our enemies want a return of feudalism. They are indifferent to color, race, creed – they want and desire only power.
Denounce the provocation. But, return the focus to “One law everyone obeys or pays the consequences” AND “open, transparent and audited government contracts are the norm.”
“are you really that stupid”
No – you guys are stupid. Try reading comprehension and math. A change downward in the way benefits are currently calculated is a cut in long-term benefits – just because you whine about this fact doesn’t make your arguments cogent. Actually I don’t attribute this to stupidity on the part of these characters – it’s a deliberate attempt to re-frame facts by distorting words.
#166 – Marc…
You might try responding to what I’ve actually written. You’ll get treated with respect. Trying to link me to stuff I’ve never said isn’t the way to get taken seriously.
@burnspbesq: If the COLA is changed so that when there is inflation of such that a dollar this year will only buy $.95 of whatever in two years and you are getting only a $.01 raise in the COLA then that is indeed a cut in benefits.
There are not as many of us ’emoprogs’ out there as people are led to believe? I’m glad you think so. I happen to agree with you. Now that we have that settled,
STOP BLAMING US FOR 2010, ALRIGHT, DUMBASS?
I’ve tried to yell this over the phone to several left-side talk show hosts, that those who blame the ‘whiny liberals’ for 2010 a) don’t know how to fucking count, or b) are oblivious to reality, or c) both. The counting part is the difference in votes for Democrats in ’08 and ’10, which was a couple of tens of millions. The reality part is, of course, that anyone who thinks there are that many tuned-in, blogreading, dyed-in-the-wool liberals of the type classed as ‘whiners,’ is out of touch with reality to the tune of, oh, about 80% of that voting differential, if not more.
Furthermore, I’m fed up with people who are too stupid to see that we ‘whiners’ may loudly threaten to boycott elections, but we probably actually vote close to 100%. Golly, how can that be? Maybe the fact, not hard to grasp by anyone with the slightest empathy, that we feel impotent, like the tiny grains of sand within the voting populace that we are, and what the fuck else can we threaten someone like Obama with than not voting? How else can we express our wish that we could somehow influence the people on our side of the aisle? We shake our fists and threaten the loss of our support, and then election day comes and we fucking vote.
Of course, if you agree with all this, which like I said you have to if you’ve got a brain, you’re left with the painful-to-contemplate conclusion that we’re actually right about why we lost in ’10. The missing voters were missing because they were CASUAL voters, and the most likely explanation for them staying home was that they didn’t realize they had anything much to lose, and the fault for that doesn’t like with us liberal whiners, does it?
Wrong. Obama is doing the work of the Republicans by blurring the differences between the parties. This is from his speech on the debt ceiling:
$650 billion in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. This wasn’t made up by any “firebagger,” this is the president, in his own words, talking about his own proposal.
I worked for one of Nader’s PIRGs for a very short while when I was young (late 70s), going door-to-door asking for donations. When I figured out what proportion of the donations actually went to charitable action rather than overhead (much less than 50% to action), I quit because it stank of scam.
While this makes Nader look like a grifter, he reminds me more of someone else. A grifter (like Newt Gingrich) would not have Nader’s ascetic lifestyle. Nader’s righteousness, his insistance on purity, reminds me of Robespierre more than anyone. Not a politician, who can compromise, but a wanna-be righteous despot, incorruptible and severe in his action and speech, convinced he is right.
For those reasons I would never support Nader for any office, no matter how closely his views mirrored my own. The sooner he’s replaced on the left by someone else, the better for the left.
that’s interesting, because if it wasn’t Nader himself pocketing the $$, where did it go? Did he have corrupt underlings, and if so, did he know and just not care?
(That’s always the best litmus test for a charity or PIRG or PAC — what % goes to action. Fortunately, these days there are some good resources — e.g. charitynavigator.org — where one can get that info quickly. I always use it now before I donate.)
Back to Nader. I heard him speak once while I was in law school (1987) and was impressed as hell. I will confess that I even voted for him in 2000 — but ONLY because I live in what was then a solid red state! I NEVER would have done it otherwise! Needless to say my opinion of him has plummeted since then and continues to dig with every new election cycle where he rears his ugly old head yet AGAIN.
I guess even in his halcyon days as a consumer advocate, he was as you describe him– severe and uncompromising, willfully uncaring of the downside of his positions for the very people he purported to be advocating for, who were American WORKERS in addition to consumers.
With people like that, it is ultimately all about ego. The “cause” is just a vehicle.
@Davis X. Machina:
Adhaerendum est quibus classicos scriptores intellegant.
Stop talking about Ralph Nader forever?
Jesus Christ, don’t write shit like this. Consumer protection does not hurt American workers – it’s exactly the opposite. Do you want to have some fun seeing how deep the wedge can be driven between labor and potential Obama voters? Head on over to FoxNews.com, it may be more your speed.
Just leave the Ralph Nader thing be and realize we need to coalesce around our issues and offer a unified front. Anyone tries to split, you hash it out with them privately, or you drown them out.
If the Democrats lose the ability to frame left-wing issues as their own, they will lose in 2012. Period. Then there is a good chance America is fucked for decades, and that educated people in my generation will bail, illegally if we have to. This isn’t a function of less patriotism on our part, but rather greater mobility, combined with a growing conviction on our part that the Boomers aren’t capable of handling things like a money supply and a professional military.
Not being an idiot, I was not making a blanket assertion that consumer protection hurts workers.
I was alluding to what I remember being an actual honest debate about the impact that Nader’s “Unsafe at Any Speed” had on the American auto industry, but I could well be remembering it wrong.
anna in pdx
@181: This times a million. I lurk at BJ and always read the comments and I really like to read ABL but dammit I am tired of hippie punching from the O Admin and Dem bloggers. We left leaners get upset about our issues but we are not the group that sits home on election day. Since 2000 when I voted for Nader ONLY because I live in a safe blue state, Iand all my friends have not missed a single opportunity to vote for Dems and we also donate and help them get elected, then we gripe at them to be more liberal. This is reality. The idea that we are all firebagger conspiracy theorists is hippie punching and puerle and really frustrating.
Let’s see, suppose the “cuts” spanned ten years, as rhetorical “cuts” typically do. That’s $65b a year average. (Most of the effects are typically in out years, where they are not binding on future governments, among other things).
Let’s say there are around 60 million recipients of SS benefits (ballpark, it will be higher in actuality).
Let’s suppose that of the $650b in “cuts” we will get $200b for Social Security. So that’s an average of $20b per year. Spread over 60 million recipients that’s $333 each per year, or less than $30 a month. And that’s not a true cut, that’s an adjustment to an adjustment. The actual effect depends on cost of living figures in those out years. So by the time you get ten years out, the real effect is that a recipient might get $20 less in today’s spending power in increases than he would have gotten under the old formula. Inflation, and all, reducing the value of the $30 in today’s terms.
Dude, I’d spend that much out of my benefit just to get you to shut the fuck up. But that’s just me, I’m frugal. But if that amount is what it costs me to help pay national debt in the future, it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make, and one that I certainly don’t want to be used as a tool to demagogue the issue and create more endless and stupid exchanges in blogs, wasting precious electrons and lumens that could be used for something productive, like getting you a new hobby.
Otherwise, I have to endure the pain of seeing politicians talk about people paying their “fair share” while I am not willing to spare $20 a month in today’s spending power to help pay the bills …. and Dems lying about how such a “cut” is the end of the fucking world.
Wow, there are people here actually willing to admit voting for Nader, in public in front of other people?
Now that takes some guts, I must say. Whatever you might think of Nader’s consumer protection crusade, the man is totally unfit for public office even in the wildest stretch of imagination. He’s an egotistical maniac. (And before you jump on my shit, let me say that I am almost certainly the only person here who has had dinner with Ralph Nader. In about 1965 or so. In my parents’ dining room. On a table that I sat at only yesterday. Long and interesting story which must wait for another time. )
ABL has lost – or never had – any objectivity when it comes to the Obama administration. She’s long on knee jerk and short on reasoned analysis.
@Thymezone: Nader is irrelevant. I don’t know how anyone can think that idiot is a threat.
@Thymezone: First, drop the scare quotes around “cuts.” They’re not “cuts,” they’re cuts. Obama himself said they were cuts, so you don’t get to pretend that they’re not.
Second, you are just making up numbers. We don’t know what the specifics of the proposed cuts were going to be. The only specifics we do have are related to the administration’s proposed shift to a chained CPI, which will cost beneficiaries around $50/month, with the effect increasing as beneficiaries age.
Third, a crucial fact being conveniently ignored here is that Social Security does not contribute to the debt. The idea that it does is a right-wing lie, pushed by both the Republicans and Obama (and also, sadly, his supporters). Social Security does not belong in any discussion on how to deal with the debt, because it does not contribute to the debt. Period.
And fourth, hey, if you want to go around next year telling voters “We want to cut your Social Security and Medicare, but not as much as the Republicans do!” be my guest. Somehow I don’t think this is going to go over as well as you think it will, but it’s your choice. Just don’t go trying to blame the left when you see the results.
First of all, never tell me what to write. They’re “cuts” because adjustments to these programs are standard operating procedure and have been since day one, and the use of the word “cuts” is a deliberately misleading rhetorical tactic used by people like you to advance baldfaced lies.
Second, the numbers have been pored over on the blogosphere for months, and mine are pretty typical, and pretty reasonable. I stand by them and assert that you are a lying asshole who should go fuck himself.
When politicians are reduced to the kind of lying demagoguery that you practice, and just throwing shit at the wall trying to scare voters into supporting their positions, like you do, then the battle is lost. Voters need to understand how these things work and know when they are being lied to by people like you. That’s where I come in. I am here to call you on your fucking stupid lies.
Who would respect somebody for arguing against asinine points?
@Thymezone: Shit, I’ll tell you what to write. Write a story about a young girl in her early twenties moving from the midwest to San Francisco. She’s a graphic designer but is dying inside to do modern art in sculpture. Using native forms found on the streets. She gets into many a tale along the Loin but eventually realizes fame and fortune really aren’t what she’s after. It’s only after she ceases her quest for material reward that she understands what her quest has been all about.
She gives up art and becomes a yoga instructor, living with her SO and their cat, El Mo.
Once again, in bold because you were too stupid to get it the first time: Obama himself called them cuts. It’s not a misleading rhetorical tactic used by me or by anyone else, it’s a word that Obama himself used to describe his own proposal.
Here’s Obama, again, in his own words:
Bolding used for emphasis, because you’re an idiot.
Your numbers are nothing of the sort. Your numbers are made up out of thin air. The chained CPI is the only concrete proposal we have to go off of, and the impact of that has already been discussed.
The only lies around here are coming from you, and people like you, who are determined to defend Obama no matter what he does. It’s pathetic. Stop doing it.
And yes, that’s me telling you what to write. Again. Stop lying, Thymezone.
Obama can defend himself. As far as I am concerned, he’s wrong if he is characterizing a COLA adjustment as a “cut.”
Social Security is a duck in a bathtub, it bobs and floats at the water surface at the whim of fiscal and actuarial reality. There is nothing fixed about it, either in terms of the program itself, or in terms of the authority of future governments … starting, for example, with the next congress, who can move any pointers up or down as they see fit, inputs and payouts, age limits, you name it.
You can’t make a cut to money you don’t have. There is no set of numbers for 2021, or 2031, or 2051. Those numbers have not been created yet, and will not be for a while. You can make an adjustment to any of dozens of parameters, triggers, rates, and formulas … but calling them “cuts” is just demagoguery, no matter who does, Jesus Christ, Barack Obama, or you. “Cuts” is a rhetorical device, not a statement of fact, or a description of reality. The reality is that nobody knows what SS will look like twenty years from now. Those choices will be made down the road. We can’t cut it today, it doesn’t exist today. And if you don’t understand the difference between actuarial reality and rhetoric then you are in the wrong exchange.
The nice thing about all of this sort of thing is that the information is all out there for anyone to look up and judge for himself. Nobody needs take my word for it, or yours. If some idiot wants to find out that “cut” means what amounts to a proposed adjustment to a formula application that won’t take effect for years, or decades, or possibly even never, in a system that succeeds or fails entirely on our ability to make adjustments to it as we go along, and that somehow “weakens” the program or takes away something from future recipients, then that’s a lie, and you are lying. It’s a lie. The truth is that there will be no SS program in those out years unless we make adjustments to it to keep in alignment with fiscal reality .. .and that means, whatever adjustments are necessary and proper. Period. That is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and shame on you for needing this explained to you, you lying asshole.
And if you don’t like Obama’s use of the word, his email address is pretty widely know, write to him and complain. Not me. The fact is, he has backgrounded that “cut” reference with statements which say exactly what I have said to you here … that these changes are necessary to strengthen and preserve the program as we go along. Because, you stupid motherhumper, that is the truth, and that’s why he said it. He said it specifically to inform morons like you who don’t get it.
Consumer protection is also good for the American auto industry.
@Uncle Clarence Thomas:
More or less this, unironically
Whaaaaa. Ron Paul fans aren’t progressives, and all progressives should see Paul for the stopped-clock-is-right-twice-a-day madman.
I’d call ’em Young Republicans that like pot and hate taxes.
that’s just mean. I SAID I never would have done it if Virginia weren’t solidly red at the time — which it was — and I WOULDN’T have.
It was a feeble gesture of rebellion against the two party system. Is that so terrible?
Was that you? I thought it was somebody else, seriously.
I understand feeble gestures of rebellion, I live in Arizona, and went to the same elementary school Barry Goldwater attended, if you get my drift.
The whole third-party thing is difficult. On the one hand, the idea of democracy makes us want to encourage choices and let voters make “statements” and so forth. Hard to argue with that. On the other hand, when you game that approach out, you get Italy. Now, I don’t pretend that our two party machine system is … good. But on the evolutionary scale, I think it works better than Italy. At least so far. Actually I think that the British system is more sensible, but I can understand why our Founders didn’t want to use it here.
You’re one of the few really reasonable people around here, so I certainly don’t want to give you a demerit for using your vote as you see fit. I just wish you had called me first :)
I apologize for being mean.
add: I am terrible about getting attributions right, so I often don’t really know whose thing I am responding to. It’s a bad habit of mine and I have no excuse, it’s just laziness.
Also, I hope you will continue to stick around and comment more often. We need all the reason we can get around here. Plus your wit is delightful.
Hey, you’re the one who’s trying to pretend that he didn’t say it, or that he didn’t mean what he actually said.
Anyway, lying idiots like you aside, everyone else can see, through Obama’s own words, that he proposed cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Everything else is just a bunch of bullshit from your side to try to spin away that simple fact. Like I said–it’s pathetic.
@Thymezone: First, let’s say that we are going backwards in the old joke: We’ve already agreed upon what you are we are only now agreeing on a price. You now agree that there was a proposal to cut benefits from Obama. That cut in benefits will not hurt you. But it may well hurt someone who is scraping by with nothing at all left and the end of the month and the need to eat at food pantries just to survive.
That is assuming your figures (which you seem to admit are completely made up) are completely accurate.
Finally, cutting spending does not cut the deficit. It never has in all recorded history and it never will. So on top of everything else it is cruel and unecessary, if one’s goal is to really cut the deficit.
And what NR said.
Say whatever you like about Obama’s assertions. Just include all of them and not the single word you are fixated on. Because Obama said what I am saying. Not what you are saying.
Apologies to all here, but either WP or the admins are screwing with my posts and not even I can follow the exchange we are having at this point. Unless I can post in sequence and have the posts be persistent, this doesn’t work. Nothing I can do about it.
More than one post I have made in the last hour or so has just disappeared from view. I can’t repost them, they are treated as duplicates. Hard to have a back and forth when the forth doesn’t work.
This is a repost.
Right. We will fixate on the use of the word “cut” to make a misleading statement about Obama, and leave out the explanatory strengthening statements that went with it, so as to reinforce the misleading element and let us advance a lie. I understand it, there is no need to keep beating the horse. Obama said “cut” so it’s a cut even though he also said it’s a necessary improvement so we will ignore that part, as well as ignoring the decades long legacy of just such adjustments for just exactly the same reasons that have been made all along. Got that too, no need to beat it to death.
As for spending and deficits, I have made zero references to that issue in this context. But now that you have brought it up: Deficits are reduced by either cuts or revenue, and since we are in a moderate spending zone and a severely underfunded revenue zone, adding revenue is clearly the best way to proceed. And it’s easy to do, and relatively painless. I imagine that we are in agreement on that point, but don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody.
As for made up figures, if you have better ones that address the point I was addressing, feel free to trot them out and let’s have a look at them. If your point is that we have no usable numbers, then the whole argument is moot. But unless you can advance a scenario that describes any real injury to recipients, the argument is …. moot. So, do whatever you like with the numbers or lack of numbers, I don’t see how it can support NR’s lying sack of shit argument.
I’m not pretending anything. I am saying that you are misrepresenting what he said by leaving out the context which he included and you are ignoring.
You are basically practicing Republican style politics here, which is to seize on something out of context and gin it up into a boogeyman. You aren’t fooling anybody with it.
Well, except maybe Cornerstone. But that’s too easy.
As long as I meet my goal of laughing at my own jokes, I figure I am doing fine.
@Thymezone: He’s not fooling me oldtimer. You’re completely out in wacko land on this one. Am I going to need to call the home again and tell your nurse in charge you’ve been cheeking your meds lately?
@Thymezone: Free clue: This “context” you’re talking about that makes the word “cuts” (real quotes, not scare quotes) mean something other than what it actually means, exists only in your head. In the real world, people understand that when Obama says he proposed $650 billion in cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, he means that he proposed $650 billion in cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
You can deny reality until you’re blue in the face, but it doesn’t change the facts of what happened. Sorry.
Anna in PDX
@Thymezone: I also admitted to voting for Nader in 2000. Again I was following the strategy of protesting the 2 party system by voting for him in a safely blue state (Oregon). I believe eemom voted for him in a no-contest red state. So neither of us “helped Bush get elected”.
Again as a very left of the norm person here, all the lefties I know like myself are savvy, we are not the problem in electoral politics. We merely complain at Dems to be more liberal and agitate, write letters, write blog articles, whatever, donate to groups that advocate for policies we believe in. We are not the ones staying home, not voting out of pique, and all this bullshit.
For example, Kucinich when he left the primaries endorsed Obama. Of course being in OR I didn’t get to vote for K at all because we have a late primary. So I voted for O. I knew perfectly well he was centrist because honestly it was not a secret.
@salacious crumb: Really? this is what if foremost in your tiny little mind to say? Bring an ‘A’ game, next time.
thank you, ABL
Perhaps those individuals who are adamant in their assertion that Cornel West is not the “tool” of Jane Hamsher, and others, should read this article (in its entirety) about the formation of The New Progressive Alliance. Notice, if you will, the timelines involved and then connect the dots.~
Firebags and afros: the *genius* plan to primary Barack Obama (May 22, 2011) ·
“West’s vitriol included a call last November for someone to step forward and primary Obama from within the Democratic party. The call roughly coincided with an “election” held by a group of activists whose goal was to do just that: field a potential “progressive” primary candidate against Obama. Indeed, the idea of primarying the president has been a hot diary topic on FDL since at least 2010. In February of that year, in response to the signing of the healthcare reform bill, a 527 called the New Progressive Alliance was formed:”
“Their original four-person steering committee consisted of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, 2002 “Green Rainbow Party” candidate for governor (you can’t make this stuff up) Dr. Jill Stein, committed Libertarian Richard Winger (whose only run for elected office was in California in 1996 as a Libertarian,) and our old friend Dr. Cornel West.”
“In fact, if one were cynical, one might even think West’s November cry for a primary challenge was timed in coordination with the push just one month later, by a group he “steers” to do just that. And when the story, and the idea, failed to catch on, West turned up the heat on Obama again this spring, coincidentally giving fresh exposure to NPA’s primary idea… but of course, that would be cynical…”