Thursday, January 27, 2011

My state

Didn't post yesterday because of the State of the Union drinking game. You know the one. Every time Preznit Hopey Changey says the word "hope", drink a shot. "Change", two shots. Proposes a right-wing policy, three shots. Repeats right-wing talking points as if they were actual facts, four shots. By the end of the speech, a penguin is in no state to comment on *anything*, and the next day can't remember where his head is, much less use it to post.

Preznit Hopey Changey is about as disappointing as they come. His SOTU address had nothing in it that would actually help real Americans, who need jobs, who need protection against corporations intent upon outsourcing their jobs to China, who need help protecting themselves against banks that have plundered their retirement savings with fraudulent "mortgage-backed securities" and health insurers who continue to refuse to provide the contracted-for health care without repercussion, and... and... instead, he repeats the same right-wing talking points that have become "conventional wisdom" in the constrained bubble of the Washington elites.

I wasn't particularly enamored of Bill Clinton. Clinton was, as Alan Greenspan put it, "the best Republican president of the past thirty years". But at least Clinton had a plan, a strategy, a clue for escaping the bubble that Obama is encased in. It reminds me of a story that Richard Clark says about when Clinton ordered cruise missile attacks against Iraq. So he has to go on to television to justify these attacks... but did the missiles actually hit targets in Baghdad like they were supposed to? Is he going to make an idiot of himself by talking about an attack that never happened due to technical problems with the missile that caused it to hit, say, Saudi Arabia instead? He call in the generals and they say, "We don't know, it's night there, we won't be able to really tell until the morning when we can send a surveillance flight over." He calls in the CIA and they say, "we don't know, our agents in Baghdad report in on a schedule and their next scheduled reporting time isn't going to be until later this week." Bill thinks a few minutes, pulls out his rolodex, shuffles through it... and calls a Friend Of Bill who works for a major newspaper that he knows has a reporter in Baghdad and asks him if that reporter has seen or heard anything unusual like explosions or such. And gets the satellite phone number for that reporter, which he then uses to call that reporter, who says "Yes, air raid sirens went off and there was a huge explosion in the direction of one of the Presidential palaces." And, satisfied, goes on television and makes the speech. But there don't seem to be a collection of Friends Of Obama accumulated over the years who Obama can use to escape the bubble. Clinton famously loved to say "I feel your pain" but largely got away with it because people felt he really *did* feel their pain, on a personal and emotional level. Obama, on the other hand, does not seem to understand the pain ordinary people are feeling right now on anything other than an intellectual level. He makes stirring oratory about it, certainly. But the perception of Obama as out-of-touch on a personal level with the pain that ordinary Americans are feeling, and isolated in an intellectual bubble that leaves him incapable of touching Americans on a personal level where they live, is growing -- and if he doesn't do something about escaping that bubble, his one-term Presidency is going to make that of Jimmy Carter look like a rousing success.

-- Badtux the Political Penguin


  1. I agree, BT. His coddling of corporate America is wrong-footed. Corporations aren't hiring in the USA because they don't need to. Instead of giving them tax reductions to (theoretically) help them grow, we ought to charge them a surtax every time they hire an employee outside the 50 states. I mean, when is enough profit ENOUGH?

  2. You picked a better drinking game than I did. I had an unopened bottle of 101 proof Wild Turkey. I was going to chug the whole bottle as soon as Obama even appeared to be standing up to the Corporate Republican Complex.

    I was still sober at the end of the evening.

  3. I did not listen and it seems nothing was said about SS.

    The little bit spent on the internets I noticed several article with title that suggested SS is in real bad shape. I want this man to call bull shit on these people who will get to steal and rape Social Security. He could make the difference in this and so many other issues.

    He's not going to and never intended to stand up to any of this shit from the right.

  4. He's not going to and never intended to stand up to any of this shit from the right.

    It's hard to stand up to something of which you're a fully paid-up member.

  5. Drinking game made me laugh, thanks :)

  6. Everything that Hopey is doing makes perfect sense if you're as paranoid as me and believe that the U.S. is run by an economic elite who put up "Left" and "Right" puppets in order to make us proles think we live in a democracy. Alternate between Punches and Judys whose strings are yanked by the same rich fcukers (and I don't mean Jews -- just the mega-rich and less-wealthy humans who screw the countyr on behalf of corporate interests) and the sheople will keep marching up the ramp into the abbatoir without bolting. Sometimes I wonder whether I'm as paranoiac as the schizophrenics I give meds to. (I was transferred to the psych ward this year.) But the way events are unfolding, it makes sense to me.


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