Amanda Marcotte: A shallow-ender drowning in an inch of water
So, I posted earlier today about what jackass crazy fuckwits [unlike the Ds, who are only jackass fuckwits] run the Republican party and that's why we're in this current crisis.
Wrong. If the Ds had done away with the filibuster, passed a budget or raised the debt ceiling when they had the majority, the current "crisis" would not exist. Also, if Obama adopts either a 14th Amendment approach, or coin seignorage, the "crisis" can be resolved without any R involvement at all. The crisis is manufactured. Can it be true that Marcotte is ignorant of Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" concept? Or does she prefer to keep analytical tools away from her readers?
I suppose the inevitable thing happened in comments: I got scolded [Oh, the humanity!] about my priorities.
Yes, her readers -- and probably, along them, are the DISemployed, elders in fear of Social Security, actual feminists, union members, and so forth; the former base -- are trying to pull Marcotte left, out of the shallow end. They're trying to help her! But our career "progressive" is having none of that! She's rather drown in an inch of water.
Apparently, I'm supposed to be focusing like a laser on how Obama is actually a double agent for the GOP and this was his evil plan all along to gut important social programs. Okay.
Well, the straw personhood of "double agent" and the heavy, Piranha Sister-like sarcasm of "evil plan" aside, Obama put Social Security in play in IA 2007, and has been talking about "shared sacrifice" since the inaugural -- after normalizing Bush's $14 trillion bailout to the banksters. Sounds like a plan to me, whether evil and/or stupid.
I can actually sympathize with that point of view, since I remember being a newly minted lefist in college [and boy, did the shine go off that fast!] and feeling the allure of "rah rah Nader, Bush and Gore are no different" [Naderite! Purist!]
Well, Amanda -- if I may call you Amanda -- I'm gratified that you feel you've gained some maturity; that's something all who wish you well can only be pleased at. A teensy problem though, analytically: People can and do come to their views of Obama not because of the emotions that you impute to them, and not because they haven't graduated college yet. In Obama's case, many understand this: Conservative is as conservative does. Just as, in your case, shallow is as shallow does.
It was a fairly [not entirely?] useless point of view, but it made me feel self-righteous [no doubt], and at 21 [which people worried about Social Security, for example, tend not to be], that felt really fucking [Fuck! Transgressive, how very!] good. Now I'm older and tired [Well, I'm tired, too. I suspect we're tired of and from different things, however] and I look back at Clinton and realize I was being unfair, because while he's far from perfect, suggesting he was the problem is like having cancer and suggesting your hair falling out is your major problem.
Or like knowing that a major medical syndrome can have multiple sets of symptoms, the Clinton set being more benign than the Bush/Obama one. Gee, this metaphor stuff is fun!
I was thoroughly cured by 8 years of Bush of this kind of thinking, and am mildly [only mildly?*] surprised to see how quickly everyone [Really? Everyone?] forgot about all that.
Who's forgetting? On war powers, Obama's worse than Bush. On executive powers, including torture, Obama's normalized everything Bush did. On assassinating US citizens, Obama claims more than Bush ever did. On the bankster bailouts, and impunity for all banksters, Obama's normalized everything Bush did. On DISemployment, Obama's been a Hoover-like catastrophe. On housing and foreclosure, Obama hasn't been just useless, he's actually, through HAMP, done damage. And on and on and on. Those who reject Obama haven't forgotten Bush at all. We just didn't expect, especially after the steaming load of hopey change crapola shills like Amanda shovelled our way, that Obama would net out worse.
Either way, I reject the notion that the complete batshit craziness of the Republicans is merely a distraction from the Real Problem that our who-knew dictator Obama isn't so benevolent.
At this point, I'm really beginning to ask the eternal question -- stupid and/or evil -- of Amanda. I'm guessing stupid, because I'm thinking that Amanda's speaking from an impoverished set of analytical tools, rather than evil, since surely Amanda wouldn't wish to misdirect and distract the millions of DISemployed, union members, elders, women, and many youth who are greatly concerned with the direction the Obama administration is taking.
So, generously assuming Amanda's stupid but just possibly teachable, clue stick: The claim is not that Obama is a "dictator" (though Glenn Greenwald, among others, has shown how Obama's arrogation of executive power is of a Bushian scale, and often normalizes Bush's policies). And the claim is not about any of Obama's personal characteristics, like his "benevolence" or lack thereof. (In other words, the critique is not one that an authoritarian follower would make, although this may be hard for Obama's rump Ds to understand.) The claim is that Obama is a conservative because his policies are conservative. Got it? Check? Yes? Clue? Amanda? Amanda? Amanda?
For one thing, I seriously don't think he has as much power, [as what?] due to the constitutional republic thing, as his angry [emotion-driven, marginalized, no doubt bitter] critics are attributing to him and therefore the theory that he's selling the farm in a desperate bid to stop the crazies from driving this country over the cliff [one gets tired of trying to figure out what Amanda's supposed interlocutors are really saying; reading Amanda Marcotte is, in that way, a lot like reading Michelle Malkin] remains a persuasive theory [to whom? and see above for what the Ds could have done, and can do, to prevent this]. But more importantly, I don't think it matters.
Yes, I'm saying it right here [drumroll]: whether Obama is a secret Republican or whether he's a well-meaning Democrat who is simply being blackmailed is irrelevant. The problem, either way, is Republicans.
Wowsers. I guess since Amanda's so totally not a D shill, it takes an awful lot of courage to come out with a statement like that.
Again, I'm going to behave like the compassionate person I truly try to be, and go with the idea that Amanda's not evil but stupid (and not even, say, faux naive). In the context of how the current crisis was manufactured, see above; there were clearly actions the Ds could have taken that would have averted the crisis; they didn't take them. QED. In the larger context, Amanda's stupid because the idea that the two legacy parties form a single system doesn't even seem to enter her frame of reference. It's like Amanda's watching a WWF performance and rooting against "the bad guy," when in fact the entire spectacle is a single masterfully engineered system in which "the bad guys," the "good guys," the "refs" and even the crowd all know their appointed roles, and play their parts perfectly. The system as a whole is what it is, good or, in our case, evil. Amanda has mistaken the costumes that role players wear for substance.
Well, that's enough for now. Even the straw people begin to blur, after awhile, since there are so very many; who has the time to deal with them all? And there aren't enough hours in my day to answer every sway-backed bit of sarcasm, every shopworn talking point, or every Malkin-esque slur, ** even in that one post from Amanda.
But jeebus -- a shallow rant like this gets a link from a Nobelist? That's just wrong.
NOTE * One of the tells for insider writing is the adverb of faux judiciousness; if you read the sentence carefully, you'll see that "mildly" (as "fairly," above) contributes nothing except a vague sense that the writer was stroking their chin while writing. Booman uses the insider adverb of faux judiciousness constantly.
NOTE ** Sorry if that seems unfair to Malkin.
NOTE Amanda's carefully constructed and lovingly demolished straw person is that "Obama is a secret conservative." Of course, Obama is not a "secret conservative." Obama is an open conservative, has been since IA 2007 when he put Social Security in play, since August 2008 when he normalized Bush's program of warrantless surveillance, since October 2008 when he whipped for the bailouts (and let it be remembered that the "crazy" Rs were bitterly opposed, along with the American people), and since HCR, when -- and this should really make Obama's conservativism obvious to any but the most pathetically shallow Obama shill, a category into which Amanda, sadly, fits -- Obama passed a health care plan advocated by the Heritage Foundation. Obama does conservative things because that's what he is. Of course, Amanda and her ilk in the Beltway "progressive" class did and are doing a great deal of damage to D voters, and the country, by pretending otherwise, but.... Look! Over there!
Sarah Palin!!!! Michelle Bachman!!! Some other R woman to be named later!!!!
UPDATE Gee, I thought only Clinton supporters were racists. I mean, that's what Kool-Aid guzzlers like Amanda told us in 2008. Guess not.