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Obama, yesterday:

"What happened was Democrats had gotten complacent, had gotten fat and happy. they thought there was a government program to solve every problem. Ronald Reagan came in and said we need to break out of the old ways of doing things and create a leaner, more effective government," he said. "That was the right message then. I think that right now we went too far in the wrong direction. We can't go back to the old liberalism of the past, but [when] you are on your own economic philosophy [of] Bush and McCain doesn't work either. Let's try a new way where we apply common sense, have government do what it does well

Na ga happen, commentary.

NOTE Via Stoller.

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Nervine5's picture
Submitted by Nervine5 on

Reagan (raygon) was capitalizing on the morose that people were feeling (justifiably so)about an economic crisis. Reagan made people feel good about spending, that spending and borrowing was not bad; while Carter was telling the truth about the economic crises we were facing. Carter wanted to derail where we would be TODAY.

But, THIS is the Alzheimer patient (20 years for full on set) we should look up to, according to OB ? NO! NO! I resent OB's lack of knowledge. Or whatever reason he has to praise the onset of deregulation.

Sure, Carter messed up because of inexperience (much like the current President and Him), but he was right about the economic and national issues concerning energy independence.

I REALLY resent Obama respecting Reagan!!! Really!

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Is he still pushing Reagan? If anyone that it was just a ploy to cross the Bill during the primaries, it should be obvious, now, that he has a serious man-crush on Reagan. You know, I think I've finally come to the point where I just have to say no. I've been trying to talk myself into giving him my vote for a few weeks, now. I think I finally have to definitvely rule out that option. I'm tired of him maligning or ignoring altogether the few former Democratic presidents we have. I'm done. Game over, man; game over.

For someone that loves to wax on and on about change, he's sure stuck in the 80's, huh?

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

"Reagan screwed the working man, and idiots like these voted for him, I hope they are happy now. I hope they got what they wanted." That's what my retired father-in-law said to me three weeks ago. We were driving through International Falls (with it's anti-abortion posters), where Boise-Cascade hired out-of-state, non-union contractors for a plant expansion and a simmering dispute lead to a riot.
That was fall 1989, but started during, and because of 8 years of Ronald Reagan's determined union-busting.
Starting with his big throwdown, where he fired all of the Patco air traffic controllers, forbidding each member from working for the federal government. Since Patco was one of the few unions that actually ENDORSED Reagan, apparently they got what they were asking for too?
Another example is the Hormel Local P-9 meat-packers strike after they got their wages cut by 30%. A conservative Democrat governor did it the Reagan way then too, and called in the National Guard to protect the scab workers who replaced P-9 (who were screwed by their national union too, but those were the times, my friend). My father-in-law hasn't eaten a Hormel product since. But hey, we get cheep meets, right?

Apparently Obama, (who is my age and I remember all this clearly) had his head in a book somewhere while that was happening and didn't notice. Or maybe thought it was a just a natural reaction to the "excesses of the 60's and 70's".

And people wonder how you can call yourself a liberal and not be excited about this turkey.

-----------------------------

Around these parts we call cucumber slices circle bites

Submitted by lambert on

... Well, can anybody figure out what on earth this means?

“That was the right message then. I think that right now we went too far in the wrong direction. We can’t go back to the old liberalism of the past, but [when] you are on your own economic philosophy [of] Bush and McCain doesn’t work either. Let’s try a new way where we apply common sense, have government do what it does well

Applying common sense! Now, why didn't anybody think of that?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by jawbone on

"delivering the right message at the right time."

That one hurt. Looking back at what he did to unions and unionization (Didn't Obama call some unions "special interests"? Some unions which didn't back him in the primary?), his great efforts to do away with not only the solar panels on the WH, but also R&D for alt energy, his efforts to make the tax system better for the uber-wealthy, his work to begin deregulation and undermine ecological regulations...gee, no wonder Obama is so enamored of Reagan! Oh, almost forgot about the great Iran-Contra scandals and his successfully negating COngressional power by breaking the law. Hey, great role model!

Uh, that was snark. I have no idea why Obama thinks Reagan is so great--other than his achieving power and getting away with all sorts of crap. Reagan bamboozled a majority of the public for quite awhile--be he didn't leave office with all that much public approval.

I do wonder if we have our first Republican Democratic president....

Submitted by lambert on

... which, taking its cue from Nixon's Watergate operations, led directly to Bush II's unitary executive* and the extremely Constitutional Theory Of We Get To Do Whatever The Fuck We Want, formally ratified by the 2006 Democrats with FISA [cough] reform. So, really, what's not to like?

NOTE And whatever the far more tricky Bush I got away with that we don't know about.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

this is it in a nutshell--

the trashing of Democrats, liberal, and government programs as solutions--and the neverending praise of Reagan, whose damage is ongoing.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Because they need to be fired. Because Obama is factually wrong about Reagan and his followers. "Leaner and more effective" government? Is he crazy.

Reagan did not cut government, as Andrew Bacevich has pointed out:

BILL MOYERS: You describe Ronald Reagan as the "modern prophet of profligacy. The politician who gave moral sanction to the empire of consumption."

ANDREW BACEVICH: Well, to understand the truth about President Reagan, is to understand why so much of what we imagined to be our politics is misleading and false. He was the guy who came in and said we need to shrink the size of government. Government didn't shrink during the Reagan era, it grew.

He came in and he said we need to reduce the level of federal spending. He didn't reduce it, it went through the roof, and the budget deficits for his time were the greatest they had been since World War Two.

So this idea that Reagan reduced government programs and shrank government is bullshit. Government expanded under Reagan. It was simply reprogrammed so money went to defense instead of social programs. But it isn't true that he hated government programs. Reagan loved Government programs.

And, as Bacevich (who teaches at Boston University and not Hahvahd) notes, what Obama is really endorsing is Republican political tactics:

when you look back over the past 30 or so years, since the rise of Ronald Reagan, which we, in many respects, has been a conservative era in American politics, well, did we get small government?

Do we get balanced budgets? Do we get serious as opposed to simply rhetorical attention to traditional social values? The answer's no. Because all of that really has simply been part of a package of tactics that Republicans have employed to get elected and to - and then to stay in office.

We do not have "leaner" government thanks to the GOP (record budget deficits under W., topping even Reagan's). Nor do we have more effective government (see, Katrina). What we have is fatter, less effective government or rather enormous government spending aimed not at the public good but at shoveling government largesse to as many corporate masters as possible.

BTW, how can something be the right idea and the wrong direction? That quote just shows how muddled Obama's thinking is. I can't decide if he knows he's lying or he's simply absorbed all of the GOP talking points for the last 30 years and is too intellectually complacent to question them. What's more, I can't decide which would be more upsetting.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

for the continuing propagation of Republican lies that hurt the whole country, and the repeated trashing of Democrats and what we stand for and what we do--and have always done up til now-- for Americans.

Submitted by lambert on

certainly not tactically, and I doubt very much strategically. Perhaps "muffled" might be more appropriate than "muddled." For all I know, Obama will be the next FDR, since FDR wasn't FDR before he became FDR. It's just that I think the evidence for that is very slim.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

based on all the evidence--his talk and his actions--it's inconceivable and wholly unjustified.

Submitted by lambert on

A very improbable one.

We will know for certain very soon (for those who didn't find FISA and the bailout dispositive). Again, the transition period is very, very important. We need to watch what our rulers, as opposed to our government, do in that period like hawks -- they may even have more degrees of freedom then, than usual.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I, too, see the remote possibility that Obama (or McCain, for that matter), could possibly rise to a moment of crisis and be a better president than he might be otherwise.

Of course, there's the very real possibility that either one will be a disaster. But you never know when a vacant Narcissist might come through for ya.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

hands that have never before shown the ability to manage or run a single thing--or to fight and succeed at making government help ordinary Americans--is absurd.

If that's where hopes lie--that circumstances "make" him somehow rise to the occasion--i cry for us.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... someone who would say this: "IT GIVES US no pleasure to oppose Mr. McCain. Over the years, he has been a force for principle and bipartisanship"

My eye caught that part, and my bucket didn't catch my lunch, so I'll have to pass on reading the rest.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

they--and the rest of the village--would never have endorsed Obama unless they were absolutely 100% sure that their "hopes" would be realized---not yours.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Here Comes the Onslaught --Sirota -- http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do;jse...

"... argues that a President Obama will have to govern America as a slightly more moderate Ronald Reagan. To Meacham, insulated in his chattering class world of dinner parties and television green rooms, America of 2008 is the same as America circa 1980 - even as the latest presidential and congressional polls suggest the possibility of a massive progressive landslide.

From a pure journalism perspective, it is stunning that the editor-in-chief of a supposed "news" magazine is writing cover pieces that read like cheap Republican Party direct mail, and ignore empirical data. Then again, "objectivity" in the media today is defined as worshiping the status quo, denigrating popular uprisings, and serving as stenographers to power, celebrity and money. ...

The question will be how much this kind of smug propaganda emanating from media megaphones in New York City and Washington, D.C. will impact a President Obama (who will - at least officially - be in an office that is supposed to represent more than the public opinion of Manhattan cocktail parties and Bethesda fundraisers). I'm not sure - in the one chance I had to discuss these issues with Obama, he showed both strong progressive inclinations, but also hesitation to try to challenge the parameters created by the elite. ..."

Submitted by lambert on

What's "stunning" about it?

It is stunning that the editor-in-chief of a supposed “news” magazine is writing cover pieces that read like cheap Republican Party direct mail, and ignore empirical data.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/n...

"... he's going to have to put things on the table that perhaps many of us would not like to see a Democratic president put on the table in terms of cutting back on spending, freezing hiring and making some real tough decisions. So, I think he will be constrained by the deficit and also by the fact that we're still in two major wars.

That's a relief. No need for anyone to worry that Obama isn't going to govern like a Republican. ..."

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

It's Powell, and FISA capitulation, and public financing capitulation, and Reagan again and again and again and again, and avoiding using the term "Democrat", and shitting on the few Democratic presidents we've had in modern history, and etc...

Yes, it's possible that Obama could be an amazing Democratic president. Yes, probably about as probable as McCain becoming an amazing Democratic president. Really, I'm not sure what the whole argument over probability is about, or what it's for. I would hope that it's nothing more than an argument of semantics, because if it's anything more than that, then that's really quite sad.

What is left? What is left when their is quite possibly nothing of worth left to defend?

Submitted by lambert on

Whatever it is, this isn't a coalition, because the only thing holding it together is the pursuit of power, and conflicts of interest and values have yet to appear; see the Whigs, though not on policy. Though I suppose the counter-example would be the erstwhile Canadian Liberals, who Chretien ironically destroyed, exactly through acting on principle to save the country, which he succeeded in doing.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.