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[Welcome Blue Gal / Carnival of the Liberals readers!]

If you watch the Obama "bipartisanship" permathread — or the permathread about him overplaying the Jesus card — there's one response you can count on not hearing from an Obama supporter:

"Yes, it's quite regrettable, and I wish he would stop. Though I'm still in his camp, it does worry me.”

Perhaps if he got some static from the faithful, he'd learn to stop sounding those sour, authoritarian-enabling notes that harsh our mellow.

Obama seems purgatory-bent on pretending away two essential truths about millennial America:

  • Our country is in a state of shame thanks to the unchallenged and unconscionable actions of today's GOP and the institutional conservative movement that pulls its strings
  • Governing based on the fantasy that is religious faith is insanity — especially for the most highly armed nation in the history of the world

On the former matter, Obama (like Hillary) chooses to be above it all, too gosh-durn nice to acknowledge the partisan sins that demand not accommodation, but a countervailing partisan response.

At least in the latter, Obama doesn't mind being a partisan. He reads directly from the GOP hymnal, scolding progressives for being amoral heathens and ratifying the neo math that says religion = values = Republicans:

I think it’s important particularly for those of us in the Democratic party to not cede values and faith to any one party.”

For progressives, I think we should recognize the role that values and culture play in addressing some of our most urgent social problems… I think progressives would do well to take this to heart....”

...the discomfort of some progressives with any hint of religion has often prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms.”

That he and his advocates function in denial of the reality on the American ground is doubly troublesome.

First, it makes people of reason wonder if the candidate in question has a proper grasp of, yknow, reality.

Now, Barack boosters routinely argue that this is mere vote-getting rhetoric, and he's to be admired for his canny and guiltless ability to spread his compromising charm from coast-to-coast, like some sort of Johnny Bullshitseed.

And some have granted that this glib pandering just might work. Maybe it profiteth a man to gain the White House and lose his soul. So, the immorality of being dishonest aside, what's the (other) problem?

The problem is that a pretty poison is still poison.

These lies aren't just any lies, they're lies propagated by and for the lying liars who have made every major candidate afraid to describe him- or herself as a "liberal."

These lies turned us into a torturing state with a politicized justice system that spies on its citizens and can "legally" disappear them without recourse.

They created a bizarro universe where they can use calipers on a Democratic President's penis. But when, on the exceedingly rare occasion his Republican successor is questioned on matters of national urgency, they won't allow a pencil and paper in the room.

They created a "reality" where any Democratic opposition is an obstructionist filibuster that must be faced down with "the nuclear option," but a record-breaking Republican freeze on legislation is merely the lack of "the sixty votes needed."

They created a reality where one renegade president can blamelessly write more unilateral, law-perverting signing statements than all preceding presidents combined.

They created a reality where lawlessly throwing voters off the rolls is simply good politics, and where the best way to count votes is to stop counting them.

They created a reality where killing hundreds of thousands of people for an incredibly expensive lie is of absolutely no consequence, and ditto for letting a major American city drown.

They created a reality where religion is a litmus test for the presidency.

Well, listen up, Barack. Some of us hate what's happened to our country. It's swell that you don't mind that much, but it's not swell enough that I will vote for you on Super-Duper Tuesday.

Acting like now is not a time for partisanship is tantamount to mental illness:

George A. Kelly’s definition of a psychological disorder: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."

Doubtless, using the playbook of L. Barack Hubbard's fans, you'll turn around and say it is we who are crazy, what with our crazy anger and all.

You might be onto something, because invalidation cuts both ways. When trusted people refuse to validate obvious truths, it's quite emotionally scarring.

It's why the Children's Television Workshop came to realize that abused children might be learning a dangerously disempowering lesson while watching Big Bird try in vain to get people to acknowledge the existence of his friend Snuffy.

Look, whether you want to date it to 9/11 or your choice of incidents from "We Didn't Start the Fire," this is a country with PTSD. We went a little funny in the head... you know... just a little... funny.

And with our fragile national psyche, invalidating the truth is about the last thing we need.

Dr. Marsha Linehan describes the psychic pain that invalidation causes:

An invalidating environment is one in which communication of private experiences is met by erratic, inappropriate, or extreme responses. In other words, the expression of private experiences is not validated; instead it is often punished and/or trivialized. the experience of painful emotions [is] disregarded. The individual's interpretations of her own behavior, including the experience of the intents and motivations of the behavior, are dismissed...

Invalidation has two primary characteristics. First, it tells the individual that she is wrong in both her description and her analyses of her own experiences, particularly in her views of what is causing her own emotions, beliefs, and actions. Second, it attributes her experiences to socially unacceptable characteristics or personality traits.

Dr. Stephen Gans:

"...to invalidate means to attack or question the foundation or reality of a person’s feelings. This can be done through denying, ridiculing, ignoring, or judging another’s feelings. Regardless of the means, the effect is clear: the person['s] feelings are “wrong.”

Back to Dr. Kelly's theories:

In fact, Kelly says that we spend a great deal of our time seeking validation from other people. A man sitting himself down at the local bar and sighing "women!" does so with the expectation that his neighbor at the bar will respond with the support of his world view he is at that moment desperately in need of: "Yeah, women! You can't live with 'em and you can't live without 'em." The same scenario applies, with appropriate alterations, to women. And similar scenarios apply as well to kindergarten children, adolescent gangs, the klan, political parties, scientific conferences, and so on. We look for support from those who are similar to ourselves. Only they can know how we truly feel!

To be sure, the more unsavory groups on that list (the klan, kindergartners, men) lack a healthy diversity of thought. But all groups and all individuals crave the barest minimum of reaffirmation — that what we saw was what we saw.

In the event that we're not crazy, that our country really has gone wrong in countless ways since the Reagan Revolution, the Contract on America, and Florida 2000, we're left to wonder about one or two of our leading candidates who blissfully say they can't smell that smell coming from the Beltway.

Do they lack the sense to smell it? Or are they intentionally telling the same lies as the ones who made the smell?

And how does that make you feel?

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Comments

Submitted by lambert on

I say let's nice 'em to death...

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

You and the rest of the warmonger Edwards crowd is so full of hatred for Obama, nothing will change your idiocy.

When will I hear. I love Warmonger Edwards, but it probably one of the stupidest things in the world to co-sponsor a resolution to go to Iraq.

I love warmonger Edwards, but it will probably wreck the economy by being so stupid to kiss Bush's ass to go to war.

I love Warmonger Edwards, and I guess I'm sorry a hundred thousand people had to die because he was to intrested in polls to stop the Bush rush to war.

So I guess I'm ok with a hundred thousand dead. We need another flip flopping warmonger, because I am too stupid to learn from my mistakes.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

you just make his supporters seem...extra stupid.

i defy you to find as little as one word, one punctuation mark, of "warmongering" on this blog. some of us may have warm feelings towards edwards, but i'm not going to sit still and be called a "warmonger." not in the context of what's happening in iraq, hell no i won't. what have you done to end this war? the record of this blog speaks for itself, um, literally. go do some reading.

are all obama supporters like you? so bereft of positive things to say about their candidate, his policies and voting record, the best they can do is come here and call people "warmongers?"

he's in big trouble, if so.

Submitted by lambert on

See, the "hate" talking point is for Hillary.

The "trial lawyer" talking point is the one to use for Edwards.

Try to keep them straight, would you?

No thanks necessary, just trying to be helpful.

And I love how hard you're working to bring "unity." Impressive.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

..."in denial of the reality on the American ground". Here's a few facts you're just have to live with. Of all the major industrial states on the planet the USA is the most religious. Whether you or I like it or not it there is a religious litmus test to be president. You can't get around that anymore than you can pretend that public financing isn't a mugs game these days. Ask Howard Dean and John Kerry who were repeatedly questioned about their faith until Dean admitted he'd switched churches in a dispute about a bike path and Kerry said he was a New Englander who doesn't wear his faith on his sleeve. John Edwards even uses religion to pump his moral poverty crusade.

I apparently don't have the religion "gene" or whatever it is anymore than you do. I was raised Episcopalian but it never took. I haven't been to church since my mother died and you won't find me there again until my dad dies. That said I'm not gonna hold religious faith against anyone.

For every crazy evangelical who can't wait for the day Armageddon comes and he's enraptured into heaven just before the first mushroom clouds explode there's probably 2 or 3 regular churchgoers who are comforted by the thought that the president - any president - thinks he'd be damned to hell for eternity if he started WW111.

Obama is a religious man. When he went to the south side of Chicago as a community organizer he realized quickly those black churches were about the only institutions working for positive change in the neighborhood.

To name just a few from Jesus to Martin Luther to the Abolitionists to Martin Luther King religious figures have been a positive moral force for progressive change. The Episcopalians have been at the forefront of gay and women's rights. Even the religious right is calling for more environmental protection.

I want religous people on my side because in this country if you don't have enough of them you're gonna lose. And appealing to religious morals is also about the only way to reach out to a great swathe of conservatives and get their support for anything other than tax cuts and war. In case you haven't noticed a huge part of what separates Huckabee from the rest of the Republican candidates is that he talks about wanting to help those of us who don't own most of the nation's wealth.

I can imagine a world with religion, no hell below us, above us only sky, but we're not there yet in 2008 (if we'll ever be) and we're trying to elect a president. You're just gonna have to save your anti religious litmus test for another day.

Submitted by anonymous coward (not verified) on

Doh make that " a few facts you're going to have to live with" and "a world without religion".

leah's picture
Submitted by leah on

We're puzzled by his attacks on those who would seem to be his natural allies.

Edwards made the wrong decision on that vote authorizing the use of force in the event that Saddam refused to cooperate with the UN inspectors. It was especially foolish of the Democrats not to insist that Bush had to come back to get a final okay to proceed with an invasion, and there were plenty of us at the time warning them about the fact that they were being taken to the bank.

And Robert Kennedy once worked for Joe McCarthy, and he let himself be blackmailed by J. Edgar Hoover into approving wiretaps on Martin Luther King. But you know what, Robert Kennedy changed his mind about all kinds of stuff, and he acted on his changed perceptions.

I'm still open to Obama, and as stated often on this blog, most of our gang will vote for Obama in a general election, if he be the candidate, assuming, that is, assuming he defines in behalf of what values and what policies his "new" politics will be dedicated.

Vastleft is trying to describe the political situation we find ourselves in after seven years of Bush, and he wonders why Obama is finding it necessary to posit that somehow Bill Clinton, the baby boomers, and the experience of the 1960s is all part of the problem? There are plenty of positive aspects of the liberal/progressive political consensus to present to the country, and in his specific policy positions I see that Obama appears to recognize that. I'm just wondering why he doesn't make that clearer while running in these primaries? Ask for a progressive mandate and ye shall probably receive, don't ask for it and you sure as hell won't.

Submitted by lambert on

Obama's not doing that. He's dissing his base and using right wing talking points instead.

Why is it hateful to point that out?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by kmblue (not verified) on

Obama supporters, you worry me, and so does your guy.
Why don't you respond in a reasonable fashion?
Why doesn't your guy?
You all keep talking about "reaching out", but when you get questioned on these blogs, it's thermonuclear war.
Why is that?

Submitted by Butch in Waukegan (not verified) on

Obama wants to ". . .consider using military force in circumstances beyond self-defense in order to provide for the common security that underpins global stability." i.e. protect the US Empire. It appears to me that all of the top tier candidates share this goal.

From Obama's article in Foreign Affairs, quoted in this morning's Glenn Greenwald column: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2...

To renew American leadership in the world, we must immediately begin working to revitalize our military. A strong military is, more than anything, necessary to sustain peace. . . .
We must use this moment both to rebuild our military and to prepare it for the missions of the future. . . . We should expand our ground forces by adding 65,000 soldiers to the army and 27,000 marines. . . .
I will not hesitate to use force, unilaterally if necessary, to protect the American people or our vital interests whenever we are attacked or imminently threatened.
We must also consider using military force in circumstances beyond self-defense in order to provide for the common security that underpins global stability -- to support friends, participate in stability and reconstruction operations, or confront mass atrocities.

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

Maybe Gravel too. They're the only candidates as far I know who don't adhere to this boilerplate centrist foreign policy that's been the position of most presidential candidates since 1945. Of course most Republican candidates these days are worse as they try to sound tougher than Bush.

Submitted by lambert on

Teh serious! Awsum.

But I guess if we all have unity, then the doctrine is OK...

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

and I tell you that, for me,

[x] any (D) in the general

is a statement of working philosophy.

My problem is, in the primaries, I'm not seeing identifiable (D) candidates.

Except Kucinich, Dodd, and Edwards, and none of them, even, is 100 per cent in line with my goals.

So, you ask, what are my goals?

Equal justice under the law regardless of age, creed, gender, race or sexual preference; and the removal of all protections against justice on behalf of corporations.

First and foremost, this; because without this we cannot bring Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et nauseating alia, to justice. Without this we cannot right the wrongs of Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, the dozens of secret prisons around the world with detainees disappeared into them for who-knows-what purposes on behalf of ... bigger oil profits, as far as I can tell.

Without this we cannot take down the corporate juggernaut that grinds workers into dust on behalf of 'better shareholder value,' whatever that euphemism currently stands for.

Without this we have no hope of bringing home our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts and cousins and friends from Iraq before they're all turned to dog meat; and we have no hope of finding peace and justice for the people of Iraq, flushed down W's "shock and awe" into a civil war, an intifada, a horror show of sect-based violence and vengenance that would be as much at home in novellas about Sicilian crime families as imaginable, but sadly is the daily reality we as a nation brought to the people of Baghdad, Tikrit, al-Anbar, Nasariyeh, an-Najaf, Kirkuk, and sadly others too numerous to mention.

Without equal justice, justice that is no respecter of persons or money, before the law, we can have no return to equality.

Without the rights of free speech, free peaceful assembly, petition and redress, we can not have equal justice; and without the right to keep and bear arms we are all at the questionable mercy of a rogue and uncontrollable terrorist state, here in the US as well as abroad.

I don't see Obama caring enough about justice.
I don't see Hillary caring enough about justice.
Kucinich is imperfect, but he cares about justice and is willing to go up against Pelosi for it.
Dodd is imperfect, but he's willing to fight for justice -- even against Reid.
Edwards cut his teeth on the fight for justice; it brought him out of the economic life of a millworker's son, and yet it has not taken from him the sense of justice and knowledge required to pay for a professional's time when that professional waits upon him despite delays beyond his control; and Edwards is not the only fighter in his family, as we see daily with Elizabeth Edwards.

I can't speak to John Kerry's passion for justice -- I think something about the 2004 election deprived him of the will to fight for it, front and center and with the fire required to shift the course of a nation.

Howard Dean's got the interest in equal justice, but he's got the bitter knowledge that a hard-working, passionate advocate can be destroyed on the whim of the conventional media, too.

Al Gore has learnt the bitterest lesson about justice: it isn't equal, as it is handed out in today's United States of America. It's hard to blame a man who *should* have been President, who *won* the election and saw the trickery and deceit of lawyerliness firsthand as his belief in justice was shatteringly rendered, at the hands of a hostile press, the tool of his opponent and a weapon of mass opprobrium. I can't blame him for wanting to bend all his efforts to a goal beyond the reach of such twisting.

Richardson, if he should choose to be, could be a populist with a good record; but his interest in equal justice isn't very strong.

Gravel can't make himself heard.

What, then, must we do?

For, truthfully, if you ask me right now, I can't tell the difference between Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Hussein Obama and

[ ] any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Ctulhu, bless its (R) heart.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

Obama is a religious man.

and you know this how? we were at Chicago at the same time, and while i can't claim to have ever asked him or his wife about their faith, i think it's a stretch for you to make this claim as if you were sure it had meaning.

if you want to be a politician, you must proclaim one of two (now three) faiths. you must join a church, go to it and others a great deal around election time, and occasionally shake hands with smeone with a religion degree and/or congregation. that is all, even in our gawd-constipated nation. you can do more, but there are many successful candidates who do just this, and no more.

again, i can't say i had a long discussion about religion with him, but i can tell you that very, very few faculty, even at divinity school were anywhere near as "out and proud" about their faith when i was on campus. it's just not Good Form for the Genteel and Educated, don't you know.

When he went to the south side of Chicago as a community organizer he realized quickly those black churches were about the only institutions working for positive change in the neighborhood

i'm sure he "realized" the importance of black churches and the black electorate well before he lived on the south side of chicago. they have black people near harvard too, and i've heard those harvard law students read lots of books on election history and civil rights and stuff.

and as a former resident of the south side, and member of its religious community while there via my attachment with the div school, i find your statement about "only institutions for positive change" laughable. have you lived on the south side? do you know what the churches actually do? sure, they are a great and somewhat reliable way to get old, churchgoing ladies to come and listen to politicians. many of those churchgoers vote, and even vote according to what their preachers suggest. some don't. some even vote the way they want regardless of who comes to their church.

and then there's the rest of the south side. you know, young people and muslims and intellectuals and people who think jesse is a bag of hot air. some black people on the south side are even atheists; i was one and all my black friends still there are.

i really get tired of 'progressives' speaking about black people as if we're all unthinking lemmings just waiting for our preachers to tell us who to support. i won't bother to tell you about the runaways i used to work with, black and latina south siders mostly but a few from rogers park. many of them were runaways because they were a) gay and b) with families who went to churches and heard preaching on how gays are responsible for all problems in black america. that is the kind of "help" many black churches on the south side are providing today.

...and if you don't like that anecdote, drive thru it sometime. you tell me how much "better" it is today, with all the faith-based monies the Machine has funneled to black churches there. sure, it's not that much in the scheme of all pork, but it's more than when clinton was in office. the result of this fabulous marriage of republican policy and black church leadership? well, i don't have hard numbers, but i do know that there are fewer businesses and more empty buildings in my old 'hood today than wheni first arrived in chicago. i'm also unclear on how much "better" obama made his district while representing at the state level. pork is one thing, lasting change is another.

what good is the 'black church' in south side chicago today? very little, as far as i can tell. except to some more wealthy, self hating closet case (black) preachers. did i mention keyes daughter is a lesbian?

Submitted by lambert on

Comments like this make my new year truly happy!

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

lb, commenting is therapy right now. i'll see what i can post as i come across it.

mark, sorry to go all ballistic on you. i'm in that space where i feel that i have to be a) really angry as a queer that none of the major candidates really seem to care about my issues much and b) this creeping notion that all blacks are church going, obama loving, monoforms. it's the horserace, so much sound and thunder it's hard for me not to be affected.

i know it's hard for many to see us as "human," but it'd be so nice if more people could also see us as "individuals" who are different, too. i guess i don't expect that from the slmc, nor the chatter that follows what they say.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Busy day, but very gratifying to see all the lively comments.

Thx, VL

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

It was meant for the thread on Obama's foreign policy.

Now on to Chicago Dyke's churlish take on my post above. I say Obama is religious because he says so. I take him at his word. I'd be delighted to discover that his religiosity is phony but I don't expect we will.

You're right about the few demonstrations of religious faith candidates have to make to get elected. But they do in fact have to make them. It's my understanding Reagan and Bush for all their supposed piety once in office rarely attend(ed) services in Washington. But so what? I'd rather do away with that particular litmus test myself but the point is we as a country haven't. So candidates play by the rules as they are not as you or I want them to be.

As for Bush's faith based initiatives they've been a dismal failure at garnering black votes for Republicans wouldn't you say? Of course all of Bush's domestic initiatives (such as they are) took a hit when his Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Claude Allen was arrested in a retail theft scheme. Thank the Spaghetti Monster the Mayberry Machiavellians don't actually give a shit about black votes or believe in governmental programs enough to make it work. And from the "actions speak louder than words" file having DOJ present their case siding against U. of MI's affirmative action admission policies on the eve of Martin Luther King Day didn't win 'em any friends in the black community either. Personally I hope his faith based program goes the way of Vista. Be my guess Hillary would do more to make it work than Obama.

For better or worse "the church is a central institution in many Black communities, acting simultaneously as a spiritual base and a political and community center. African Americans are more likely to attend church that Whites and say religion is important to them. For many religion is defense against the damage caused by segregation, bigotry and discrimination. It has served to channel the emotions of an oppressed people and provide emergency support, social networks and other resources to meet people's needs."

Your mileage may vary. If you are indeed a black lesbian all I can tell you is I feel your pain. You don't need to me to tell you the older black community, as socially conservative as it is can be unwelcoming.

That quote above about black churches is taken almost verbatim from "Sociology: understanding a diverse society" by Margaret L Andersen and Howard Francis Taylor. Check out the polling they cite. The link is humongous and I lost my embedding macro. Anybody got another? BTW Google books is really cool. If I could only figure out how to excerpt passages.

Barack put law school on hold after Columbia and moved to Chicago to be a community organizer in 1985. He didn't graduate from Harvard Law til 1991.
If you need anymore assistance with his bio just ask, I'm here to help. You're gonna want to get this right for the general.

Then he came back here and worked as a civil rights lawyer while teaching constitutional law at U of Chi. After Bush I think it'd be nice to have a president who knows the fuckin constitution well enough to teach it at the University of Chicago but that's just me.

As for older black women most of them I've met lately - and granted it's not a huge sample out here in the burbs it's getting bigger and as a precinct committeeman it's my job to keep tabs on everybody's opinion - support Hillary. Seems the Clintons have deep roots in the Chicagoland black community. The first time I ever heard Bill Clinton's name mentioned as a candidate was from a black man in 1991 when Bill wasn't even a blip on my radar. I wouldn't doubt for a minute that a big part of that support has always come thru churches.

I don't take the black vote for granted and I doubt
Obama's polling shows him he should either. I think a whole lot of them overrate white racism in this country and think he can't possibly win. I disabuse anybody - black or white - of that notion when I hear it. Go see him in a townhall setting sometime.
Hell turn on CSPAN and save yourself the gas. This guy is exactly who we need as the next president.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

my life is Hard just now, sorry to be so acerbic.

anyhoo, go ahead and make fun at my formulation of obama as a crimson/maroon man. sorry, i didn't mean to make so simple his complex personal narrative. all i'm saying is that he's not, nor ever will be, a native chicago "south sider." white, or black. heh. i should know, we're very alike in this regard.

as for older black women and hillary: you are 1000% right. hillary does have oprah grade roots in the black community, obama should fear her for this, and nothing is certain. that was my point, thanks for supporting it. yes, black people can disagree on the best "black" candidate, even if one of the them is a white woman. /feel the depths of meaning in that dbl entdr./

seriously, and despite the fact that we've disagreed, i hope you'll keep commenting here. thanks for your contribution.

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

I'm pretty cranky myself these days. I'm transitioning from fighting a losing battle trying to keep my dad alive to now figuring out how best to let him go. Hospice? Home with a 24 hour caregiver here? Do I get the bonus prize of watching him die or finding him dead? Funeral arrangements etc. are in my future. Then I'll have to fix up and sell my boyhood home - my parents house - where I moved back to 2 years ago to take care of him and move. In the face of the worst housing recession since the 1930s. It's gonna be an interesting year.

Something to keep in mind folks, maybe Obama talks the way he does because as the candidate with the perceived most liberal background in the race (because he's black if nothing else and his early anti Iraq war stance) and the shortest national political resume he might think he need to move his rhetoric to the middle. Edwards conversely had a centrist track record in the Senate and might talk the way he does to move his image left. Hillary who
is a known quantity after 15 years in the spotlight and can't change her image even if she wanted to is
counting on women and those who are comfortable with the best known candidate.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Best wishes to you and your family.

If it's time, a good hospice can help a lot.

I was able to get my father's affairs in order, which mattered a lot to him, and he was well cared for in a lovely place where people knew how to handle what comes next, even if I didn't.

As for Obama, there are many plausible reasons for him playing the so-called centrist's tune, but none of them make it right.

Submitted by lambert on

Piece of advice for you, based on hard-won experience.

If you can, be present with him and for him when he dies. Doesn't matter if you don't think he's conscious; he could still be aware. You'll never forget it, and the mystery will deepen and enrich your life. He would want you to be there, and you, when your time comes, will want it too.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Definitely, yes.

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

That was a very moving tribute to your dad vastleft. I'll take your advice to heart Lambert. My dad did live long enough to see our Sox win the World Series. Long enough to see the Fightin Illini he used to play for make it to another Rose Bowl too even if they did skunked. The Bears fell apart this year but maybe we can send him out with the Bulls on a roll.

We've talked to him about the leukemia the doctors now think he's developed and my brother put it to him point blank last night that he has a fatal disease. I don't know if he's being stoic or it just doesn't register. He's lost his ability to talk so he can't tell us but he's showed no sign of emotion. I left him with my sister this afternoon so maybe he'll open up to her. The next step is going to be paliative care, one step above hospice, one below nursing home care where Medicare rules stipulate progress toward getting out of bed and going home. We'll see how it goes from there.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

To expand on Lambert's sage advice above, someone who lost his dad a few months before I lost mine gave me this very important advice: if there's something you want to say to him, say it today. You don't want to wish you had. Things ended up happening much faster than expected, though mileage of course varies in either direction. But I was glad I listened to that advice.

Submitted by lambert on

but as you can tell, that was awhile back.

No signs of emotion? He's a guy, right? From an older generation? Heck, when I'm on my deathbed, you think I'm going to slop my feelings all over the place? No way.

Don't worry about it. He knows. My mother had several cats over the course of her life, and since cat years are a lot shorter than human years, several of them died. She said you could always tell when their eyes changed. At some level, he knows. Let him find his way.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

My bad! Thanks VL. What's gauche about it?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

We know all about editing. This would be as bad as a typo in his obituary.

And it wasn't on his deathbed, just before he died. Big memory, though.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by Mr.Murder (not verified) on

Hillary won two to one in the Primary, the state her Husband was Gov. for remembers her fondly and voted across the lines we're accustomed to have the media portray.

Edwards was atop the ballot.

Huckabee atop the repub ballot.

I almost cast a vote for Cynthia, but it came down to emphatically supporting someone who gave a damn when here.