Home > Uncategorized > A Big Win for the Tea Baggers

A Big Win for the Tea Baggers

Well, there’s no way around it. Our Tea Bagger friends are cheering from Philadelphia to Phoenix, ecstatic in the victory of Republican Scott Brown in the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts. Brown is the first Republican to be a senator from that state since 1972. As Jeff Bliss made clear on the show tonight, this race was one of the more historic elections of the decade.

Of course, the Democrats can come up with all sorts of excuses and finger pointing, but it doesn’t matter. They blew it. Again. Obama doesn’t have many chances left. What will happen now on health care? What will happen on the rest of the Obama agenda?
Should Barbara Boxer start worrying about Tom Campbell? Tonight’s election breaks off into so many interesting permutations.

But tonight, the Tea Baggers showed they were no-flash-in-the-pan. It’s a genuine populist movement, headed up by the likes of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. Conservatives would be foolish to count Obama out. 2012 is a long ways off. Clinton came back. Obama can, too. I would look for some kind of shake-up in the days to come.

  1. January 20, 2010 at 6:59 am

    The Tea Baggers have been co opted and used in an effort to continue with the divisiveness which has served the corporate elite so well for so long. If they were a genuine populist movement that would be one thing, but they're not.They represent what is base and dishonorable in the low informed. Well, a large segment of them anyway.Keeping us at each other has been working so why change things now?

  2. January 20, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Perhaps with this election, Democrats can finally wake up to the realization that trying to appease conservatives, trying to "reach across the aisle", trying to be conservative "light" does not accomplish anything other than showing the voters that if you are going to Washington as a "Hope and Change" candidate, you better deliver; Democrats, including President Obama have not delivered in any real manner. There has been a lot of change; we had shifted so far right that going back towards the middle had to start with a turn to the left, I just don't think we went far enough to the left. I never had any illusions that Barack Obama was a progressive; I don't even classify him as a real "liberal". Martha Coakley lost because she ran a horrible campaign, and she was a lousy candidate. The question remains though; are Republicans on the rebound? Let's not forget that there are still 57 Democrats in the Senate, there is a majority in the House, and there is a Democrat in the White House; they all just need to act like real Democrats.

  3. No
    January 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Time for the failed dem party to start to eat their wounded…The blame game will last until health care fails.The Tea Party Express is rolling through America. Taking back our country one politician at at a time.This victory is the biggest upset in the Senate in it's recorded history.How fitting for the Kennedy legacy. This is all they will talk about in the history books.PS: I agree with Bob. The best thing for the Dems is to run and run fast to the far left agenda. Good idea Bob. Thank you.

  4. January 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Low informed? Perhaps you missed the links I provided that show that O'Reilly's audience is one of the most informed and educated among all news outlets. The rest of the Fox shows and Rush's are up there also. Sorry if facts get in your way Winston. Tying tea baggers to the corporate elite is absurd. Although, I do like the fact that you do not believe this is a populace movement. Keep on believing this. November 2010. Bob, appease? Reaching across the aisle? Please, I am sure you know everything going on in Washington is being done behind closed doors. No C-Span, no nothing. Republicans are not even invited to the party. The administration is going out of it's way to not invite Fox reporters, verbal war against radio hosts, and has become the most divisive administration I have ever seen. Reaching across the aisle, my foot. Just remember, this administration couldn't get any major policies done with a super majority in the Senate and House. Do not blame Republicans for the failures. But, you are right. This was not about President Obama's policies. It was all Coakley's fault. The polls are wrong. It had nothing to do with security, health care, national debt, government takeover of industry, closed door policies, etc. Just a bad campaign by Martha. I also wish the 57 remaining Democrats would start acting like real Democrats and not acting like statist or socialist. When you have to have a new Louisiana purchase or a cornhusker bribe, they are not acting to their true values.Did anyone see the DNC add in Massachusett's? I can not believe it. In a state where polls show that the majority do not want the health care bill to pass, they ran a ad that said if you elect Scott Brown, he will kill the health care bill. The RNC couldn't have done a better job themselves. Unbelievable how out of touch the DNC is.

  5. January 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I got my exercise this morning — getting to delete about 30 posts to this blog in a row from Arizona. The good news is that I didn't have to read any of them. Never do.But there was a message from "Nick Doyle" to which I want to respond. He took me to task for using "Tea Baggers" and claims it's offensive.I mean no offense by the phrase. When the movement started in 2009, this is what they called themselves. Jeff Bliss, a bona fide conservative, used the term repeatedly last night on the show. I'm aware that there is some kind of sexual connotation to the term, but that is certainly not my intent.Whatever you call them, the movement is real, and that's what this thread is about. So post your comments, unless you're You-Know-Who.

  6. January 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    The problem is the 800 pound gorilla in the room that everyone is ignoring. The current health care system is broken and getting increasingly expensive every year. It may very well be that the currently proposed bill is wrong, I don't know that for sure, but enough people have demeaned it to make sure that there is not a clear picture. What is clear is that things need to change. Let's start with baby steps. First let's ban all advertising on TV, print media and Radio of any and all prescription drugs. Doctors need to know about new drugs and how they work, we don't nor do we have the necessary knowledge to make decisions about them. Second, remove the profit motive from anyone not directly connected to health. Bean counters and insurance salesmen should not be allowed to make money of of my ill health. Radical? Yes. Do I have a fair and equitable solution, no. There must be a better mind out there that can come up with answers and not condemnations.Tom

  7. No
    January 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Tom, you can have that today. Move to Canada or England. Both those systems have crashed and burned and they are attempting to privatize instead of the Obama approach to socialize.We are heading in the right way by killing this healthScare take over fiasco and starting fresh without a super majority, back door deals and huge pay offs to Senators for their votes, no carve outs for special interest groups and unions…Last night set America on the right path.If I am wrong answer me this. Obama had a super majority in the House & Senate and could not pass this nightmare bill…why is that? it is because America will no longer stand for Obama Chicago style bully politics.Stay tuned. We are on the right track and it will get "righter" in 2010. We have a solution for you and one that you will understand Tom.

  8. January 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I'm sure the Republicans are jumping for joy, but The Fat Lady isn't singing yet. It's easy to be the attack dog, but who are the Republicans going to give us to lead instead of Obama? Personally, I welcome a Republican win in 2010 — divided government works bests. Obama, like Clinton, would become a stronger President and easily win re-election.

  9. January 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    “The people don’t want a phony Democrat. If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don’t want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.” — President Harry Truman – May 17, 1952Since Reagan eviscerated labor, Dems have looked elsewhere to obtain funding and sold their souls to the corporations. Money trumped Democratic ideals and now both parties are much the same.Dems like Lany Davis and Rahm keep pushing to be republican lite. If the Dems acted in the peoples interests and acted and governed as progressives, this would be a non issue.Clinton ran as a progressive and governed as a moderate conservative.Obama ran as a centrist and governs as a conservative.Either way the people lose and the rich get richer leading the the greatest disparity of wealth, ever.Two wings of the one corporate party. Freedom Works and Grover are laughing all the way to the bank being able to control so many low and uninformed people to do the work of the 1% for the 1%.

  10. January 20, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    President Obama was elected on a wave of emotional longing for "hope and change" but without much substance. He was able, with the aid of his allies in the mainstream press, to obfuscate his socialist ideas such as his preference for a single payer health care system. President Obama positioned himself as a moderate and portrayed himself as willing to take on the challenge of the War on Terror, while castigating the Bush administration for Iraq. President Obama and the Democratic Party, with its complete control of Congress, were going to lead an electorate liberated from the trials and tribulations of the Bush Administration into the blessing of a new post-racial, post-partisan era.Then reality set in. The "hope and change" show was over. President Obama and the Democratic Party returned to form with the Stimulus Bill and other large spending bills, a health care reform going far beyond what is necessary to address the real problems in US health care, a woeful lack of understanding about how to fight the war, etc. The "post-racial" era came to a quick end with President Obama's comments on the arrest of the professor in Cambridge, and the Democratic leadership in the Congress acting in concert with President Obama returned to aggressive partisanship.The health care debate especially woke up the American people. The standard Democratic and, for that matter, socialist ploy of establishing expensive social programs and redistributing wealth while at the same time saying that only the other guy (the "rich") will have to pay failed as people became more aware of what Democratic health care reform really involved. Health care affects everyone in the country, and a great portion of the 85% of Americans with health insurance noticed that the reform would be at their expense, both financially and in the quality of their health care.The Democrats in general and specifically President Obama and his administration have failed to recognize that the USA is – fortunately still – a country in which the fundamental guiding principle is individual liberty. Americans generally want to live their lives with as little interference from the government as necessary. Americans generally reject the "nanny state". Americans are increasing coming to the realization that every time the government does something for us, it must also do something to us. Americans generally want limited government which focuses on its basic functions but otherwise leaves us alone.Senator-elect Brown focused on the issues in his campaign. He made no bones about his opposition to the Democratic health care reform, excessive spending in stimulus packages and giving full constitutional rights to the enemy in a time of war. The President's platitudes and his chant of "fire up" as well as the trite approach of attacking "enemies" such as the evil banks, health insurance companies and anyone else who might be a suitable target failed miserably because the electorate has been paying more attention to the issues and less attention to the superficial "razzle dazzle".The Tea Party movement, which includes many registered Republicans, is just one expression of the desire of a large majority of Americans for limited government. While the Democratic Party and their servants in the mainstream media ridicule the "teabaggers", the leadership of the Republican Party respects and understands the message about a focused, limited government. This theme will guide Republican candidates throughout the country this year and lead to many more political upsets, including here in California.

  11. January 20, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Dear "No", you have furnished no answers. Why is it right for Drug companies to advertise prescription drugs? Of what possible benefit is there to me? Why should those not in the medical industry directly profit from illness? Let us look at this dispassionately and unemotionally and try to get some answers. Convince me that there is some justification for the situation the way it is now.Tom

  12. No
    January 20, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Code Pink is picketing the White House today…calling him a sell out.Let's have that show Dave. Bring back Code Pink and let's all discuss how Obama has failed.

  13. January 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    There was NOTHING "focused" or "limited" about government under Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan or the Bush's". The Republican Party is nothing but a tool of the most selfish corporate administrators, who always put their own profit making as first priority, even when they know that what they are promoting is more human exploitation and suffering and rape of the environment. Since at least the days of Nixon, The Republican Party is a complete sham; organized crime disguised in a boring business suit.Tea Baggers who put their hope in any Republican candidate are nothing but suckers and pawns. The Republican Party hasn't done krap to "limit" government. And the only focus it has is to line the pockets of the already filthy rich. The modern Republican Party doesn't give a krap about "the people", whether that be in Haiti or the good ol' U.S. of A. Abraham Lincoln continues to roll in his grave. The GOP is no longer the party of Lincoln. It is the party of Rush Limbaugh. Who could have imagined in Lincoln's time or even Dwight D.s time that the party would end up so disgustingly, morbidly, corrupt and vile, supporting the most imperialistic, encompassing, and invasive governments in U.S. history.

  14. January 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I personally don't like the super-majority of the Corporate Party and its two wings either. However, we seem to be stuck with it.Differences aren't all that great…just political moves to see which individuals will occupy the seats up for grabs in the next election. Each wing puts up really bad bills….the opposition uses that to re-gain control and promote their own bad corporate sponsored bills. Both favor corporate interests…one bad bill after another.The political game of musical chairs is just that….all the ranting and raving is just a bluff….to grab the next vacant chair. The tune is, "you oppose my bad bill and I'll oppose yours". The only losers are the American people. Those politicians not grabbing a chair get promoted to a lobbying firm…to write the next bad bill to be passed by their opposition.The illusion of democracy marches on. The Corporate Party is firmly in charge….under two names.

  15. January 21, 2010 at 12:13 am

    The main weakness of the Democratic Party that is in power at this time is the inability to move forward with a focused attention at completing the task at hand. When the Republicans were in power, i.e., controlling both houses of Congress and the White House, they did not have the "Super Majority" that the Democrats had in the Senate, yet they were able to pass anything that they wanted to; why? The Democrats were too cowed into believing that the "nuclear option" of eliminating the filibuster would render them even more impotent, so instead of pushing to be the "opposition party", they went along to get along, and if any Democrat did question what was going on, the media immediately jumped on the "obstructionist" label, with the Republicans calling for a "straight up or down vote", crying like babies that the filibuster was the evil that kept them from running government efficiently. The tables have been almost completely reversed with the following exception; no one, anywhere, has ever used the term "obstructionist" to label the Republicans who use the filibuster. And, no one, ever spoke that the Republicans needed to have sixty votes for anything, ever. Why is that, I wonder?

  16. January 21, 2010 at 7:43 am

    I'll be watching Obama's speech next week to see what direction he goes in. His back is clearly up against the wall. Time to see what the guy is made of.Massachusetts is a wake-up call, but no need to read too much into it.

  17. January 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I still hear a snarky snear and a slur when any liberal uses the term "teabagger". It has a ring to it that sounds like a particular N-word. And when did Sarah Palin campaign or even endorse Scott Brown? I must have missed that one. A link to a story on that would be very nice.But the fact remains that Obama has campaigned for 3 candidates and those three candidates have lost BIG. The American people in two of the most liberal states in America have AGAIN repudiated the president and his agenda. Scott Brown ran SPECIFICALLY as the candidate that would stop ObamaCare in its tracks by casting the 41st vote to filibuster any bill that comes before the Senate.And the people of Massachusetts elected him to Teddy Kennedy's seat overwhelmingly.This is a mandate for the Republicans to continue to oppose this president's leftward move. But don't get all pissy, Democrats. Your guys did it to every one of President Bush's agenda items in his second term. Your guys in the senate filibustered judicial appointees and his plans for Social Security. So now those supposedly hapless, hopeless, defunct Republicans now have taken the agenda and the momentum away from Obama and the Democrats. ObamaCare = DeadCap and Trade = DeadAmnesty for illegal aliens = dead on arrivalObama's signature capstone achievement has been denied him and Brown hasn't even been sworn in yet.And Scott Brown did NOT campaign as a Tea Party candidate like the guy in NY did. He DID campaign as a candidate that opposed the business as usual mentality in Washington. So it is a brand new day in America with a return to somewhat divided government going into the 2010 campaign season. What the Democrats do to respond and what the Republicans do with their new leverage will go a long way to determining how the mid-term will shape up.

  18. January 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Tom, how can you say that drug companies are NOT in the medical business? Unless you see a shaman or a witch doctor rubbing poltices on your ailments that they made from roots they picked, you see a doctor that prescribed you medicines provided by the drug industry.How many original ideas have you ever tried to develop and market? I'm guessing zero. Well, those evil drug companies invest billions into developing a drug that they hopefully will be able to get aproved by the FDA. Assuming that this drug makes it to market, the drug company needs to reward their investors for risking their money on the drug with a dividend. That dividend encourages further investment into the research and development of other drugs. That is how the drugs that obama would have used in his nationalized healthcare system would have used.And you have a problem with this?

  19. January 21, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I agree "fiercely independent." This is not the big deal some people try to portray it as. Just another part of the political roller coaster. I too think this will give us a chance to see what Obama is "made of." He's only been in office a year. I think President Obama is always thinking several moves down the line and much more is always going on behind the scenes than most of us realize. President Obama is the kind that moves carefully. He's got reserves of power and cards to draw on that he will not tap so early in the game. He knows it's early and is keeping in mind the four year and eight year marks. In sports terms he is only in the first quarter. The bulk of the game is still ahead. He's just getting warmed up.

  20. January 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Big tent….When did I say that the drug companies are not in the medical business. What I asked was, and perhaps if I rephrase it you'll understand the question, "What business is it of mine as to what PRESCRIPTION DRUG I take. That is between me and my doctor. My doctor should be helping me make that decision, not some advertising campaign. They should be spending their advertising dollars on educating doctors on the correct usage of their drugs not me. I'm not qualified to make that decision. If you are going to take me to task, stay on subject. I never said that these large companies are not justified in making a legitimate profit for their investors. Don't spend your time in insulting me just because you don't understand the nature of my question.Sincerely,Tom

  21. January 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    "Well, those evil drug companies invest billions into developing a drug that they hopefully will be able to get approved by the FDA." BTRPlease. Disingenuous, ignorant, or liar?US Taxpayers Subsidize Wealthy Drug Companies Drug companies are some of the wealthiest and profitable companies in the world. Yet these multi-billion dollar corporations use taxpayer money to develop more products to sell and increase their profits. A story from the July 24,2001 Associated Press exposes the fact that some of the richest companies in the world receive large amounts of taxpayer money. According to the Associated Press story, more than half the money needed to create top-selling prescription drugs came from U.S. taxpayers and not industry investment. Best sellers like the ulcer-curing Zantac or Zovirax, which treats herpes simplex, were developed and tested chiefly through grants from the National Institutes of Health. The study was performed by the National Institutes of Health and showed that out of 131 studies, clinical trials and other tests on five best sellers from 1995, only one industry study was key to a drug's development for use and sale.The drug companies claim to need this money and large product markups for research to develop new drugs. Yet according to a report by the Families USA, a consumer group based in Washington, DC. and reported in Reuters Health July 10, 2001, drug firms spent more than twice as much last year on advertising, marketing and administration as they did on research and development. The report, based on companies' financial disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission, also points out that a number of the largest drug makers continue to lavish their top executives with compensation packages worth tens of millions of dollars per year.According to the report by Families USA, Pfizer last year spent 39% of its nearly $30 billion in revenue on advertising, marketing, and administration. Only fifteen percent of revenue went to new drug development, while 13% went to profits. The company paid Chairman William C. Steere over $40 million in salary, bonuses, stock options and other compensation in 2000, the report states."The drug industry is stealing from us twice," said Frank Clemente, director of Public Citizens Congress Watch. "First it claims that it needs huge profits to develop new drugs, even while drug companies get hefty taxpayer subsidies. Second, the companies gouge taxpayers while spending millions from their profits to buy access to lawmakers and defeat pro-consumer prescription drug legislation.""And Scott Brown did NOT campaign as a Tea Party candidate like the guy in NY did." BTR Just 11 days before he claimed to be unfamiliar with the Tea Party movement, Massachusetts Republican senate candidate Scott Brown attended a fundraiser that was sponsored by one of the state's major tea party factions. On January 2, Brown's Senate campaign hosted a breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel in Westborough, Massachusetts that was sponsored by the group: the Greater Boston Tea Party. According to an invitation obtained by the Huffington Post, attendees were encouraged to donate between $25 and $500, for which they would earn the distinction of being a Patriot, Sons of Liberty, Sam Adams, or American Revolutionary (depending on the size of the donation). Disingenuous, ignorant, or liar?

  22. January 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Well, President Obama may want to start drawing those cards very quickly. By halftime (November 2010), he may not have enough players left to win anything. I notice today that some Democrats are lobbying to extend the "Bush tax cuts for the rich". You have got to love that. They fear the economy will worsen if they don't. Speaker Pelosi, with a 70 vote majority, does not have enough votes to pass health care. Could it be there might be something wrong with the bill? Or, are they just protecting their hides?

  23. January 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Just because one has fundraisers from the Tea Party does not make him a "teabagger" anymore than having a fundraiser at a Bhuddist temple made Al Gore a Bhuddist. So to your question, I must answer: None of the aboveAs for the pharmaceuticals needing NIH grants to do the research, I say why is NIH giving the grants if they don't see the need for drug the drug company is making? Obviously the NIH felt the need to provide tax dollars to the research effort. Even still, I very much doubt that the government paid for all of the research. So why does you feel that ANY contribution by the government somehow entitles everyone to a discount? That mentality is why Ford refused to take bail out money because of all the strings that the government, especially this one, puts on companies.On that, what is with this "responsibility tax" Obama wants to impose on bailout banks? Obama said that he didn't want to manage these bailed out businesses. Why then does he have the government hold the shares of stock in, say, Citibank, and then wants to "tax" them to recoup the bailout money. Europe has already poopoo'ed that idea claiming that it would hurt the banks they bailed out and are seeking other methods to get the money back. I think that it is because Obama wants to keep his foot on the banks so he can keep them dependant on the government.

  24. January 22, 2010 at 5:41 am

    That Brown is a despicable human being is not much of a stretch. That Coakley was a corporate shill is no surprise.But all of that is small potatoes with the completion of the corporate takeover of America thanks to the illegitimate right wing Robert's court.I don't even have the heart to set BTR straight.It may be time to become an ex pat.

  25. January 22, 2010 at 6:45 am

    What some people on this forum fail to understand is that many people who voted for Brown support public healthcare. Massachusetts has a public healthcare program and they feared the new national plan would screw it up.The factors that gave Brown the win are complex, but to be sure it was NOT a sign that suddenly everyone is going "extreme conservative" and protesting government involvement in healthcare. Liberals and conservatives who wanted to protect Massachusetts' public healthcare plan helped give Brown the win. Although Brown may speak out against the national healthcare plan now, my guess is he will not speak out against.The election was certainly not a "conservative/anti-government healthcare" mandate that some would want us to believe it was.

  26. January 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    So, Winston, you are saying that banning political contributions by corporations should be unconstitutional? I have the constitution hanging from my wall 3 feet from me and I can not find anywhere where this is prohibited. Calling Senator Brown despicable is a bit over the top. Wise Guy does not like it when people are insulting others on these threads.On another note, Air America has announced it is shutting down all 100 stations. My condolences to the 100 listeners.

  27. January 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Calling a politician despicable is insulting, since when? Have you looked at your past comments?Are you that ignorant of his past behavior and actions?As I have shown in your frequent attempts at half truths, lies, and distortions, it is just not worth my time to continually correct your dishonest and misinformed comments.That you defend the latest SCOTUS decision is not surprising, but at least you are admitting it.

  28. January 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Prescott Bush is probably happily dancing around the fire, he finally got his way…fascism has come to the U.S."I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." Thomas JeffersonChallenging Corporate Person hoodCorporations, the U.S. Constitution and Democracyhttp://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2 … wards.htmlhttp://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/personhood/

  29. January 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    He’s Done Everything WrongObama punted on the economy and reversed the fortunes of the Democrats in 365 days.He’s misjudged the character of the country in his whole approach. There’s the saying, “It’s the economy, stupid.” He didn’t get it. He was determined somehow or other to adopt a whole new agenda. He didn’t address the main issue.This health-care plan is going to be a fiscal disaster for the country. Most of the country wanted to deal with costs, not expansion of coverage. This is going to raise costs dramatically.In the campaign, he said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It’s now worse than it was. I’ve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I’ve never seen before. It’s politically corrupt and it’s starting at the top. It’s revolting.Five states got deals on health care—one of them was Harry Reid’s. It is disgusting, just disgusting. I’ve never seen anything like it. The unions just got them to drop the tax on Cadillac plans in the health-care bill. It was pure union politics. They just went along with it. It’s a bizarre form of political corruption. It’s bribery. I suppose they could say, that’s the system. He was supposed to change it or try to change it.Even that is not the worst part. He could have said, “I know. I promised these things, but let me try to do them one at a time.” You want to deal with health care? Fine. Issue No. 1 with health care was the cost. You know I think it was 37 percent or 33 who were worried about coverage. Fine, I wrote an editorial to this effect. Focus on cost-containment first. But he’s trying to boil the ocean, trying to do too much. This is not leadership.Obama’s ability to connect with voters is what launched him. But what has surprised me is how he has failed to connect with the voters since he’s been in office. He’s had so much overexposure. You have to be selective. He was doing five Sunday shows. How many press conferences? And now people stop listening to him. The fact is he had 49.5 million listeners to first speech on the economy. On Medicare, he had 24 million. He’s lost his audience. He has not rallied public opinion. He has plunged in the polls more than any other political figure since we’ve been using polls. He’s done everything wrong. Well, not everything, but the major things.

  30. January 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I actually remember my past threads, Winston. Can't say that I am embarrassed about any of them. But, how poetic that in thread justifiying your innocence in insulting others that you call me a liar. I love the irony. I can see why you think we are heading toward a "Fascists State" though. With the way this administration is trying to shut down opposing views (FCC), targeting dissenters like Rush, Fox, Palin, Republicans, control of banks, business's and labor, the President is also going about setting production levels, prices, wages, and the size of firms and bonus's. Add Cap and Trade with what he really wants, government run health care, and you definitely have a point. It does sound like he wants a single party system and all of the above are textbook signs of Fascism. I personally don't see it happening, but like you, I see the symptoms. I think the two party system is alive and well, albeit I believe President Obama is a Statist at best and socialist at the other end.Do you realize we are now monetizing our debt now. This the largest Ponzai scheme ever devised. It will crash.

  31. January 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Three cheers for "Winston Smith", a contributor to this forum whose perception, erudition, intellectual honesty and wisdom appears to exceed that of my own. It's about time! But whether he has the stamina to put up, day in and day out, with facing the continually lame, dishonest, regressive and unimaginative, fascism-promoting, corporate-whore supporting, war and torture advocating, postings by those who label themselves "conservatives" remains to be seen. On that score, I have the edge, so far, a dubious distinction, to be sure. Like I said, Winston's wisdom may exceed my own. More power to him!(That quote from Thomas Jefferson is priceless, and shows just how much "conservatives" have steered our nation away from the blueprint established by our nation's most perceptive and wise Founding Fathers. But Jefferson must have also realized the struggle to keep the corporate worshipping scoundrels from destroying all that is good about the United States would need to continue unabated, just as we must continually guard against other devastating diseases. )

  32. January 23, 2010 at 1:33 am

    QUOTE:What happens when you have two parties to choose from, and one of them wrecks the country with dramatically evil policies so radical even backward America hates them, but then you turn to the other party, which spends an entire year on the campaign trail promising change, only to turn out nearly identical to the first lot when in government? What do you do?One option is to find another party. To some extent that is happening, but absolutely not where it should be. The tea partiers are the ‘alternative’ vision for salvation in today’s America. (Very) unfortunately, they are not alternative in any sense, have almost no coherent vision whatsoever, and – as the possible third right-wing party for voters to choose from, out of three, obviously offer zero salvation whatsoever. All the tea party lunatics seem to know is that they don’t like taxes and they don’t like federal spending. But they can’t even tell you what they’d cut if they actually controlled the government. My guess is that it would be nothing, just like the Republicans before them, or else they’d slash entitlement spending, which would surely make them one of the flashiest flashes ever to get royally panned by the public.The other option, which the voters are now exercising, is to continue a process begun in 2006 of voting for the party which is not the party in power. Today, that means Republicans, as witnessed in Virginia, New Jersey and now Massachusetts. The absurdity of this, of course, is that it was these exact same people who created this astonishingly thorough mess we find ourselves in. Americans will simply be more sick, more broke and more unemployed two, four or six years from now than they are at this moment, if they put the Republicans back in control of the government.Of course, there’s one other possibility, which is that this time the Cheney Party goes balls-to-the-wall, bringing down on our heads a full-on fascist dictatorship, serving corporate interests in total, and likely launching a couple of good wars abroad to complement the complete repression of dissent and freedom of expression at home.Maybe the public is distracted for a year or two by some bullshit foreign policy ‘crisis’ or another, but pretty soon they’re getting real restless. After about six years now of suffering badly, they’re getting real surly, and ‘anti-incumbent’ doesn’t begin to describe the mood of the country. Now they really want some serious change.Of course, anything can happen – but which part of that sequence seems improbable? And if the answer is none, then the salient question becomes: What does the regime do at that point, faced with an angry mob? What are the Dick Cheneys and Sarah Palins of this world committed to? What are they capable of when pressed?I don’t think those questions really require a response. I think we all know pretty well the answers.This is the country that Obama – the great Hope guy – is bequeathing us.David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York. http://www.counterpunch.org/greenI think progressives need their own party…an alternative….quickly.Wiseguy, I don't see how you and Bob do it. The life force required to put up with nonsense, let alone address and debunk it, is incredible.Debate, discuss, opposing opinions are all excellent and eagerly anticipated. From what I've seen here is sorely missing all of those points.Too bad as Dave has a good show and does his best.

  33. January 23, 2010 at 7:52 am

    You can continue to live in 2008 all you want. If you wish to be that Obama is still the candidate of "hope and change", then go right ahead. If you wish to continue to run against Bush, be my guest. If you still want to believe in all those fantasies that are fed by the string of broken promises by President Obama. His has become the presidency of no transparency, back room deals to ALL special interests, bank ownership, auto company ownership, scores and scores of lobbyists on the WHite House payroll and people STILL uncovered with medical insurance.I hear a lot of 2008 in Winston (aka SM Bill), but the fact is that president Obama has already FAILED to do ANY of his campaign promises. One year later, with both houses of Congress, President Obama continues to lose. He has lost the governorships of liberal NJ and moderately liberal VA (DC workers mostly reside in VA), he lost Teddy Kennedy's seat (Brown is abolutely right- its the People's seat), he has lost on healthcare, lost on Cap and Trade and he is about to lose the Senate, maybe the House. Every candidate that he supports and campaigns for LOSES. One year later, and all is left is the tattered remains of Obama's agenda and any momentum going into 2010 midterms has gone to the Republicans. I have felt for a long time that a vote for one or the other party is a vote for the lesser of two evils. Tuesday, Scott Brown and the Republican brand were that lesser evil. To believe otherwise is be blind and delusional about the state of Democrat politics.Delusional, thy name is SM Bill.

  34. January 23, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Quotes from the founding fathers often make good reading, but don't forget the context. The industrial revolution, technology and science were in their infancy and we had primarily an agrarian society. Social institutions such as corporations, banks etc. were also just starting to take the shape we see today.But just for fun, how about this quote on deficit spending:"I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared."Source: letter to William Plumer, July 21, 1816Or this one on public debt and taxation:"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers… And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another ]… till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression."Source: Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816The comments about corporations by many of the contributors to this blog raise show that many of the authors haven't the faintest idea about what a corporation is and how it functions. This goes hand in hand with obvious ignorance of even the most basic economic principles, but I'll leave that for another string.

  35. January 24, 2010 at 1:10 am

    An informative and thought provoking read for those who "haven't the faintest idea about what a corporation is and how it functions.," and those who think they do is (Unequal Protection) by Thom Hartmann.

  36. January 24, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Well,Chris, we have to start somewhere to fix this mess. And focussing on laws concerning corporations is not a bad way to go. Treating corporations as if they were individuals, and yet, largely allowing all individuals within a corporation to avoid accepting personal responsibility and accountability for assorted actions or liabilities of said corporation is a MAJOR problem that should be addressed; and it is a problem that has lead to so many of the problems our nation is facing at the moment. The corporate mentality of avoiding individual responsibility and accountability and always putting profits ahead of morality, mirrors the corrupt attitude that is too prevalent and tolerated in all walks of life. It's an infection. "Conservatives" always talk about wanting to reduce debt, but policies of "conservative" politicians have, time after time, increased our national debt. If you don't believe me, ask George Bush.

  37. January 24, 2010 at 2:36 am

    Tent: Thanks for not disappointing with your closing remark: "To believe otherwise is be blind and delusional about the state of Democrat politics." I am a member of the DEMOCRATIC Party, not the Democrat Party. Do you purposefully use that term to get a rise, or are you just that ignorant? You, and most conservatives, dismiss Barack Obama as ineffectual at your own party's peril; keep believing that he has not accomplished anything, keep believing that every office holder he supports is going to crash and burn, keep believing it. To assume such things are going to have lasting effects in the 2010 elections and then continue in the 2012 elections discounts all sorts of things that can happen between now and then. Your (and the right's) continued assurances that President Obama is weak, ineffectual and not getting things done sets you up for even more disappointment in the future.Chris: Nice of you to drop in; your quotes are probably from Jefferson, but I am simply guessing since you didn't identify the author. Corporations only exist because of government; without the legal framework that is established by governments, there would be no such thing as a corporation. For the earliest part of our countries history, corporations had limited life spans, limited scope of what they could or could not do, but it was all changed by judicial activists, who in effect legislated from the bench those changes to the nature and scope of corporations to the situation we find ourselves in now. Corporations used to not be able to have more than one business function; and when a corporation was found to have violated the law, if the act was egregious enough, the state would dissolve the corporation and a means of meting out justice. And please don't forget that the much celebrated "Boston Tea Party" was actually a revolt against a corporation that was too powerful and had no interest in anything but protecting its bottom line.

  38. January 24, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Corporate conservative media, corporate conservative SCOTUS, and corporate controlled politicians. A trifecta of corporate dominance.Bob, with all due respect I would have to say that Pres. Obama has shown his colors, and that after a year it looks like it is only going to get worse. That I am disappointed in his presidency for diametrically opposed reasons as conservatives is of little solace.When do the actions define the man?When does the man define the actions?The list is simply too long with abuses and catering to the monied interests as to be able to rationally defend IMHO. That he was the much better choice over McCain is all the more evidence as to how corrupt the system is. I dare say that even a Kucinich or a Nader could have made much progress in our current state of affairs.Ironic that the conservative base is disappointed in him not for acting like a Reagan/Clinton lite, but merely because he is a democratic politician.If he were to act the progressive and fire most of his cabinet and get on with taking care of We The People, I think that he would be capable of some great good.As it stands now, his only usefulness as I see it is in appointing the next several justices to SCOTUS. But with his appointment of Sotomayor, even that is suspect.With Stevens retiring, we could be heading towards some dark days indeed.

  39. January 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Wow, Bob, I have been posting here for a couple of years saying "democrat party" over and over again an only now do you wonder if I am trying to get a rise out of you.To answer your question: Of course I am. There's slow and then there is Bob.George Will wrote an interesting column where he posits that the 60 seat majority actually made his job getting legislation passed HARDER. the reason is that he needed every democrat to vote with him in the senate. that empowered Ben Nelson to ask for and get his bribe for Nebraska. It empowered Landreu to get her $300 million "Louisiana Purchase" of her vote to get it out of committee and the Medicare Advantage cut for Florida. Factor in the union bribe so they won't lobby against the bill and this bill is one of the most corrupt pieces of legislation in the last 50 years. So am I worried about Obama now that he has lost Teddy Kennedy's seat's vote? No. Now he has Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to bribe again and whatever RINOs are left in the Senate.I don't fear Obama because, so far, there are no republican bodies in his wake, only Democrats. Thankfully, Obama has become the very poster child the Republicans have needed to reenergize their electorial chance in November.Disregard him? Hell, no.Republicans need him and should be glad he's in office.

  40. January 25, 2010 at 5:20 am

    You libs are really more like a frog in a pot of water that is brought to a boil slowly. You just don't realize that things are going bad for you until you are alrady boiled to death. That's what is going on here. Your side offers these rote excuses for your defeats and setbacks… and the temperature rises.More people identify themselves as conservative than any other group. Three republicans have been elected in the Age of Obama despite Obama's campaigning for them. These victories are in HEAVILY Democrat strongholds of Massachusetts and New Jersey. More people voted for a Republican or the Tea Party candidates than the Democrat who won. Plus, you all lost the seat in the senate that a Kennedy sat in since 1952. Obama has to resort to bribe senators to get his signature bill passed… and the poeple are resoundly against it. the boil has started. Air America is shuttering its doors finally after limping into the grave. Fox News dominates all age groups and has an 9 to 1 advantage over any other news outlet. Newspapers in looking to get "bailed out" (or bought out) by the federal government. Liberalism is dying all around you and you can't see it.You all are the frogs in the boiling water and you just can't see it. Only after Harry Reid is defeated and nanacy Pelosi is sent back into the the chamber to be just one of 435 will you all understand that you are wrong, you don't have a mandate and your philosophy is fundementally flaed and the American people don't like it at all. Only then we may see the 'moderate' 'centrist' Obama that he supposedly campaigned on.

  41. January 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    It is difficlt to transcend the narratives that have led us to this point of conflict. If that is what our common challenge is, it still depends on some therapeutic resolution to what is in our heads now. America is in serious trouble because our identity is in crisis. We either find a new way to be a republic and to live and play well with others, or we go down the tubes of imperial futility. But, there are those times when it blows our mind and the old story breaks apart and will never work as our frame again. We will be able to remember when we saw the world thus and so, but it will no longer be the way it is. Integrating these experiences into our own epistemological self-awareness is how we learn to welcome change and "the new" because it does let the air and light into our too tightly sealed minds. That these personal existential experiences of change are more than pure reason and cool objectivity is also important to our thinking. Descartes was too cerebral. He should have said, "I process information, therefor I am." It is the brain/body system, and emotion and feeling are deeply embedded in what we can hold in our mind coherently.Polemical debates may be part of the process by which we exhaust our old narratives and discover their inadequacies even as we burrow down into them. Were we able to listen to what the others say without conceding ground, we might pick up some interesting tidbits even if we conclude that the argument is wrong on balance. I think there is an interesting critique of the idea of the secular on the conservative side even if their idea of the sacred sucks. But we are not listening to each other very well right now.If we both agree that the empire sells out democracy and crushes individual liberty, then both Right and Left have failed to stop it. Instead of having to blame each other for being the worse villain, we can just accept the idea that we share a tragic history and need to learn from it. If there is to be an American Republic where democracy can have a chance again, we have a common enemy in the Empire and the political ideologies behind it.Here the Right has a case against the Neocons being disgruntled Democrats. The MIC took over, and fiscal conservatism disappeared other than in election rhetoric and as a way to bust the New Deal. But the case for the Libertarians and small government Taft Republicans fails as they have no answer to the empire and also oppose the very means required to counter it. In their narrative, economic freedom and small town business values merge to make government the pollutant in the economy. Predatory corporatism follows.I find the analytical and rhetorical skills of the Right lacking in any intellectual sense. They are great as word warriors and PR saboteurs. Cf. Luntz. But they cannot frame the real world in any insightful or illuminating way. They tend to be very angry at reality instead, and denying a political answer to politics becomes their populist message. They continually miscast and deny what Progressives say we are for, claiming that we are for central planning and top-down policy enforcement from outside. We are for the opposite of this, but we do believe that the local and the micro can be supported and strengthened by collective nurture and protections. Keeping private corporations from ripping off the taxpayers and consumers is a very important function of government. So is keeping them from destroying the Commons or dumping a bunch of externalities off on the public in their quest for privatized profits sources. Meanwhile, compeletely distracted by their furious and endless debate, liberals and conservatives did not notice that someone had come and looted the whole town of all its valuables.

  42. January 25, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Tent: Okay, maybe I am slow, but then again, maybe those who constantly resort to name calling and general denigration know that they are working from a weak position so they have to justify any means they can to try and help them feel better about who they are and how they operate. If you truly believe that the conservative approach if superior for governing, make your case without slamming centrist or liberal ideals; most likely you will not be able to stop yourself since attacking anyone to the left of Mussolini gives you that "warm and fuzzy" feeling you probably mistake for patriotism."Liberalism is dying all around you and you can't see it." I think you are wrong, again. What is dying is any ideal of governing for the good of the people, not just the corporations. Republicans talk a great game about the individual and "pulling yourself up by the bootstraps", but as a force in government, the only thing they have ever accomplished is making it easier for business to make more profit, pay less or no taxes and insert their ideology into private citizens way of life. Please point out anything you feel the Republicans have ever accomplished that benefits the average citizen that makes less than $50,000 a year. For most of the eight years of the last administration, the Republicans had control of all branches of government, but did they push through all or even much of the talking points of the Republican agenda? Roe v. Wade still stands as law; Social Security was not privatized (thank God); both of these are bedrock components of the Republican platform, but they were not even approached with any serious discussion, but, many many laws, rules and agencies all worked to make it easier for big business to make more profit because that is the Republican's true agenda. Prove to me I'm wrong, then we can talk about Liberalism supposedly "dying".

  43. January 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    The majority of California voters are aware of the Tea Party protest movement sweeping the country but don’t identify with it, a new Field Poll shows.The nonpartisan, statewide survey shows that 61 percent of California registered voters have heard of the Tea Party movement. But only 12 percent say they have a lot of identification with the movement, and 16 percent say they have some identification with it.There is a highly partisan and ideological component to whether voters identify with the Tea Party movement that has sprung up in protest of what its adherents regard as excessive government spending and regulation and an intrusive health care plan.“It’s a very identifiable population,” said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo. “It’s very prominent in certain subgroups of the population and totally absent in others. It’s largely conservatives and Republicans that identify with the Tea Party movement.”

  44. January 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    How ironic, the man elected to replace Ted Kennedy's seat and to remove the Democrat's super majority in the Senate…..is President Obama's cousin (10th). Winston, great read, but wrong.

  45. January 29, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Look how fast the movement is going. Now 3 out of 10 identifying themselves with the Tea Party. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/01/california-tea-party-obama-birth-certificate.html

  46. February 2, 2010 at 5:28 am

    I say that we need federally financed elections as described by our friend Rich in Paso did. Let's ban ALL contributions from every source, to include the candidate's OWN money and make these power-mad wannabe's solely beholden to ONE constiuency, The American People.Free speech is exercised at the ballot box in both the primary and general elections. Money donations as an extention of free speech I say should be dealt with by Constitutional amendment. The supreme court cannot over turn that. And while we're at it, let's have term limits and make the bum's resign when they run for president. Rich is right when he talks about how much of the People's business was not handled while all those senators and congressmen were out galavanting across the country. Hopefully, the Tea Party movement will take on the issue of term limits as a means of making the government more responsive and responsible to the people.

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