Obama’s Unprogressive People

The main way President’s use their authority is by choosing who to delegate it to. What do Obama’s early picks say about him?

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State

  • Drafted resolutions condemning the World Court’s for criticizng Israel’s construction of a “security wall” inside the terrority of another country and major human right’s groups condemnation of Israeli targetting of cilivians inside Palestine and Lebanon. (Because it’s not enough for us just to finance these crimes, we also have to immediately officially condemn any ethical organization that brings them to light.)
  • Is generally a despicable person unable to string together more than two phrases without distorting the truth for personal gain.

Robert Gates, Secretary of “Defense”

  • First ever military chief to be carried over from a president of a different party.

Lawrence Summers, Director of White House National Economic Council

  • Oversaw the deadly imposition of “Structural Adjustment” throughout the globe, destroying a majority of the economy of the former USSR, catalyzing crises in Asia and Latin America, and reducing the quality of life for hundreds of millions of poor people through requiring cuts to social safety nets, privatizing of public industries, and the free reign of financial speculation across the globe.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Fatherland Homeland Defense

Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff

  • One of the most pro-war Democrats who worked to convince others in his party to support Bush.
  • To quote his dad: “Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he be? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.”

Eric Holder, US Attorney General

Richard Holbroke, Special Envoy to Southeast Asia

Greg Craig, White House Counsel

Sonal Shah, Transition Team Advisor

Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
  • In 2005, Salazar voted against increasing fuel-efficiency standards (CAFE) for cars and trucks, a vote that the League of Conservation Voters notes is anti-environment. In the same year, Salazar voted against an amendment to repeal tax breaks for ExxonMobil and other major oil companies.

More important even than who Obama’s appointing is who he ISN’T APPOINTING:

  • Opponents of war, military waste, or the kind of destructive corporate economics that led to our current crisis.
  • Proponents of universal healthcare, serious humanitarian aid, or radical changes to the way we use natural resources.

Al Gore, the last elected president from his party, Al Gore, believes Obama should announce a national goal of getting 100 percent of electricity generated by renewable sources within 10 years. Guess what? He’s not going to have any kind of authority in Obama’s administration.

L.C. Larsen is concerned about the unprogressive dangers of the new administration that we can fight against now (and effect some real change). Read other articles by L.C., or visit L.C.'s website.

40 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Martha said on December 19th, 2008 at 9:58am #

    This article goes a long way towards explaining why I refuse to embrace so many on the ‘left.’ (I voted for Ralph.) How many items does L.C. Christian Larsen list for Hillary? And how many for Robert Gates? 8 for the ‘devil’ Hillary and 3 for Gates and we’re never supposed to note the sexism involved in this ridiculous hatred. (That’s not a defense of Hillary, that’s noting a psycopathic hatred on display.) LCL achieves this feat by ignoring Gates’ role in Iran-Contra, by ignoring Gates CIA service (under H.W. Bush)
    And if you doubt the sexism involved, notice Lawrence Summers is mentioned but LCL ignores the reason Summers stepped down as Harvard president.
    I don’t need to hear another word about Hillary Clinton from people who refuse to call others out. In this case, to read the above list, Devil Hillary is worse than Robert Gates and Summers combined. That’s not reality.
    It is a psychopathic condition that’s taken hold of the left and allows Barack to be presented as ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive.’ Pile all the crap at the door of his enemy (Hillary) and how much better he looks. It’s getting real old.

  2. The Scarlet Pimpernel said on December 19th, 2008 at 10:54am #

    Thank God JFK and Lyndon Johnson became leaders in a time when people understood pragmatism and compromise. Otherwise they would never have succeeded at their great progressive accomplishments.
    I get so tired of the ‘my way or the highway’ mentality. Guys, governance is about compromise. A little movement in the right direction sure beats the dash to aristocracy/oligarchy that we have experienced in the last 30 years. Why don’t you wait and see what transpires before you weep and wail and gnash your teeth.

  3. BILL LAWRENCE said on December 19th, 2008 at 11:37am #

    Dean Kamens for car czar. Robert Kennedy Jr for the EPA. Al Gore, secretary of state. By the way, Dean Kamens has built a car that gets 200 mpg.

  4. Leif said on December 19th, 2008 at 11:42am #

    Hi Martha,

    I appreciate your comments. Of course Robert Gates and Lawrence Summers are extremely morally compromised, “much more so” than Hillary if we really need to be making distinctions of lesser-evilism like that.

    I’m pretty suprised that you think I’m being sexist by calling out Hillary in detail on just a few of her foreign policy atrocities… the reason I gave more details for her are 1) Secretary of State is a very critical position at this time when America’s official relationship with the world is at an all time low, 2) many people believe Hillary Clinton is progressive, whereas no one believes Robert Gates or Lawrence Summers is (if that were the case I would have spent much longer on them), 3) the fact that Hillary was appointed suprised many people, including myself, since so many progressive people mobilized to keep her from being chosen in the primaries, for some of the same reasons I mentioned.

    I understand that other progressive people, like yourself perhaps if you allow that label for yourself, supported Hillary… while I don’t really understand that I also don’t understand the people who were excited about Obama. In case you didn’t notice by the ENTIRE THEME of my site I am very opposed to most of Obama’s policies. As far as Gates and Iran Contra and all that, yes almost everyone who was high up in the Pentagon or CIA is EXTREMELY morally compromised, I will add a detail about that on his entry on the site.

    However, no offense, your complaint seems totally insane to me… do you honestly believe I am a sexist because I’m calling Hillary out for who she is (trust me there are thousands of women who I would love to see be president, more good women for it than men, just not Hillary, she started her political life as a Nixon campaigner and in many ways hasn’t changed on anything of substance) or that I think Obama is some kind of panacea (again WHY did I make this site)? That’s just not the case and it’s absurd and irrational to assume that.

    I would love to hear more from you and maybe we can straighten this out… there are enough real problems out there for good people to spend their time fighting over tiny details of presentation.

    Take Care,

    Leif

  5. Mike said on December 19th, 2008 at 12:02pm #

    Like Martha, I found this article to be pretty weak beer. Al Gore? Please. The original reactionary Democrat, his environmentalism amounts not much more than shilling for nuclear power and that’s not to mention his (now down the memory hole) vigorous endorsement for military action in Iraq while VP. Are there really those on the liberal-left who expected Obama to surround himself with any but the most mainstream and conservative DLC democrats? It’s who he is by his own words. Admittedly, he’s outdone himself, but whining about Hilary as S.oS. etc. is a bit limp to say the least.

  6. Keesha said on December 19th, 2008 at 12:07pm #

    Support, Martha. New Agenda has a new video with clips of some of the sexism aimed at the female politicians this year. Everyone should watch it.
    http://thenewagenda.net/2008/12/19/wheres-the-line-a-powerful-look-back-at-the-sexism-of-the-2008-presidential-campaign/

  7. Leif said on December 19th, 2008 at 1:06pm #

    Regarding compromise: Obama has won the biggest landslide in a generation and has solid majorities in both houses. As progressives we should also realize that the majority of the US population is in fact “far to the left” of even mainstream Democrats in key economic and foreign policy issues, in spite of the fact that they choose to be voluntarily ignorant enough not to put two and two together.

    What I’m saying is OBAMA HAS NO EXCUSE TO COMPROMISE RIGHT NOW and in fact has a strong mandate not to.

    Regarding Mike’s question “Are there really those on the liberal-left who expected Obama to surround himself with any but the most mainstream and conservative DLC democrats? ”

    I don’t know how many political discussions you’ve had in the last few months with how wide a spectrum of people, but having talked to a few hundred people who would call themselves liberal-left and are super excited about Obama (heck even Michael Moore said he was crying tears of joy about it) the answer to your question is, sadly, yes, there are tons of such people.

    The situation is even worse overseas… I’m hearing from Green/Socialist friends around the globe who think something radical just happened in the US.

    If you weren’t taken in, well then points for you, but if you take a good look around you, maybe stray a bit more outside the choir, I think you would agree this is a message that needs to be disseminated quite a bit more.

    Thanks again for the comments.

  8. Hue Longer said on December 19th, 2008 at 1:29pm #

    I take exception to Gore love and don’t believe in his sincerity-no matter the truth of his words. Leif had a valid point in naming him though because Gore would have been an establishment pick and it’s telling when he’s not even allowed to pick him.

    “Legitimately despicable” is something I’d like Leif to elaborate on concerning Ahmadinejad…it seems unnecessary at best.

    I’m surprised too by Martha, but more by the support for what she said

    Scarlet Pimpernel, Kennedy and Johnson being used as examples to support lesser evilism ignores the evil they wrought upon the world and the progressive movements they crushed in the states and abroad…Not to mention begs if they were so “lesser”, why does Nixon share some “great progressive accomplishments”?

  9. RG the LG said on December 19th, 2008 at 1:51pm #

    Let’s see … the author whined about the selections. Then a gang of people whined about the author whining. Then the winers started whing about each other.

    Why?

    Because we are ALL complicit in the actions of Bush I, Clinton I, Bush II, and now Clinton II (sometimes called Obama) … the War in Iraq has not been resisted except by Iraqi’s … and as far as Afghanistan is concerned, tell me … who is bold enough to actually stand up and be counted?

    The whole damned experiment was a fraud from the beginning. To put it in simple terms … collectively we are the political equivalent of Bernie Madoff. Myself included.

    RH the LG

  10. Max Shields said on December 19th, 2008 at 2:40pm #

    The Scarlet Pimpernel

    What were JFK’s “great progressive accomplishments”?

    The term pragmatism was widely held to be the philosophy of Richard Nixon. It is an ideology and simply another form of Realpolitik – Kissinger and many others of his ilk are pragmatists.

    Pragmaticism is not an escape from accountability; i.e., chose this or that for “pragmatic” reasons. In other words, pragmaticism is simply a smarter way of saying the ends justify the means.

    If you believe that than there is nothing the American Empire does which you would not approve of. Bush could claim pragmatic consideration as his overarching foreign policy.

    Today, the word pragmaticism is simply being re-tread and put in the public ether. It has no more currency than when it was used to combat communism during the cold war.

    I’ll give you that LBJ had some semblance of progressive domestic legislation; but what does any of that mean when the USA is napalming and killing 3 million people – mostly civilians. Is that pragmaticism?

  11. Brian said on December 19th, 2008 at 2:43pm #

    You forgot Arne Duncan:
    * pays kids to get good grades: talk about subverting interest in learning and turning schools into a market
    *only measures student achievement with one instrument, the out dated standardized test: talk about weak accountability, inconsistent with what we now know about how the brain learns
    *privatizes practically every department he can get his hands on: there goes unions
    * oversees resegregation of Chicago schools, with about 300 schools being essentially all black: wasn’t there this case called Brown v. Bd.?
    *militarizes schools: Jesse wrote about that on this site.

  12. bozh said on December 19th, 2008 at 3:58pm #

    scarlet, respectfully,
    et tu brutus! many came on DV to deter free speech. eg, u speak of people whining. but conjecturing, predicting is not whining
    u’v made a mistake that bns of people make on daily basis.
    may i tell what it is?
    s’mthing happens; s’mthing is said. it makes no diff what was said, written, or done. then most people label what was said; eg, he’s a liar, nazi, idiot; he talks nonsense; it’s (utter) rubbish; now using this entirely new event, the labeling, one goes on to prove that the other person is wrong and also desrves all those labels.
    meanwhile, forgetting/omitting almost all that was actually said.
    in this instance, the label was “whiners”; and how can a whiner be taken seriously or how the whiner can be right?
    let the free speech flow. no matter what a person says, it’s OK.
    one caveat, labeling, to me is rude; can hurt people, yet not add an iota to our understandings. tnx

  13. Leif said on December 19th, 2008 at 9:54pm #

    Very valid criticisms of Gore from Hue and Mike… however, for whatever his reasons, he is now articulating some extremely radical positions, the kinds of specific policy actions he unfortunately never did as vice president.

    His right-on call for 100% of electricity to be generated renewably by the end of the next decade, whether he realizes it or not, would require unprecedented public control of the economy, both directly and indirectly.

    Brian, you are right about Arne Duncan, I’ve now given him a mention, along with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair :

    http://realchangeorfalsehope.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/obamas-unprogressive-people/

  14. Jason Oberg said on December 19th, 2008 at 10:14pm #

    Enough of this foolish talk about sexism. Nobody is saying anything negative about Hillary Clinton because she’s a woman. It’s because she’s evil. And yes, she happens to be more evil than many of the male politicians. I have a big problem with the Republicans, naturally, but at least they’re up-front about their intentions. The Democrats, especially the ludicrously ambitious ones like Hillary Clinton, make for a far more sinister enemy: the kind who smiles at you and beckons with a curled finger while grasping a dagger behind their back. This is Hillary. Women need to stop ignoring the fact that she’s a demon because she’s female. It’s ridiculous.

  15. kalidas said on December 19th, 2008 at 11:28pm #

    Cheney will tell you if he sees you walking down the road he will run you over. Then he runs you over.

    Hillary would tell you she wouldn’t run you over. Then she runs you over.

    Either way..

  16. kalidas said on December 19th, 2008 at 11:29pm #

    I voted for P.T. Barnum. (write in)

  17. Stewart said on December 19th, 2008 at 11:47pm #

    Call me naive, call me a dreamer, and though I may be wrong, I am still giving Obama the benefit of the doubt in actually being a progressive, but he needs to play the game in a very unconventional way to succeed in turning America around. That said, with every person with bloody hands that he puts on his team, I still get nervous.

    I believe that the most powerful people and institutions on earth have long been more powerful than the president (at least since Eisenhower warned us about them in his farewell speech). It may be that a key to undermining their power is to put enough members of their team on your team that the other members of that team have both less will and less ability to oppose you. You might also even be able to get some individuals of the opposing teams to actually join your team and work to fight their former teams’ efforts to undermine your team.

    I believe he has already benefited from putting Hillary on his team with a margin of victory and mandate that he wouldn’t have had with Hillary supporters opposing him more than if he hadn’t put her on his team. With Hillary in the cabinet there are other people on the Clinton teams that will oppose Obama less and possibly support him more .

    Similarly, you may be upset at his choosing that anti gay, anti abortion evangelist Rick Warren to speak at his inauguration, but I expect this is a very strategic move. For decades right wing strategists from the power elite have successfully used wedge issues to pit average Americans against each other. Just by letting this guy give a feel good speech at the Obama inauguration (there’s no way it will be an anti gay, anti woman speech) many of those that now think they are on the hate Obama and hate progressives team will see their leader on the Obama team. This will reduce the degree to which this very large group of Americans can be then be used by the Rovian strategists to attack the Obama team and progressives. I don’t believe letting Warren speak will do anything to promote hate of gays or oppression of women. It may even do the opposite.

    I may be wrong about Obama. I may be right, but he may not succeed, but if anyone can pull it off it is Obama.

    -Stewart

  18. Hue Longer said on December 20th, 2008 at 1:26am #

    Stewart,

    Why can he and why do you think he wants to?

  19. bozh said on December 20th, 2008 at 5:06am #

    people talk ab progressives but in view that oneparty system (wld uncle allow two? be that stupid?) just garnered 98% votes, i can’t find for the life of me, any progressives/regressives, only samecons.
    a prez, being progressive? it’s like saying that a capo is a progressive because he made lotsof promises and in a brilliant language.
    verbal brilliancies, i evaluate as meaningless or as crow cooing a sparrow. thnx

  20. Mike said on December 20th, 2008 at 8:15am #

    Leif,
    Point taken, indeed I’ve always had O pegged as a Bill Clinton tribute act. That said, I found his election moving socially, while politically having very low expectations. I guess I’ve had a hard time considering those who supported him as liberal left (which I don’t consider myself to be, either), but I can admit when I’m wrong. My question was largely an expression of my irritation at the continuing chorus of disappointment coming from the true believers in the Obama revolution. Of course I’m aware that they’re out there, my entire family is comprised of them. And here in France where I now live the reaction has been something akin to delirious rapture.

  21. Petronius said on December 20th, 2008 at 8:52am #

    martha is correct, we should all look at the link she provides and the horror of anti-feminism will become clear. and it is time to stop whining and start acting because the obama trick is not working
    and the slow anger of the public may bring rebellion. ‘now is the winter of our discontent’ (shakespeare, that old truth sayer-though also anti-feminist).

  22. Max Shields said on December 20th, 2008 at 9:21am #

    I have the same issue with Hillary Clinton/Sarah Pallin representing the feminist movement as I do with Obama representing the conditions of African Americans.

    All are representatives of white supremist power structure. And that is the root problem with seeing any of these as providing a real alternative. In fact, they do more to reinforce that power structure by demanding that criticism is off the table.

    I do agree, having looked at the link, that anti-feminists must be rooted out. Cynthia McKinney (I too voted for Nader, but if wasn’t running I would have written her in) is an example of a real feminist alternative in my opinion.

    I think we must be discerning when we “stick up” for a candidate. It should not be, imo, simply for the superficial reasons of skin pigmentation, or whether they are gay, or female. Their capacity to think, learn, and the context of their world view are for me the primary issues.

  23. Petronius said on December 20th, 2008 at 9:31am #

    totally true max. voting for any candidate within this system is really superfluous, because of needs they are conservative to reach their
    positions. otherwise the elite media makes mince-meat out of them.
    we are up against all kinds of collaborationists, whether they are gay, female or pigmented. the almighty dollar sits on our necks and rules the roost in washington, w.c. but it appears that the public gets m0re and more aware of the fact that true power rests with the people and that is a reaction that obama has brought about by promising the sky but by delivering much of the same. that we can be thankful to him for.

  24. Stewart said on December 20th, 2008 at 9:33am #

    I’ll first say why I believe he is probably a progressive (interested in promoting the well-being of the large majority of people, not just himself and an elite few that back him or just his tribe of “us”). Again, I could be wrong and could be one of the people fooled by his vague message of “hope”, but I don’t think so. The key to his true character is his history and his behavior. Though he grew up relatively poor, his first actions after graduating from Columbia University was to work for NYPIRG (NY public interest group) then to become a Chicago community organizer, instead of the reaction of some poor people that succeed in school, to show that he too can be one of the power elite, not one of the poor. He continued on boards of public service organizations.

    His mentor in Chicago was Reverend Wright, who had the courage to tell it like it is when he said of our country that has killed millions in neo-colonial wars “God damn America!” He also has exceptional self confidence, not one of your weak egoed politicians that do so much harm to show that they aren’t so low as they feel. Go to Wikipedia and look at his life history and ask if this is the history of someone that is looking to ally himself with the global exploiters so he can be in their power elite too.

    Why do I think he can succeed? He exceptionally intelligent, confident and I believe ethical. He understands that the way to victory is to win over members of other camps, rather than throw rocks at them, as so many of us on both the left and right seem to think.

  25. Max Shields said on December 20th, 2008 at 10:21am #

    Stewart,

    While I appreciate your honesty, I think you’ve bought into the Dem political narrative hook line and sinker. You may think you’ve come by it outside of that mileu, but I can assure you his “autobiography” was well vetted by the power elite.

    Those who know Obama’s political history best are people like Adolph Reed http://www.blackagendareport.com/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=697

    It is not one’s personal history as much as what one does with it. Some of the most wretched and destructive leaders have come from humble beginnings. I’m not suggesting that Obama is Hitler, just that using that autobiography is hardly a rationale for his “progressivism”.

    His picks for his cabinate – particularly the critical ones are all center right by all accounts and the neocons and most Republicans have been applauding his choices. Should be a flag, Stewart.

    No, Obama is simply a youngish half white, half black man who has had ambitions to be POTUS for some time. The way to begin that path, are varied. He chose to take the community organizer route. His term as an organizer was only 3 short years (he was “picked” because they needed a black face); and his “accomplishments” from all accounts were meager at best. His aim was to move quickly through the political ranks. I don’t know if he expected/planned to be running for POTUS this soon, but, opportunist that he is, the timing was right. He’s first and formost a politician and as such will do whatever it takes to attain and keep power.

    He has taken positions right of GW Bush on Israel and Afghanistan/Pakistan. All his picks have been status quo Dem elitists. His ag pick is agbusiness/Monsanto engineered seed, oil based, use of farm land for energy producing ethenol (which buys only massive farm producers anything). The list has been thoroughly reviewed here and elsewhere and it AINT progressive by a long shot.

    If you still think he’s about hope, and he’s a “progressive”, well I can’t change you’re mind because I don’t know what you mean by either term. Your hope may be the dispair of millions; your idea of progressive may simply be anyone but a Repub. Dems have routinely presided over more wars of aggression then the Repubs. The financial meltdown we see has more to do with the policies of Clinton (Obama is clearly a continuation of that) than anything GW Bush has done (as horrible a president as he is).

    Smarts are not sufficient for real change, the kind that produces social and economic justice. An smart efficient neoliberal is what Obama is shaping up to be. You may think that’s hope, that’s progressive. I don’t.

  26. Stewart said on December 21st, 2008 at 5:20pm #

    I AGREE with Leif L’s exposé of the criminal backgrounds of Obama’s picks for his staff, but not necessarily the implications that many of us on the left believe these picks have.

    Imagine a different scenario: Obama runs as a strong progressive, exposing and opposing all of the evils of previous administrations, both Republican and Democratic. He calls the Powers That Be what they are – a ruthless gang of the world’s worst criminals ever. Where would he be today?

    O.K. maybe you don’t think he would get past the first primary with that position. Now imagine he didn’t go that far, but ran positioning himself as progressively as possible, yet still be able to get the support of a majority of American voters. Would those who control the media and rig the election system have allowed him to win?

    O.K., now imagine Obama is as progressive he can be and still win in spite of the control that the global power cabal has over the media and the electoral system. It looks to that power cabal like he will win in spite of their controls over the levers of power. Imagine that he is at this point positioned to change the status quo and establish a government that serves the interests of the average American. This would come at the expense of the power elite that has made trillions of dollars and had exceptional power and privilege under previous American administrations, both Republican and Democrat. Would he survive past the stage that Robert F. Kennedy survived in his campaign?

    Now imagine all went as it really did up to the point of election night, but after that Obama started to announce cabinet choices that betrayed that he intended to depose the powers that be and establish the most progressive administration in history. This would come at the expense of the Military Industrial Complex and any other elements of the ruthless global power cabal. What would that power cabal do?

    Now imagine that everything went the same as it did up to election night. This time imagine (I know this is difficult for many of us) that Obama has a strategy to successfully establish a government that actually does the greatest good possible for the greatest number of Americans, global peoples and global ecosystems. How could he do it without being sabotaged by the global power cabal in one way or another?

  27. lichen said on December 21st, 2008 at 6:52pm #

    People were more right wing in the time of JFK/Johnson, they were not more “pragmatic.” More of us have newer, better standards today than the population did back then, and I’m glad that we aren’t going to swoon for some stupid fraud who will slaughter millions of people and impoverish us, lead us to environmental ruin. But oh yes, we are ‘leftist nuts’ or sexist if we don’t support the clintons/kennedys/obama’s rogues gallery. Because after all, there are no urgent problems right now; we can wait a few hundred years to get progress on global warming, nuclear disarmament, equality…

  28. Stewart said on December 21st, 2008 at 8:04pm #

    Lichen, (is that Cladonia or Clidina, maybe Graphis scripta?) I can understand you believing Obama is a fraud with his vague message of “hope” and his cabinet picks, but I can’t see how you can call him “stupid”.

  29. Stewart said on December 21st, 2008 at 8:06pm #

    that should have read Cladina, not “Clidina” (a lichen genus”)

  30. Hue Longer said on December 22nd, 2008 at 12:37am #

    Stewart,

    I’d rather imagine that Obama right before the week of the elections used his bought live TV coverage to say what the game was and beg everyone to vote for Nader….that would have changed some things, no? Hell, I’m still waiting for anyone with access to do it but they-Like Obama- don’t feel the way you suggest he may. Ahhh that’s a fine bit of nobility he bought into, eh?

  31. Stewart said on December 22nd, 2008 at 2:57am #

    Though I voted for Nader twice (after polls closed on the east coast and it was evident that my vote wouldn’t make a difference), I’m no longer much of a fan of Nader.

    In this rigged, plurality rule electoral system using your one vote for your ideal inviable candidate rather than the best viable candidate, even if it is a lesser of evils, is effectively a half a vote for the worst viable candidate. Expressing your political wishes writing a letter to the editor, posting on lists like this, or calling into a talk show will have a greater effect on changing our political system than voting for a candidate that has a snowball’s chance in hell to win. If we had instant runoff voting I would have ranked Kucinich first. McKinney second and maybe Nader 3rd or 4th. (Hillary would be my last choice, with McCain not among any of my choices.)

    I don’t think that Obama asking people to vote for Nader would have done anything but give McCain the presidency and to dash the hopes of millions of Americans (and global citizens) who, right or wrong, came to believe that we finally had a winning candidate with the intelligence, confidence and principals that could turn things around in this country that has been going to hell in a hand basket for all but a few of the greediest, most asinine of us.

    I don’t know what you meant Hue, about the “fine bit of nobility”. Is that the gang of criminals that Obama has hired?

  32. Hue Longer said on December 22nd, 2008 at 4:05pm #

    Hello Stewart,

    No, I meant that once obtaining that kind of privilege, not many would give it up. Obama is certainly no Ali, so even if he DOES want the change you imply he may, so playing this game won’t matter to anything.

    Obama politely asking that people vote for Nader is not what I had in mind…Forget about Nader, the point is to say what the game is, like did Ali or MLK. though certainly giving McCain the victory, it would bring change like we’ve never seen it. No one these days wants to die on cross though (even if they do have change in their heart).

  33. Stewart said on December 22nd, 2008 at 4:32pm #

    Hue,

    Nor do I think dying on a cross is a good idea. I believe the best activist is one that challenges the powerful despots as much as possible without being crucified.

  34. The Angry Peasant said on December 22nd, 2008 at 6:20pm #

    Bottom line: Obama is carrying on the Reagan/Bush/Clinton Dynasty. What an ingenius way to run a fascist dictatorship without the population finding out they’re living under a fascist dictatorship. Keep the same rulers in place; every once in a while rotate ‘em.

  35. Stewart said on December 23rd, 2008 at 9:09pm #

    Angry Peasant, If 4 years from now we haven’t substantially changed course in a positive direction and even if we end up with an administration that has served the plutocracy at our expense more than Bill Clinton’s fascist administration did I may say you are right, that the plutocrats cleverly fooled us.

    If we are already living in a fascist, totalitarian, plutocratic state and any president caught threatening peace and threatening the profits of the military industrial complex would be killed as JFK and RFK were, how would you attempt to establish freedom if you could become president without getting undermined or knocked off by the organized criminals that now dominate our government?

  36. The Angry Peasant said on December 23rd, 2008 at 11:13pm #

    Well, first of all, how have these pigs accomplished anything they’ve wanted to keep hidden from their peers and the public? By conspiring. Who knows how much Nixon got away with other than Watergate that we never found out about? Johnson? Well, he managed to kill Kennedy and pull off the biggest coup in U.S. history. And the Bushites managed to steal the 2000 election by conspiring with the Supreme Court and the Florida crooks ( although I honestly believe it was really decided among the U.S. government that Bush would be the next President. Gore knew it too, I think).
    So, clearly, it’s quite possible to accomplish anything in government if you have the right folks in your back pocket. In the case of my own Presidency, it would be the Supreme Court. Most of these old Nixon/Reagan twisted Republican geezers would presumably be dead or retired, so I think some new blood, and with some appointed by myself, would be receptive to actually reforming this dreadful system. Any members of Congress bearing human consciences, like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, would be let in to my private world as well. Influence from corporate lobbyists would stop. Period. This might be the first thing that would get a few Republicans—and even Democrats—plotting my untimely demise. So I would beef up the Secret Service and my own personal protection enormously, even at the cost of some taxpayer dollars (the ends would definitely justify the means here) and proceed to clandestinely meet with all those advocating change, and doing my damnedest to influence others, like the Supreme Court justices. The PATRIOT ACT would be banned, in my eyes, and I would let that be known. When told I couldn’t ban that fraudulent piece of legislation, I would merely allude to the fact that Bush managed to ignore the Constitution for eight years and practically nobody had a problem with it.
    I would, of course, appoint only those advocating real change of the system to my cabinet. Nader, Gonzalez, Ron Paul, Kucinich, and any other green/libertarian/progressive men and women I could find. No longer would those appointed to high-ranking positions be the exact opposite people who should be in those positions. No more oil tycoons running departments. And fewer departments, too. No more Department of Agriculture, etc.
    Furthermore, in order to institute this change, sadly, I’d have to make sure the military is on my side. Being a dove, this wouldn’t be easy, but after signing into law new protections for veterans, increasing benefits to veterans and their families, and otherwise treating these people like we should have all along, I’d get their attention. The high-ranking generals and colonels who have a permanent hard-on for war I would be at odds with, after announcing my intentions to revert the U.S. back to an isolationist republic, but I believe I’d at least have their respect for giving back to those who serve.
    Finally, an absolute overhaul of the public education system and serious media reform. I would be a total lunatic in the eyes of Washington, because I would demand that citizens be informed, fully, about every single issue that is important to them. I would speak plainly, and often, on TV and burn it into their heads how important it is for them to listen, read, and keep themselves alert and knowledgable about the goings-on in Washington. No more news as entertainment, either. There would be nothing I could do about Fox, CNN, etc. because the corporations are free to own and broadcast television stations. However, a single, non-profit, non-competitive government-paid for channel loaded to the gills with laws protecting it from corruption or the giving of misinformation, would be instituted. It would be on TV and the internet.
    Many ideas, and ones they should be trying now. If Nader were elected, you’d see a lot of these things start happening, I’m sure. All you have to do is not be intimidated by the greed and peer-pressure in Washington.

  37. Stewart said on December 23rd, 2008 at 11:58pm #

    Angry Peasant,

    I appreciate your giving the question the thought, though I’m not sure how long you’d last.

  38. The Angry Peasant said on December 24th, 2008 at 4:42pm #

    A man can dream, can’t he?

  39. Jeff said on February 9th, 2009 at 11:52am #

    I wonder if anyone accusing America of being fascist has actually lived under a totalitarian regime. The very fact that this website exists and that its contributors don’t have a bullet in their head is because America is not fascist. We have systems of control, but so many decisions are made by the people. Come on, don’t be so stupid.
    Note: I know the intellectual decadents who run this website will somehow twist around my words to say that I believe the contributors should have a bullet in their head, but look up the words should and would and compare them, yeah? I just have to clarify this point, and now for clarifying this point I might get a response saying that such an action was never intended. I guess when you don’t use logic, as the people here don’t, there is no chance to win (i.e. no chance for the truth to come out).

  40. Barry said on February 9th, 2009 at 12:46pm #

    Jeff – Could it be something short of a bullet in the head? Yesterday, I heard of a student who was evicted from school for ‘hate’ speech – that is, she posted her very negative opinions of her teacher on a website.

    The past eight years have witnessed the rise of increased citizen surveillance by our government, the cooperation of communication companies with the government in turning over records. If fascism can be viewed as the cooperation of the government with Big Business (as it was in the 3rd Reich) then the espionage agreement between corporations and the Bush Administration can also be viewed in that light. This is not to say that the US is a fascist state, but only that certain elements have creeped into the political culture. Waterboarding, anyone?