• comment on a post Senator Reid: "The Issue is Ideology, Not Numbers" over 3 years ago

    Mr. Lemos has most cogently summarized the sorry state of our nation. 

    Yesterday evening, Rachel Maddow brilliantly encapsulated the true motives of the Radical Right as they systematically begin again the dismantling of the social legislation of the New Deal inaugurated (before being forestalled) under the administration of the original corporate media pawn, Ronald Reagan. 

    Indeed, the efforts of Midwestern GOP Governors have been directed toward crippling their union opposition in their ability to deliver votes toward progressive causes by virtue of their army of volunteers and organizers.

    But what has truly occurred, measured by the extreme displeasure of the electorate in Wisconsin on Tuesday, and spreadingrapidly throughout the Midwest and beyond, is the first counter volley by the maligned and attacked union labor force toward a second American Civil War.

    The GOP Congress and State governors and legislators, nominally in the throes of the Tea Party but truly no more than the pawns of those who hunger for unchecked corporate control of the masses here and abroad, had already fired the opening salvo.  Indeed, that launch was sent forth by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in consort with his fellow extreme Right-Wing Midwestern State Governors in their unabashed efforts to destroy collective bargaining.

    But it has been fostered by their minions in the corporate media who draw the larger public's attention away towards the sideshow of a prospective federal government shutdown, weighing in on the nonsense of which side prevails politically, when in fact all that remains to keep the United States a civilized nation is a still fair-minded Chief Executive and Senate, inasmuch as the House of Representatives was long ago subsumed by the most egregious elements of corporate subjugation.

    What is truly underway now is indeed the second American Civil War: a war of the classes and of their respective core beliefs.  And there can be no going back.  Since all empires fall when the welfare of the masses are disregarded in favor of the interests of the elite few, ours is now the last world empire that finds itself in such an internal struggle before it too becomes swept away into the dust-bin of history.

    When neither the redress by the political process nor by way of the "appeal to the better angels of our nature" is sufficient any more, then is it any wonder that those laboring masses seek instead a violent overthrow of those corporate elites who would subjugate their own general welfare?

    Of course these elites cannot fathom that their own existence is in jeopardy when they systematically dole out mass human suffering to further feed the insatiable appetite of unchecked corporate greed.  There are those perspicacious minds who believe that before the American Empire falls, it will be in fact those corporate elites who fired those first salvos who will also be the first to be vanquished.  But whomever first perishes, we may rest assured that the second American Civil War is now fully underway.

    Here's to hoping that the progressive forces and those "better angels of our nature" can overcome the daunting obstacles before them and prevail for the hope of the American Democracy and the larger world.

  • comment on a post The Bush/Obama/Clinton war in Afghanistan over 4 years ago

    One must presume that by Clinton Mr. Armstrong is referring to Hillary as Secretary of State, who, however, must take her orders from her Commander in Chief.  If Mr. Armstrong is trying to lump in Bill Clinton, pre-the GWB doctrine years, who was the last American Predident to preside over sustained peace and prosperity, well, extending this doctrine back that far simply will not work.

    Notwithstanding the Left and Right-wing purists who have detested Bill Clinton then and now with equal intensity, Bill was the last truly successful President of my fifty-seven year lifetime.  President Obama has the makings of greatness, but currently he is far too driven by elements from within his own coterie.  Please, no blaming Bill Clinton for that!

  • comment on a post On James Carville over 4 years ago

    Over these many decades I have witnessed invective from every side of the political spectrum. 

    I have witnessed the rise of Ronald Reagan, from an addlepated film star elevated to "great communicator" status not merely by a stultified media, but by a long-starved for glory GOP Right Wing, desperate to derail all things connected with FDR.

    I witnessed the purists in the Democratic Party, disgusted with compromises on their progressive ideals, but absolutely clueless of the political process. 

    Thus, the late great Teddy Kennedy, probably the nation's most accomplished Senator, could not stomach a compromise with President Nixon, and the result was, for all of Teddy's great championing of it, in fact a postponement of any National Health Care Reform for four decades.

    Thus, too many Democrats have blasphemed LBJ.  Yet, this "Master of the Senate," by way of his glad-hands and back-room deals with anything but progressive purists, achieved the most significant pieces of social legislation since the Great Depression.

    I witnessed the Democratic Party in the wilderness of national presidential cycles (discounting the Jimmy Carter win in 1976, an aberration in the aftermath of Watergate) for a quarter century until Bill Clinton came to power.

    Yet too many Democrats gave him no credit at all.  He won, thought they, concurring with their GOP counterparts, because Ross Perot entered the fray.  Yet the concrete facts reveal that all Perot truly achieved was to prevent an outright majority by Clinton in what was certainly a change election year.

    In fact, Bill Clinton taught the Democrats how to win--and how to govern.  Indeed, the Democrats lost the Congress in 1994, because in matters from health care legislation to budgetary acts, Clinton's agenda was every bit as ambitious then as President Barack Obama's would be fifteen years later--but the Clintons, with no love ever from either press or pundits (unlike President Obama), much less from his Democratic hard-core "base," were unrelentingly vilified.

    Yes, Bill Clinton asked the supreme sacrifice from his own Party in 1994--the knowledge that in passing a budget which would ensure prosperity in peacetime for the remainder of the decade, it would likely cost his nominal fellow Democrats their congressional power because of the intensity of that vilification.

    Today it is a great irony that Bill and Hillary's only child is about to marry the son of the then congressional representative whose vote was the deciding one in the passage of that landmark budget deal; a lady whom the GOP pegged then as looking at her own political grave.  I like to believe that there is a majesty to the irony; the children of practical politicians coming together as life partners.

    Charles Lemos is a brilliant writer and a most perspicacious analyst.  I, as a reviled Clintonite, indeed have always much admired the great passion of the progressives in the Democratic Party. 

    Although I have always believed him brilliant, still, I believe that a more seasoned President Obama on taking office would have become the next FDR.  It is why I, like millions of my fellow Democrats, cast our 2008 votes for Hillary Clinton.  We felt that the collective experiences of Hillary and Bill, both in responding to the Right Wing pundits, press and politicos, as well as their collective knowledge of how not to proceed when in the Executive Mansion, made them second to none in their ability to cope with the supreme travails of contempoary America and the larger world.

    Hillary was every bit as popular with Democratic voters in 2008 as was now President Barack Obama.  At best, the contest came to a draw, but now President Obama and his forces under Democratic Party Chairperson Dr. Howard Dean, knew how to better utilize procedure.  In the end, the Clintons were troopers and played their roles on his behalf, and the result was a marriage of two hugely popular movements common in their opposition to many years of Right Wing tyranny and a 2008 election rout strongly in favor of Democrats.

    But this victory could not have been achieved without Clintonites in strong numbers on election day in 2008.  It was not solely a victory for progressive purists, but rather a coalition victory with a common enemy to thwart.

    Sadly, the purists have not accepted this fact, nor ever shall.  What should have been a certain senatorial seat in Massachusetts in the aftermath of the death of Teddy Kennedy went to a rather obscure GOP candidate not merely because of the campaign folly of his rival, but rather because the Obama base itself wasn't sufficiently motivated.  Just as that base hasn't been sufficiently motivated in elections elsewhere, both before the Massachusetts congressional special election, and since.

    Progressives are wont to point out that the third of the electorate defining themselves as independents have been disgruntled, and their movement away from Democratic candidates has been the main cause in those losses.

    In fact, the sense of "a pox on both your houses" proclaimed by Mr. Lemos and so many others on the progressive side has become infectious.  If one keeps pointing to all that hasn't been accomplished rather than to all that has, is it any wonder that one's real political enemies seize on that sense of disgust and anomie?

    The amazing aspect of the Clintons is the fact that they survive, time and again, remaining relevant when other more vaulted political figures became ultimately relegated to the darker corridors of history.

    For all of the invective hurled upon them, politicans of all peruasions repeatedly turn to them time and again, seeking and valuing their consultation.  Bill Clinton is presumed to be a scoundrel; yet his Clinton Global Initative has done more good in more places over the entire globe than the entire history of the Nobel Peace Prize Foundation.

    Bill is considered unworthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, yet his CGI has superseded the work of Jimmy Carter, Albert Gore, and Barack Obama combined--the three other major Democratic politicians of the past half century, each of whom the Nobel Foundation thought most deserving of a Peace Prize.  Progressives scoff; Bill Clinton is much too self-aggrandizing, so they say.  And as if his fellow Democratic leaders before and since have not been self-aggrandizing

    And progressives deride Bill Clinton when he is asked by President Obama to dissuade a senatorial candidate in Pennsylvania; as if, the one seeking to dissaude that candidate is somehow himself not sullied.  Of course this whole matter was ever a silly politically-motivated cheap shot, inasmuch as American Presidents of all parties have been in the act of dissauding politicians from their own aisles since George Washington himself.

    President Obama is also a very practical politician.  He would not be President were he not; thus the political machine to which he himself is indebted has as its core many a seasoned Clinton pol.  That seasoned core may be derided, but ultimately that group, and not the purists, succeeded by their practical applications in passing landmark legislation this past year.

    What an extraordinary couple is Bill and Hillary Clinton.  They have survived it all.  And they presided over the last years of sustained American peace and prosperity.  Politicans Right and Left then and now have mocked them morally and have mocked their marriage together.  Yet they are still standing and still togther, whereas so many many of those politicians who have mocked them have gone the way of their own personal scandals, many ending in divorces, some with bitter and lasting consequences.

    James Carville is derided.  Praytell, is this because, by profession he is a political consultant, who does what he needs to do on behalf of whomever employs his services, be they Right or Left-leaning, or anywhere in-between? He is scum, we are told.  But then why not argue that all political consultants are scum, inasmuch as they prostitute their knowledge for capital gain?

    Again, I admire the passion of the progressives; pure and forthright and noble, and unsullied as are so many of the rest of us.  But in keeping to the purity of their ideals, I pray that Mr. Lemos and his many adherents do not relegate the rest of us to another quarter century in the political wilderness. 

    For if they truly cannot understand just how profound are the differences between a presidency under Bill Clinton and that under George Walker Bush, then they are beyond hope.  As is the hope for the future of the United States and the larger world.

  • comment on a post I've Had Enough over 4 years ago

    Over these many decades I have witnessed invective from every side of the political spectrum. 

    I have witnessed the rise of Ronald Reagan, from an addlepated film star elevated to "great communicator" status not merely by a stultified media, but by a long-starved for glory GOP Right Wing, desperate to derail all things connected with FDR.

    I witnessed the purists in the Democratic Party, disgusted with compromises on their progressive ideals, but absolutely clueless of the political process. 

    Thus, the late great Teddy Kennedy, probably the nation's most accomplished Senator, could not stomach a compromise with President Nixon, and the result was, for all of Teddy's great championing of it, in fact a postponement of any National Health Care Reform for four decades.

    Thus, too many Democrats have blasphemed LBJ.  Yet, this "Master of the Senate," by way of his glad-hands and back-room deals with anything but progressive purists, achieved the most significant pieces of social legislation since the Great Depression.

    I witnessed the Democratic Party in the wilderness of national presidential cycles (discounting the Jimmy Carter win in 1976, an aberration in the aftermath of Watergate) for a quarter century until Bill Clinton came to power.

    Yet too many Democrats gave him no credit at all.  He won, thought they, concurring with their GOP counterparts, because Ross Perot entered the fray.  Yet the concrete facts reveal that all Perot truly achieved was to prevent an outright majority by Clinton in what was certainly a change election year.

    In fact, Bill Clinton taught the Democrats how to win--and how to govern.  Indeed, the Democrats lost the Congress in 1994, because in matters from health care legislation to budgetary acts, Clinton's agenda was every bit as ambitious then as President Barack Obama's would be fifteen years later--but the Clintons, with no love ever from either press or pundits (unlike President Obama), much less from his Democratic hard-core "base," was unrelentingly vilified.

    Yes, Bill Clinton asked the supreme sacrifice from his own Party in 1994--the knowledge that in passing a budget which would ensure prosperity in peacetime for the remainder of the decade, it would likely cost his nominal fellow Democrats their congressional power because of the intensity of that vilification.

    Today it is a great irony that Bill and Hillary's only child is about to marry the son of the then congressional representative whose vote was the deciding one in the passage of that landmark budget deal; a lady whom the GOP pegged then as looking at her own political grave.  I like to believe that there is a majesty to the irony; the children of practical politicians coming together as life partners.

    Charles Lemos is a brilliant writer and a most perspicacious analyst.  I, as a reviled Clintonite, indeed have always much admired the great passion of the progressives in the Democratic Party. 

    Although I have always believed him brilliant, still, I believe that a more seasoned President Obama on taking office would have become the next FDR.  It is why I, like millions of my fellow Democrats, cast our 2008 votes for Hillary Clinton.  We felt that the collective experiences of Hillary and Bill, both in responding to the Right Wing pundits, press and politicos, as well as their collective knowledge of how not to proceed when in the Executive Mansion, made them second to none in their ability to cope with the supreme travails of contempoary America and the larger world.

    Hillary was every bit as popular with Democratic voters in 2008 as was now President Barack Obama.  At best, the contest came to a draw, but now President Obama and his forces under Democratic Party Chairperson Dr. Howard Dean, knew how to better utilize procedure.  In the end, the Clintons were troopers and played their roles on his behalf, and the result was a marriage of two hugely popular movements common in their opposition to many years of Right Wing tyranny and a 2008 election rout strongly in favor of Democrats.

    But this victory could not have been achieved without Clintonites in strong numbers on election day in 2008.  It was not solely a victory for progressive purists, but rather a coalition victory with a common enemy to thwart.

    Sadly, the purists have not accepted this fact, nor ever shall.  What should have been a certain senatorial seat in Massachusetts in the aftermath of the death of Teddy Kennedy went to a rather obscure GOP candidate not merely because of the campaign folly of his rival, but rather because the Obama base itself wasn't sufficiently motivated.  Just as that base hasn't been sufficiently motivated in elections elsewhere, both before the Massachusetts congressional special election, and since.

    Progressives are wont to point out that the third of the electorate defining themselves as independents have been disgruntled, and their movement away from Democratic candidates has been the main cause in those losses.

    In fact, the sense of "a pox on both your houses" proclaimed by Mr. Lemos and so many others on the progressive side has become infectious.  If one keeps pointing to all that hasn't been accomplished rather than to all that has, is it any wonder that one's real political enemies seize on that sense of disgust and anomie?

    The amazing aspect of the Clintons is the fact that they survive, time and again, remaining relevant when other more vaulted political figures became ultimately relegated to the darker corridors of history.

    For all of the invective hurled upon them, politicans of all peruasions repeatedly turn to them time and again, seeking and valuing their consultation.  Bill Clinton is presumed to be a scoundrel; yet his Clinton Global Initative has done more good in more places over the entire globe than the entire history of the Nobel Peace Prize Foundation.

    Bill is considered unworthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, yet his CGI has superseded the work of Jimmy Carter, Albert Gore, and Barack Obama combined--the three other major Democratic politicians of the past half century, each of whom the Nobel Foundation thought most deserving of a Peace Prize.  Progressives scoff; Bill Clinton is much to self-aggrandizing, so they say.  And as if his fellow Democratic leaders before and since have not been self-aggrandizing

    And progressives deride Bill Clinton when he is asked by President Obama to dissuade a senatorial candidate in Pennsylvania; as if, the one seeking to dissaude that candidate is somehow himself not sullied.  Of course this whole matter was ever a silly politically-motivated cheap shot, inasmuch as American Presidents of all parties have been in the act of dissauding politicians from their own aisles since George Washington himself.

    President Obama is also a very practical politician.  He would not be President were he not; thus the political machine to which he himself is indebted has as its core many a seasoned Clinton pol.  That seasoned core may be derided, but ultimately that group, and not the purists, succeeded by their practical applications in passing landmark legislation this past year.

    What an extraordinary couple is Bill and Hillary Clinton.  They have survived it all.  And they presided over the last years of sustained American peace and prosperity.  Politicans Right and Left then and now have mocked them morally and have mocked their marriage together.  Yet they are still standing and still togther, whereas so many many of those politicians who have mocked them have gone the way of their own personal scandals, many ending in divorces, some with bitter and lasting consequences.

    James Carville is derided.  Praytell, is this because, by profession he is a political consultant, who does what he needs to do on behalf of whomever employs his services, be they Right or Left-leaning, or anywhere in-between? He is scum, we are told.  But then why not argue that all political consultants are scum, inasmuch as they prostitute their knowledge for capital gain?

    Again, I admire the passion of the progressives; pure and forthright and noble, and unsullied as are so many of the rest of us.  But in keeping to the purity of their ideals, I pray that Mr. Lemos and his many adherents do not relegate the rest of us to another quarter century in the political wilderness. 

    For if they truly cannot understand just how profound are the differences between a presidency under Bill Clinton and that under George Walker Bush, then they are beyond hope.  As is the hope for the future of the United States and the larger world.

  • comment on a post Salvaged or Savaged? over 4 years ago

    I am particularly proud of the fact that you attribute so much of the nation's decline to Reaganomics. Of course, you could not be more correct.

    The great tragedy is the fact that while Americans came to realize just how terrible a President was George Walker Bush, having had total power with a GOP Congress and court justices of a similar ideological bent, much of the American public has yet to learn that it was the unrestricted implementation of Reaganomics that was indeed the death knoll for the United States itself.

    In his own period as President, Ronald Reagan had had a Democratic Congress to contend with, and although he more than any recent President aside from George Walker Bush ought to have been both impeached and removed from power, if for no other reason than the clearly illegal implementation of the Iran Contra War, he withstood even the consideration of impeachment because the Press and his cronies in Congress viewed him as "likeable." That was meant to make his most egregious actions somehow antiseptic, when they were anything but.

    In the meantime, the GOP became radically obsessed with power, at all costs. What they learned, in the aftermath of President Nixon and the Watergate affair, was that what was essential to maintaining power was achieving a pervasive persuasion on the population through manipulation of media. Afterwards, much of that media, when not outright becoming the GOP's paid-for acolytes, such as in the construction of a twenty-four hour propagandist network in FOX, were ever sympathetic to them.

    The media, which we may hereafter label the MSM to differentiate it from progressive dissidents online, became the greatest apologists for the Reagan Era.

    Having witnessed the damage caused by an unchecked six years of total GOP rule, some twelve years of GOP Congressional rule, and some eight years in which a GOP President, who even when he had a Democratic Congress, those members he completely ignored, any foreign visitor to these shores would think that, by God, the American electorate had had enough. It is beyond comprehension that any majority now in the United States could contemplate returning such an ideological group to power.

    A reasonable mind would have thought that the GOP's routing in the fall of 2008 might have meant at very least a moratorium on their immediate return. Instead, they are poised to achieving victory, although clearly more poisonous than ever before.

    To comment that a majority of Americans now consider themselves to be independent does not in any way lessen the deleterious effects of having the GOP in power. It is tantamount to living in Nazi Germany and saying, "Well, those anti-Hitler people weren't all that good either." One could not be an independent in Nazi Germany and live with oneself twenty years afterward--that is, if one could be considered as being human at all.

    And therein lies the tragedy of President Obama. He is undeniably brilliant, and one of the great orators and raconteurs of our time. But, sadly, for the life of him, he could not understand either during the campaign and cannot understand even now, just how terrible the Reagan years truly were. These were the Radicals who aimed to bury the legacy of FDR, even though Reagan himself as a younger man trumpeted FDR.

    The so-called "Independents," sadly much like our Democratic President Barack Obama are clueless. Progressive Democrats alone created Social Security and Medicare. And only progressive Democrats can overhaul the nation's moribund health care system. The GOP is only there to obstruct; they are indeed the agents of the self-serving Insurance Industry.

    In January 2009, the newly elected President Barack Obama already had a mandate. It was not necessary to seek bipartisan support. It was a terrible mistake to try.

    After a year of attempting to build consensus, where then is the national interest today? An emboldened GOP, sensing impending resurgence, are themselves giddy with the fact that their own obstructionism has worked so well.

    Let us not apologize for the Independent majority. If they do not now know how harmful the GOP in power are to a majority of their fellow citizens, they never shall. And that stupidity comes from not having realized just how terrible Reaganomics was.

    The Baby Boomers were defined by the aftermath of the War in Vietnam and the social schism of that period. Some became Rhodes Scholars, at very least hoping for a more egalitarian world, not unlike that which inspired their parents. Some had been born into comfort and GOP politics and learned the error of being oblivious to social ills. Still others lived in the sense of self, like Ayn Rand, determined to find contentment in their avarice. That bitter divide could be no better symbolized than the difference between three Baby Boomers--Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton on the one side, and George Walker Bush on the other.

    Until the advancing generation of whom President Obama is an intimate part, understands that the Reagan Era truly was horrible and that there is indeed a profound difference between the Clintons Junior Bush, and that being Independent today does in fact foster a common the enemy--only then can a progressive agenda move forward.

    But you most know your enemies. And they must be destroyed, before they destroy you. There is no middle road. Personally, I believe the Great Ship United States has already crashed and is sinking, irreparably, into the deep.

  • Yes, to much of the still clear-thinking rest of the world, the tea-baggers are freaks, and rightfully so.  Yet these are the most easily manipulated of the American electorate, and naturally they are the reactionary heirs of Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan.

    When Reagan came to power in 1980, the United States was still fiscally sound and had a Democratic Congress to counter his more loony ideas, from the overhaul (read gutting) of Social Security and Medicaire to his lofty "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative.  Of course Gingrich's "Contract with (read on) America" thought to finish the Reagan plan in 1994.  But of course over-reach and a Democratic President in Bill Clinton (whom the GOP then spent taxpayer megamillions to remove from office) again foiled the full reactionary plan.

    Of course, the reactionaries ultimately had their way.  Having complete power over the Presidency, the Congress, and the Courts from 2001 through January 2007, with less than 50% of the electorate behind them (and a highly dubious 2000 election which was then, and still is, very much in play), by virtue of the fear machine instituted by the 9/11 mnemonic trumpeters, the Reagan Revolution came to full fruition.

    The result was a multi-trillion dollar deficit spent on unnecessary tax cuts for the super wealthy, an unregulated banking system that permitted usurious credit card interest rates (but then denied fresh start bankruptcy to millions who desperately needed to file; thus ensuring a permanently indentured working class like the worst days of feudal feifdoms), an unchecked military squandering trllions on unknown enemies in never winnable wars, and an infrastructure and health care system long neglected and all but in tatters.

    Thus, the return to power of a Democratic Congress in 2007, and the mandated, sweeping victory of now President Obama in the general election of 2008 meant the clear refutation of Reaganomics.  It meant that the country had clearly had enough of the reactionaries.

    But that would also have necessitated that both the Democratic President and Congress act quickly, steam-rolling through legislation to counter and indeed crush Reagonomics so that it could not destroy the Ship of State, as close to imment collapse as was the Soviet Union twenty years earlier. 

    It would have required the long-overdue villification of Reaganomics and that actor-clown character once at its helm.  It would have required a ceaseless drum-beat from the newly empowered Democrats of just how bad things become when the nation follows the Reagan/Gingrich/Dubya-Cheney plan.

    And it would have required that our newly-empowered and reinvigorated Democrats define the nation's dormant but still lethal enemies before permitting them to newly define the Democrats. 

    Using the bully pulpit, President Obama might have daily revealed just how horrible Reaganomics and Gingrich's "Contract on America" were.  President Obama should have, by virtue of his brilliant rhetoric and profound effect particularly on newly enfranchised young voters, persistently pushed through radical FDR and LBJ style legislation--even, if necessary, going himself to House and Senate chambers on a weekly basis.

    At best, Democratic initiatives, whether on jobs creation, infrastructure, health care or banking reform, the reigning in of the foreign war machine, and various long neglected social issues, would have had only six months before the Right Wing propaganda machine could newly attack and awaken the slumbering reactionaries.

    Instead, an entire year was used up in attempting some sort of patchwork comprehensive health care reform package.  Banking institutions were again granted carte blanche discretion, freely given trillions of taxpayers dollars to forgive their debt, with no relief however for the millions of citizens they had pilified in usurious interest rate fees and abused mortgages.  The foreign war machine kept its imaginary enemies front and center, and not any of their Jingoist policies were reigned in.  And all the while, the reactionary forces, who should have been vanquished much as FDR did for at least a generation, were only growing louder and stronger.

    The tragedy is that unlike 1980 and 1994, and when reactionary forces came to full power by stealth and subterfuge in 2000, the State of the Union is 2010 is in tatters.  Our nation can only survive if Radical Left Wing change buttresses the lethal effects of the Radical Right Wing programs long ago instituted and left unchecked.

    The United States is on the brink of collapse and extinction.  For that, we must blame of course the reactionaries, ever and always living in denial, even though the Ship of State struck an iceberg under their watch and the USS Titanic is now steadfastly sinking. 

    We must blame the media, who, while still largely enamoured of President Obama, simply adore controversy and political turbulance, and are happy, whistling past the grave while with us on this Titanic Ship of State, because, alas, they had rather have good press than make it clear to their fellow passengers that the ship is truly sinking.

    We must blame our fellow Democrats, no longer the ferocious progressives of the years of FDR and LBJ, but rather themselves easily afraid of even the shadows of reactionary "tea-baggers" they had all too recently routed only fifteen months ago.  (From the current news, a visitor to this country would never know that the Democrats still control the Presidency, and with large majorities in both the House and Senate.  One would assume that the nude-posing and empty-headed Massachusetts Senator Elect Scott Brown and Tea-bagger conventioneers are fully in charge.).

    And yes, we must blame our President.  President Obama was gifted with every talent a politician could hope for, with brilliance of wit, intellect and rhetoric.  And he was granted every gift a politician could hope for, from stunning and widespread victories to the imprimatur of a Nobel Peace Prize while just coming to power as Chief Executive.

    But alas, one must also remember that candidate Obama often praised the "transitional figure" Ronald Reagan, and feebly attempted to show that neither the Boomer generation of Clintonites nor Dubya-ites had the correct answers.  We Clintonites repeatedly warned that this was a dangerous path to success.

    There was, there always will be, a difference.  We Clintonites were moulded by the revolutionary 1960s, just as our parents were animated by the policies of FDR, whereas the Dubya-ites were moulded by their reaction to those years, and, in large measure, their own parents' reaction to FDR policies. 

    It is a major, insurmountable difference in social thinking.  Candidate Obama wrongly thought to assuage both sides.  And President Obama, until it was far too late, thought to assuage both sides in the health care debate, and indeed on other pressing reform issues.

    Oddly enough, the more successful the tea-baggers are, whether now with the rise of the empty-suit Senator-Elect Scott Brown, or in the fall Midterm elections, the more certain President Obama is of a second term.

    After all, the reactionaries were in full power not so very long ago.  Although easily swayed, and innately dim-witted, it will not take long for American voters to learn anew just why they cast the Reagan-Gingrich-Dubya and Cheney crowd out so forcefully in November of 2008.  These masses will come to curse them all over again.

    The tragedy is that the USS Ship of State cannot wait to be righted after another two years.  It is, Titanic-like, sinking badly.  The fatal iceberg has already struck, and President Obama and the newly empowered Democrats were the last hope to patch up the craft before it disappears, extinguished by foreign waters upon which China, a Communist nation (of all things!), remains fully solvent and supremely powerful.

    Every empire has its historical shelf-life.  Gone are the heyday of ancient Greece and Rome, the French and British Empires, and the hegemony of the Soviet Union. 

    Who would have thought that the American Republic would ultimately fail by virtue of a nude-posing Senator Elect named Scott Brown, and a scatterbrained former beauty pageant winner named Sarah Palin?  What an ignominious end to what was once a stellar nation, founded on democratic principles and nurtured upon the idealistic hopes of millions.

  • comment on a post Winning over 4 years ago
    A most cogent and moving set of arguments indeed! And there is virtually no one who would deny the genius and extraordinary rhetoric of President Obama. But from the outset, what those of us who strongly supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 feared most about a President Obama has come to pass. He was simply too inexperienced nationally, and much too naive about the real objectives of GOP opposition. Bill and Hillary have been for so many decades veritable GOP punching bags that they well knew what would be thrown at a Hillary presidency, particularly as pertaining to health care reform. Never permit your enemy to define you. It is a war we are fighting with our opposition, the enemy every bit as lethal as the worst of Nazi SS troopers. But just as effective as those Nazi SS troopers were on a bankrupt German people in the afermath of World War I, so too are the GOP guerrillas in fighting every conceivable national social reform. FDR wasted no time on taking office in March 1933--drastic measures were called for, and he didn't give time to any set of "tea baggers" to tell the nation that a bank holiday on their money was a terrible thing. No, FDR fought the fires of Depression with fires of his own--he had the 1932 mandate to back him up. President Obama was mandated to create big change in 2008. There was no necessity to confer with the defeated opposition. A national health care bill, as well as a national recovery bill, should have been steamrolled through the Congress, even though there was no sixtieth Senate vote at the time. Reconciliation was perfectly fine; and if not, then by God, change the crazy filibuster rule. And he need not have wasted one moment while the GOP and the insurance lobby teamed to become a false "We the people are fighting you" power. President Obama in early 2009 had the bully pulpit--define those potential enemies first, and hit them hard by both words and deeds, and make certain that those hits leave them fatal. It was a Civil War the United States was undergoing, like the Depression battles of 1933, and every bit as politically bloody as was the American Civil War itself. We will never know now, but I believe that President Hillary Clinton, long ravaged with political scars, would have permitted the GOP no slack. She would have been an Iron Lady, and steeled herself from every shot from across the aisle. I am now fifty-six, and I am among the forty million Americans without health care. I do not expect to have it in my lifetime. Even if I ever suffer a stroke or should become terminally ill, so long as I have yet my mental faculties, I shall think twice before ever considering any treatment that can leave any of those close to me saddled with a debt they can never hope to pay for. Yet our banking institutions, freely given trillions of taxpayer dollars by both Presidents George Walker Bush and Obama, so that they might remain solvent, never blanch when torturing taxpayers to make good on their credit card debt with usurious 39% fees. Under such circuimstances, an FDR in office in 2009 would have surely stated: "The banks will have their debt forgiven by taxpayers only if taxpayers are also forgiven at least part of their debt by bankers." That would have made perfect sense to all but usurious bankers, and it wouldn't have mattered what they thought. There would have been no taxpayer giveaway money until the bankers surrendered. And in early 2009 the bankers, still desperate for government aid, would have had no other choice. America by the close of 2008 was on the way out. Too many years of Ronald Reagan-inspired GOP absolute rule 2001-2007, had all but wrecked the system. And even when the Democrats had the Congress after 2007, without a President's signature on bills enacted to create national recovery, such a Congress would have been impotent. To the brilliant and charismatic President Obama was given every gift--from a citizens' mandate in November 2008 to a world imprimatur by way of the Nobel Peace Prize in the autumn of 2009. Still, President Obama, perhaps heady with the love all around him, allowed himself to be lulled into inaction by those GOP stealthy veritable Nazi SS "tea-baggers." Now, even with huge majorities in the Congress, National Health Care in the United States is a dream only once more, killed by of all people, the citizens of Massachusetts whose forty-seven year Senator Ted Kennedy made National Health Care the cornerstone of his political career. Those of us now forever uninsured will never forgive the disloyalty of those Massachusetts citizens, blessed in their own state to have such health care. Someday, a higher power may inflict on those Massachusetts citizens the horror of also being forever without health care that they now have inflicted upon others. But what is certain is the fact that Massachusetts, once regarded as the most enlightened of states--the only not to support President Richard Nixon's reelection in 1972--has become a laughable jackass state, as easily manipulated as the worst of Southern racist states of the 1950's and 1960's. Oddly enough, it took the national mourning over the assassination of JFK and the political resolve of President Lyndon Johnson, once "The Master of the Senate," to create Medicaire. But like his mentor FDR, LBJ wasted no time. Truly strange is the fact that the GOP led "tea-baggers" argue for the protection of their Medicaire and Social Security, when both programs were openly reviled by the GOP. Today, GOP voters are the first at the trough to collect their Social Security checks and enjoy their Medicaire benefits. Now, there would have been a condign cure! Proclaim no known "tea-bagger" any longer eligible for either program! But that would have required an Iron President. Surely an FDR or an LBJ. And I believe that Hillary Clinton would have shared that great appelation had she come to the Presidency as well.  As it is now, the GOP "tea-baggers" are the ultimate Pyrrhic victors.  Flushed with their political triumph, like their opposition counterparts in the Soviet Union twenty years ago, they cannot understand that such a bulwark against absolutely necessary change only guarantees the inevitable extinction of the nation itself.
  • comment on a post The aftermath over 4 years ago

    The loss in Massachusetts was devastating on many levels, but most importantly because the majority of voters there demonstrated that they simply had no loyalty to the Ted Kennedy dream of universal health care. 

    In effect, the state whose politics was defined by the Kennedy dynasty for if not the past century, then at very least the past sixty years, assassinated the collective goals of the Kennedy brothers.  This was bitter irony indeed, considering two of the Kennedy brothers fell to actual assassin bullets.

    I find this act of supreme disloyalty as unforgivable as anything else I have witnessed in politics in my fifty-six years.  Granted the Democratic candidate was lacking in both charisma and forethought.  Still, to have shattered the dream of the last surviving Kennedy brother of the generation of the Second World War, on the ground of his home state, can only serve as a black mark against the state itself for all of the foreseeable future.

    Having noted the above, there is also no doubt much blame for our Democratic establishment.  For those of us who supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries (and let us not forget that she herself carried Massachusetts by a wide margin, although the entire Democratic establishment there, including nearly all of the Kennedys, supported now President Obama), we are reminded anew why we wanted someone to lead who had considerable national political experience.

    Surely our many political counterparts on the other side will argue the fact that the Clintons failed to establish health care the first time round, and the 1994 Republican rout must fall upon their own failure to define its cause before the opposition defined it for everyone else.  And that is certainly true.  But it is also true that having failed the first time round and knowing how one's enemy proceeds gives one the cardinal experience of how not to go about it if one tries again.

    We will never know now, because of course Hillary Rodham Clinton will never be a United States President, but surely most of us who supported her believed during the 2008 primaries, and believe now, that she would not have permitted the Congress to define the health care process.  And certainly, before the "tea-bagger" movement even stated, she would have known, instinctively, to define them and their real motives first.

    And I think it fair to say that the Clintons (Hillary and Bill have ever been and always will be a "two-for" power tandem) would have first tackled the problem of the dreadful economy, absolutely making certain that key working class communities nation-wide felt the positive effects of stimulus money.

    For me, Bill Clinton was the finest president of my lifetime, and I certainly include in that assessment Ike, JFK, LBJ, and Ronald Reagan.  There were far too many Cold War shenanigans in the 1950's and 60's to give great marks to Presidents of that era, and Reagan's policies, as fully practised by the younger Bush (in Reagan's own time a Democratic Congress prevented him from implementing many of his platform's most egregious elements), have amounted to the near-death of the United States itself.

    Indeed, now that the "tea-baggers" have triumphed and we are again in the throes of unbridled Reaganomics, I truly do not believe we have very long to survive.  Our nation was already in shambles in 2008, and we desperately needed an FDR figure to counterbalance the long-implemented Right-wing policies.  Now, we have little to look forward to but the inevitable return of those wrong-headed policies.

    In spite of the triumph of the Right Wing noise machine's "tea-bagger" movement, perhaps the greatest irony of all is how their own manipulation of voters dooms the United States itself, the country to which they too belong.  In their war-with-the-Democrats myopathy, they simply cannot conceive of the fact their GOP policies have lethally impacted the existence of the United States itself. 

    With now trillions in debt due to foreign wars with no definable enemy and without end; an infrastructure badly dated and stressed to the limit; bank bailouts whose corporate executives with inflated salaries care nothing for the many clients whose personal debt cannot be alievated; and a malaise of helplessness throughout the land, the United States is not so very far away from the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union, just some two decades ago.

    The greatest irony of all is the fact that China, a Communist Empire, largely carries the debt of the United States.  Corporate capitalists cheering the death of national health care and a the coming to power of a Right-winger to kill the Ted Kennedy legacy, are lost in the fog of that most sobering fact.

    For if America was to survive, then the Reaganites needed to take a leave of absence, if only for a few years.  Now they have assured the inevitable collapse of our nation.

    Tragic indeed that the rest of us most go down with them on this Titanic, when so many of us could see that this Ship of State had already crashed a malevolent iceberg two years ago. 

  • comment on a post BARACK OBAMA WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE over 4 years ago

    I echo the sentiments of so many above: I am much honored for our country by this Nobel Peace Prize and for the Obama administration's great hope for progress in reversing eight years of reactionary Bush rule.

    I hope that in receiving this singular distinction, President Obama is further compelled to avoid reactionary calls, be they from entrenched Insurance-industry controlled Democratic and Republican Senators, or frrom members of the Military-Industrial Complex, driving us ever more into an Afghanistan quagmire.

    President Obama is brilliant man with a supreme oratory.  This I always acknowledged, even though I remain a passionate Clinton advocate.

    Indeed, the fact that former President Clinton has never won (and is not likely ever to win) the Nobel Peace Prize, though I believe his key effort on behalf of the Irish Peace Accords (culminating in a 1998 Nobel Peace Prize to Irish government leaders) and certainly his Clinton Global Initative alone would make him a worthy recipient, does not lessen my admiration for Nobel Peace Committee's three-strike slap at the Bush administration in selecting three Bush adversaries in just seven years--former President Carter in 2002, former Vice President Gore in 2007, and now President Obama.

    Still, President Obama was obviously recognized more for his promise than any diplomatic accomplishments.  Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were into their second terms when each received the Prize, and in any event Teddy Roosevelt is viewed today as more a jingoist than a peace crusader.  

    Dr. Henry Kissinger's being a co-recipient of the 1973 Prize in his efforts to bring a resolution to the Vietnam conflict, although himself an architect of that war's protracted terribly misguided mission, was met with such derision that two of the five-member panel that year resigned in protest--thus revealing the true vote.  It may be said that the three who decided it never lived down their stupidity.

    Many of the Nobel Peace Prize winners were absolutely silly choices; in retrospect even disastrous selections. Argentina's Carlos Lamas in 1936 did not, even remotely, bring about accord between Bolivia and Paraguey, but he was conferred the prize anyway, evidently having circulated with thr right crowd of Scandinavian emissaries.

    Indeed, one can peruse the history of this Prize and note the tortured logic in the Committee's decision-making processes.  If one has any doubts of just how tortured that logic is, either in selecting or not selecting candidates, I would urge you to proceed to the Nobel website, wherein one finds a several-page mea culpa as to why Mahatma Gandhi was never selected.  He is now referred to as "The Missing Laureate."  But I assure you that you find the rationale concerning the omission an absolute hoot.

    Thus, in conclusion, be very proud of the selection of President Obama as it strikes yet another blow at American reactionaries.  But do take the award with a grain of salt.  The Nobel Peace Prize history is checkered indeed--revealing all too often the checkered motives on the part of both recipients and those who have conferred the prizes to them.

  • comment on a post Andy Card Folds over 4 years ago

    Truth be told, the most impressive, easily identifiable, and most easily successful candidate would be Ted Kennedy, Jr.

    Witnessing him deliver a eulogy at his father's funeral was absolutely breathtaking.  It was as if his father was reincarnated, young and vigorous all over again.  And Ted Jr. is a living embodiment of triumph over adversity, walking boldly and resolutely in the absence of a leg lost to cancer long ago.

    We as Americans are presumed to have an aversion to dynastic politics, yet our whole history is highlighted by prominent families very eminently rooted to national offices--the Adamses, the Harrisons, the Roosevelts, the Tafts, the Kennedys, and the Bushes--to name the more obvious examples.

    What Ted Kennedy, Jr. did on behalf of his father in lionizing the late Lion of the Senate, was to inform the whole world witnessing the visceral pull of the Kennedys over the past half century.  He "resurrected the era" of committed, unabashed caring and commitment, and he made poignantly clear why universal health care was the central issue of his father's long political career.  

    Ted Jr. and his also cancer surviving sister Kara and indeed their asthmatic brother Patrick could triumph not only because they were encouraged to by loving parents and a close-knit family, but because their affluence afforded them the best of treatment. Whatever were Senator Kennedy's personal failings, he more than made restitution by his commitment to those left behind; unable to partake of what too many affluent took for granted.

    Ted Jr. is not just his father physically reincarnated, but clearly his father's lifetime political passions reanimated and youthful once more.

    Thus, I submit, aversion to dynasties and wont of political experience notwithstanding, the Lion of the Senate's seat can be no better filled than by his eldest son who bears his name.

    Ted Kennedy, Jr.'s eulogy to his father struck a wrenchingly emotional chord than no other candidate for the now vacant United States Senate seat in Massachusetts could possibly hope to equal.

    I suspect that many a Massachusetts denizen, and their fellow United States citizens, are longing for a passionate and dedicated Ted Kennedy, Jr. to follow in the footsteps of the now legendary Senator Ted Kennedy.

  • comment on a post Bill Clinton Blames Dole, Kristol For Reform Failure over 4 years ago

    Again, I much admire Bill Clinton's advice regarding GOP machinations, also expressed most cogently in a story currently airing on AOL, in which the former President would ask that President Obama simply bypass the GOP on current comprehensive health reform.

    Experience is always the best teacher.  Bill and Hillary Clinton both attempted earnestly to be bipartison in 1993 and 1994, having arrived in the White House with a Bill Clinton win of just 43% of the popular vote.  

    That result, of course, was owed to the Ross Perot third party strong showing.  But many of us believe that Clinton would have had an absolute majority were it not for Perot, inasmuch as 1993 was certainly a strong change election year.  Naturally, the MSM and the GOP could not then and yet cannot accept such an assumption; indeed, they yet believe the Clinton presidency was somehow an aberration of the normal political process.

    Through my fifty-six year lifetime, I have often witnessed the thwarting of popular will by special interests, always aided and abetted by the national news media, most of whom have little in common with ordinary citizens.

    Frequently these usurpers of good social legislation masquerade as Democrats, such as most of the contemporary majority members of the Senate Finance Committee.  

    Or they pretend to be progrssive commentators, such as Lawrence O'Donnell, who only yesterday on MSNBC began to spew forth his certainty that no final health care reform bill would have a public option.  O'Donnell decreed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was only going through the motions when stating congressional steadfastness on the public option.  He opined that she was simply being the best of all possible progressive soldiers.

    Interesting and truly sad, is it not?  President Obama comes to the Presidency with an absolute majority of the popular vote, and large majorities in both houses of Congress, and he is now being asked to thwart the great passion for change that made him become the forty-forth United States Chief Executive.

    My humble advice, borne of all that I have witnessed over the decades is to punctuate the Clinton advice.  Forget about the GOP.  Indeed, forget about the pundits and the MSM"s self-fulfilling opinion polls.  

    Before Congress and the nation, speak tonight with great passion and convintion on the absolute immediate need for comprehensive health care reform.  Invoke the name of the late Senator Kennedy, for whom the reform bill should be named.

    Then state that our current Chief Executive will not be a slave of the Insurance Lobbies, even if members of Congress, media and pundits are happily obsequious to them.  Shame the Blue Dogs into action.  Expose them all as the true traitors of the American public will.

    And President Obama will do fine indeed.  Speaking with such refreshing candor, he can draw forth anew the great crowds of his presidential campaign.  And the GOP will find itself next year, and for all the forseeable future, as a minority party indeed.

  • comment on a post Shorter Sebelius: We surrender over 4 years ago

    First, permit me to clarify that in my continued admniration of the Clintons, I had meant to refer to their health care initiative of 1993-1994, not, of course, 2003-2004.

    Beyond that, I stand steadfastly behind my commentary.

    The Clintons were ever and always "two-fers," the slang variant of two for the price of one; ever and always a political power tandem.  Almost eveyone everywhere who knows anything about them takes that as an axiom.  Thus, to believe that in voting for Hillary last year one was not also voting for Bill is an insult not to Hillary but to one's own intelligence about the nature of this extraordinary team.

    Secondly, the comment that Bill Clinton achieved nothing by way of Congress displays the ultimate of ignorance.  The boom of the mid-to-latter 1990s, indeed "the longest peacetime expansion," was borne directly out of Bill Clinton's brilliant economic package, which was lacerated by the GOP and which in fact cost many courageous Democrats their congressional seats in 1994.  

    That brilliant economy was Clinton's economy.  Far be it for either the GOP or even the NETROOTS to ever give him his due.  The "Dot COM" high technology boom occurred simultaneously, but it was his precisely ordered stimulus, fully paid for by an increase in taxes for the highest wage earners which made for that golden surplus by the time of the millennium.

    Those glory years of paid-for prosperity were also augmented by superb efforts on behalf of negotiated peace to long festering conflicts, concerning which Bill Clinton played a cardinal role.  The most auspicious of these was the peace pact concluding centuries of hostilities in Northern Ireland--and denizens of that region know only too well just how cardinal the Clinton role was.

    Now, as to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," this was from the outset severely flawed, but it was a step in the right direction at a period in which gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered rights were never even referred to by previous administrations.  

    Remember too, that the ever-eviscerated (at Oxford while Vietnam raged) Clinton was contending with an entrenched military that deeply distrusted him.  Strangely enough, that same military adored Bill Clinton's contemporary President George Walker Bush--who not only never served abroad during the Vietnam War, but several times did not even show up for duty stateside as part of his National Guard service.

    Thus, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was a terribly flawed but necessary first step.  Flogging Bill Clinton for this is rather like flogging a lone Civil Rights crusader in a town of Red Necks many of whom would yet believe in the KKK.  That lone crusader could only do so much, and whipping him for not doing more goes beyond the pale.

    As regards to the Clinton health care initiative of 1993-1994; this too, was the nation's first comprehensive healthcare overhaul, going far beyond Medicare under LBJ and the earlier failed efforts of Harry Truman.  

    Yes, the Clintons might have handled it with greater prescience of their entrenched insurance company opposition interests.  But remember that Bill Clinton's popular vote in 1992 was all of 43%; he did not then garner a fillibuster proof Senate majority, and the opposition to him was far more vitriolic.  

    Most importantly, the MSM was ever planning his demise, inasmuch as he was the politician "who got away."  That is far cry from the reverence afforded both candidate and President Barack Obama, even though much of that reverence can be understood.

    As a Clinton enthusiast, I have been much impressed by President Obama.  He is truly gifted, with an intellect superbly displayed in his town hall meetings and before Congress and Press.  He is one of our finest Chief Executives, and indeed he may one day be regarded with the likes of FDR and Lincoln as being among the best of all time.

    But currently he is finding his way, and that way is not so very different from the path that Bill Clinton has trodden before him.

    Yet I also believe that there is no substitute for experience, and the fact the Clintons were both battle-scarred from the last serious effort at comprehensive health care reform makes them far more capable of knowing where the political landmines are and how to avoid them.

    President Obama is prescient enough to know that you don't sequester a diamond-class politician, whatever are your past differences.  Thus, President Obama permitted Bill Clinton to be the final emissary toward the release of the journalists held in North Korea.

    It is my prayer that President Obama will continue to be prescient and permit diamond-class politician William Jefferson Clinton to act on behalf of the administration's best efforts on the world stage--and on behalf of comprehensive health care reform.

    And it is high time the NETROOTS gave Bill Clinton his due.  While our brilliant current President finds his way, Bill Clinton will remain our finest Chief Executive of the past sixty-four years.

  • comment on a post Shorter Sebelius: We surrender over 4 years ago

    I am profoundly saddened, for I know now that I, now 56, shall never see myself adequately insured, as I am among the millions not insured at all.

    I admire President Obama for his brilliance and command of issues, but alas, my NETROOTS friends, many of us will never agree as to which Democratic candidate was truly the better choice of 2008.

    In my lifetime, Bill Clinton was the best of United States Presidents, and I include Ike, JFK and LBJ.  Each of those men had far more flawed administrations, whether by perpetuating Cold War mythologies or by way a myopic social view.

    Bill and Hillary always fought the good fight.  They believed, then and now, in universal health care, but unlike President Obama, they were neither of them ever respected by the vast majority of the American media.  The media condemned Bill Clinton when he survived the premature predictions of his political demise early in the primary campaign of 1992.  Since then, they have excoriated him for anything and everything.  

    And yet without a doubt, as my own generation prepares for its time of passing, there is my personal certainty that post World War II, Bill Clinton was simply the most accomplished of any United States President.

    I believe that there is no substitute for experience, and had the "twofer" Clintons regained power in 2009 they would have understood, better than any other politicians, the need to define health care reform very early on and decidedly, and on their own terms.  They would have recognized, because of the failure of their own initiative in 1993-1994, that one simply cannot leave reform to the insurance lobbies.  "Harry and Louise" ads could only succeed in 2009 if the insurance industry were seen as a central player.  

    The dynamics of the politics in current play would have made the insurance lobbies irrelevant--but only if the White House, very rapidly defined the battlefield, and without any nods to the GOP, which had been throttled in the two previous general elections.

    Such a view, such a comprehension, could only have come from mature veteran pols who had been at the forefront of the political divide in 2003 and 2004--indeed, only Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    Ronald Reagan's minions will never be anything more than the "Greed Is Good" acolytes of Oliver Stone's 1987 "Wall Street"--the work of cinema which most closely defined the Reagan Era.  

    One of the truly saddest aspects of so many in the Netroots adopting the MSM's creed eviscerating all things Clinton is the fact that so many among them can see no difference between the peace and prosperity era of Clinton and the "Greed is Good," borrow-on-the-future credo of Reagan and the Bushes.

    There will now never be a way to determine if this time round another Clinton term would have achieved true health care reform, yet I know in my heart and mind that another Clinton term would have fought the battle with greater wisdom--borne of experience--and I think much more effectively.

    I believe that President Barack Obama continues to fight the good fight for many Americans too long disappropriated by Washington.  He is truly gifted and brilliant.  

    But having a 60-vote majority in the Senate and a commanding lead in the House of Representatives, and a presidential mandate by voters the previous year, for all of the unruly nature of congressional politics, are powerful dynamics with little precedent.  There is no doubt that President Obama has the youth, vitality, and brilliance to carry off comprehensive health care reform.  

    Alas, he simply is wanting the wisdom of having gone to bat for it before--and concerning that play, only the Clintons could possibly understand the rules of play.

    More sorrowful than recognizing the fact that the only way that I, and many millions more in this country, will ever have meaningful health care, is if we leave these shores for other lands, is the fact that so many of the truly progressive Netrooters have permitted themselves to be freely indoctrinated by the Reagan acolytes.  They have bought into the mythology than the Clinton years differed little from their Right Wing predecessors.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The Clinton Era fought not only entrenched Right Wing forces from the outset, but without a presidential mandate, also fought a virulently hostile press.  

    Because President Obama, who enjoyed a genuine presidential mandate in 2008, and who has been largely championed by that same militantly anti-Clinton press, yet maintains a respect by the MSM, his administration's capitulation on health care is one of the truly great tragedies of American politics.  Meaningful health care reform in the United States should have happened, without excuses and adulteration, in 2009.

    Again, I admire President Obama for his many great gifts.  I pray that he achieve his many noble goals for all Americans and other citizens of the World.  And I yet pray for a miracle on health care reform.

    But my heart and my mind know that there is no substitute for experience.  To conquer the forces of the status quo requires a prior knowledge of that status quo and how to best them on their own terms.  For me, in 2009, that meant calling on the Clintons.

    The recent release of the journalists unfairly sentenced in North Korea is a case in point.  Indeed, President Obama's administration laid the groundwork, but it was Bill Clinton, and only Bill Clinton, who could have effected their exodus.  On the world stage, President Obama is truly golden, but Bill Clinton is diamond stellar.  Nobody does it better, even in 2009.

    Mindful of his administration's own failure at bat in 2003-2004, health care reform in 2009, like his success on the Korean mission, requires the finesse of William Jefferson Clinton.

  • comment on a post President Clinton Grades President Obama over 5 years ago

    One of the most astonishing aspects about many among the so-called progressive bloggers is their inability to attribute greatness to Bill and Hillary Clinton and the long reign of peace and prosperity connected with the Clinton years.

    Recently a Right-wing Rupert Murdoch-led rag across the Atlantic tied Bill Clinton at #14 among all US Presidents (one will note that the list quite deliberately places him at #15, when according to their own reckoning in fact he ties at #14).  That same list would have us believe that Cold Warrior Harry Truman, very brief reigning (and little of substance accomplished) JFK, Vietnam War paralyzing LBJ, Sleepy 1950s Eisenhower, intellectual but aloof and myopic Wilson, and of course Reagan--whose Reagonomics have left the country in shambles--all were greater than Bill Clinton.

    Well, from all the Presidents I have lived through, I can think of no other presidency I would rather have repeated than that of Bill Clinton's.  Those who would like to re-live the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Reagan years are welcome to do so.  The rest of us who endured them have too many vivid memories of Cold War shenanigans and a crippling of the once much envied United States economy.

    Bill Clinton--hands down the best President since FDR, but who will never get his due because so many Republicans and seemingly progressive bloggers like Charles Lemos are so steadfastly unable to accept his achievements, brilliantly evident to most of the rest of the world.  Which is why Bill and Hillary Clinton are still commanding global political rock stars, even if they are underappreciated in the United States.

    For years after 9/11 the GOP promulgated the mythology that Bill Clinton was remiss, even though that sad incident occurred some nine months into George Walker Bush's reign.  One should note here that these same members of the anti-Clinton crowd fully blamed Bill for the Somalia Black Hawk Down incident, just weeks into his presidency--although his immediate predecessor had engaged the forces into Somalia.

    Of course, the fact that the Clinton budget bill passed Congress without a single GOP vote, which resulted in a GOP takeover of Congress in 1994, somehow is not mentioned when determining what truly created the 1990s boom.  And of course, not just the "dot com" empire, but also the brilliant economic leadership in that beautifully designed 1994 budget bill led to the longest peacetime expansion of the United States economy in the nation's history.

    The Clinton years, from the beyond the beltway and inveterate Clinton-hating crowd, were packed with impressive achievements.  Not just the longest sustained peace and prosperity era, with a golden surplus coming at the close, but a lasting Irish Peace Pact, AMERICORPS, the busting up of Big Tobacco, the signing of the Brady Gun Waiting Law, welfare reform, the first serious effort at comprehensive health care, a much more embracing relationship between rival parties in the Middle East--and a literate crowd in the White House, including a Commander-in-Chief who could hold his own in any crowd of any social strata.

    Bill Clinton concluded his presidency, alongside a long Ken Starr Witch Hunt and Congressional Impeachment nonwithstanding, with sky-high approval ratings.  A sustained peace and prosperity ought to pay those approval dividends.

    Bill Clinton never believed in Reaganomics.  He was the ANTIDOTE to Reaganomics. Whereas
    George Walker Bush worshpped all things Reagan.  And we now know which path taken was terribly wayward.

    As a devoted Clintonite, I am much impressed by the leadership, the intellectual and perspicacious management of President Obama.  I believe he has the makings of genuine Presidential greatness, along the lines of Lincoln and FDR, whose examples he has wisely chosen to follow.

    But if he even achieves half of the real success of Clinton years, President Obama will still be a great United States President.

    Bill Clinton is absolutely one of our nation's top ten--if not top five--Chief Executives.

    But I, now fifty-five, will be long dead before he gets his due.  If the GOP ever had a President with as long a reign of peace and prosperity--and with as much fiscal discipline--as Bill Clinton, not only would they have demanded his presence on Mount Rushmore, but they would secured for him his very own Mount Rushmore.

    Acrimonious purists like Mr. Lemos notwithstanding, Bill Clinton was, and remains through his Global Initiative, truly great.

    And for many beyond the Beltway, his peace-and-prosperity years are remembered quite fondly.  Alas, the great majority of us living through presidencies, and cognizant of presidential attributes and vicissitudes, are not determining factors.  Instead, the political slant of a select group of so-called "historians" determine "greatness."

    And so to Mr. Lemos and his fellow Bill Clinton fault-finders, we Clintonites shall happily trade you a re-living of the Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ and Reagan years, if you will permit us the re-living of the Clinton years in turn.

    Enjoy your Cold War, Vietnam, supply-side and trickle down administrations, all over again.

    But let us Clintonites enjoy anew the Clinton years.  The best of my lifetime, I know.  And Bill Clinton is absolutely the best President since FDR.  Even if the anti-Clinton crowd still rules the MSM, its pundits, and yet predominates among the called "presidential historians."

  • comment on a post George W. Bush's first ranking: 36th of 42 over 5 years ago

    First and foremost, note that this listing of the first forty-two (inasmuch as Cleveland was both 22nd and 24th) is by way of Rupert Murdoch's rag, thus not to be taken very seriously.

    One notes, accordingly, that Teddy Roosevrlt, Dwight Eisenhower, media and Right-wing honey Ronald Reagan, and GOP nominal Democratic favorite Harry Truman all crack the top ten.

    One also notes that Bill Clinton ties at fourteenth, behind the very dubious presidencies of James Knox Polk and Andrew Jackson.

    Note, too that JFK cracks the top ten above, and while most historians note his glitz and glamour, his barely three-year reign resulted in little of substance to most serious historians.

    Of course, this is a re-writing of history, by Republicans and for Republicans, at a time when Reaganomics, taken to its extreme by way of George Walker Bush, has left the United States economy in absolute shambles.  

    Indeed, if any President can be proven to have had his policies absolutely lethal for the nation's (and the rest of the world's health) it is certainly Ronald Wilson Reagan.  He ought to be anathema to all but the most Right-wing of zealots now, and should be certainly ranked, along with George Walker Bush, at the very bottom of presidential lists.

    But the GOP and the Right-wing media never cease to apoologize for and yet effusively praise this horrendous President, little more than a tired old has-been film star striken with senile dementia in his latter presidential years.  No President should be more villified than Reagan today--inasmuch as he paved the path for George Walker Bush, whose bone-headed leadership has left America teetering on the brink.

    But leave it Murdoch and the always Right-wing acolytes in the press across the Atlantic to repeatedly try to resurrect Reagan false imagery.

    And leave it to that same Right-wing press to deny Bill Clinton his due.  Bill Clinton, absolutely the best American President of the twentieth century after FDR.  

    Sorry, not LBJ. whose Vietnam stewardship paralyzed America.  Not sleepy-time 1950's Ike, whose administration was aloof and Cold War enuniciated.  Not Woodrow Wilson, also myopic and distant, if erudite in his advocacy of a League of Nations.  And certainly not GOP blessed Harry Truman, the ultimate Cold Warrior whose drop of the hydrogen bomb, an experiment gone wild if there ever was one, needlessly crippled generations of a long ago surrendered Japanese.

    One also notes that Washington and Lincoln both best FDR.  Sorry, Republicans, FDR was every bit the equal in greatness of Lincoln, and FDR's policies every bit as far ranging, if not further ranging still.

    So, one can fall for the latest MSM Murdoch and company Right-wing claptrap about Presidential rankings still blessing Ronnie Reagan even though his policies may have already have finished off the United States.  Or one can face absolute reality and acknowledge greatness by actual achievements, perceived as real by Americans who lived it rather than aloof historians eager to re-write history to their own ideological design.

    Thus, the real listing of Presidential greatness would read something like the following:

    1 and 1 (absolute tie) Lincoln and FDR

    1. Jefferson
    2. Washington
    3. Clinton
    4. Teddy Roosevelt
    5. Wilson
    6. JFK
    7. Eisenhower
    8. LBJ
    9. Truman
    10. Jackson
    11. Monroe
    12. Cleveland
    13. John Adams
    14. John Quincy Adams
    15. Madison
    16. Carter
    17. Taft
    18. Garfield
    19. McKinley
    20. George H. W. Bush
    21. Polk
    22. Ford
    23. Grant
    24. Nixon
    25. Taylor
    26. Reagan
    27. Hayes
    28. Hoover
    29. Benjamin Harrison
    30. Pierce
    31. William Henry Harrison
    32. Coolidge
    33. Van Buren
    34. Andrew Johnson
    35. Fillmore
    36. Arthur
    37. Tyler
    38. Buchanan
    39. Harding
    40. George Walker Bush

    Someday, likely not in my remaining years (and I am fifty-five now), FDR will tie with Lincoln as the greatest, Clinton will at last get his top ten (if not top five) due, and Ronnie Reagan will be relegated to the ash-heap of bad history.

    But the Right Wing still controls much of the news media, and as to so-called historians, remember that Clinton to many among them is still considered white trash--and "the one that got away."

    But the above list will one day surely approximate the truth.  Having read every major presidential biography, I believe I can back up my claims quite substantially.

Diaries

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