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Tilting at Windmills

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March 2, 2009

THE EVER-GROWING ROOT-FOR-FAILURE CAUCUS.... The list just keeps getting bigger.

Over the last few days, Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum, and Michelle Malkin have joined the Limbaugh-inspired group of conservatives who are publicly hoping that President Obama fails. Yesterday afternoon, RedState's Erick Erickson kept the ball rolling with an item headlined, "I Too Want Barack Obama to Fail," encouraging other conservatives to rally behind the campaign to undermine the president.

Join the RedState Army of Activists and lets [sic] work to make sure Barack Obama fails at destroying liberty and freedom:

I want Barack Obama to fail and I want to help ensure he does.

If Barack Obama is successful in implementing his stated agenda, America will fail and the American dream will die for millions.

We already know Barack Obama's economic policy will fail, but it will hurt millions of hard working Americans.

I will join the RedState Army of Activists and fight for freedom by working to undermine Barack Obama's agenda and helping him fail.Thank [sic] you for your interest in the I WANT BARACK OBAMA TO FAIL.

Let's put aside how ironic it is to hear those who believe they're patriotic actively rooting against the nation's elected leadership. And by all means, let's certainly overlook the kind of response this would have elicited if, in the midst of multiple international crises, the left put together an organized campaign encouraging Americans to "help" George W. Bush "fail."

Instead, let's note the politics. Ben Smith, highlighting Erickson's post, said, "[S]omewhere, Brad Woodhouse and Rahm Emanuel are smiling."

Yep. If Democratic leaders were drawing up a plan to make the right appear ridiculous, their best case scenario would be one in which leading conservatives, consumed by anger just one month after Inauguration Day, started saying things like, "I want Barack Obama to fail and I want to help ensure he does," in the midst of a global economic crisis and two wars.

In the drive to paint the right as unhinged, blind partisans, committed more to a right-wing ideology than American success, these guys are doing the Democrats' work for them.

Better yet, by pushing this line so aggressively, the right is also putting elected Republican officials in an awkward position. When asked if they agree with the cries of the activist base, GOP policymakers have to decide whether to appear anti-American or denounce some of their loyal supporters.

Reiterating a point from Saturday, actor John Wayne, who was very conservative, was asked for his thoughts after JFK defeated Richard Nixon in 1960. "I didn't vote for him," Wayne said, "but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."

It's such a simple and obvious sentiment. That it eludes so many conservatives is a genuine shame.

Steve Benen 8:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (86)

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Comments

Aren't these the same people that said looking cross-eyed at the Commander in Chief in wartime is treason?

Posted by: Justin on March 2, 2009 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

With luck, the only harm these fools will do will be to their own party and to themselves, not to the country.

And that will be a very good thing FOR the country!

Posted by: K on March 2, 2009 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

I thought then and still believe now that when Limbaugh first said "I hope he fails," he was just bloviating. You know, just venting and tweaking his audience a little bit.

I mean, sure, he obviously does not want the most liberal agenda since the Great Society to take hold, but "I hope he fails," is so over the top, it was obviously just an emotional response to Obama's election.

Then, his off-the-cuff remark started getting a lot of media attention and Limbaugh, egomaniac that he is, couldn't very well admit that it was mostly hyperbole. So, he doubled down on "I hope he fails." He owned it.

Then, predictably, other Republicans were asked if they agreed with Rush. Some quickly said they didn't and were savaged by Limbaugh and his followers in the GOP base. Others, like poor Phil Gingrey, were actually compelled to debase themselves with on-air apologies to El Rushbo for having suggested that governing, unlike pontificating for a living, actually requires negotiation and compromise. And very few Republicans will dare to say now that they hope President Obama succeeds in fixing the American economy.

So now, Limbaugh's rant has become GOP orthodoxy. The Republican Party is actively rooting for the failure of the President of the United States.

Every time I think they can't sink any lower, they prove me wrong.

Posted by: UncommonSense on March 2, 2009 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

If Barack Obama is successful in implementing his stated agenda, America will fail and the American dream will die for millions.

Where were these morons when George Bush was implementing his agenda, America was failing and the American dream died for tens of millions? Oh wait, they were cheering him on.

The stupidity of these guys and girls is breathtaking!

Posted by: gttim on March 2, 2009 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

And in return for his support, the Duke got to make movies pretending that Viet-Nam was WWII. Were he alive today, he'd be busy killing celluloid terrorists.

Posted by: mickscotty on March 2, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Join the RedState Army of Activists and lets [sic] work to make sure Barack Obama fails at destroying liberty and freedom:

Well, shoot, that's a cushy job.
I want in, too.

I don't expect to have to do much of anything.
No wonder sloppy, pasty, rich, old white guys want the job.

At the end of 2012 our coalition can proudly look upon an Obama administration that has had habeas corpus restored, no CIA black sites, no torture, no holding people indefinitely without charges, no wiretapping! A comparatively powerless, "socialist" president in a land of freedom! How the Democrats shall rend their garments in anguish!

Then we shall cast them all into a brier patch!

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on March 2, 2009 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

The irony of their deeds and statements is astounding! Not a wrinkled piece of clothing on those bastards to our far-right! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 2, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

The RepuBlican, Wayne, would have said, "Saddle up, pilgrims, let's move out - time for spring planting".

The RepuGs want to take to the heights of the Great Smokies and try to re-invent Nathan Bedford Forrest. Never should have let them keep their rifles and mules.

Posted by: berttheclock on March 2, 2009 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "Let's put aside how ironic it is to hear those who believe they're patriotic actively rooting against the nation's elected leadership."

I believe it was, in fact, patriotic to root against the nation's elected leadership during the last eight years of the Bush-Cheney administration.

Indeed, I believe it is always patriotic to root against the nation's elected leadership if you believe that what they are proposing or doing is bad for the country.

If "conservatives" believe that the success of Obama's agenda would be harmful to the country, then of course they should want him to fail, and they have exactly the same right to call for and work for Obama's "failure" that Steve Benen or I asserted for ourselves when we called for and worked for the "failure" of Bush's plans to invade Iraq or to privatize Social Security.

Steve Benen wrote: "And by all means, let's certainly overlook the kind of response this would have elicited if, in the midst of multiple international crises, the left put together an organized campaign encouraging Americans to help George W. Bush fail."

I was part of just such an organized campaign in the fall of 2002 and the spring of 2003, when millions of people like myself marched in the streets of DC and other cities encouraging Americans to help George W. Bush fail in his plans to launch a war of unprovoked aggression against Iraq.

What strikes me as ironic is that after eight years in which Democrats and "liberals" quite rightly castigated Republicans and "conservatives" for equating support for the CheneyBush administration with "patriotism" and labeling anyone and everyone who opposed any aspect of the CheneyBush administration's policies as "anti-American", it seems that some Democrats and "liberals" now want to do the same thing.

Perhaps "ironic" is not the right word - "hypocritical" would be more appropriate.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

It might seem obvious to support the President, even if he is from the opposing party, but let us not kid ourselves about rooting against a President that a person finds ill suited for the job. I recall from my own experience that I most likely had some of the same feelings in late 2000 through the summer of 2001 with W. Now, that desire to see W fail ended one September morning, and I think that I was able to compartment my feeling for W and my feelings for the Office of the President. I also think that I was able to seperate my hope for success for the country and wanting to see W leave the public scene as soon as possible.
But for those on the left, and I am one, to try to be holier-than-thou on the matter of wanting a President to fail, be very careful of hypocrisy when it comes to W vs Obama.
I do know that there is a difference between Liberals being able to hold contradictory views, and Conservatives doing the same. And that failure in May 2001 held much less dire consequences as does failure now.

Posted by: newtons.third on March 2, 2009 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Life was so horrible for working people under Clinton and his socialist tax rates. But Bush made things so totally awesome for the non-rich!

Posted by: Obama Loves the Steelers on March 2, 2009 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Of course any right thinking person would have wanted Bush's policies to fail: objectively speacking, those policies were morally and criminally wrong. More rapid failure of those policies would have stopped or slowed the disaster that we now confront.

Posted by: PowerOfX on March 2, 2009 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Another distorted leftist slant trying to attach the same loathing they had/have of Bush to conservative's views of Obama. Here's some news for you. We like Obama just fine, we wish he would pursue successful policies. He isn't, at least not yet. As long as he persists with a socialist agenda, we want that agenda to fail. The FACT that we want him to succeed is based on the notion that he changes course and stops the ever inflating bailout balloon. If he allows capitalism to succeed and works to get government out of the way, then we stand behind him AND his policies. Until then, though we stand behind him, we don't support his policies. Let me put it in terms more familiar: It's like supporting the troops while being against the war. Got it now?

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

And I want Rush, RedState, Little Green Footballs (?!), the Wonkette and the whole laughably miserable CPAC bunch to fail, so join me....

What an ego-driven crock of anti-American crap. At least they're no longer misrepresenting themselves. These school bus burners have never given a damn about this country.

Posted by: ericfree on March 2, 2009 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

What SecularAnimist said.

Republicans have a *lot* to be called to account for. But this indictment is playing with semantics.

The real question is, is any Republican saying they would rather the country suffer through a recession/depression than see Obama's policies implemented.

Certainly some of the Southern governors are angling for that.

Posted by: Chris S. on March 2, 2009 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Think about all the "Why do they hate America?" crap we had to listen to during Dear Leader's reign. Then think about the fact that wingnuts specialize in projection. Then it will all make sense.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on March 2, 2009 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Steve, is that John Wayne line available on video, or was he just quoted in print? Because if there's video, the Dems should cut an ad using it, juxtaposing it with today's Republican party.

Posted by: sullijan on March 2, 2009 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

The conservative movement seems to be trying to shrink itself to a size where it'll comfortably wash down the bathtub drain. I'm good with that.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on March 2, 2009 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Don Hyatt, if what you mean by "socialist agenda", is "universal health care" (the most socialist thing I've heard of in all his proposals), what EVIDENCE do you have that Obama's choice would be inferior to what we have now? Of the 20+ industrialized countries with universal health care (some socialized, some merely mandatory insurance plus heavy regulation of that industry), surely you can point to one that:

1) spends more per capita, or
2) spends greater % of GDP on healthcare, or
3) has higher infant mortality, or
4) has a shorter expected lifespan, or
5) spends a greater percentage of the life in ill health?

(Free clue -- you won't find one)

Why debate airy-fairy theories, when we've got a huge pile of hard data to work with?

And if you, like I, cannot find even one example of "socialism" (meaning universal healthcare) not working substantially better than our current system, why do you oppose it? You prefer the freedom to spend more, die sooner, be sicker, and have more infants (thousands) die each year?

Posted by: dr2chase on March 2, 2009 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

If someone on the left hoped that Bush would fail to get enough support for his war policies to launch the war on Iraq, that was legitimate, and I certainly hoped that. If someone on the left hoped that Bush would fail once he launched the war would fail--which he then did spectacularly and horribly for the people of Iraq and for thousands of U.S. military personal--that was not.

Wishing Obama would fail to implement his policies is certainly legitimate for conservatives who think those policies will be more harmful than doing nothing. But hoping that the policies fail--that the economy keeps plunging and people keep losing their jobs--is morally reprehensible. If someone thinks Obama's policies will make things worse, then it is incumbent on them to try to stop those policies from being implemented. But no one who cares about their fellow citizens and society can wish for the policies undertaken to fail, however much they may fear that they will fail if they ideologically oppose them.

Its not just semantics but there are differences here. The Limbaugh rhetoric is crude and if the Republicans take it up they should experience the backlash they deserve from it.

This country needs Obama to succeed. We're in the middle of a recession, and it would be disasterous for it to get worse. If the Republicans can't bother to make a distinction between opposing the policies because they think they won't work and hoping the country suffers to prove the policies won't work, they don't deserve any benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Vicki Linton on March 2, 2009 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

What's with the "sic" reference in:

Thank [sic] you for your interest in the I WANT BARACK OBAMA TO FAIL.

Posted by: Quiddity on March 2, 2009 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

The FACT that we want him to succeed is based on the notion that he changes course and stops the ever inflating bailout balloon. - Don Hyatt

And what exactly is it you think is causing the stock market to continue it's downward spiral? Too much bailout? Do you think we would have been better off if Treasury and the Fed had just let Merrill Lynch and AIG fail along with Lehman? From a moral stand point I hate the bailouts, too, but to deny the realities is either naive or disingenuous.

Posted by: Danp on March 2, 2009 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Let's put aside how ironic it is to hear those who believe they're patriotic actively rooting against the nation's elected leadership.

I don't know how ironic it really is. Sure, in the case of the right-wing fringe it's ironic because they've spent the last eight years equating dissent with disloyalty, but as a more general concept I don't think there's any conflict with patriotism in rooting against a leadership you believe is harming the country -- indeed, patriotism may actually demand it. I certainly believed it was my patriotic duty to work against George Bush -- though, to be fair, in that case it was the nation's unelected leadership.....

Posted by: Stefan on March 2, 2009 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

How much more of this overheated rhetoric from the far right do we need to hear before one screwed-up maniac starts taking this a little too seriously and pulls his dog-eared copy of the Turner Diaries off of his shelf for ideas? The paramilitary language (Red State Strike Force, anyone?) should scare the shit out of any right-thinking person. The re-casting of mainstream political disputes into life and death struggles is abhorrent to a functioning, mature democracy.

While we may see this as the right's long-overdue crack-up, it's the potentially very, very bad collateral effects that concern me the most.

Posted by: MDK on March 2, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Let me put it in terms more familiar: It's like supporting the troops while being against the war. Got it now?

Not really. I always supported the war but was opposed to the troops.

Posted by: Stefan on March 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Extremists of all stripes (although the Right more than the Left seems to breed more and louder ones these days) share a common advantage: there is a usually minimal chance that their ideas will ever be realized so they can honk their horns as brashly as they want without consequences. I think that the Randians, the hardline libertarians (away with municipal garbage collection! my liberty trumps your sanitation, and if you die of plague it's too bad) and the radio blowhards are pretty much of this type.

The trick is to recognize when the chance is more than minimal, and while the Limpbaugh the Blimp scarcely seems the real thing, he may be playing a John the Baptist to some rough beast, yet unknown, even now slouching toward Bethlehem. And bad economies are fertile fields for such sinister characters. Would Hitler ever have come to power without the Great Depression? In 1928, the Nazis were losing votes.

That's why it makes sense to concentrate on getting the economy on track. As much as those huge deficits unnerve me, 25% unemployment and food riots scare me a lot more.

Posted by: jrosen on March 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

If Erik is sure that Obama's agenda is going to fail anyway, shouldn't he just stfu and wait for it to happen? If he wants failure, then what would he do to undermine it if he is sure it is destined to fail?

The right wing is freaking out because they realize that if Obama is successful, Republicans will be in the minority for at least a generation, hopefully longer.

Posted by: Jason on March 2, 2009 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

So Steve is upping it to 9 out of every 10 posts devoted to Republican talking points. I'm with Secular Animist, it all sounds too cloying and hypocritical for my tastes. Do we have to take an oath of allegiance. Besides why are you giving attention to some shitty right wing blog no one reads.

As an aside, John Wayne was great in the Searchers. Was it Godard who said "I don't care about his politics, I like the way he moves across the screen..."

Posted by: grinning cat on March 2, 2009 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

I guess Don Hyatt wants us to ignore 30 years of Republican rule and neo liberal Friedmanite economics. We're in this state because of too much government intervention and regulation right Don?

Posted by: grinning cat on March 2, 2009 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Their fervent prayers that the policies will fail are likely rooted in a gripping fear that they will work. And that would mean that their philosophy is an epic fail. They simply can't deal with the possibility that they have been wrong all along.

Posted by: Blue Girl on March 2, 2009 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Not to belabor the obvious, but haven't all of the moderate --- and thus somewhat reasonable --- Republicans left the party, either by choice or by excommunication?

So it's hardly surprising that the unhinged, frothing-at-the-mouth, I-hate-America's-president patriots are all they have left.

Posted by: David Bailey on March 2, 2009 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, "they," the GOP movers and shakers, their gods in the media elite and the batch of 2012 wannabes, are playing it up for their rank and file. But what "they" are saying, their rank and file believes, even if "they" do not. Point being, to a Republican, a Democrat, a liberal, a progressive, they're all commies and faggots and satanists and godless cowards who hate America, hate the troops and want it all to fail...while at the same time wanting it to succeed enough so that they can keep sucking at the government teat without contributing to its success. Got that? In any even, they're not REAL Americans, and as such, nothing they do can be considered really American, and that includes running for, and being elected to, the highest office in the nation.

As a result, Obama's not a real American, so how can opposing him be anything BUT American? It's as convenient as it is hypocritical, and I deeply hope that those in the mushy middle see it for whaqt it really is - shameless pandering. Sure, many in the base swallow it whole, but if it's not being bought by the mods and indies who determine which way the national political pendulum is swinging, then the right is only preaching to the choir, a choir whose numbers will be increasingly threatened over time...

...unless Obama fails.

And let's face it, Obama's laid out a very ambitious agenda. For him to achieve a quarter of it will be quite an achievement. But if he can be painted as a failure for not doing everything on his to-do list, or if Heaven forbid another disaster or attack forces him to re-prioritize, the mood of the country can switch back to the right, and the "predictions" of the CPAC crowd could woo a lot of people back to the right like frightened little children who thought they could cook their own spaghetti and almost burned the house down and they'll never ever ignore Daddy State's warnings ever again. People are hopeful, but afraid. Here's hoping they stick with us through the upcoming bad times; the right will be screaming "I told you so" everytime there's a downtick (ala the thundertards who keep shouting that Obama's making the stock market worse; couldn't have been a continuation of the downturn in the market that happened on Bush's watch because of Bush's policies and hidden debt finally coming to light, oh no Heaven forfend, it's all Obama's fault).

Posted by: slappy magoo on March 2, 2009 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

I tend to agree that dissent can be patriotic, but I also think Steve has a point -- he's just going too far in the way he expresses it. I certainly didn't want Bush to win approval of his policies, because I thought those policies were misguided. For example, I didn't want Congress to pass the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, because I thought the war in Iraq was a terrible policy choice and would make things worse rather than better. But once we were at war, I certainly hoped I was wrong. I didn't want Bush to fail in the sense of wanting the war to make things worse rather than better. And I do think it would be unpatriotic to wish that. Worse, it would be inhuman, because it would be wishing for a lot of people's lives to get worse.

So, in this situation, I think it's fine for dittoheads to wish that Obama's policy initiatives wouldn't get implemented by Congress. But once they are implemented (and given the numbers in Congress, they likely will be), it's wrong to hope they make things worse.

There may be some middle ground here, where you could hope that things go badly in an instructive way for a short time, to show people the error of their ways. Some people won't learn by any other means. I don't think that kind of wishing for failure would be wrong.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on March 2, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

What Vicki said.

Before the invasion of Iraq, I thought it was a terrible idea, and I hoped Bush would fail to start a war. My father-in-law told me I was A. Young and stupid, and B. Only against the war because my husband was in the army. I tried to explain that I wouldn't want my husband going to any war, but if it had been for a good cause - to defend us or to defend other people - I would have understood. In this case, I had to watch my husband leave to possibly kill people and/or die for a cause he didn't even believe was right. The two situations are completely different. That wasn't what he signed up for, and he got out at the first opportunity.

However, once we went to Iraq, I hoped that I was wrong. I hoped that there really was a reason for what we were doing, some kind of justification that would make it right, and that everything would go smoothly and quickly. I never hoped that we'd fail.

In the same spirit, I disagreed with the surge. I didn't believe it would lead to reconciliation between the different factions in the Iraqi government - those differences are too old and too big. But I hoped I was wrong. I was glad that violence went down - though I wished it would have gone down a lot more - and willing to admit that the surge at least did that. Even though I didn't agree with the plan and didn't want it to be implemented, I still hoped it would work.

These guys aren't talking about failing to enact policies - they're talking about, not just hoping, but helping policies fail. They want to hurt their country and its people just to make a point, and to make Obama look bad so that they can further their own agenda. There is a huge difference between wanting policies to fail to be enacted and wanting policies to fail.

I won't deny that there were probably liberals (I didn't know any or hear of many) who wanted Bush to fail because it would give us leverage, and that's just as terrible. Just as I'm sure that many conservatives are in the same position I was - disliking the policies, but once they're enacted, hoping for the best. I'm fine with that. I really hope that this angry, destructive hope for failure among conservatives is marginal, and that it only looks big because of the media coverage. But it's possible that I'm too optimistic.

Posted by: Tracy on March 2, 2009 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

grinning cat,
We're in this state because of greedy and lazy politicians who are more interested in their own next election than in your next paycheck. We're in this state because the only people that waste money faster than the Democrats are the Republicans - at least until now when the Democrats hold title once more. We're in this state because too many people don't really want a hand UP after all. Seems they prefer the hand OUT and are willing to vote for anyone that promises them more.

Danp,
Yes, we should have let them fail. That's how capitalism works, that's the only reason it works. We should have let them fail and stripped the executives and their boards of directors of their assets if fraud contributed to their collapse. What we've done instead is fostered a me too climate with every two-bit municipality and underachieving wage earner clamoring for a piece of the pie, all hoping they'll be dead or moved before the bill comes due.

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Ah the roots of fascism bud in springtime...seriously these naysaying cock-blockers need to stfu and get on with their lives. The party of NO needs to GO.

Posted by: ICanHasDemocracy? on March 2, 2009 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Vicki Linton wrote: "If someone on the left hoped that Bush would fail to get enough support for his war policies to launch the war on Iraq, that was legitimate, and I certainly hoped that. If someone on the left hoped that Bush would fail once he launched the war would fail--which he then did spectacularly and horribly for the people of Iraq and for thousands of U.S. military personal--that was not."

Let me be very clear:

I absolutely did hope that Bush would fail in his efforts to launch a war of unprovoked aggression, based on sickening lies, against Iraq before the invasion.

Also, once Bush succeeded in starting the war and launching the invasion, I absolutely did hope that the Bush-Cheney plan to install an authoritarian puppet regime, headed by Ahmed Chalabi as the "new, improved Saddam", backed up by a huge permanent US military occupation, that would hand over control of and the profits from Iraq's vast oil reserves to Bush-Cheney cronies and financial backers in the giant oil corporations, would also fail. The success of that plan would have been harmful both to the USA and to Iraq.

Once that effort did fail -- basically because Bush and Cheney had been unbelievably gullible and stupid to support the criminal fraud, Chalabi, who had ZERO support in Iraq, and their efforts to install him as dictator immediately collapsed, and they had no Plan B -- then I also hoped that Bush's efforts to continue the occupation would also fail.

Unfortunately for America and Iraq, Bush and Cheney succeeded in perpetuating the occupation of Iraq, leading to vast suffering both for innocent Iraqi civilians and US military personnel and their families.

With regard to Iraq, Bush's "successes" harmed America, and Bush's "failures" helped America, or at least mitigated the harm of his "successes".

In my view, the proper response to "conservatives" rooting for Obama to "fail" is:

To say you want "Obama" to "fail" really means nothing. It's just an empty bumper sticker slogan. What specific Obama policy proposals do you want to "fail", and why? What specific harm do you believe the success of those policies would cause? If those policies "fail" -- either because your opposition prevents them from being implemented, or because they are implemented and don't accomplish the intended results -- what policies do you propose in their place, to address the problems that face the country?

In my view, "conservatives" who can answer that question -- even if I reject their answers -- are engaging in legitimate political debate, and their stated desire for Obama to "fail" is legitimate political opposition.

If on the other hand, the only reasons they can give for wanting Obama to "fail" are that it would benefit Republicans politically, or that they feel America should be punished with further suffering for embracing Obama's agenda, or some other idiocy, then that is not legitimate.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 2, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, we should have let them fail. Don Hyatt

Henry Paulson felt the same way as you, right up until he tested his philosophy with Lehman. That's when the run on money markets began and credit froze. The problem could have been averted with a little common sense regulation, monitoring, and enforcement of the rules that did exist. But driving that boat full speed into the pier is sheer lunacy.

Posted by: Danp on March 2, 2009 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

"Let me put it in terms more familiar: It's like supporting the troops while being against the war. Got it now?"

Not even close. The "troops" here are the American people and you are claiming to WANT to see millions of them lose their jobs and homes. That is the definition of Obama's policies failing and that is what you claim to want.


Its more like saying "I hope Saddam kicks the troops' ass because I want Bush to fail." THAT is the analog to your side's position now.

Posted by: chaboard on March 2, 2009 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

When those angry people start talking about forming an "Army" to undermine and cause the failure of our elected government, I start to wonder about what our current laws on sedition look like.

The distance between CPAC and the militia movement is getting smaller all the time.

Posted by: biggerbox on March 2, 2009 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Three possibilities for an opposition party:

(1) The president's policies won't work (Democrats under Bush the lesser). We should do something else.

(2) Whether or not the policies will work, they violate our basic principles of liberty (also Democrats under Bush the lesser).

(3) We want the president's policies to fail! (Republicans under Obama)

There are differences between these three positions, and the R's don't really have any coherent argument for (1) or (2, so they're stuck with (3), however repugnant.

Posted by: rea on March 2, 2009 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Danp,
And exactly how have things improved since then??? We would be on our way to recovery if the feds simply did the regulatory oversight they were supposed to do and otherwise not artificially prop up poorly managed companies. As it stands now, it looks like we are simply enlarging the hole in the boat and making sure we stay sunk for a long, long time. Point me to anything that has improved since the feds decided to be pro-active.

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

there's a difference between "wanting" someone to fail and "expecting" them to fail. i "expected" bush to fail because of the policies he chose: i didn't "want" him to fail.

as for don hyatt: ok, i'll point you to what's improved - the credit markets are still functioning. they were on the verge of complete collapse 5-6 months ago, and you can look it up (TED spread, LIBOR rates, etc.).

so on the simplest level, you don't know what you're talking about.

on a more complex level, you don't know what you're talking about either, of course: sure, given enough time on its own, the market would eventually clear, trillions of dollars of destroyed wealth later. the extent of social breakdown would be enormous, and it would be several decades (if we were lucky, and the entire country hadn't disintegrated) before we saw something like "normalcy" again.

no rational person would possibly pick that choice, but brain-dead government haters do.

Posted by: howard on March 2, 2009 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Is anyone worried that the aggregation of the "I want Obama to fail", fearmongering about "socialism", the Birthers and those who still believe he's a secret Muslim creates the climate for a greater than normal possibility of assasination attempts? All of this points to a de-legitimizing of the President.

In this light, Richard Shelby raising the Birther issue without firmly denouncing it, Allen Keyes talking about how Obama is going to destroy the nation, and Rush Limbaugh crowing about how he wants Obama to fail are all contributing to what is potentially a deadly environment.

I think that the Democratic leadership and, frankly, senior members of the mainstream media, should be putting pressure on responsible Republican leaders to publicly and clearly denounce all of this, from the lunatic fringe Birthers to Limbaugh.

Posted by: Don Friedman on March 2, 2009 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

All I can say regarding the Iraq war is that I hope that no one wished for Bush's failure to turn out the way it did--with 100,000s dead and wounded, millions of refugees.

I oppose Obama's policy in Afghanistan. I do not wish for it to fail--to me for it to fail would mean years of war, death, destruction, quagmire. I wish for Obama to get out of Afghanistan now.

Ultimately the conservatives wishing for Obama to fail because they oppose his policies is beside the point. What is wrong is that they oppose the policies, they oppose investing in our society, our people, our future. They've fought against such investment for years. They've been wrong all along and essentially "rooting for failure" all along because they have opposed policies that would bring stability and prosperity for our society. And we're dealing now with the consequences of them foistering their dreeams of failure on us now.

Posted by: Vicki Linton on March 2, 2009 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Danp,
Aw yes... the inevitable and unprovable "things would be worse" defense coupled with the predictable "you don't know what you're talking about" assault. Been there, done that.

Trillions down the drain and lost from 401k's, millions out of work, loser companies bailed out with policy so bad that it starts to take down even good companies. But the feds made it better. OK - check back when the Dow falls below 6000 (it's below 7000 already) and see if you still think the bailouts are still a good idea.

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously Mr. Hyatt doesn't believe in democracy. His arguments were made by McCain/Palin and the RNC, and the public solidly rejected them in favor of what Obama was offering. To openly want Obama (or even his policies) to fail is to seek to frustrate the wishes of the majority who just elected him. Sounds dictatorial or monarchical: the hell with what the people voted for, I, personally know better.

The one thing that disappoints me about all of this is that I have not received a fundraising solicitation either for DNC or Obama's committee on this issue. This should be pure gold for Kaine and Jen O'Malley Dillon over at DNC. Lets get on it!

Posted by: zeitgeist on March 2, 2009 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

I can even remember Bill Mahr at the beginning of the Iraq war stating "I am opposed to the war, but I hope for the sake of the nation it succeeds.
And then there's Rush
The more I hear that ignorant, drug addled, fat fuck speak , the more I know we will enjoy a democrat in the White House for the next 8 years. What part of 60% approval of him personally and 80% approval of his plan don't they get? Sorry ass Mo Fo's

Posted by: John R on March 2, 2009 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

don hyatt, do you actually have anything sensible to say? can you dispute the condition the credit markets were in at the time of the lehman collapse? can you deny the credit markets are improved since then? with empirical data, of course?

yes, the stock market is down: that's because the anticipated future profit stream is down. no one said that we aren't going to go through a highly difficult period and the stock market is adjusting accordingly. how does that prove that we should have done nothing?

been there, done that? not that we can see: you're just spouting piffle.

Posted by: howard on March 2, 2009 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

We would be on our way to recovery if the feds simply did the regulatory oversight they were supposed to do. Don Hyatt

If you're talking about after Lehman or instead of Bear Stearns, you're wrong. Credit would have frozen, and commerce would have shut down. Paulson proved that when he let Lehman fail.

Posted by: Danp on March 2, 2009 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

zeitgeist,
If you voted for Obama, hoping he would spend us into oblivion then I'm happy for you. It seems you're getting what you wished for. Stay away from assigning traits to me though re "Mr. Hyatt doesn't believe in democracy". Besides being patently false, you attempt to tie unrelated thoughts. The majority - a clearer majority than there is now re the economy - thought we were doing the correct thing by invading Iraq. The majority responds to sound bites and advertising. I see no reason to believe the majority is correct this time either.

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

make sure Barack Obama fails at destroying liberty and freedom:

I must have missed this part of Obama's agenda when he outlined it to Congress. Now if Obama maintains the illicit wiretapping policies of Bush or the illegal torture policies or the illegal indefinite incarceration policies they might have a point. Somehow, I don't think this is what RedState is referencing. I'd really be interested in the fevered workings of the wingnut mind to explain themselves here. Anyone?

Posted by: ckelly on March 2, 2009 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

yes, the stock market is down: that's because the anticipated future profit stream is down. - howard

And here's the irony. If you want the markets to go up, promise the insiders that the bailout will continue indefinitely. That is why the markets hate Geithner. But to think the markets are going to rebound while all this private debt looms is wishful thinking. Counterfactual hallucination.

Posted by: Danp on March 2, 2009 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

The Rushs and the Ericksons understand very well they are in a war to control limited resources. They are pissed that an election cost them an opportunity to control those resources. When they say take back the Country, I think they mean it in a very literal sense. There will be a war to take back the Country. Whether it remains a war of ideas or morphs into something else depends on Right. They no more believe in diplomacy at home then they do abroad, and they view us as every bit as much the enemy as islamic extremist. Both threaten their power base, the Left even more so. The language used at CPAC is reminescient of the ugliness at the Palin ralies. We are a very short step from openly advocating for assassination as a patriotic duty. The hope for failure right now is what is keeping some of these thugs at bay. If it appears that an economic recovery is taking hold let the vigilant be warned.

Posted by: Scott F. on March 2, 2009 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Danp/howard,
Funny how there's never been a credit freeze at my credit union or many smaller regional banks that didn't play in the risky credit default swap nonsense. You all believe things would have gotten even worse. I believe some/many of these smaller regional banks and credit unions, using sound traditional credit criteria, would have picked up the slack even more than they have. Would either of you buy AIG, Citi, GM etc... today? If not, why not? The should be a guaranteed investment if you believe current fed policy will be successful.

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

"Another distorted leftist slant trying to attach the same loathing they had/have of Bush to conservative's views of Obama."

ROFL.... I do so love it when a mindless partisan moron starts a post like this. It means that I can have fun without worrying about whether I need to take them seriously or not.

"Here's some news for you. We like Obama just fine"

Here's some news for you; the events and rhetoric of the past few weeks, including last week's events at CPAC, indicate otherwise.

"we wish he would pursue successful policies."

As compared to what, the multi-trillion dollar tax cut proposal from Republicans? A proposal that costs nearly four times as much and would do not one damn thing to solve any of the current problems?

"He isn't, at least not yet."

I agree that I don't think he's going far enough. I doubt that's what you had in mind, though. The historical evidence is against you, in any case, which is why you haven't even bothered to try to defend your silly views.

"As long as he persists with a socialist agenda, we want that agenda to fail."

ROFL.... Here's a free clue: you shouldn't use a word unless you know what it means. Obama's proposals are not "socialist," by any meaningful definition of that word.

"The FACT that we want him to succeed is based on the notion that he changes course and stops the ever inflating bailout balloon."

You do know that placing a word or phrase in ALL CAPS doesn't make it any more true, right? What you claim is a FACT is nothing more than an unsupported assertion. I suggest you learn the difference.

"If he allows capitalism to succeed and works to get government out of the way, then we stand behind him AND his policies."

LOL... Dear heart, "get[ting] government out of the way" is precisely what led us *into* the current mess.

"Until then, though we stand behind him, we don't support his policies. Let me put it in terms more familiar: It's like supporting the troops while being against the war."

No, dear, it's not. I know you want to pretend that the rhetoric of the past month or so doesn't exist or that those idiots don't really mean what they said, but out here in the real world, we don't play those games.

"We're in this state because of greedy and lazy politicians who are more interested in their own next election than in your next paycheck."

Really? And what did those "greedy and lazy politicians" do? We're in this mess because they failed to exercise appropriate oversight, because they relaxed rules that had served us well since the Great Depression.

"We're in this state because the only people that waste money faster than the Democrats are the Republicans - at least until now when the Democrats hold title once more."

Dear heart, how much of the current national debt is the responsibility of Republican administrations? The Republicans haven't been the party of "fiscal responsibility" for decades.

"We're in this state because too many people don't really want a hand UP after all. Seems they prefer the hand OUT and are willing to vote for anyone that promises them more."

ROFL.... See what I mean? How can you take someone seriously who spouts drivel like this? That statement is so astonishingly foolish that it's impossible to take this moron seriously.

"We would be on our way to recovery if the feds simply did the regulatory oversight they were supposed to do and otherwise not artificially prop up poorly managed companies."

And your evidence for this is, what, exactly? This statement, too, is self-evident nonsense.

"Trillions down the drain and lost from 401k's"

Not really big on math, are you?

"loser companies bailed out with policy so bad that it starts to take down even good companies."

Not really big on reality, either. This has really been fun; it's rare to meet someone so determinedly clueless and so determined to show off their ignorance.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2009 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

It's such a simple and obvious sentiment. That it eludes so many conservatives is a genuine shame.

These people are NOT CONSERVATIVES!!! They are far right radical revolutionaries. The shorter one-word definition of that is "fascist."

Hitler also called himself a "conservative" and many legitimate German conservatives voted for him after hearing him say that. They all learned the hard way such was not the case. In fact, the Germans who led the 1944 attempt to assassinate Der Fuehrer were all conservatives. They were all that was left after they let him go after the communists, the social democrats, the christian democrats, the free democrats.

That said, I personally am just fine with the "real conservatives" in America who have enabled these fascist scum being left to take the consequences, since in this case Little Georgie wasn't able to get rid of we lefties and we're just fine at burying the bastards.

Although having an aging Olongapo boom-boom girl like Michelle Malkin for an enemy is pretty damn embarassing.

Posted by: TCinLA on March 2, 2009 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Don Hyatt - With due respect, your 11:15 post is all wrong. Yes, the regional banks are in better shape, and I think many of them are actually suffering from a liquidity crisis as opposed to the national banks and their solvency crisis. None-the-less, they have not gone unscathed. For all of its flaws, TARP I did unfreeze some elements of the credit marks. (See, eg, LIBOR). The freezing of inter-bank lending was crushing them as much as it was any regional business, and it remains a continued problem. One local bank officer recently told one of my clients, "you would ordinarily qualify for this loan, but we are not in the loan making business right now." That lone was for capital improvements that would have resulted in expanded jobs and opportunity. That in a microcosm is happening all over this Country. These banks simply are not not large enough to control their own destiny and will dry up and blow away if the central banking foundation fails. Of course, something new will emerge, but none of these smaller players are immune from the larger prevailing winds. It will only be a matter of time. I think we all fail to appreicate just how centralized the markets have been for some time now.

Posted by: Scott F on March 2, 2009 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

"Funny how there's never been a credit freeze at my credit union or many smaller regional banks that didn't play in the risky credit default swap nonsense."

No shit, Sherlock. And this is indicative of, what, exactly?

"You all believe things would have gotten even worse."

Because that's where the evidence points.

"I believe some/many of these smaller regional banks and credit unions, using sound traditional credit criteria, would have picked up the slack even more than they have."

Using what capital?

"Would either of you buy AIG, Citi, GM etc... today? If not, why not? The should be a guaranteed investment if you believe current fed policy will be successful."

Most people believe that CitiBank or AIG will eventually be placed into receivership, which is why their stock is so low. The Obama administration, understandably, is reluctant to take that final step for fear of its consequences.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2009 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Seeing the name "Don Hyatt" in the sig line of a post is a "conversation ender" as described in another post today.

When it comes to idiots like donnieboy, remember the rule: "don't feed the trolls."

Posted by: TCinLA on March 2, 2009 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Scott F,
It looks to me like the capitalization question is also highly regional in nature. There are banks hanging banners around here saying "we have money to lend", I can point to pictures if you'd like. I went in and asked and was told they've always had money to lend. Make of it what you will.

Paulb,
Glad to see you jumping right on the personal attack ship. Also glad to see you admit Obama's gambit with AIG & CitiBank (and GM & Chrysler) is doomed to fail. How do you explain his stringing them along at taxpayer expense then?

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Would either of you buy AIG, Citi, GM etc... today? If not, why not?

No. These investments would only make sense if you thought that either they would rebound on their own, or that the government would keep bailing them out until their debt was manageable. Given a choice between many thousands of layoffs and loans to GM, the gov. has decided the loans are the lesser of two evils. But when the economy improves, all bets are off. In this case, I would suggest you would have had a much better argument against bailing out American Airlines. That wouldn't have ended air travel, and many of the employees would have gotten jobs with smaller profitable airlines. I suspect (but don't know) that part of that decision was the cost of taking on their pensioneers.

As for AIG and Citi, the problem is that their debt is so widely spread. As with Lehman and Bear Stearns, if you can't isolate it, you're going to have a cascading effect. And of course, there is still the risk from the investors point of view that the gov might nationalize them. But like GM, it's not the corporation the gov cares about. It's the economy.

Posted by: Danp on March 2, 2009 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

"coupled with the predictable 'you don't know what you're talking about' assault."

Dear heart, you're getting the "you don't know what you're talking about 'assault'" because you manifestly don't know what you're talking about, as your every post here shows. When it was pointed out to you that things have gotten better in a couple of key financial areas, your only response was to ignore that and to talk about the Dow, which never has been and never will be a good measure of the kind of events we're talking about.

You have yet to provide one shred of any real logic, reason, or evidence, to support any of your assertions. You have yet to demonstrate that you have any real understanding of the state of economic affairs today. All you have is some vague mutterings about "greedy and lazy politicians" and ad hominem attacks on "leftists" and "socialists."

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2009 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Glad to see you jumping right on the personal attack ship."

ROFL... Dear heart, you're one to talk. Your very first statement here was a personal attack. What did you expect? You posted flamebait; you got flamed. The fact that you're a moron is just icing on the cake.

"Also glad to see you admit Obama's gambit with AIG & CitiBank (and GM & Chrysler) is doomed to fail."

Dear heart, you really should learn to read, since I "admitted" no such thing.

"How do you explain his stringing them along at taxpayer expense then?"

Already explained, dear, in that very same post. Like I said, you really should learn to read.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2009 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

"remember the rule: 'don't feed the trolls.'""

We're not feeding him; we're mocking him and laughing at him, and having ever so much fun in the process since he's so damn clueless.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2009 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

You know, no matter how much I hated Bush, I NEVER wanted him to fail - I just knew that he would.
To hope he failed would mean that you were hoping that our service men and women died in vain.

I guess they're too blinded by ideology (idiotology?) to care.
Finanacial bankrupcy is tough. Moral bankrupcy is inexusable.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 2, 2009 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB,
And you call me a troll? Now that IS funny.

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

"And you call me a troll? Now that IS funny."

Well, personally, I think you're just a garden-variety moron. And with your every post here, you amply confirm that opinion. But the line between moron and troll is pretty small, so I could easily be wrong.

What you aren't, though, is someone we need to take seriously, since you have yet to make a single substantive point or respond to the counter-arguments raised in this thread. You are funny, though, so you're at least good for something.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2009 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I think this whole line of attack on those who say they want Obama to fail is idiotic. Of course they want him to fail! That doesn't even mean they don't want America to succeed. I will stand proudly at the front of the line of people who think Limbaugh is an idiot (a big fat pig, even!) and that conservative solutions are a recipe for disaster, etc, but who cares about "I want him to fail?" It's only a distraction from the real argument, which is that conservative ideas are proven losers, and why would we go backwards?

Posted by: Bruce K on March 2, 2009 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

A modest proposal - Look, the folks who frequent this blog have a lot of good things to say, and I frankly learn a great deal from all of you. I for one appreciate non-choir voices in the mix. There are certain phrases that are not meant to provoke discussion. "Wingnut" for one, and "Socialist" for another. Let's have a spirited debate, but let it be as substantive as we can make it. If somebody is spouting bullshit, call them out, but can we do it without the high school name calling.

Back to substance - It is looking more and more likely that the administration is well aware that we will be required to bear a market correction the measure of which has not been understood, and that it has decided that do the only thing Goverment can do, slow it down, draw out the process so it will be less damaging in the long run, lest we risk decending into economic anarchy. One of the chief reasons for this decision might be that such a condition could create a serious national security risk. Probably no accident that the CIA has taken over part of the economic briefing to the President. Let's face, Citi is gone, probably BOA as well, among others.

There will be nationalization, albeit, we may never call it that, and it will be expensive, but the 800 pound gorilla in the room has got to AIG. When do we tell Europe that we won't bailout their banks as well. I have read some accounts that AIG is exposed to 28 Trillion in losses, mostly overseas. The 30 billion is nothing compared to the losses that are coming in. 62 billion this last quarter, double that next quarter, double that the quarter after that. 30 billion does nothing but buy some time.

In fact, I would argue that that is the only way to make sense of what Geithner's doing. Buying some time.


Posted by: Scott F. on March 2, 2009 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Personally, I think this whole line of attack on those who say they want Obama to fail is idiotic."

It's not an attack on them for saying that; it's an attack on them for their hypocrisy, since these were the very people who were loudly proclaiming that their political opponents were traitors just a few short years ago.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2009 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

If they had said, they hope his agenda can be blocked from even becoming law and/or enacted to start with, the pro-failure of Obama crowd would have a legit slogan. But they seem to be saying, they hope he "fails" which implies, even given the implementation already having started. That is a hope for America to fail.

tyrannogenius

Posted by: Neil B ↑ on March 2, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Scott F,
I didn't know the use of the term 'socialist/ism' caused an immediate adverse reaction on this particular blog or I would have avoided it and used the phrase "large increase in size and scope of federal government, coupled with the looming fear of nationalization of key industries" instead. My bad. First time I've posted here (maybe the last, given the warm welcome it seems I won't be missed) and I apologize if I've somehow stifled what otherwise would have been intelligent discussion.

If I accept the premise that Gethner has any kind of a real plan, then I agree with your assertion that he must be buying time. What is unknown to me is whether he is buying time because he knows something or only because he has hope that things will start to improve. Sans any knowledge of market improvements to come, his buying time is only delaying the market finding a natural bottom from whence it can recover. There's plenty of room for disagreement here but I prefer quick sharp pain over the long and drawn out type.

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Don Hyatt wrote: "If you voted for Obama, hoping he would spend us into oblivion then I'm happy for you."

George W. Bush "spent us into oblivion" -- hopefully, it will turn out to be only "near-oblivion".

George W. Bush took the federal budget surplus that was attained through the bipartisan efforts of both the Clinton administration and the Republican-controlled Congress and squandered it, wasting trillions of dollars on a war of unprovoked aggression based on lies, and trillions more on huge tax cuts for a tiny ultra-rich minority whose after-tax incomes had skyrocketed under the Clinton tax levels.

I voted for Obama knowing that he would inherit the hugest federal deficit in history from Bush, and hoping that he would radically change both the taxation and spending priorities of the Bush administration; establish an honest, open, transparent and accountable budget process; reinstate sound fiscal management; and begin the long and difficult process of bringing down the federal deficit from the "near-oblivion" level that Bush left us with.

So far, I'm pretty happy on all counts.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 2, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Don Hyatt wrote: "large increase in size and scope of federal government, coupled with the looming fear of nationalization of key industries"

I see zero evidence that Obama has any intention of increasing the size and scope of government. It is clear that he views the role of government differently from George W. Bush. Bush believed that government should operate through deceit and oppression, for corrupt purposes of private financial gain for his ultra-rich cronies and financial backers. Obama believes that government should be open, transparent and accountable, and should work in the public interest to advance the "general welfare" of all Americans.

As for the "looming fear of nationalization of key industries", it is the industries themselves that are begging for government money. Some of the proposed plans for the government to bail out these industries -- which are in trouble primarily because of the incompetence and corruption of their ultra-rich top management -- entail the government taking partial, temporary equity positions in the recipient corporations.

You can call this "nationalization" if you want, but if you are "fearful" of that, then it's up to you to propose whatever you think would be better. Perhaps you think the government should just airlift shrink-wrapped pallets full of thousand dollar bills to the corrupt corporate CEOs who caused the problems in the first place, much as George W. Bush did when billions of taxpayer dollars literally vanished into the "Iraq reconstruction" fraud.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 2, 2009 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

I don't call myself a "socialist", but I don't at all mind being called a "socialist" by others -- given that in the developed Western nations, democratic socialism has by far the best track record of creating human well-being of any political system.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 2, 2009 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Sans any knowledge of market improvements to come, his buying time is only delaying the market finding a natural bottom from whence it can recover. There's plenty of room for disagreement here but I prefer quick sharp pain over the long and drawn out type."

Right. Because if there's one thing Hoover taught us it is that "letting the market find a natural bottom" results in "quick sharp pain". Imagine what the Great Depression would've been like if he had interfered and made it "long and drawn out!".

Posted by: chaboard on March 2, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist wrote: "I voted for Obama knowing that he would inherit the hugest federal deficit in history from Bush, and hoping that he would radically change both the taxation and spending priorities of the Bush administration; establish an honest, open, transparent and accountable budget process; reinstate sound fiscal management; and begin the long and difficult process of bringing down the federal deficit from the "near-oblivion" level that Bush left us with."

I didn't vote for him but once he was elected, I hoped the same things. So far, right down to increasing our role in Afghanistan, all I've seen is more of the same. I'm doing my best to reserve judgment but unless I see substantive improvement in his FY 2010 budget vis-a-vis the transparency and accountability, then he will be wasting a once in my lifetime chance to change the way business is done in Washington.

Just for clarification, my concerns over nationalizing health care are mostly a "why now, in the midst of a financial firestorm?". I freely admit something needs to be done about health care though I don't believe nationalizing anything other than preventative care is necessarily the best option. My bigger concerns are over the feds taking larger and larger stakes in our nation's banks and industries.

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

chaboard,
What's the matter? Your favorite website cutoff this kind of silly banter this morning? ;-) I figured I'd throw myself into this hotbed of progressive thought and see if there were others like you. What do you know! :-) Turns out lots of them have the outlook as you. I guess I should just open things back up and write off the experience as another day wasted in liberal paradise. Better to blasted by the libs you know and all....

Posted by: Don Hyatt on March 2, 2009 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Hyatt runs a local political website. He cut off discussion because he couldn't deal with exactly what we are discussing here today.

Posted by: rlk on March 2, 2009 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

there were some great comments here that i will personally benefit from. thanks everyone!

Posted by: alex on March 2, 2009 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with rlk and alex above, who the fuck is WHD2 and does anyone have killfile handy.

Posted by: Scott F. on March 2, 2009 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Well Hyatt I did notice that you ignored the Hoover substance and went straight to personal distraction. Practicing?

Posted by: chaboard on March 2, 2009 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

I've been listening to certain right wingers playout all kinds of future disaster scenarios for America under the Obama administration and am wondering if they've considered another scenario:

-- Obama turns out to be right. The stimulus plan works as advertised, America's economy gets rolling again, the global economy stabilizes, and everyone gets back on their feet again.

See, the main problem with this scenario is that gaming it out inevitably leads to the utter and complete repudiation of movement conservatives --revealed irrevocably as the brain-damaged fools they are -- and the long-term ascension of liberal values. So I guess that's why they never game that one out.

Posted by: dharma on March 2, 2009 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

"I didn't know the use of the term 'socialist/ism' caused an immediate adverse reaction"

It doesn't; it simply shows us that you don't know what you're talking about (not that we needed the additional confirmation).

"on this particular blog or I would have avoided it and used the phrase 'large increase in size and scope of federal government, coupled with the looming fear of nationalization of key industries' instead."

LOL... See, that would be equally wrong and equally stupid, but hey, you keep it up if it makes you feel better.

"First time I've posted here (maybe the last, given the warm welcome it seems I won't be missed)"

Nope. We have enough mindless trolls. The loss of a new one bothers us not one whit.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Just for clarification, my concerns over nationalizing health care are mostly a 'why now, in the midst of a financial firestorm?'"

Because a) the need is much greater now as people lose their health insurance in the midst of this "financial firestorm," b) we will recover from this "financial firestorm" faster by fixing the looming health care crisis, and c) U.S. industries will be healthier and more competitive if we fix health care costs.

"I freely admit something needs to be done about health care though I don't believe nationalizing anything other than preventative care is necessarily the best option."

Then what do you propose? We're paying considerably more and getting less than any other industrialized nation today. What do you want to replace that with?

"My bigger concerns are over the feds taking larger and larger stakes in our nation's banks and industries."

And what do you propose instead? Sending ailing banks into receivership is just one of the jobs of the federal government. We've tried doing nothing, remember? That didn't work so well with the Lehman Brothers catastrophe. We've tried tax cuts, too, eight years of massive ones, and all we got from those is the current situation and a doubling of the national debt. So what do you propose instead?

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2009 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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