Wednesday, August 10, 2011


During last week's podcast, I referenced a piece in Salon that advanced a hypothetical that at least a few shell-shocked Obama supporters have been turning over in their minds lately: What would Hillary have done? Despite catching a certain amount of crap for even venturing out onto that very thin ice, I stand by the argument that it's only natural to wonder what the road not taken might have been like when the road taken wound up leading to that ice in the first place -- hell, my entire life has been like that -- and I've never edited my public statements before so I see no reason to keep completely quiet simply out of fear of appearing to be piling on or bandwagoning. I get the impression that I'm like a lot of people who've wondered if all the things they didn't much like about Clinton during the 2008 campaign -- qualities traditionally associated with Hillary, such as her willingness to fight really dirty and her understanding that politics is indeed occasionally a contact sport -- would've been assets used to put the dangerously intransigent Congressional Republicans in their place over the past few weeks.

Barack Obama is fantastic at the long-game and at thwarting his opponents in ways they might not first grasp, and that's served him -- and the country -- well on more than one occasion. He's a chess player, and a pretty good one; it's one of the reasons I tend to trust his judgment more often than not. But I still couldn't help feeling like we didn't need a chess player this last time around; we needed an MMA fighter willing to step into the octagon and pummel the living shit out of somebody. And so, yeah, I wondered if Hillary would've been as willing to put up with the nonsense dispensed by the GOP and its tea-bagging overlords, the senile dipshits who openly applaud the destruction of the U.S. economy because I guess it somehow meets their twisted ends. I've maintained for some time that indiscriminately attacking Obama from the center or left, in the current political climate, simply does the work of Republican strategists for them -- that smart accountability, the kind that acknowledges political reality, is the only way to go in this situation. But I got a little pissed and maybe let it show, and once again I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with that.

It took the debate with Cesca to kind of ground me a tad and bring me back to planet Earth, despite the fact that I was never suggesting that discussing the positives and negatives of a hypothetical Clinton primary run in 2012 amounted to outright buyer's remorse anyway.

I bring all this up because Joan Walsh of Salon apparently feels the same way I do, which is to say that she did a little pondering of the road not taken recently and was handed a healthy dose of reality by the always-great Ari Melber of the Nation. Her piece today in Salon spells out in no uncertain terms who's really to blame for the political and economic nightmare we're all suffering through right now. And here's a hint -- it isn't Barack Obama.

Salon: Mistakes of the 2008 Primary/8.10.11


Steven D Skelton said...


Perhaps she wouldn't have won the general election.

The whole paradigm would have been different when the market crashed in October. It wouldn't have been young, energetic and uplifting outsider vs. the grizzled out senate veteran.

The left got two SCOTUS judges, financial reform, repeal of DADT and universal healthcare.

As Brad Delp so beautifully sang...Don't look back.

Chris said...

Never mind Hillary, where the hell was Biden? One of the few useful roles of a VP is to be the President's attack dog, so that he can appear to be above the fray. I don't recall hearing one statement from Biden chiding his congressional colleagues for their bullshit. What the hell is he doing anyway?

Marc McKenzie said...

"The left got two SCOTUS judges, financial reform, repeal of DADT and universal healthcare."

Good point, Steve. Plus there's along list of other accomplishments.

....The trouble is, some on the Left seem to have forgotten these achievements and are howling the "Obama's done NOTHING!!" meme. Which is very funny, considering that he's got a lot done under very difficult circumstances.

Steven D Skelton said...

I wish Chez would re-print his thoughts about the disappointment of the professional left. There was one sentence in there that might have been the funniest thing I've read on the subject. It had to do with mandatory gay marriage and ...shit I can't remember.


Chez said...

"I've voiced my irritation about this kind of thing before so it's not really worth repeating at length, but suffice it to say these days I actually read far fewer left-slanted political op-ed pieces than I do those from the right. That's because it boils my blood a hell of a lot less to hear Obama's occasionally psychotic sworn enemies rake him over the coals than it does those who claim to share his general ideals -- the whining brats who can't tell the difference between demanding "smart accountability" and constantly complaining that because they didn't walk outside their front doors the morning after his inauguration to find that marijuana and gay marriage were mandatory, we'd abolished the military and built a giant cruelty-free food co-op at Ground Zero, Obama had somehow let them down."

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry...but as a military vet, I can't believe that the President is getting any credit for repealing DADT. The military has struggled with this stupid rule since its inception. Furthermore, it has proven over and over again that the rank and file of the military doesn't give a shit about gays serving, only to have the civilian leadership continue the policy.

And to be completely frank, the Obama administration has drag this farce out as long as fucking possible.

This is the same bullshit the civilian leadership put the military through when assholes who would never dream of serving, demanded that we keep out ranks segregated along lines of color.

The military leadership basically forced the president's hand by "accident" with the release of polling data that showed that other than marines (split at 50-50) the majority of every branch supported allowing gays in. To give him credit for anything involving this issue is laughable.

But I guess otherwise goes against the common conception that enlisted military personnel are moronic, racist, sexist, homophobic, country idiots.