Monday, September 05, 2011

Quote of the Day


"I choose not to be sucked in to the hype cycle. I choose to pick my battles. It’s not about excusing and rationalizing away everything the President does or doesn’t do. It’s about keeping my criticism constructive and applicable, and keeping people motivated to vote in 2012... Obama is all that’s standing between us and the total cray-cray of the GOP – that’s particularly true if we can’t take back the House and we also lose the Senate... There’s a big difference between 'He still has my vote, but I wish Obama pushed more on [issue]' and 'Fucking Obama caved again! He has no fucking spine!'"

-- The lovely and whip-smart Jessica at Virtual Daze, in a piece called "On Criticizing the President"

Exactly.

And yes -- if there's one thing 19 years in TV news taught me it's that pictures of attractive people drive traffic/ratings/circulation. So suck it.

21 comments:

Warren Bishop said...

Here are my questions: Does the White House have any clue that a pretty substantial part of his base thinks he's weak? Do they understand that a good part of the Democratic base is pretty demoralized?

It seems like they are completely out of touch. Alot of people have tried to communicate this to them (even before the midterms) but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

Their plan is to appear 'reasonable', thinking this will appeal to 'independents' - but he's losing them too. This has been the story since his first day in office, and nothing seems to be changing.

Matt Osborne said...

Ain't she awesome?!

Marc McKenzie said...

What she said.

Oh, and she is very beautiful and has brains. Always a wonderful combination.

I mean...President Perry or President Bachmann (or Romney) will bring SOOOOO much more progressive laws than President Obama, right?

(Of course, you'd have to have a truly diseased, deranged mind to think that this will happen. Just saying.)

CNNfan said...

"And yes -- if there's one thing 19 years in TV news taught me it's that pictures of attractive people drive traffic/ratings/circulation."

Alright already!
I'll send along my headshot to DXM management.

Anonymous said...

I myself must admit that I cannot in good conscience vote to re-elect the president. I am of the persuasion that voting for the "least bad" candidate each election has resulted in the current deadlock. Nothing changes and the same status is maintained.

I was a little excited by the election of Obama. As a military veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, I had a few issues I expected at least some response by his administration. I never expected him to pull us out of either conflict right away, but I sure expected that clear goals would have been established to measure whether or not progress was being made. That has not happened in my mind. More important to me is how the President has not served veterans and active duty personnel by removing the retarded DADT immediately. His administration has done the absolute minimum required and at times, worked to continue the shameful policy that leaves active duty heroes in danger of losing their careers over a bullshit policy that should have never been created in the first place.

Obama was never really the great change people prescribed to him during his initial run in my mind. His claim to close down Gitmo was never more than a fantasy simply because of the insane legal issues involved. It was on par with him claiming if elected he would magically balance the federal budget.

I want real...meaningful social change. Re-electing the president will get us the same thing that we currently have. I'm willing to think outside the box completely. I think, much as the Great Depression led to major social, legal, and economic changes, so to could electing the worst candidate possible. A Bachmann/Palin ticket could literally destroy the deadlock in DC. Sure it would be a rapidly short presidency as even the most ardent Tea party supporter would hate it if their policies were actually put into place.

I know this pisses you off Chez, but I honestly do not see the real differences between my life under Bush II and Obama. We still lock up an insane number of people in a War on Some Drugs, we are stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy is shit, and I don't have any real hope economically when I graduate from college, even with an engineering degree unless I am willing to move either across or out of the country. I am willing to put through even four years of the most insane, out of touch right wing asshole if it motivates this country into actually creating this nation into what it truly can be.

CNNfan said...

Both sides are in a race to abandon ship.
With an economy this underwater,
it's hopeless.

Mart said...

Anonymous - When President Perry orders you back to duty to spread democracy in Iran, let us know about the part where "you will be willing to put" up with "four years of the most insane" to "motivate the country" is treating ya.

Four years of crazy will just make it worse. We had eight years of crazy, and half the country is so dumbed down they are nostalgic for the good 'ol days. The very serious thinkers have spun the nation so far to the right, that they cannot call BS on the crazy candidates. They have to treat them as mainstream. This is going to be a long slog. In just a couple years, people have forgotten the pile of shit Bush handed Obama, and now blame Obama for all our ills. They are even ready to vote for Bush on steroids in Perry.

Anonymous said...

I rarely respond directly to other commenters, but voters like Anonymous @5:44 scare the bejeezus out of me. Seriously? Four years of Perry or Bachmann is better than four more years of Obama? Are our memories as short as Republicans' that we forget the atrocious amount of damage these people can do in four years?

Contact your representatives, contact the White House, make your opinions heard -- improve from within. Don't subject your fellow citizens to four years of Tea Party hell just to avoid the appearance of endorsing a disappointing President. We can't afford it.

Jester said...

Fortunately, I live in California, where my vote means little or nothing. As a result, I can and will vote against Obama with an entirely clear conscience and know that my vote will still send a message. I'm simply not going to vote for someone who has been so ineffectual. Whomever Obama's opponent is *might* be a poor choice for President. But Obama has proven over the past four years that he *is* a poor choice for President.

It's a pity that Hillary didn't fight Obama off three years ago, because I think with four or eight years of watching *practical* politics at work close-up, he could have made an outstanding President in 2012 or 2016. But in 2008? Mediocre.

But since I do live in California, the only result of my vote and others will be to allow Wolf Blitzer to say something like "Obama still carried California, but from this graph you can see he dropped about five percentage points, indicating weakening support..."

I'm happy that I don't live in Michigan or Florida or Pennsylvania, where I'd have to spend a lot more time worrying about this. I don't envy people living in those states their votes.

Marc McKenzie said...

@Anonymous: "...but I honestly do not see the real differences between my life under Bush II and Obama."

I honestly...oh, what the hell, I just cannot answer this. I just can't. I could say "Go look at the list of Obama's achievements." But I'm sure I'll get the "It doesn't matter anyway" line.

And this: "I want real...meaningful social change."

No, you don't. You want a quick, bang-zoom two-second quickie shot change. MEANINGFUL social change takes time--years, in fact. From the right to vote for women and minorities, to the Civil Rights Bill, to ending DADT....social change takes time. It takes a long view of things and understanding that you might not be around when it happens, but you can start moving things in that direction.

I'm no fan of Limbaugh's but he was right, in a way--you wanted "Barack, the Magic Negro". You wanted Bagger Vance in the White House.

@Mart: Well said. Too bad that Anonymous believes in the "no difference between the two" nonsense.

Dear God....we saw this crap line of thinking with the Naderites in 2000--and that worked out so f***ing well for us, didn't it?

Michael J. West said...

Anon, you're an idiot. Sincerely an idiot. I talked to a whole horde of idiots in 2000 who decided that they were willing to accept four years of George W. Bush for the sake of expressing their desire for "real social change," i.e., useless narcissist Ralph Nader. The end result of that? You are a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Was it worth it?

You think you're being principled and noble. You're actually being exactly like the Tea Party: Willing to throw the nation to the dogs in order to make a petulant little point. Perhaps that's why you were unwilling to give your name (making you both a coward AND an idiot).

Mike said...

What about, "Fucking Obama caved again! He has no spine!

But I'll be voting for him again in a year." Where does that fall?

Obama is wishy-washy and meandering, and he's not delivering, or even fighting for, what he promised in 2008. Even if some of his promises weren't realistic, there's something to be said for having a strong posture. There was a line in The West Wing: He should have came out swinging and then negotiated towards the center, rather than start at the center and negotiate to the right. He ceded a strong negotiating position his first two years in office, and now he's actually stuck with a weak one. What's worse is he seems resigned to that fact instead of trying to improve it.

What Warren said is pretty spot on: nearly his entire base is dejected and demoralized. Obama's like that annoying dude who's always asking for favors but never doing any for anyone else. He's done almost nothing for his base, and he still expects them to go out and campaign for him. Are they still going to vote for him? Absolutely, because they know how bad a Romney, or god forbid, a Perry presidency would be. But that base isn't energized or motivated to go out and campaign for him, and that's how you win over the independents.

I know you hate it, but there are two lines from The West Wing that I think are appropriate: "It's not the battles that we lose that bother me; it's the ones we don't suite up for." And "We lay out our plan, and then do a better job of selling it than the other guy." The first gets the base, and they help do the second. That's what he's forgotten.

Marsupialus said...

So Anonymous, because he's a disappointment you won't vote for him again and your logic is that if you let the real crazies take over somehow we'll all wake up to how crazy and how bad things are and change things?

I went through a moment a few weeks ago where I thought I'd sit it out but you know something every time I see Bachmann speak or Perry or Palin I can't do it. I can't let one of those idiots get their hands on the codes. I can't let one of those idiots anywhere near the White House. It wouldn't be just bad with one of them their, it would catastrophic, like electing Caligula.

Really, get some perspective. Think about it. No matter how much Obama disappoints he will never ever be as bad as the best of the any of them. And Romney appears to be the best and there's a guy that can't even decide on a shirt color without changing his mind and pretending he didn't.

Anonymous said...

Ah right...it was people that voted for Nader that lost the 2000 election. I forgot that. I could have sworn it had something to do with the utterly inept campaign that Gore ran...but no...it had to be the 2.8 million that dared to vote their own opinion...those fucking monsters. To think, trying to hold elected officials to some sort of standard...what the fuck? You know its funny but you never hear republicans bitching that if Buchanan didn't run, Bush would have gotten about 500K more and the popular vote would have gone his way and the mess in Florida would not have mattered. Then again, he won so why would they. By the way, I am that idiot anonymous that made the social faux pas of expressing my feelings about the President.

I guess I should apologize for not properly prescribing myself to the appropriate group think. Let's give him four more years to somehow magically get accomplished what he either wasn't willing or able to do when his party controlled both the house and the senate...cause I am sure when he gets re-elected (and lets be honest, if Obama loses this election he has to go down as the worst politician in American history), its going to be so damn much easier.

I don't see how continually "settling" on a candidate is somehow a noble thing to do. What is going to change by doing the same damn thing every four years?

Voja said...

"Keeping my criticism constructive and applicable."

In other words, toothless. Obama can cave on whatever he wants, tack as far to the right as he wants, break as many campaign promises as he wants, and the die-hards will still defend him because he'll never be as crazy as the Republicans. If you buy into that calculus because you think you have no choice, fine, but I'll be damned if I understand how anyone can wear it like a badge of honor. Voting for the lesser of two evils should never be a source of pride or satisfaction.

VOTAR said...

We may not like the taste of the medicine we have to take, but it usually winds up being a lot better than the illness we would otherwise have to endure without it.

If there were a more attractive Democratic primary challenger this time around, this debate would have some substance to it. But in the absence of a better alternative, voting against a progressive President who has personally let you down in order to send some kind of silly message is about the equivalent of huffing and puffing with your arms folded in the corner of the kindergarten. It's exactly the kind of foot-stomping we've come to expect from the teabagger lunatic fringe who think that tantrums are the way to shape the future of American political discourse.

With all due respect to you and the service you've performed for your country, I sincerely hope that this tactic is not a very popular one on election day 2012. There is a much bigger landscape to consider than the sting of chastisement you hope to make Mr. Obama feel about your disappointment in him. No President has ever lived up to every campaign promise and many reforms take shape in ways and over periods of history that are impossible to recognize at first. I'm not hesitant to say that I wish Obama were more willing to fight for some of the issues that got him my vote in 08, but I'm also smart and imaginative enough to be able to visualize the horrific landscape of this country under the heel of yet another neo-con war criminal, fundamentalist hillbilly, gun-totin' cowboy, or gleefully ignorant teabagger bigot.

It's a much more important question than whether Americans need to be taught some sort of lesson through suffering under another disastrous Republican administration; America's reputation in the world is at stake. When the next crazy/stupid Dominionist commander-in-chief drags us into another illegal crusade in the middle east, it won't matter much then whether Mr. Obama feels the sting of your disapproval in him.

Voting for the lesser of two evils (if you accept that this is an appropriate metaphor, which I do not), certainly is not something to be proud of, but this is not so much about personal pride but rather the maturity and selflessness to think beyond your own interests and consider the welfare and future of the larger community around you. To belabor the metaphor: Obama is the devil that we know, and at his worst, he's immeasurably better than what we could wind up with next.

The way I see it, I'd rather tolerate good men who try to do good things and fail at some of them, than to endure evil men who succeed at doing evil things.

Anonymous said...

Votar-
So we are supposed to wait around and hope for a better candidate, all the while voting for the same schmucks over and over again? You do realize that at soon as someone comes along, all it takes is an established person to anoint the upstart as "unelectable" and the same cycle of waiting begins anew.

How the fuck does that make sense? Just like how every poll shows that people disapprove of congress, yet they keep voting the same clowns in.

Four more years...we are going to be in the same damn situation. And it doesn't matter a lick between the "evil" bogey man the Republicans elect, or the fantastic pillar of humanity that apparently President Obama is.

Fuck! This is why I hate politics...I am starting to sound like Alex Jones.

littlebitoffeisty said...

VOTAR-
I think I love you....

VOTAR said...

If a better candidate does not present him- (or her-)self, then yes, we wait around for a better candidate.

We cannot afford to kick the horse out from under the best candidate we have at the moment, if the consequence of doing so is the ascendancy of another president of the ilk that are currently threatening to plunge this nation into another Dark Age of intolerance, bigotry, war, fundamentalism, arrogance, willful and deliberate anti-intellectualism, and spiraling economic disparity.

Obama should be criticized. He should be held accountable. He should be urged to fight harder and to wield the political will of his supporters and Party with more resolve. There is no doubt that his political rivals appear to be better at some of that than he is, just as they are masters of deceiving their supporters into believing that they act in their best interests.

It is at the core of what I believe to be my responsibility as a citizen, and as an inhabitant of the planet I share with the other 6 billion people, to think beyond my personal, fleeting grievances. I can't in good conscience condone an action or inaction that would benefit the Republican (or, God forbid, Tea Party) alternative to this President, regardless of how many check-marks there are on my personal list of "Things Obama Promised Me."

Anonymous said...

"We cannot afford to kick the horse out from under the best candidate we have at the moment, if the consequence of doing so is the ascendancy of another president of the ilk that are currently threatening to plunge this nation into another Dark Age of intolerance, bigotry, war, fundamentalism, arrogance, willful and deliberate anti-intellectualism, and spiraling economic disparity. "

What the fuck are you smoking? Two wars are kosher, but if a republican gets elected, we are going to find ourselves in another one. High school text books are picked solely by Texas and California, but if a republican gets elected, that is going to change. There is a massively growing disparity between rich and poor, but if a republican gets elected, its going to occur quicker. I mean...do you even pick up what you are advocating?

I am not trying to be a dick (though it comes naturally for me). How is a better candidate going to arrive if we kept rewarding the lowest common denominator?

Nothing will ever change if we keep going through the motions. Re-electing the least bad is the reason that Obama gets shit for pushing through a Bob Dole medicare plan. You all seem to be fine with the fact we are sending American troops over to die for a country that statistically the majority can't find on a fucking map...as long as a republican isn't in charge. We are taking about a president that has fought the DOD to keep DADT on the books. We still have the national stain known as Gitmo on all of our collective conscience. We are talking about a president that continues to do the bare minimum to keep us hoping that if we re-elect him, he will get around to rewarding his supporters by doing what he originally promised.

You know what...I would rather elect a fucking idiot that admits they are going to fuck me over again and again that an individual who is going to promise shit he doesn't plan on doing. I honestly can't comprehend what could possibly be worse than what we have achieved now.

Than again, this is my opinion only and I am glad that everyone is willing to express their opinion of disagreement. Though I must admit that having Michael calling me an idiot is hilarious because I doubt he could operate an A4W nuclear reactor in a war zone...so fuck you dude.

Trixi said...

I will work my ass off to reelect a Democratic President, even one that I feel somewhat dissapointed with, if it will keep the Supreme Court semi-balanced. A 4-year Republican rule may be enough time to tip the scales (pun intended) in a disastrous way. The SCOTUS has members very near retirement. Do you want another Thompson? Scalia?

There's just too much at stake.