[FoRK] A choice of nightmares

Luis Villa luis at tieguy.org
Wed Sep 3 12:15:16 PDT 2008

On Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 12:39 PM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> On Sep 2, 2008, at 11:19 AM, Luis Villa wrote:
>> On Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 11:39 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
>>> On Sep 2, 2008, at 10:25 AM, Luis Villa wrote:
>>>>> That may not be far from the truth, given how limp-dick and useless the
>>>>> present Congressional configuration has proven to be, but that's a sad
>>>>> commentary.
>>>> <shrug> it is actually part of why I prefer them, to the extent I
>>>> prefer either party.
>>> That's a legit point.  But I fear --- given the political adroitness of
>>> the
>>> present candidate --- that he indeed may be capable of more than we've
>>> seen
>>> before.
>> That is certainly true, though Bill was more adroit than his party
>> too, and that got us two years of mild overreach followed by six years
>> of triangulation. (Aside: can't wait to see what trumped-up bullshit
>> they try to impeach Obama on. If only Bush had gotten a blowjob...)
>> That said, like Bill, a big part of Obama's political adroitness is an
>> instinctive centrism-
> Feh, I wish I could believe that was *certain*, it would change the dynamic
> for me.  Clinton was the ultimate pragmatist.  Instead in Obama what I see
> is a True Believer who's been cagey enough to disguise this fact to a very
> great extent.  Whether or not it's true, if it's even *possibly* true then
> it's too great a risk.  Bush was a right-wing Manchurian and managed (or
> rather, his handlers managed) to put one past us all.  Risking it again
> isn't reasonable.

<shrug> I think you're nuts, but even if I grant your thesis that he's
actually a closet commie, there is still a big difference between
Obama and Bush- the appeal of their respective alleged world-views.

If Obama is actually a closet socialist, he won't get much done.
Remember what happened when we discovered that Hillary really was a
closet socialist with regards to health care? Remember gays in the
military? Remember letting in Haitians like we let in Cubans? These
things and more very nearly destroyed the Clinton presidency before it
started, because they were so far outside the mainstream. In order to
govern *at all* (and particularly to get re-elected), the most skilled
politician of our time had to back off his far lefty proposals,
despite (at the start) high popularity and control of both branches of
Congress. So maybe Bill's a crazy lefty (he certainly tried to govern
like one for a few months), maybe he's a centrist; he'll be
*remembered* as a centrist because his lurch to the left cost him 40+
seats in the House and 6-7 in the Senate, so in order to accomplish
anything he had to govern from the center. (And there are more
conservative Blue Dog Dems in Congress now than in '94, not less, who
will desert at the drop of a hat.)

Bush's closet fascism, in contrast, *was wildly popular*. He's not
unpopular now because he's a fascist, he's unpopular because he's a
brutally incompetent fascist. If he'd actually achieved what he set
out to do he'd still have 49-51% approval ratings. IT is true that he
slipped one past some of us in 2000, but remember, the man was
re-elected in 2004 *with a bigger margin* running on a platform that
consisted primarily of 'more fascism, faster', against the biggest
warmonger the Democrats could tolerate.

[One caveat here is that an even more significant true economic
collapse might shift the whole country leftward enough to embrace a
much more activist government, as it allowed FDR to steamroll the
conservative forces of his day. But I doubt that even a second great
depression would really do the trick- the country as a whole has
deeply bought into the idea that government is incompetent and the
free market is the one true solution, which was not at all the case in


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