Because we have to do what we have to do

Ted Van Dyk, who self-identifies as a life long Democrat, writing at Crosscut, has some concerns about the Obama administration. Which is fine, although I think it’s worth addressing.

As a lifelong Democrat, I am concerned that President Obama could come out of his first 100 days decidedly weaker than when they began. His November victory was not as strong as anticipated, given the unpopularity of the outgoing Bush administration, a weakening economy, and an often inept McCain-Palin Republican ticket. Yet Obama has proceeded as if he were a landslide winner, like Lyndon Johnson in 1965 and Reagan in 1980, and has pushed forward a costly and ambitious domestic agenda even though we remain in a severe economic downturn.

Obama’s audacity — I consider it politically dangerous overreach — has energized Republicans and, in particular, conservatives as they would not have been had Obama followed the bipartisan, consensus path he promised on taking office. The politically polarizing economic-stimulus package and his proposed federal budget have done it.

Well, Obama tried to reach out to the Limbaugh Party and was rewarded with zero votes in the House. Then three “moderates” in the Senate hijacked the entire process on behalf of Susan Collins. So that explains that. It’s not the Obama administration that is obstructing things, so I’m not quite sure what Van Dyk means.

You can’t be bi-partisan and work with a batshit insane party that doesn’t understand basic economics, and more to the point, defines itself almost solely on cultural and racial resentment. They have a great deal of fun hating the dirty fucking hippies, but that’s not much of a policy position. There’s no “there” there. It’s just tribalism, with all its venomous, spittle-spewing invective coursing through the diseased veins of AM radio. If they’re not hating the dirty hippies, it’s the gays, or the immigrants, or the ACORN (black people mainly, in their view,) or left-handed people who wear green socks.

Without hate there is no conservative movement. And just like FDR did, we should welcome their hate, because it means we are doing something right.

Conservatives today are not serious people, because if they were serious they would put forth policy proposals that match the challenges ahead and they would not wish for the failure of the president. “Bi-partisanship” has ceased to be a word with any concrete meaning in the real world. Now, knowing Obama the door is still open, but Republicans will have to choose to walk through that door, meaning they will have to possess the balls to stand up to the Joe McCarthy of our time. Not bloody likely in my estimation.

As for recovery, spending and the budget, the very strange thing is that a lot of people don’t seem to understand that the immediate threat is of intense deflation and world-wide collapse of the economic structure. To paraphrase the hell out of John Maynard Keynes, you could go around burying millions of bottles of money and it would help prevent Depression, because then the private sector would busily engage in massive efforts to dig up the bottles. Of course, if instead you wanted to do something that would also provide a longer term benefit, like building bridges or wind farms, that would be good too.

The biggest short term concern is not the amount of spending that we must engage in, but the failure to address the “too big to fail banks” and by extension, their “too big to fail” insurance company, AIG. Talk about wasting money. I’m always amazed how Americans will get their noses all bent out of shape regarding urban legends about “welfare queens in Cadillacs” but will be nonplussed at incredible waste and fraud in the corporate world. The people complaining about the stimulus package and the budget, which at least contain many measures that will provide real relief to regular Americans, do not generally express much concern about the way we’ve all been robbed by Wall Street.

The people who brought us this calamity are yet to be held accountable in a meaningful way, and are reaping high salaries and other rewards still, not to mention frequent contributions to their firms by taxpayers that will doubtless total in the hundreds of billions of dollars. You don’t really hear any talk of a “tea party” because of that, now, do you? The conservative-Republican opposition is the same old suspects spouting the same old bullshit, bitching that the wealthiest 2% of Americans might have to pay the same tax rate they did a decade ago. Poor babies.

The deficit hawks have a long-term point. But we’re sure in the hell not going to reduce the deficit or the debt if the global economy falls into Depression, and for now the political battle is essentially an extension of the last eight years: the malignancy of movement conservatism has to be defeated if we are to prosper.


  1. 1

    The Truth spews:

    since 2007 Democrats spent the money and hid facts during the control of congress.

    Obama’s depression,Obamas budget, Obama’s bailouts, Obama’s unemployment failure every month.

    What a load of crap about obama reaching out to the Republicans. Obama did reach out during the super bowl game and extended his hand wit a bowl full of potato chips.

    The Truth Republicans where banned from meetings and offering amendments.

    This is all good for us so when the budget of 3.6 trillion turns into 3 cents and nothing changed the Democrats will be holding the bag.

  2. 2

    Al Minkman spews:

    re 1: ‘Do unto others….”

    You are bitching about what Republicans did for 6 long years. Now it’s time for you to go fuck yourself — so get busy.

  3. 3

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Jon spews:

    Well, Obama tried to reach out to the Limbaugh Party and was rewarded with zero votes in the House.”

    How exactly did Obama “reach out”???
    It was “agree with me or screw you”. That isn’t “reaching out” Jon.
    Obama has made bi-partisanship a real joke.
    Ted is right on.
    I have never seen Conservatives more energized.
    Just look at Rush’s Arbitran ratings. They have skyrocketed thru the roof.

  4. 4

    Mark Centz spews:

    What an offal analysis, Truth- every bit as truthful as Pravda. When your guys controlled Congress, democrats were not even allowed into some subcommittee meetings and were even removed by the police when they attempted to attend. Shoe’s on other foot now, asshole. Now your Senators have decided that judges don’t need ‘an up or down vote’ anymore, now that there’s a halfrican in the Oval Office. Obama’s giving the Republicans far more courtsey that the deserve- which would be none. You and your friends can go to hell.

  5. 5

    The Truth spews:

    That was the past Remember?

    Jan. 2009 he said we will have change not the old way. We will reach across to the other side.
    Even Pepsi in 2007 gave a glowing assessment how we all will work together.

    Oh, I forgot words mean nothing…..

  6. 6

    The Truth spews:

    please read about Hope and Change… @4

    So he lied again !!!!!

    When this budget reaches the American people and when they realize if you spent 1-million dollars every day since the time of Jesus to now you may have spent the whole obama budget today.
    Think about that…..

  7. 7

    Al Minkman spews:

    There are corporatists in both the Democratic and Republican parties. But the Republicans overtly believe in corporatism (a term coined by Benito Mussolini)and push that agenda, to the detriment of the actual citizens.

    Democrats at least nominally state that they are in favor of the people over corporations — so we can hold their feet to the fire on certain issues.

    The Republican base is too stupid to understand these things. So, philosophically speaking, the Rushicans and the Democrats have a chasm between them that cannot be breached.

    The only solution is for the Rushican party to be so marginalized that the true face of modern,centrist Republicanism can show it’s face.

    In other words, go fuck yourself. We won. Although loud and mighty, the Rushican death throes are just that.

  8. 9

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Theodore Roosevelt said this during WWI which still applies during the economic crisis times we are facing today:

    “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

    The Obama-maniacs have tried to create an environment where criticism of Obama is either racist…or if that doesn’t work, unpatriotic.
    They are inviting much more intense criticism.
    Where are all the ACLU supporters??
    Why aren’t they praising Rush for speaking up against the person in power??
    The ACLU’s silence is telling.

  9. 10

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 1 pretty much sums up the Republican strategy these days. They are counting on the American voters to have a very short memory, in order to try to deflect blame from the Bush Economic Disaster onto Obama. They are trying to do this by taking a sprinkling of truth and soaking it generously in falshood, then dumping it onto the overworked and underpaid working people of America who don’t have time to go through and deconstruct the lies of the Limbaugh Party as fast as they shovel them out.

    What the Limbaugh Party hopes is that a sufficient number of American workers, angry at the economic problems they face through no fault of their own, will channel the anger they feel at the system set up by the Republicans which rewarded bankers and the wealthy for their imprudence and blame it on Obama’s rescue efforts, instead.

    It’s not very well concealed, it[s pretty obvious from the posts on this board. It’s also pretty sad, because it shows that the only way the Limbaugh Party feels they can win an election is to bet on fear, anger, exhaustion, and (sometimes) ignorance of American voters.

  10. 11

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 9: I was wondering when you guys were going to start that line. I well remember being lectured to in 2001, 2002, 2003, and even 2004 and 2005 about how “unpatriotic” it was to criticize Bush while our troops were at war in Afganistan/Iraq or anywhere else during our world-wide, never ending war on terrorism.

    I well remember the Republican who ended a prayer at a church service who called upon God to strike down President Jimmy Carter, but insisted that once Reagan took office it was our Christian duty to support his entire agenda without “murmoring” against him. I heard the same things during the G.H.W. Bush administration.

    But the minute Clinton took office, suddenly it becomes our “patriotic duty” to bring him down, at any cost.

    But when Bush Jr. takes over, suddenly anyone within blocks of the President who looks like they might disagree with his policies is detained, forceably removed, or consigned to a “free speech zone” blocks away, effectively negating our right to petition our government for our grievences.

    I actually don’t mind reasoned critism and debate about public policy which is contrary to the views of the President or other Democrats. If you want to argue tax policy, taxing and spending levels, foreign policy, the virtues or demerits of various economic recovery plans, then fine. But don’t stand on your soapbox and act insulted and hurt because you feel intimidated about expressing your feelings about Obama. Your hypocracy is showing (perhaps not your’s personally, just that of the ideology/party which you support).

  11. 13

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    by Jon DeVore
    Without hate there is no conservative movement.

    679 words talking shit about the republicans and you had the audacity to insinuate that without hate there would be no conservative movement?
    Unless you mean without the hate from people like you everyone would want to be a democrat. Then maybe you’ve got a point.

  12. 14


    Wow. How about you tell us how you really feel?

    Did you happen to see the article in the NY Times this morning about “McCain’s earmark ammendment” to the Senate spending bill? (reprinted in the Seattletimes) While it talks all about McCain’s failed effort to pass the ammendment eliminating 9,286 earmarks, it fails to mention that it was a bi-partisan ammendment co-sponsored by Russ Feingold, D-WI.

    The Dems in Congress are running roughshod over the Republicans, to the delight of the press. Van Dyk’s concerns are valid and you do yourself a dis-service to dismiss them, especially with such anger and venom.

    Oh, and I may disagree with you. But I will NEVER hate you.

  13. 17

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    I have been wanting to say this for quite some time, and this is an appropriate thread in which to do it:

    Jon DeVore gives good blog.

    @14: If you were honest, you would have also pointed out that 1) close to half the earmarks went to Republicans 2) the largest single earmark was made by a Republican 3) Republicans, including all of the Republican senators on the Appropriations Committee, voted against McCain’s amendment and 4) if voters were concerned about earmarks, which make up 2% of the spending in the Omnibus spending bill, you would think McCain, and the GOP more generally, would have gotten more traction out of the issue during the campaign, but the results in November belie this assertion.

  14. 18

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    I’d also like to point out that anything at all that starts with

    As a lifelong Democrat, I am concerned

    can most likely be dismissed as concern trolling.

  15. 19

    Daddy Love spews:

    Let’s see. The variopus House Committees (because the House is where spending bills MUST begin constitutionally) started working on the stimulus package early in January. These committees are staffed with both Democrats and Republicans. Out of these committees came a stimulus bill that was 40% tax cuts, specifically to ensure Republican support. Along the way as these bills were introduced and amended, the Houses of Congress removed several spending measures to which COngressional Republicans objected, includinga money-saving plan for Medicaid waivers for the states for contraception.

    Despite those concessions, it’s true that not every Republican amendment was passed. You need VOTES to do that, and Republicans don’t have them. That’s just the sorry way it is. Enjoy the next thirty years out of power.

  16. 20

    Sam Adams spews:

    Wanting one President’s socialist agenda to fail and calling another a “monkey boy” are two different things.

    Bipartisan. Translation: give in to the Dems.

    There sure is a lot of whine and cheese coming from the left considering the Repubs have very little political power and not too much of a backbone either.

  17. 21

    Richard Pope spews:

    Exactly who is this “Ted Van Dyk”? I don’t seem to be able to find anyone with any name similar to his registered to vote in this state.

  18. 22

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:

    Moron With no Sentz @4:

    Nancy Pelosi said “I will not be making appointments to a committee that is not bipartisan.”

    Nancy Pelosi said “Elect us, hold us accountable, and make a judgment and then go from there. But I do tell you that if the Democrats win and have substantial majorities, Congress of the United States will be more bipartisan.”

    Yeah Nancy you are a real non-partisan.

    Since 44% of Democratic think Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican party while 88% of Republicans do not, you see where the Democratic pollsters like Gallup, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN get their ammunition from.

  19. 23

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:

    Diddled Lover, Thanks for this:

    (because the House is where spending bills MUST begin constitutionally)

    NotRight has been trumpeting all over HA the crap about TARP1 not being crafted by Tax Cheat Rangel and Loan Deal Dodd. Thanks for proving NotRight is the fool he is…

  20. 24

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:

    Jennie T@18: Any post which begins

    “I’m a progressive”

    is a very scary individual… I guess that includes you now :)

  21. 25

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:

    rujax! what a reject said:

    Gee Jon…I think you hit a nerve or something.

    You mean like his attempt to make Allen Stamford a conservative?

    Hahaaaaaaaaaaaaa hahahahahah…

    The moron approving the stupid.

  22. 26

    Steve spews:

    @13 My Favorite Marvin spews: “679 words”

    He counted the fucking words in the post?? LMFAO!!

  23. 27

    Rujax! spews:

    the puddybiotch is wrong again…sigh.

    …but will he admit it? Ohhhh nooooo, not on your life.

    It’s Sta-N-ford, bird brain…as in “pretending to be a relate of Leland Stanford”.


  24. 29

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:

    Hey Rujax! go back and read my posts in the Jon DeVore Texas rant. So I hit the wrong key. The message is correct unlike anything you post.


  25. 30

    eric spews:

    As Jon Stewart so aptly put it the other night, apparently you’re only required to love America when the Republicans are running things. To Ted Van Dyke and all the other whiners out there, Obama won the election with a majority of the votes, something even Bill Clinton didn’t accomplish. Obama won on his terms against the odds, and against all the conventional wisdom of the insiders and pundits. It’s his agenda and he has a right to push it forward. I for one wish him all the best and hope he succeeds.

  26. 31

    The Truth spews:

    By all means it’s his agenda and has the right to push it through congress. The problem is it’s not being pushed through it’s being shoved down the throats of moderate Democrats and details are being hidden from the public as much as possible. Why else the big hoopla on Rush to distract from the big scam.
    I for one want grownups to rewrite the budget.

  27. 32

    John425 spews:

    Awww, li’l Jonny got his talking points from the DNC today- “the Limbaugh Party”- Well, yuk, yuk. Anything to deflect criticism from The Obama Administrations flailing about, eh?

    Consider: Obama has managed to triple the deficit and destroy the stock market in his first 40 days in office. Even with two wars, 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Clinton Recession, Bush couldn’t do that.

  28. 33

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    26. Steve spews:
    @13 My Favorite Marvin spews: “679 words”
    He counted the fucking words in the post?? LMFAO!!

    Of course I personally don’t have enough fingers and toes to count that high so I used the count word feature. Select the text, select word count from the menu and a little dialog box pops up with the total number of words, paragraphs and characters.
    Took less time then it took you to reply to me.
    Have you ever considered taking a night class to learn how to use your computer?

  29. 34

    Rujax! spews:

    DeVore is actually smart, an original thinker, a real reporter and an entertaining writer.

    then we have the (screeching) puddybiotch.

    compare and contrast.

  30. 35

    Steve spews:

    @32 “destroy the stock market”

    Idiot. Can you read an stock index chart?;period=d

    The market decline started a long, long time ago. The present downward trend was set in May of last year and your Republican administration was powerless to stop it. Oh wait. Of course! May of 2008? Everything was still Clinton’s fault. Now it’s Obama’s fault. One thing is a given about Republicans – they will never accept responsibility for anything bad that happens on their watch. Just one more reason why they are out of power today and sitting on the sidelines whining.

  31. 36

    Steve spews:

    @33 “Select the text”

    My Favorite Marvin is a little more clever than I gave him credit for. He’s still dumb as a duck, but not quite dumber than a stump.

  32. 37

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    36. Steve spews:
    My Favorite Marvin is a little more clever than I gave him credit for.

    Naw… you realized you are stupider than you thought.

  33. 39

    Marvin Stamn spews:

  34. 40

    Steve spews:

    @37 If that particular delusion makes you feel better then go for it, My Favorite Marvin.

    Tell me, My Favorite Marvin, what is it that you most admire about manoftruth? Is it the Jew-hate?

  35. 41

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    40. Steve spews:
    @37 If that particular delusion makes you feel better

    It was simply an observation, not a judgement. Sorry it offended you.

    Tell me, My Favorite Marvin, what is it that you most admire about manoftruth? Is it the Jew-hate?

    I know it’s lost on you. but I’ll explain…
    After I saw one of his posts I decided I don’t need/want to read his posts, so I skip over what he writes. And I certainly don’t reply to him nor do I mention his name in my replies to encourage him to write more.
    I only wish you had the same common sense and would ignore him so he will go away. But I’m sure you feel you have a good reason to keep writing about him. Dumbass!!

  36. 42

    Steve spews:

    @ 41 “But I’m sure you feel you have a good reason to keep writing about him.”

    Alas, he’s on your side. I see that you agree that this sucks for you.

  37. 44

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    42. Steve spews:
    @ 41 “But I’m sure you feel you have a good reason to keep writing about him.”
    Alas, he’s on your side. I see that you agree that this sucks for you.

    Doesn’t suck for me. His words are no more reflective on me than the words of the racist headless lucy are to you… well, except for the fact you work in a field that doesn’t employ black people.
    Go ahead and keep posting about your new hero. Like I said, I would rather ignore him.

  38. 45

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    Hey steve, did you see what your fellow obama supporter kathy griffin said about Jesus? She was commenting that Jesus did nothing to help her win her emmy, “all I can say is suck it, Jesus”
    Of course that’s not a reflection on you just because she’s on your side.

  39. 46

    Puddybud, Hey it's the new year... spews:

    Yes the Democratic do what they want to do…

    “Mr. Geithner made a telling slip when he told the House Ways and Means Committee that the budget reflects what the president views as “a deep moral imperative to make society more just.” In other words, this is not just about economic recovery, it’s about pursuing left-wing social policy through the confiscation and redistribution of wealth.”

    That is amazing…Socialism

  40. 47

    Steve spews:

    @45 Kathy Griffin? Whoever she is, such a comment would be in very poor taste. If she said that, then consider her denounced.

  41. 48

    Steve spews:

    @44 “except for the fact you work in a field that doesn’t employ black people”

    And your point is what?