Basketball
May 22, 2012 1:33 PM   Subscribe

The ad is the work of two of the most fearsome players in Republican politics: Larry McCarthy, the producer behind the infamous Willie Horton commercial in 1988, and Crossroads GPS, the political battle squad founded by Karl Rove. Here it is.
posted by bearwife (151 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
My question is simple:

Why is that woman's wig so weird looking?
posted by broadway bill at 1:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


Obama made me old and turned my hair into an ushanka
posted by theodolite at 1:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [25 favorites]


Swing voters are swingers. I'll make my video later on.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:39 PM on May 22, 2012


I was waiting for her to morph into Darth Maul or a werewolf or something. Totally disappointing.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, by the way.
posted by goethean at 1:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [31 favorites]


BARACK OBAMA WILL MAKE YOU WEAR ROBOT-HAIR!
posted by fuq at 1:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Not really a new message, same old Republican cut taxes/spending will solve everything junk. Rove is pretty desperate because he sees how doomed the Romney campaign looks so far so I would expect more fiery ads going forward.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:42 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forget that we are creating "facts" out of thin air. Just feel the fear, and act accordingly.
posted by Danf at 1:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Swing voters are swingers. I'll make my video later on.

Support the Nude Majority Agenda.
posted by mazola at 1:45 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone tempted to register jobs.info?
posted by drezdn at 1:45 PM on May 22, 2012


FuckFacts™
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


NEW MAJORITY AGENDA
  • Fuck America; Get Money.

  • posted by The White Hat at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


    Hey, America? This economic crash is what happens when you literally burn a couple of trillion dollars on an unjust, unwanted war to line the pockets of a few war-profiteering oligarchs while they distract you with a glut of easy credit.
    posted by loquacious at 1:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [62 favorites]


    I still blame Bush.
    posted by Catblack at 1:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


    I call that voice the "I'm going to lie to you" voice. There's a corresponding male version. You hear it a lot on the radio and television during election season. When I hear it I reflexively put my hand over my wallet pocket and make sure my computer bag is snapped shut, not just velcroed.
    posted by benito.strauss at 1:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [30 favorites]


    Her trembling voice is a metaphor for our uncertain future.
    posted by R. Schlock at 1:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


    "Concerned taxpayer's" and their children have aged a decade in the 3 1/2 years Obama took office??

    Give me a break with this bull pucky...
    posted by Skygazer at 1:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [21 favorites]


    More on the ad:

    The new, strikingly dishonest ad from Crossroads GPS
    I’m Broke! Please Stop Helping Me!
    The best lies money can buy
    posted by zombieflanders at 1:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


    Thought there would way more racist dog-whistles.

    Also, "New Majority Agenda" has a sinister ring to it, like "New World Order" but watered down to sound softer and more palatable:

    "Not the whole world, guys, relax! Just the MAJORITY! And it's not an 'order,' per se...just...you know...an 'agenda.' Just some stuff we want to get done, you know? Relax! It's cool! And we're probably not going to be going after you, specifically, and we're not even saying we're going to slaughter your children on our dark altars until they run red with blood! It's not written in stone or anything, calm down! It's just on the agenda...which, when you think about it, means it be something we don't even get to! You know, depending on our schedules and whatnot."
    posted by infinitywaltz at 1:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    Why is that woman's wig so weird looking?

    Because it's filled with the haunting specter of Obama and Socialism...
    posted by Skygazer at 1:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Her face turned this weird shade of gray for a second; there are bound to be some scary stills from this video. And oh, her voice.

    Hey, America? This economic crash is what happens when you literally burn a couple of trillion dollars on an unjust, unwanted war to line the pockets of a few war-profiteering oligarchs while they distract you with a glut of easy credit.

    I'm on record here as being vocally opposed to our empire-building, but I wonder about the wars--how does that alone explain the "crash" in Europe, and beyond, where they're not out invading the entire Muslim world?
    posted by resurrexit at 1:56 PM on May 22, 2012


    I'm a bit disappointed they didn't go the distance with their depiction of America's future under Obama, and excluded the roving bands of cannibals, the giant ashcloud lingering over the dead earth, and Viggo Morthensen coughing ominously as he makes Omar from The Wire give up his clothing.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


    The message of the ad is that Obama failed to deliver on the trademark hope and change of the last election. Which is undeniably true if you are liberal or conservative. He's been a weak CEO at a time when American might benefit from a strong one. That's a message that sort of cuts across party lines, I think, and is a fair criticism of Obama.

    But the weird computer graphics are really annoying.
    posted by three blind mice at 1:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    I'm a bit disappointed they didn't go the distance with their depiction of America's future under Obama, and excluded the roving bands of cannibals, the giant ashcloud lingering over the dead earth, and Viggo Morthensen coughing ominously as he makes Omar from The Wire give up his clothing.

    What, you mean you missed this one?
    posted by theodolite at 2:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    Karl Rove just can't really deliver anymore. What a has been and phony and fake and loser. Fuck him. Fuck him sideways with a telephone pole...
    posted by Skygazer at 2:02 PM on May 22, 2012


    Frankly I am sick to death of the thought that America needs a CEO to run the government.
    posted by edgeways at 2:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [48 favorites]


    Ugh. Crossroads has been playing attack ads against Senator McCaskill for literally a year in anticipation of her re-election run here in Missouri. I can't wait to be bombarded by more of the schtick.
    posted by Atreides at 2:04 PM on May 22, 2012


    Hey, America? This economic crash is what happens when you literally burn a couple of trillion dollars on an unjust, unwanted war to line the pockets of a few war-profiteering oligarchs while they distract you with a glut of easy credit.

    Actually, the Bush tax cuts are as responsible or moreso than both the Afghan and Iraq wars, TARP, and the 2008 stock market crash--combined.

    The message of the ad is that Obama failed to deliver on the trademark hope and change of the last election. Which is undeniably true if you are liberal or conservative.

    Well, sure...if you're rich, white, straight, and/or male. It's pretty much undeniably false otherwise.
    posted by zombieflanders at 2:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [21 favorites]


    You know, as much as you all laugh, let us not forget the Demon Sheep ad which actually got some weird traction. Never underestimate the power of the crazy.
    posted by jadepearl at 2:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    The GOP is going after moderate Independents; so is the Obama campaign - with both campaigns primarily funded by the infamous 1%.

    Yes, there are differences between the candidates - for instance, Obama would probably appoint a center-left judge or two; Romney would appoint a center-right judge or two. There are differences about Gay rights; there are differences about environmental regulation, etc. etc.

    Expect also that there will not be a Congressional mandate. This is a nice scenario for those that have bought out our Democracy; it gives them a chance to keep moving their money around amidst the confusion of a deteriorating American middle class.

    That said, no POTUS can control the economy; both parties spin that they can, but they can't. Both parties will get you all amped up over your most sensitive emotional issues.

    So, don't kid yourself into believing that when pull a lever in the voting booth this November that you are voting more for your favorite candidate than for the wealthy "influencers" who are behind their campaigns - with the latter having extraordinary post-election access to policy creation and other favors these next four years.

    Incidentally, after the election, you and your kids' opportunities to optimize your repsective intellectual and social capital will continue to deteriorate, no matter who gets elected, because neither our POTUS, nor our Congress, are working for you, or me. Oh, they say they are, with their believable smiles, sincerities, and sociopathic assurances. The unfunny thing is that they half believe what they say. They're not bad people; they're just captive to near-pathological self-interest, fueled by easy money coming from the top.

    Also, while you're at it, take some time to look at the steady decline of the American middle class since inside money took over our Democracy - no matter the party in power. Oh, yeah, and continue to watch for the rise of nutcase groups like the Tea Party (a bunch of angry, lobotomized-by-ultra-conservative-values bullies), and Occupy (demonstrators "lite", who point out the obvious while sleeping in tents - assisted by nutcase anarchists)

    So, pull that lever, sucker, because it's too late to change anything this November. [I'm going to pull that lever, too, but it won't be for any one of the two major parties].

    Or, sure, you will see little changes here and there that you like; you will enjoy seeing your favorite political villains lose, or get caught in corruption; you will be "satisfied" by the political marketers who are using the very best cognitive science research to figure out *just exactly* what you want - safety?, economic security?, "America, Number One!!?, gay rights?; the "environment"? - you name the meme; they will serve it up, and deliver it to just the right Zip Code, or IP address, nicely tailored to the last micro-data-mined poll.

    btw, continue to watch as the American middle class continues to sink, no matter who is elected. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. ...... Wash. Rinse. Repeat. .... Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    Eventually, maybe a few election cycles hence, it will sink in that until we INSIST that all private money be banned from politics, and that our broadcast media provide free airtime to qualified candidates, that this phoney process is going to keep repeating itself until we finally succumb to the inevitability of 2nd-class lives, and opportunity. We're running out of time. We are not able to see the forest for the trees, because we, like children who cognate living in a slow, increasingly abusive household, that there is any other way to live. We are starting to admire our abusers, as they calculatedly serve us up just what we want to see, and hear - all paid for by those who will wring every dollar out of America, before they move those dollars onto new frontiers (as they have already begun to do).

    Wise up!
    posted by Vibrissae at 2:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


    When did Karl Rove go from Darth Vader to Dark Helmet? Dude used to have swagger.
    posted by beaucoupkevin at 2:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    The message of the ad is that Obama failed to deliver on the trademark hope and change of the last election. Which is undeniably true if you are liberal or conservative.

    Shut up.
    posted by beaucoupkevin at 2:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [25 favorites]


    Of course GOP Super PACs are going to produce lying commercials. It's just unfortunate the Times refused to identify the ad as such, and instead wants to treat it as something new and fluffy.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Maybe my head isn't on straight, but I just couldn't get over how the kids grew up into teenagers and then were flirtatiously touching/pushing each other. OBAMA: TURNING YOUR KIDS INTO INCESTUOUS HEATHENS
    posted by naju at 2:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    The message of the ad is that Obama failed to deliver on the trademark hope and change of the last election. Which is undeniably true if you are liberal or conservative.

    Shut up.


    People who don't agree with you about Obama are allowed to post here, sorry. The economic situation remains grim, so not everyone is going to be as happy about...clicks link...Obama signing an order to close Guantanamo that was eventually blocked by Congress anyway.

    He is still winning the election, but on a lot of core issues we are still bogged down in a pretty hopeless situation. Obama didn't cause that, but it is clear now he can't unite the country to solve it either.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


    I think the ad is a generational thing. I listened to those kids with their hope and change nonsense, and now they just laze around the house poking each other! This time I'll listen to my senior friends who keep sending those email forwards full of animated flag GIFs
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


    Romney would appoint a center-right judge or two
    You have a strange way of saying extremist right wing judge there.
    posted by aspo at 2:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [17 favorites]


    This is pretty weak.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they air a screen cut into quarters with Romney and two other well-liked white people with Obama in the lower right corner. Then they'll play the Sesame Street song: "one of these things is not like the others..."
    posted by double block and bleed at 2:26 PM on May 22, 2012


    Meanwhile, her kids vote Obama.
    posted by jason_steakums at 2:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


    Weak sauce.
    posted by Saxon Kane at 2:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    He is still winning the election, but on a lot of core issues we are still bogged down in a pretty hopeless situation.

    There is zero guarantee of Obama winning the election. Zero.
    posted by Ironmouth at 2:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


    The message of the ad is that Obama failed to deliver on the trademark hope and change of the last election. Which is undeniably true if you are liberal or conservative.

    I've heard this repeated ad nauseum since February of 2009. It's a lie. He has an impressive list of accomplishments, two years worth of it in the teeth of outright insane opposition from congress. He saved the auto industry, passed massive healthcare reform (that is still being rolled out, but firmly underway), created a consumer protection agency (ditto), increased prosecutions at the SEC four fold, stemmed and reversed unemployment without ratcheting up inflation, caught Osama bin Laden, withdrew from Iraq, toppled Khadaffi in a matter of weeks, increased domestic petroleum production to levels not seen since the '50s, put windmills and solar panels everywhere with subsidies, ended DADT, stopped the defense of DOMA, appointed two center-left SC justicies, and good christ, I could go on and on and on and on.

    To my mind, his only real failure has been in not bringing the commodities speculators to heel. When that bubble pops, it's going to be as bad as the banking crisis.
    posted by Slap*Happy at 2:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [28 favorites]


    People who don't agree with you about Obama are allowed to post here, sorry.

    His link was a concise rebuttal of the point he was responding to-- a list of all the ways Obama has delivered.

    Anyway, the question of whether or not the people believe the narrative that Obama hasn't delivered change is another story, but I don't even think people who do believe that truly expect Romney to bring some great change either. (I certainly have been disappointed by him in a number of ways, but I still consider him a far better choice than the alternative.)
    posted by nath at 2:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    Yes, there are differences between the candidates - for instance, Obama would probably appoint a center-left judge or two; Romney would appoint a center-right judge or two.

    In what world is anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-voting rights, and anti-New Deal/Great Society "center right"?

    There are differences about Gay rights; there are differences about environmental regulation, etc. etc.

    The differences for gay rights are pretty fucking huge, as in reauthorization of DADT and DOMA along with rollbacks on hate crime and related laws. Same goes for environmental regulation. And among the "etc. etc.": removal of the entirety of the social safety net, removal of most women's rights from the last 40 years, removal of same for minorities and GLBT folks, I'm assuming you're not affected by all that, which is why you consider it a footnote. Lucky for you, unlucky for the rest of us.

    Also, while you're at it, take some time to look at the steady decline of the American middle class since inside money took over our Democracy

    btw, continue to watch as the American middle class continues to sink, no matter who is elected. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. ...... Wash. Rinse. Repeat. .... Wash. Rinse. Repeat.


    So, inside money magically came about in the mid-70s?

    Eventually, maybe a few election cycles hence, it will sink in that until we INSIST that all private money be banned from politics, and that our broadcast media provide free airtime to qualified candidates, that this phoney process is going to keep repeating itself until we finally succumb to the inevitability of 2nd-class lives, and opportunity. We're running out of time.

    Ah, the brilliant idea of reverting back to the old ways, when only landowners and the rich were the only ones with enough money to run any sort of campaigns. That worked out so well!

    We are not able to see the forest for the trees, because we, like children who cognate living in a slow, increasingly abusive household, that there is any other way to live. We are starting to admire our abusers, as they calculatedly serve us up just what we want to see, and hear - all paid for by those who will wring every dollar out of America, before they move those dollars onto new frontiers (as they have already begun to do).

    And the unnecessary and offensive abuse metaphor comes up.

    Wise up!

    What, no obligatory "sheeple"? I give it a 4/10.
    posted by zombieflanders at 2:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


    (and it doesn't help that the opposition party has basically refused to work with him to do anything because they would rather run the country into the ground than let him claim credit for any success.)
    posted by nath at 2:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    There is zero guarantee of Obama winning the election. Zero.

    This post is your assurance that FURIOUSXGEORGE has approved and guaranteed the quality of this prediction.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:41 PM on May 22, 2012


    Hahaha my country doesn't have a single effective way to discourage candidates for office from just straight lying about their opponents in public.


    ...oh wait, not hahaha. That other sound you make, with the crying.
    posted by jason_steakums at 2:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


    that Obama failed to deliver on the trademark hope and change of the last election. Which is undeniably true

    this sort of frank presentation of unverifiable b.s. deserves a smug, dismissive response, I think.
    posted by philip-random at 2:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


    I swear, this is like the 20th different person I've heard was responsible in some way for the Willie Horton ad. Did any Republican from the 80s not contribute to that ad?
    posted by Eyebeams at 2:42 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    There is zero guarantee of Obama winning the election. Zero.

    This statement is confusing. What do you think the chances of Obama winning re-election are? "Guarantee" implies 100%, while "zero" implies "0%". So is a "zero guarantee" anything less than 100%?
    posted by nath at 2:45 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    His link was a concise rebuttal of the point he was responding to-- a list of all the ways Obama has delivered.

    His text was "Shut up." and a link to a website everyone has seen about a million times. I agree it was nice that Obama tried and failed to close Guantanamo, but we have to remember what exactly it was that we were talking about in 2008.

    "If we do not change our politics -- if we do not fundamentally change the way Washington works -- then the problems we've been talking about for the last generation will be the same ones that haunt us for generations to come."

    "But let me be clear -- this isn't just about ending the failed policies of the Bush years; it's about ending the failed system in Washington that produces those policies. For far too long, through both Democratic and Republican administrations, Washington has allowed Wall Street to use lobbyists and campaign contributions to rig the system and get its way, no matter what it costs ordinary Americans."

    "We are up against the belief that it's all right for lobbyists to dominate our government--that they are just part of the system in Washington. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we're not going to let them stand in our way anymore. Unless we're willing to challenge the broken system in Washington, and stop letting lobbyists use their clout to get their way, nothing else is going to change."

    "If we're not willing to take up that fight, then real change--change that will make a lasting difference in the lives of ordinary Americans--will keep getting blocked by the defenders of the status quo."


    We are still bogged down in the influence of corporate power, Obama has fought on this but I don't think it's fair to say he has succeeded. The bar for that hope and change was a fundamental change in the way Washington works, and we aren't there. Even if you like most of what Obama has managed to do, and I do, we simply have not achieved the goals as he outlined them, and it was his belief that without that type of change the same problems will continue to haunt us.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:48 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


    that Obama failed to deliver on the trademark hope and change of the last election. Which is undeniably true


    Not really. As a matter of fact I'd have to say you're either trolling, trying to appear smugly capable of rising above the partisan fray or your eyes are sown shut by the right wing narrative and you don't realize it.

    Anyone who lived under the miserable shadow of Bush/Cheney/Rove for eight long interminable years of almost daily pissing on anything that wasn't branded with the neoconservative aggresionist, crony capitalistic, wall street on steriods, policies of the GOP during that time, and the inevitable gigantic collapse and failure that came to a terrifying climax in 2008. Here on the blue day by day, by day, the latest Bush/Cheney insanity was documented and commented and dissected and hashed out...

    Obama definitely brought change. The most marked being a halting of the downward slid into economic disaster and slow slog back towards at least having a force in the White House that wasn't completely unconnected to reality.

    And the end of OBL has been a huge psychic victory for the country from the dark abstract fear meme that the Bush/Cheney WH pushed constantly for political gain and to keep the country doing its bidding....

    We live in mentally healthier times.

    And that's huge.

    I can't imagine this country ever wanting to go back to those neocon days of terrible fear and militarism and proto-theocracy and Capitalist hubris...

    Call me an optimist I guess.
    posted by Skygazer at 2:59 PM on May 22, 2012 [23 favorites]


    Thought there would way more racist dog-whistles.

    Wait till, oh, October 22.
    posted by blucevalo at 3:01 PM on May 22, 2012


    The bar for that hope and change was a fundamental change in the way Washington works, and we aren't there.

    I don't know if that's "the bar." It's definitely the hope and the ultimate goal, but was that achievable in one term, with a Republican party that's obstructed every single piece of legislation the dems have tried to bring?? And furthermore, even more further entrenched itself by defending and trying to turn the clock on legislation that's already shown itself to be ineffective, disastrous, unamerican, and hurtful to the middle class??
    posted by Skygazer at 3:03 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Thought there would way more racist dog-whistles.

    There were plenty.

    I missed the very beginning of the video and heard the start as "Remember when white people were good at basketball? I still do ..." and it made way more sense.

    And "new majority" sounds a lot like "white people aren't the majority anymore, but we still want the same treament." (kind of an extension of the racist-as-fuck "moral majority")

    Just sayin.
    posted by mrgrimm at 3:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    [I'm going to pull that lever, too, but it won't be for any one of the two major parties].

    So, we're supposed to "wise up" and pull that lever for your party, but you're not gonna tell us which one it is? That's not very much fun!
    posted by blucevalo at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2012


    Looks like Karl's lost the fastball and will only be throwing junk from here on out.
    posted by docgonzo at 3:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Romney Blue?
    posted by Joey Michaels at 3:09 PM on May 22, 2012


    Yeah, nowhere near the scariest ad I've seen of late. And that morph-bit at the beginning -- I thought the mom was turning into a person-of-color.
    posted by philip-random at 3:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    The bar for that hope and change was a fundamental change in the way Washington works, and we aren't there.

    Says you. Let's look at what he promised and if he delivered it.
    posted by Ironmouth at 3:16 PM on May 22, 2012


    I don't know if that's "the bar." It's definitely the hope and the ultimate goal, but was that achievable in one term, with a Republican party that's obstructed every single piece of legislation the dems have tried to bring?? And furthermore, even more further entrenched itself by defending and trying to turn the clock on legislation that's already shown itself to be ineffective, disastrous, unamerican, and hurtful to the middle class??

    If it's achievable or not is a separate question from if it has been delivered. I'm just quoting what Obama said, and that is that we aren't really accomplishing anything in the long term if there is not fundamental change in the way Washington works. That is the issue with pointing to a list of accomplishments and claiming the conversation is over.

    If you take the route of saying it can't be done, you don't really have much of a hope message left anymore.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    philip-random: "Yeah, nowhere near the scariest ad I've seen of late ."

    Jesus Christ, that ad is evil.
    posted by brundlefly at 3:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    and it doesn't help that the opposition party has basically refused to work with him to do anything because they would rather run the country into the ground than let him claim credit for any success

    Right, like when he had a massive public mandate and both houses in the majority? Like when he rolled over on the Patriot Act, etc. etc. etc. etc. Look, Obama is, in my book, probably better than Romney would be at POTUS. That said, it's amazing to me how many people can get sick from drinking Kool-Aid, yet still go back for more. That syndrome is quite apparent on the blue.

    Obama definitely brought change. The most marked being a halting of the downward slid into economic disaster and slow slog back towards at least having a force in the White House that wasn't completely unconnected to reality.

    As far as retreating back into Neocon days, let me remind you of the current Pentagon budget, and the continued use of military contractors, abroad. I prefer Obama to Bush, by a long shot, but what we are going to see in this election is more or the same. At the end of it all, we will see a continued diminution of the Middle Class. Ignore that at your peril.

    Again, this election is rigged with private money. And, when you pull that voting lever for Obama, you will be voting far more for the wealthy private donors that supported him, than any campaign promise he is making. Or, haven't you learned that lesson, yet?

    We are still bogged down in the influence of corporate power, Obama has fought on this but I don't think it's fair to say he has succeeded

    Quite right, but let's be clear, Obama has "fought on this" only when it has been polically expedient. Yes, it's naive to expect that *everything* can be made whole in four years, but I still don't see enough bankers in jail; nor do I see "America coming back" - not even close. If you or anyone else calls Detroit auto workers making $14.50 an hour, "coming back"; if you see American productivity at "record high levels" with 5 million less workers, etc. etc., then I have a bridge to sell you.
    posted by Vibrissae at 3:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


    Says you. Let's look at what he promised and if he delivered it.

    Have I not been clear that I was quoting Obama on that?
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:18 PM on May 22, 2012


    Ironmouth: "There is zero guarantee of Obama winning the election. Zero."

    No but he's got a pretty solid lead in the electoral projections and it's really his to lose.
    posted by octothorpe at 3:18 PM on May 22, 2012


    Jesus Christ, that ad is evil.

    Fortunately, it is also unbearably long (4 and 1/2 minutes? Puhleese!) and boring. And based on the stupid premise that energy policy alone will doom us.
    posted by bearwife at 3:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    No but he's got a pretty solid lead in the electoral projections and it's really his to lose

    "His to lose"? What is Obama going to lose, even if he loses? What are you going to win, if he wins? Same with Romney.

    It's just stunning to see these bought off politicians get everyone all amped up again, with the same old tired promises; the same old emotional arguments - jobs; gay rights/no gay rights; etc. etc. - all undercover of the money and people who are REALLY driving their campaigns, and to whom they will be beholden after you have voted in November.
    posted by Vibrissae at 3:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Jesus Christ, that ad is evil.

    Nah. Not like Willie Horton and not like SwiftBoats level of EVIL.

    That ad is just laughable and silly.

    Christ, but where did they get that get that ridiculous wig?? I swear there's got to be some seriously hilariously "evil" subliminal shit living in those gray halftones...yowza!!
    posted by Skygazer at 3:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Says you. Let's look at what he promised and if he delivered it.

    Have I not been clear that I was quoting Obama on that?


    did he fulfill his substantive promises? To a large part, yes. Much more than any President in my memory, and I go back quite a ways.
    posted by Ironmouth at 3:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


    Ironmouth: "There is zero guarantee of Obama winning the election. Zero."

    No but he's got a pretty solid lead in the electoral projections and it's really his to lose.


    The conventions are two months away. We are way out. And Europe is looking like it will collapse at any moment.

    Only a fool would be overconfident now.
    posted by Ironmouth at 3:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    This statement is confusing. What do you think the chances of Obama winning re-election are? "Guarantee" implies 100%, while "zero" implies "0%". So is a "zero guarantee" anything less than 100%?

    Sixty percent of the time it works every time.
    posted by The Bellman at 3:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Right, like when he had a massive public mandate and both houses in the majority?

    You mean the massive public mandate for his signature accomplishments that had at best tepid support and sometimes wide opposition? And the 6-9 months that he had a majority in both chambers? The one where a good number of his so-called allies in said chambers quibbled with or outright blocked major progressive bills?

    Like when he rolled over on the Patriot Act, etc. etc. etc. etc. Look, Obama is, in my book, probably better than Romney would be at POTUS. That said, it's amazing to me how many people can get sick from drinking Kool-Aid, yet still go back for more. That syndrome is quite apparent on the blue.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but someone who extolled the virtues of a hypothetical Hillary Clinton presidency as a bastion of true liberalism is probably one of the last people to be throwing these words out there.

    "His to lose"? What is Obama going to lose, even if he loses? What are you going to win, if he wins? Same with Romney.

    Please stop being so selfish. It's not a "you" or an "I" thing, as you keep pushing. Unless, of course, you really have no problem with rolling back most of the last 70 years' worth of social legislation just to prove a point about money in politics that's been obvious to people since democracy was popularized.

    It's just stunning to see these bought off politicians get everyone all amped up again, with the same old tired promises; the same old emotional arguments - jobs; gay rights/no gay rights; etc. etc. - all undercover of the money and people who are REALLY driving their campaigns, and to whom they will be beholden after you have voted in November.

    Seriously, read up on the history of money and politics in the United States since, say, 1620 and get back to us.
    posted by zombieflanders at 3:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


    And Europe is looking like it will collapse at any moment.

    Honestly, lately I wonder if Merkel is easing on the austerity stance a bit just cos she doesn't want to inadvertently have to deal with another thick Republican douchebag who is fully owned by Wall Street, the big American banks, has trouble finding Germany on a map and gets all physically inappropriate with her at G8 and other international meetings.


    Who knows what creepiness a Romney would pull on her at one of those things....
    posted by Skygazer at 3:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    did he fulfill his substantive promises? To a large part, yes. Much more than any President in my memory, and I go back quite a ways.

    The issue is that what you describe as delivering substantive promises Obama has previously described as problems that will continue to haunt us without fundamental change in Washington.

    You may not be aware of this, but much of the good Obama has done could be reversed by the next Republican administration which is why some folks are so scared of what Romney may do that they are voting for Obama even though they don't fully agree with him. It won't be Romney, but there will be a Republican again at some point.

    You are free to disagree with the President that fundamental change is possible and neccesary, but be clear on who it is you are disagreeing with, it isn't me. Anyway, I don't want to get into this debate too deeply, but if Obama isn't living up to the standards he set for himself it's difficult to say this debate should be ended with a simple "Shut up!".
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    You may not be aware of this, but much of the good Obama has done could be reversed by the next Republican administration which is why some folks are so scared of what Romney may do that they are voting for Obama even though they don't fully agree with him. It won't be Romney, but there will be a Republican again at some point.

    Well, then people who petulantly vote for a third party for President in a first past the past system as a form of protest are achieving the opposite of their goals. But I guess they're too impatient or unfocused to go about it the way the GOP has for the last several decades, i.e. slowly dominating the local and state governments and cementing their policies there before moving it up to the federal level. That's where liberal reformers could have a huge impact on the social, economic, and political fabric of the country. Hell, it's possibly the only one for right now. Shame that some would rather have long-reaching retribution in the name of short-sightedness than mutter but do what they can and walk the long road.
    posted by zombieflanders at 3:57 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


    people who petulantly vote for a third party for President in a first past the past system as a form of protest are achieving the opposite of their goals. But I guess they're too impatient or unfocused to go about it the way the GOP has for the last several decades, i.e. slowly dominating the local and state governments and cementing their policies there before moving it up to the federal level.

    How is voting for a third-party presidential candidate incompatible with "dominating" local and state governments? I don't see the connection ... ??
    posted by mrgrimm at 4:01 PM on May 22, 2012


    Right, like when he had a massive public mandate and both houses in the majority?
    Majority is virtually completely irrelevant in the modern Senate.
    posted by Flunkie at 4:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Not to put too fine a point on it, but someone who extolled the virtues of a hypothetical Hillary Clinton presidency as a bastion of true liberalism is probably one of the last people to be throwing these words out there.

    My claim was that Obama would not govern differently than Hillary. And, he didn't. You might think about that, and you might also think about who is currently the most popular, and respected, of the two. Why is that?

    Seriously, read up on the history of money and politics in the United States since, say, 1620 and get back to us.

    You seem to entirely miss the point of the *acceleration* of money and its influence in politics, and its current impact of democratic culture. And, your snark is simply more plain vanilla Obama apologia - the kind that keeps voting for people with big smiles and progressive-liberal promises, as the Middle Class continues to sink. Then you wonder why "they" are so angry. I can't stop you from drinking the Kool-Aid. Looks like you may need another dose of 4 more years of the same, to help you wake up.
    posted by Vibrissae at 4:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Who knows what creepiness a Romney would pull on her at one of those things....

    And, skygazer, I am not Romney supporter, but what you just said is no more elevated that what we hear from the lowest of the low, on the other side.
    posted by Vibrissae at 4:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Well, then people who petulantly vote for a third party for President in a first past the past system as a form of protest are achieving the opposite of their goals. But I guess they're too impatient or unfocused to go about it the way the GOP has for the last several decades, i.e. slowly dominating the local and state governments and cementing their policies there before moving it up to the federal level. That's where liberal reformers could have a huge impact on the social, economic, and political fabric of the country. Hell, it's possibly the only one for right now. Shame that some would rather have long-reaching retribution in the name of short-sightedness than mutter but do what they can and walk the long road.

    It doesn't seem you disagree with Obama on the potentially temporary nature of accomplishments when there is no fundamental change in Washington, so we seem to be in agreement there.

    I'm not sure why you feel the topic of hypothetical third party voters has relevance to that ongoing conversation, or why you are discussing Hillary Clinton comments from some other thread, presumably, with Vibrissae.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    While I hate to contribute to a derail-- I would not spend my vote in a national election on a third party candidate, but I object to the characterization of people who would as "petulant".

    I don't think it is constructive to insult people who are uncomfortable with the two-parties-only horse race simply because you feel they are not registering their protest in the most politically expedient way.
    posted by the liquid oxygen at 4:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    My claim was that Obama would not govern differently than Hillary. And, he didn't.

    Technically, you were on both sides of it, saying that she would have been a gajillion times more effective...at being an average Democrat. And even that was refuted quite easily.

    You might think about that, and you might also think about who is currently the most popular, and respected, of the two. Why is that?

    Because she's no longer able to exert as much influence on the political process here as she was in either the White House or the Senate. Because she's responsible for following policies as opposed to creating or approving them. Because she hasn't been running an entire branch of the government. Because she's not responsible for dealing with the other two, of which half or more are generally refusing to do anything but make the problems you're so concerned about 1000x worse.

    Pick any combination of those.

    You seem to entirely miss the point of the *acceleration* of money and its influence in politics, and its current impact of democratic culture.

    Considering I've been following it for the better part of two decades, I doubt it. Plus, it's a gross oversimplification of one problem, of which there are several other major ones. Makes for good GRAR though, I'll give it that.

    And, your snark is simply more plain vanilla Obama apologia - the kind that keeps voting for people with big smiles and progressive-liberal promises, as the Middle Class continues to sink.

    Well, in that case, why bother voting for anyone? I mean, if they're all just going to break promises, then no one is worth supporting. Why even bother with democracy?

    FWIW, I work to try and push my reps for reform at every single level of government. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. That doesn't mean I just give up on trying to convince them because I'd rather punish them from deviating from orthodoxy. Of course, it also means I'm able to discern who's a politician (i.e. most anyone running for office) as opposed to some sort of mythological construct that must be struck down when it turns out they're not actually from Olympus. It also has the virtue of being a tactic that actually works. It's just been working for the other side because they've been willing to go through with it more than ours.

    Then you wonder why "they" are so angry. I can't stop you from drinking the Kool-Aid. Looks like you may need another dose of 4 more years of the same, to help you wake up.

    Still going for rhetorical fulmination rather than checking in on what exactly is in correlation with middle-class slump. Oh well, can't say I didn't try.
    posted by zombieflanders at 4:49 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


    Really wish Youtube had some policy where political ads had to be subjected to ratings. I would love to see the dislikes on that shit.
    posted by cloeburner at 4:53 PM on May 22, 2012


    > There is zero guarantee of Obama winning the election.

    Intrade has it at 58.6% at the moment which is higher than it was the last time I loaded the page.
    posted by bukvich at 4:58 PM on May 22, 2012


    He's been a weak CEO at a time when American might benefit from a strong one. That's a message that sort of cuts across party lines, I think, and is a fair criticism of Obama.


    Remember when Bush was going to be the "CEO president?" How'd that work out? It's not a fair criticism unless you think the president of the most powerful nation on earth is functionally equivalent to Jack Welch.
    posted by spitbull at 5:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    But I guess they're too impatient or unfocused to go about it the way the GOP has for the last several decades, i.e. slowly dominating the local and state governments and cementing their policies there before moving it up to the federal level. That's where liberal reformers could have a huge impact on the social, economic, and political fabric of the country. Hell, it's possibly the only one for right now. Shame that some would rather have long-reaching retribution in the name of short-sightedness than mutter but do what they can and walk the long road.

    I just wanted to emphasize this point. Even such moderate corporate politicians as Jello Biafra stressed the importance of starting at the local level - your city districts, your state legislatures. Sometimes the same dude's been in office so long because no one's bothered running against him. Sometimes people on the grassroots level are itching for real, immediate change in their own backyard. If you organize and motivate on this level, it can have a rippling effect on the electorate when it comes to how they vote in higher offices. The GOP understands this very well, and it's worked to their advantage. More progressives need to get this, too. The country's problems are not going to be solved by the nearly impossible unlikelihood of a "real" progressive taking the White House. More progressives need to start focusing on the ground war.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:02 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


    It doesn't seem you disagree with Obama on the potentially temporary nature of accomplishments when there is no fundamental change in Washington, so we seem to be in agreement there.

    Those changes need to come from congress and the courts. Keeping Obama in the white house will help with the courts, but unless you get involved in putting progressives on the ticket locally, for every dog-catcher and school board member, and campaign for them relentlessly, congress will continue to block the way to change.

    Unless you'd like Obama to sieze power in some sort of coup?
    posted by Slap*Happy at 5:07 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Okay so we agree that it hasn't been delivered yet, the assertion of which was met with a "Shut Up!" earlier and is the only thing I am debating about in this particular conversation.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    I might work for a CEO, I will not be governed by one. I'm not a shareholder, I'm a citizen. I file a 1040 not a TPS report. I will not be downsized, right sized or forced to endure more bullshit from another guy who thinks he has a big swinging dick, a MBA and a fancy suit.
    posted by humanfont at 5:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


    Because she's no longer able to exert as much influence on the political process here as she was in either the White House or the Senate. Because she's responsible for following policies as opposed to creating or approving them. Because she hasn't been running an entire branch of the government. Because she's not responsible for dealing with the other two, of which half or more are generally refusing to do anything but make the problems you're so concerned about 1000x worse.

    In your effort to "win" this discussion, you're losing sight of my main point - i.e. that America is now more a Plutocracy than a Democracy. Argue against that at your peril.



    vib:You seem to entirely miss the point of the *acceleration* of money and its influence in politics, and its current impact of democratic culture.

    zombie: Considering I've been following it for the better part of two decades, I doubt it. Plus, it's a gross oversimplification of one problem, of which there are several other major ones. Makes for good GRAR though, I'll give it that.


    more snark? Sonny, I have a few decades on you. If you've somehow missed the fact that Congressional politicians spend up to half and sometimes more of their time rising money these days, compered to several decades ago, I don't what else to say.


    Well, in that case, why bother voting for anyone? I mean, if they're all just going to break promises, then no one is worth supporting. Why even bother with democracy?

    You're so blinded party politics - and so (successfully) manipulated by the hype/messaging of your favorite party/candidate, that you fail to see who is behind it. I'm arguing for a return to MORE transparent democracy. That's what I want to see, not more of the same.
    posted by Vibrissae at 5:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned what, to me, was the standout bizzaro feature of that video. The supposedly grown daughter was wearing braided pigtails. Yeah, however cute they are, pigtails in women over the age of 15 are inherently, purposefully, infantilizing. Someone made that decision.

    I'm not really sure if they're trying to prescribe anything, but imagine if, instead of coming in from playing basketball, the woman coming in was well-groomed, recent blow-out and good makeup, heels and a nice suit from Ross. It's almost like the child-likeness of the pigtails defers her of the responsibility of growing up and getting a "real job."

    The commercial would have moved me more if I thought the children recognized no one's gonna pay them to play bball and write dissertations.

    Damn, I sound cynical.
    posted by kinsey at 5:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Has "New Majority Agenda" replaced "Tea Party"?
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:49 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    They decided "Tea Party" sounded too fey, a little loonie, and not officialish enough. New Majority Agenda is a triple shot punch of elephantine purpose. New! - not old, for real, not at all the same crap you've been hearing from the GOP about cutting taxes and reducing spending since forever. Majority! - there's more of us than them, totally. Take our word for it. Or more of us than you, if you're not one of us. Either way, sucks to be anyone but us. You don't want to be a minority, do you? Agenda! - things to do, a plan of action. But this is no refrigerator door to-do list, oh no. This is an agenda. A serious plan for serious people. You better believe it!
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    "When President Obama was elected 4 years ago, I did not expect him to put my entire family into an accelerated aging experiment funded by Chinese research."
    posted by chairface at 6:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


    In your effort to "win" this discussion, you're losing sight of my main point - i.e. that America is now more a Plutocracy than a Democracy.

    By the definition you're using, democracy has always been a plutocracy.

    Argue against that at your peril.

    Is this some sort of Internet Tough Guy, e-peen waving thing, or a parody thereof to provide levity? Because my reaction is assuming the latter.

    more snark? Sonny, I have a few decades on you.

    Condescenion does not look good on you.

    If you've somehow missed the fact that Congressional politicians spend up to half and sometimes more of their time rising money these days, compered to several decades ago, I don't what else to say.

    You think politicians spending most of their time raising money is new? Oh, this is hilarious. Very rich. It makes the whole "Sonny, I have a few decades on you" thing look even more ridiculous. Lawrence Lessig, one of the people least likely to fight against electoral reform and money that influences politics, says this:
    The ordinary lobbyist today is a Boy Scout compared with the criminal of the nineteenth century. The lobbyist today is ethical, and well educated. He or she works extremely hard to live within the letter of the law. More than ever before, most lobbyists are just well-paid policy wonks, expert in a field and able to advise and guide Congress well. Regulation is complex; regulators understand very little; the lobbyist is the essential link between what the regulator wants to do and how it can get done…. Most of it is decent, aboveboard, the sort of stuff we would hope happens inside the Beltway.
    Considering that flat-out bribes were allowed in US politics until 1853, I can see where he's coming from.

    You're so blinded party politics - and so (successfully) manipulated by the hype/messaging of your favorite party/candidate, that you fail to see who is behind it.

    Coming from someone who is just now realizing what US politicians do with their time, saying I'm the one who's falling for the hype is kinda ridiculous. Also, glad to see you apparently have my voting records, since that's the only way you would know about who I voted for and what they supported. And who, pray tell, are your 3rd party candidates at every level of government that you're voting for? I'm sure you know exactly where their money's coming from. After all, you're not a hypocrite who would be advocating reform while ignoring systemic change, right?

    I'm arguing for a return to MORE transparent democracy. That's what I want to see, not more of the same.

    I don't think anyone's disagreeing with you there, champ. Just your tactics.
    posted by zombieflanders at 6:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


    I'm arguing for a return to MORE transparent democracy.

    er.. when was that? Because as far as I can tell a lot of the pissed offedness at government nowadays is because we actually see what is being done to a much greater extent then ever before. I would argue that the US government was never terribly transparent, there is no magical better time to return to.

    Confidence in government comes when we are comfortable with not knowing what is going on or have enough confidence to not care what is going on.

    Government is a very human endeavor, which means it is an inherently messy, corrupt, complex, inefficient process.

    I've recently had some limited dealings with my local city government, which I think is run fairly well. But my interaction with the sheer incompatibility and mind boggling number of road blocks in place to achieve simple things makes me realize how much MORE complex things must be at the State and Federal levels.
    posted by edgeways at 6:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Oh, and BTW, the Tea Party is a perfect example of how money doesn't have to go to candidates at all. People can just throw enough money at a large group of angry people, including "advisors" to show them how to organize a "grassroots" organization that will elect whoever says the right words in the right order. So are you going to advocate that no one be allowed to give money to any group for any political reason? Because Planned Parenthood, GLAAD, HCAN et al might also have a problem with that.
    posted by zombieflanders at 6:28 PM on May 22, 2012


    Oh and as to what we can expect this year ad wise... yeah there will be some nasty stuff, but I would be shocked if it goes to Horton/Swiftboat evilness. Right now Romney's Mormonism is off the table (as it seems is Rev Wright). But the Mormonism could be an effective, ugly, club to use on the Christian fundamentalists and I think Romney's handlers know this and will be hesitant to cross the line that provokes such a retaliation.
    posted by edgeways at 6:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    Some of the Super PACs will probably take an ad too far and lead to a candidate taking a hit for an ad that is supposed to be hurting their opponents. Nobody really buys that the PACs are as independent as they claim. Romney and Gingrich looked silly pretending otherwise. I think it would be amusing to create a Super PAC just to make ads that would go over the top attacking Obama so Romney would take a hit. Isn't anonymous donation fun?

    Colbert also has enough money to inject some interesting satire into the process.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Yeah, nowhere near the scariest ad I've seen of late.

    That ad reinforces my belief that modern conservatism is about a failure of empathy. To me, the ad screams the question, "Why would Barack Obama, president of the United States, want America to fail? And for that matter, why would all these scientists want to concoct lies about Global Warming that will lead to America's failure? Aren't these motivations absurdly counterproductive?"

    A small amount of empathizing, putting yourself in someone else's shoes, makes the ad seem farcical. But the producers of the ad are banking on its viewers being able to dismiss these figures as cartoon villains, without trying to consider their motives.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Oh, by the way.

    -A Pro-Austerity Chart, and Why the President Is Touting It
    -What austerity looks like around the world
    -Why Two Percent Inflation Targeting Is The New Gold Standard

    A beautiful deleveraging: "In other words, there is a certain amount of austerity, there is a certain amount of debt restructuring, and there is a certain amount of printing of money. When done in the right mix, it isn't dramatic. It doesn't produce too much deflation or too much depression. There is slow growth, but it is positive slow growth. At the same time, ratios of debt-to-incomes go down."

    also btw...
    "we can throw off the yoke of the financial elite by making money and credit a public utility"

    viz. the New Economy Movement
    cf. The Pirates & What could revolutionize health care? This database...
    posted by kliuless at 7:02 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    [Now is the point in the thresd where we tell people to read the text under the box and go have a nice walk or something if they're having trouble putting it into practice. MetaTalk is your available remedy.]
    posted by jessamyn at 7:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Ugh. Crossroads has been playing attack ads against Senator McCaskill for literally a year in anticipation of her re-election run here in Missouri. I can't wait to be bombarded by more of the schtick.

    Oh, so that's why "job-killing debt" and "failed stimulus" are so familiar. Sigh.

    The funny thing is that in my book McCaskill is pretty much a conservative.
    posted by Foosnark at 8:01 PM on May 22, 2012


    This is a pretty boring ad, and for the politically tuned in, just knowing its from Karl Rove tells us that it's bullshit.

    But I think people are a little too cocky about this election. The basic message of the ad: Young people can't find jobs, and now they are living at home with their parents is pretty much true. The republican plan to "fix" it would obviously be a lot worse, but Obama hasn't really done much in terms of "liberal" policy to fix it either, beyond the initial stimulus, which was way to small.

    For people who aren't tuned into politics, don't know this is from Rove, and don't read Krugman's blog, it could be an effective ad.

    On the other hand this ad from Crossroads is pretty hilarious (the ad starts at 24 seconds). Like the commentator says, the 'naïve' interpretation of the ad is that it makes Obama look like some kind of badass spy or something. It's probably just something they did to get free media, rather then something they'll actually put on the air.
    I'm on record here as being vocally opposed to our empire-building, but I wonder about the wars--how does that alone explain the "crash" in Europe, and beyond, where they're not out invading the entire Muslim world?
    Eh, the war didn't really cause the housing bubble collapse directly, but it put us deep in debt which made people weary of doing the stimulus we needed. Our financial collapse catalyzed a similar collapse in European sovereign debt that had been building since the introduction of the Euro. It probably would have popped eventually on it's own.
    Remember when Bush was going to be the "CEO president?" How'd that work out? It's not a fair criticism unless you think the president of the most powerful nation on earth is functionally equivalent to Jack Welch.
    To be fair, being a CEO is a lot easier then being president. You don't have to deal with a house and senate where half the members are actively trying to fuck you 24/7.


    ---
    Shut up.
    Oh god you shut up -- random factoids have nothing to do with the overall picture of the economy, which has not been good.

    His link was a concise rebuttal of the point he was responding to-- a list of all the ways Obama has delivered.
    NO, it wasn't. The poster hadn't said "obama hadn't done anything", but rather that the economy was bad and he'd failed to deliver on the broad promiseses of his campaign. A website with factoids like "Lifted restrictions granting Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island", "Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, giving the FDA the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco for the first time", or "Provided stimulus spending for private sector space flight" is not really a rebuttal at all. One key point is that there is no sense of scale.

    Spending $2t on space travel would have had a huge impact on the economy, spending $200k would not.

    Simply pointing out that some money was spent does not at all indicate that it was actually enough to do anything, and pointing out that some program was passed doesn't actually mean the program accomplished anything.

    If you want to argue that Obama was effective on the economy, pointing to specific things he "did" is beside the point if you don't look at the magnitude of said thing. As far as I can tell, beyond the initial stimulus, he hasn't really done much on jobs, certainly nothing sweeping like the healthcare bill. And like it or not, that's what a lot of people are going to be voting on.
    You mean the massive public mandate for his signature accomplishments that had at best tepid support and sometimes wide opposition? And the 6-9 months that he had a majority in both chambers? The one where a good number of his so-called allies in said chambers quibbled with or outright blocked major progressive bills?
    Yes, those are the excuses people use for his failure. But clearly the very fact that people need to keep repeating them is pretty strong evidence that he did fail. I mean, if he'd succeeded in doing what people expected of him, there wouldn't be much need to explain how powerless he really is, how congress and a few key senate dems were against him, bla bla.

    Furthermore, Most of the excuses are basically argument that the senate democrats stabbed him in the back. You realize, right, that that is not a good argument in favor of the democratic party. "Vote democrat: Even if we have a supermajority, we'll let a couple of paid off corporate whores derail everything we are trying to accomplish until the other side wins again!"

    It's pathetic. Why would anyone support a political party that behaved that way. You only need 50 votes to change the senate rules, and they could have just gotten rid of the filibuster.
    Well, then people who petulantly vote for a third party for President in a first past the past system as a form of protest are achieving the opposite of their goals. -- zombieflanders
    So far, no one has said anything about voting for a third party. Instead, people are flipping the fuck out over anyone saying anything that doesn't toe the party line about how great Obama is.

    It's as if some people honestly don't understand that you can say something or think something because you think it's true and not to push some agenda. It's like people can't believe you could ever say anything negative about Obama without wanting Mitt Romney to win.

    This kind of thing is what really turns a lot of people off of politics, and why independents who don't follow politics tune out everything from republicans and democrats. Which, in turn, makes ads like these effective, because they'll see the situation that feels familiar to them (unemployed youth) and then hear some democratic talking say "It's not true! all the facts are wrong! the economy is better then ever!" and figure they're just as full of shit as the republicans are.
    posted by delmoi at 8:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


    it is effective marketing. you have to understand that marketing isn't about apealing to your logic, it's about emotion. when you passively see this 30 times in between segments of two and a half men, it WILL have an effect.
    posted by cupcake1337 at 8:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    "Vote democrat: Even if we have a supermajority, we'll let a couple of paid off corporate whores derail everything we are trying to accomplish until the other side wins again!"
    Quoted for Best Summary Ever.
    posted by moorooka at 10:13 PM on May 22, 2012


    I've mentioned this before on the blue, and I'll mention this again: out here in the Straits, the biggest change I can see is how utterly ridiculous all these self-described experts on Al Qaeda and Afghanistan have been made out to be. In the Bush Era, becoming an 'expert' on terrorism or Al Qaeda or Taliban would have been your ticket to greater funding, career prospects, a nice corner office and so on. Now all of those have gone out of the window; all those Al Qaeda experts are finding themselves quite in the same way as those Sovietologists did a generation back, when the Berlin Wall fell.

    I don't have an insight into whether Romney will reverse this; probably his administration will open up bags of money for any self-described expert on, I don't know, Arab Spring, or any expert who would explain why bleeding the patient by cutting even more taxes is just what an ailing economy needs.

    The point I'm making is this: Republicans seem to be surrounding themselves with people who say what they want to hear. Democrats do make the odd effort (although not to the extent I'd approve of) to welcome contrary thoughts into their midst. A clear consequence of this is the difference in competence of the people being hired for strategic analysis; the impression I got was that we've had better folk coming our way here in Singapore or back in India, or even dare I say it, China.

    Also, it's a bit early to see electoral projections, to be frank. The race is close right now, as closest as it'll ever get, as Slate's John Dickerson puts it; the moment you see either candidate pulling ahead, these projections would dramatically change. Remember, in a FPTP system, even a swing of +/- 1% can result in quite a few electoral votes/ seats going either way.
    posted by the cydonian at 10:56 PM on May 22, 2012


    It's as if some people honestly don't understand that you can say something or think something because you think it's true and not to push some agenda. It's like people can't believe you could ever say anything negative about Obama without wanting Mitt Romney to win.

    This kind of thing is what really turns a lot of people off of politics, and why independents who don't follow politics tune out everything from republicans and democrats. Which, in turn, makes ads like these effective, because they'll see the situation that feels familiar to them (unemployed youth) and then hear some democratic talking say "It's not true! all the facts are wrong! the economy is better then ever!" and figure they're just as full of shit as the republicans are.


    Exactly! (comprende, zombieflanders?)
    posted by Vibrissae at 11:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Complete Democrat here but the ad is effective...mainly because it's not the fire breathing rhetoric that they usually spout and because it's not GOP wholesome family-ish....Where's the Dad? (Karl Rove at least reads the NYT and it's pieces on the new family -- single women led).

    That being said, lots of mistruth -- like blaming the health care bill that has not gone into effect yet for rising insurance costs, but well, that's the Republicans.

    At 1-minute too long to make a difference -- too expensive to air when people actually see commercials of this length -- like during sporting events.
    posted by skepticallypleased at 4:01 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Well, if you want to get specific as opposed to "random factoids", you could always go with the tried-and-true Obameter - there's even an economy subheading.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:31 AM on May 23, 2012


    Legitimate question, guys...

    When Obama was talking in 2008 about how recovery would be possible but it would be a long, grueling process, did you really hear that and think long and grueling meant four years? Because that's absurd! Goddamned absurd!

    Change is a slow, sloooooow process. Always. It happens over decades and centuries. If something changes over the course of mere years, that's an astonishing swiftness in politics. I was 18 when I voted Obama in, and even then I understood that "recovery" didn't mean "whoop the world's back to the way I used to be!" Recovery meant, at best, that we'd be heading towards some of the worst things getting better, and that we'd start to talk about the issues that seriously matter. Not that we'd fix those issues. Just that they'd become a thing.

    Four years later, recovery is underway. Obama's presided over some pretty big social changes, introduced a number of bills that seem to really help out Americans, and (incidentally) we've started to see conversations in the last year about the pervasive influence corporations and media have over politics. Those conversations were stunted and didn't go far with many people, but the seeds have been planted, and who knows what they'll have become ten years from now?

    Considering the insanity of the opposition he faced, Obama got some impressive shit done. I'm proud to have voted for him, and I look giddily to the upcoming campaign season, because anybody who thinks he isn't going to pulverize Romney on all fronts simultaneously hasn't looked at the political machines operating on both sides. Karl Rove has entered an era which he doesn't understand and can't manipulate, and for the first time, the guy on the other side understands how to use the media as a weapon. No telling what shitty supervillain will grow up to take Rove's place, but he hasn't arrived yet. This election is in the bag.
    posted by Rory Marinich at 4:41 AM on May 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


    It's pathetic. Why would anyone support a political party that behaved that way. You only need 50 votes to change the senate rules, and they could have just gotten rid of the filibuster.

    Because the Democratic Party is a political party, and not a cult or religion. Ideological purity is a Republican thing. You want to change the Democratic Party platform? Run for office, and then campaign for others who share your politics running for office on the Democratic ticket. I'm serious. School boards, town councils, dog catcher, sheriff - get out there and make your politics felt. Sell yourself and your position to your neighbors and friends, get them on board, make it so the Dems have to notice you and listen to what you have to say. Organize or die.

    Being overcritical of politicians on the national stage, during an election year, has the effect of depressing voter turnout. But if Rmoney wins, you'll get something real to moan on about, won't you? I get the feeling that would be an ideal result for more than a few lefties... the good fight against a clear evil is easier than the good fight against someone who mostly feels the same way, except for a few differences. It's like a China Mieville novel, where everyone strives against oppression and no-one wins and everyone likes it that way, as governing is too hard.

    So far, no one has said anything about voting for a third party.

    So far. Thankfully, there is no credible left-leaning third party candidate this year.
    posted by Slap*Happy at 5:02 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


    When Obama was talking in 2008 about how recovery would be possible but it would be a long, grueling process, did you really hear that and think long and grueling meant four years? Because that's absurd! Goddamned absurd!
    Maybe you should go back in time and tell that to Obama's economic team, because that's exactly what they projected. According to the projection of Jared Bernstein and Christina Romer, the unemployment rate in Q2 2012 should be something like 5.7. Instead it's currently 8.1% So the fact of the matter is:
    1) The economy actually does suck
    2) Obama's economists thought that, not only could it be better by now, it would be.


    Anyway, I'm not aware of any actual economic rules that limit how fast an economy can recover. It seems like, the larger the stimulus, the faster the effect.

    Also, it's interesting how Obama supporters frequently come up with excuses for his performance that he doesn't even try to make himself.
    Because the Democratic Party is a political party, and not a cult or religion. Ideological purity is a Republican thing. ... Being overcritical of politicians on the national stage, during an election year, has the effect of depressing voter turnout.
    LOL, that's hilarious. Democrats aren't about ideological purity, so shut the fuck up and stop saying negative things about them!

    Like I said, some people don't understand that some people say things simply because that is what they think is true. It's not my job to hide what I think is true because I think someone might decide not to vote for the democrats because of it. I certainly do not believe that it is my responsibility to censor myself in some hope that it might help get democrats elected. I feel like, if my or anyone else pointing out that the democrats (the party as a whole, mind you) fucked up is going to hurt them, then they should not have fucked up in the first place. The actual problem is their failure, not my pointing it out.

    If anything on this website is affecting people desire to vote the incredible rudeness of some people toward anyone who doesn't toe the line on Obama has got to have a far greater effect on people. Someone criticizes Obama, and the response is literally just "Shut up" (with a hyperlink to some bullshit site).

    How is that going to convince anyone to support Obama? If you really think that your words on the internet can affect the election, then why are people spending their time insulting the people most likely to support the democrats? (and probably would vote for them anyway?). It's all pretty bizarre.

    Oh, and of course when someone complains the response is that it was a "a concise rebuttal" - which is true, but so is "go fuck yourself" - and are both about as likely to convince the person you're talking to join with you.

    Anyway, here's the problem: The argument is that "liberals" and/or "progressives" need to "stick together". And oppose the republicans, who are totally Sauron or something. But there doesn't seem to be any attempt at all to actually try to convince people. Instead, all we get are insults for not agreeing with you guys. Not even disagreeing with you about who to vote for, but rather the fact of any disagreement at all.

    Now anyway, I happen to think that the republican ideas about how help the economy are Incorrect, so voting for them would be a bad idea. All you have to do is look at Europe, where they have been trying austerity for the last few years, with disastrous results.

    But the average voter isn't going to read Paul Krugman's blog. They'll hear soundbytes on the economy and just like how the Europeans are kicking out their leadership for a shitty economy, the average American will think "Obama has been president for 4 years and the economy sucks. We should definitely try something else!"

    But instead of trying to make the argument that the republican austerity ideology is a bad idea on the merits, Obama spent a ton of his time in office after the healthcare debate talking about how he wanted to cut the deficit. There were no major programs to create jobs that I know of, there weren't any new stimulus programs. Just the "supercommittee" and the debt ceiling debacle (which also hurt congressional republicans, of course)

    Anyway, the basic point is that in order for people to want to support a political party, they have to, you know think it stands for what they believe in . And for a lot of independent voters, it isn't clear at all that the democratic party actually does. The fact that the Obama's supporters have to blamed the senate democrats for his failures means that, duh, they must oppose those things. IF a political party in practice opposes the things you support, then why support them?

    Also, I don't really care how anyone votes. If what I've said offends you and makes you want to vote for Obama even more, that's totally fine with me, in fact I'd prefer he'd win anyway! I don't think people need to be polite to each other all the time and it doesn't really bother me when people aren't. I just think it's odd that, if you say you have to watch what you say because it might hurt the democrats, that you would run around insulting people who would probably vote for them for being insufficiently subservient.
    posted by delmoi at 6:06 AM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


    It's not my job to hide what I think is true because I think someone might decide not to vote for the democrats because of it.

    Ah, so you're campaigning for the Republicans, in effect if not intent. Good to know which side you really stand on, then. You are against gay rights, you are anti-choice, pro-business, anti-regulation, anti-affirmative action, and all for war. How you feel about the issues isn't as important as what you do about the issues. If you want to help, run for office, support local candidates for office, and go after the Republicans on every level, and go after them hard.

    No wonder the left isn't getting a voice in the Dem platform - they're too busy trying to throw national elections to the Republicans and aren't interested in doing anything of substance about local issues.
    posted by Slap*Happy at 7:00 AM on May 23, 2012


    Has anyone put out an ad with Carmina Burana as the background music yet? It's a matter of time.


    (I am so dreading all these ads. They are even playing on YOUTUBE for heaven's sake.)

    and

    So, pull that lever, sucker, because it's too late to change anything this November


    If I could have favorited that whole post a bazillion times I would have because it's the truth.
    posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:14 AM on May 23, 2012


    I think this referendum on Obama thread will be the one where everyone finally agrees with [whichever position you hold].
    posted by shakespeherian at 7:34 AM on May 23, 2012


    shakespeherian is exactly right.
    posted by Rory Marinich at 7:41 AM on May 23, 2012


    No but he's got a pretty solid lead in the electoral projections and it's really his to lose.

    octothorpe, thank you for that link. I'm going to save it to cheer me up, when the media are selling clicks & eyeballs by trying to make it look like it's going to be a neck&neck finish as Nov 14 draws nearer.
    posted by IAmBroom at 8:11 AM on May 23, 2012


    Thought there would way more racist dog-whistles.

    What, "Basketball" isn't subtle enough for ya?
    posted by joe lisboa at 8:25 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


    No but he's got a pretty solid lead in the electoral projections

    I've actually been pondering the "Obama wins the electoral College but narrowly loses the popular vote" scenario lately. Which might actually push people to consider a better system. (ha)
    posted by edgeways at 8:38 AM on May 23, 2012


    Ah, so you're campaigning for the Republicans, in effect if not intent. Good to know which side you really stand on, then.


    Right, you're either You're either with us or against us.
    You are against gay rights, you are anti-choice, pro-business, anti-regulation, anti-affirmative action, and all for war.
    Sure, whatever. If you're not For Obama 100%, you're objectively pro republican.

    Now, first of all I I think you made an error there -- can you point out where the Democratic Party claims it's not pro-business? I don't remember ever hearing them say that, and last I checked many prominent Dems were going out of their way to defend Bain Capital from mean ole' president Obama. Hardly something you would expect from a party that was anti-business.

    But beyond that the rhetoric is basically identical to the crap Bush and Rove and Andrew Sullivan and the like were spewing before the Iraq war. Saddam The Republicans are pure evil and anyone who doesn't do whatever it takes, or even says anything negative about America the Democrats is a traitor. I mean, literally you're demanding that people don't even criticize the president!

    The theory -- that it will depress turnout -- is actually very similar to the theory that pro-war zealots used to justify attacking anyone who disagreed with them: "seditious" talk would convince people the war was a bad idea, then people would stop supporting it, and our "will" to fight would dissipate and we would lose the war. A war we could only lose by losing interest in it. But, if no one heard negative comments, no one would ever become anti-war, and we'd have the will to fight forever.

    In this case, though you're arguing that somehow saying anything negative towards Obama would somehow depress the vote, while attacking anyone who does somehow won't.

    Also, if it's true that the republicans are totally new Nazis, then doesn't that make Obama, the guy who's always trying to compromise with them Neville Chamberlain? Shouldn't we be looking for a Churchill figure who will fight them on the beaches and the hills and whatnot?

    I just find it totally ironic that so many of the people who are obsessed with attacking anyone critical of Obama are also totally convinced that the republicans are pure evil, while at the same time Obama has always gone out of his way to try to find compromises with them and work with them and so on. It's somewhat logically incoherent.
    No wonder the left isn't getting a voice in the Dem platform - they're too busy trying to throw national elections to the Republicans and aren't interested in doing anything of substance about local issues.
    Yeah, that plus the lack of hundreds of billions in corporate campaign donations and lobbying fees.

    Anyway, if it really is true that the my comments are somehow going to hurt the Democrats, then they should stop sucking, in which case I wouldn't have anything to complain about. In fact, their failure to do so is objectively pro-republican!
    posted by delmoi at 9:24 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


    (I am so dreading all these ads. They are even playing on YOUTUBE for heaven's sake.)

    AD BLOCK. I don't know why people put up with ads on the internet. ABP for firefox works fine on youtube video ads.
    posted by delmoi at 9:43 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


    Thought there would way more racist dog-whistles.

    What, "Basketball" isn't subtle enough for ya?


    Indeed. What does the sport of basketball have to do with any of this?

    Oh yeah.
    posted by mrgrimm at 9:54 AM on May 23, 2012


    The Republicans are pure evil and anyone who doesn't do whatever it takes, or even says anything negative about America the Democrats is a traitor. I mean, literally you're demanding that people don't even criticize the president!

    Literally? I don't think that word means what you think it does.
    Where in this thread is there a "demand" that you don't criticize the President? We're saying that you are wrong in your facts and interpretation. And we are saying you are wrong in thinking that going around and spreading the made up stories to people won't harm the President's chances of being reelected. We're also saying that you are wrong in saying that the policies that Romney would pursue would be the same.

    Saying these things isn't a demand. It is saying that you are not factual.
    posted by Ironmouth at 10:01 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


    AD BLOCK. I don't know why people put up with ads on the internet. ABP for firefox works fine on youtube video ads.

    Yeah I was actually surprised when my sister played some YouTube thing on her laptop yesterday and had to sit through an ad first. I didn't even know YouTube was doing that.
    posted by shakespeherian at 10:05 AM on May 23, 2012


    delmoi, Lords know we've had our differences in political threads, but I wanted to thank you publicly for linking to Ad Block. Now I feel like a heel for having sat through all those atrocious ads.
    posted by joe lisboa at 10:12 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


    A lot of publications are supporting financially by advertising.
    posted by mrgrimm at 11:00 AM on May 23, 2012


    ...And even Ad Block defaults to letting them, as long as they are polite about it.
    posted by Orb2069 at 11:13 AM on May 23, 2012


    When the choice is between, on the one hand, a pretty damn good, pretty damn smart, pretty damn admirable President, who has done a pretty damn good job moving the country in the right direction at a pretty damn bad time, and, on the other, a very weird and weirdly off-putting multimillionaire who made his fortune with leveraged buyouts and his party that seems to me to have become flat-out deranged, and which almost seems to be actively trying to wreck the country...well...jeez, you'll forgive me for being baffled that anyone thinks this is anything like a difficult choice.

    I do understand wanting to change the system, and I understand how voting for a third-party could have some effect on that. But to me it seems rather like standing on the bridge of the Titanic, arguing about how to optimize maritime policy as we bear down on the iceberg.
    posted by Fists O'Fury at 11:22 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Anyway, here's the problem: The argument is that "liberals" and/or "progressives" need to "stick together". And oppose the republicans, who are totally Sauron or something. But there doesn't seem to be any attempt at all to actually try to convince people.

    Speaking purely for myself, I think there's great deal of legitimate criticism of Obama's performance and it is important that it gets put out there. The thing that makes my alarms go off and make me reach for my revolver (as it were), is when I hear the criticism couched in the language and memes provided by the right-wing narrative.

    Because that language, is already loaded with poison and designed to feed off of base emotions, and shuts down real analysis and thinking. And the more that specific language or meme is repeated the more powerful and egregious it becomes in swaying those low information voters who don't have enough knowledge to understand how they're being manipulated with a narrative...
    posted by Skygazer at 12:06 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


    But how did Obama make that mother's hair turn to Saran Wrap?
    posted by Mental Wimp at 12:07 PM on May 23, 2012


    That ad reinforces my belief that modern conservatism is about a failure of empathy. To me, the ad screams the question, "Why would Barack Obama, president of the United States, want America to fail? "

    See, that isn't a conservative thing, liberals think the same way and are vulnerable to the same sort of messaging in ads.

    a very weird and weirdly off-putting multimillionaire who made his fortune with leveraged buyouts and his party that seems to me to have become flat-out deranged, and which almost seems to be actively trying to wreck the country

    Not trying to pick on you Fist, it's a common sentiment on the left.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:09 PM on May 23, 2012


    Not trying to pick on you Fist, it's a common sentiment on the left.
    I think most of the left just think they are blinded by greed. Some do think there is an organized attempt to damage the social safety net, but not the country as a "whole".
    Literally? I don't think that word means what you think it does.
    Yes, literally. This is what he said:
    Being overcritical of politicians on the national stage, during an election year, has the effect of depressing voter turnout. [then later] Ah, so you're campaigning for the Republicans, in effect if not intent. Good to know which side you really stand on, then. You are against gay rights, you are anti-choice, pro-business, anti-regulation, anti-affirmative action, and all for war.
    So essentially, if you write negative things about Obama, you are a hurting the democrats and thus essentially a traitor to 'liberalism', or whatever. The demand was implicit. Saying "If you do X you are a horrible person" is pretty much equivalent to "Don't do X"
    We're saying that you are wrong in your facts and interpretation.

    Where? I haven't seen a single comment claiming any of my facts were wrong. The only person who responded to me was Slap*Happy, who claimed my comments were Hurting America The Democrats.
    And we are saying you are wrong in thinking that going around and spreading the made up stories to people won't harm the President's chances of being reelected.
    You know, this is totally bizzare. There are only two comments posted in this thread critical of mine. They were both posted by Slap*Happy, and none of them said anything like that. He accused me of being "Being overcritical". He never once claimed I was saying anything false. And I don't think I ever said he was saying anything factually false either, rather I claimed that being rude or offensive on behalf of a candidate was also harmful to that candidate, just as being 'overly' critical of them can be (and I think in general, message board comments are not going to have much of an effect overall either way)

    Anyone can go back and read the two comments, and see that what you are saying is completely false.

    Finally, if you think I am factually incorrect what facts do you think are wrong? So far, no one has pointed to any, and other then you, just now, no one has even claimed that anything I've said was in any way inaccurate!
    posted by delmoi at 9:30 PM on May 23, 2012


    Oh, just came across this: Poll Results: America Fundamentally Progressive although to be fair it's obviously not the full range of potential issues. But from what I've seen on most issues people tend to support the 'liberal' position on the actual policy question.

    The figure that surprised even me, though was this Rasmussen Poll claiming that only 36% of Americans oppose legalizing marijuana. Not just a majority, but a supermajority of Americans are unopposed. And a full 56% of Americans think it should be legal. Yet, Obama has been cracking down on medical marijuana, which has even more support. From a political point of view it's somewhat inexplicable.

    Anyway, it just reminded me of this thread because often people will claim that the democrats have to lean conservative because more most Americans define themselves as "moderate" or "conservative".

    There are two problems with that. One is the assumption that people who describe themselves as "moderate" line up on policy exactly like Max Baccus or Joe Lieberman, and the "conservatives" line up with the republicans. But that's not the case at all.

    The other problem is basically the reverse: The idea that 'centrist' or 'bi-partisan' are going to actually appeal to people who consider themselves moderates. If you look at the "Public Option" for example, the claim was it was too 'Liberal' to put in the bill. But moderates didn't have a problem with it, and it was actually more popular then the bill itself. Even Bill O'Riely came out in favor of it. For one day anyway, before -- I'm sure -- he got a talking too from Ailes and the fox news brass.
    posted by delmoi at 11:35 PM on May 23, 2012


    You have to understand that for folks like Ironmouth politics is all about emotional satisfaction. They are irrational and hysterical and ruled by their passions, unlike you and I who only deal in cold logic and facts.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:41 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Anyway, it just reminded me of this thread because often people will claim that the democrats have to lean conservative because more most Americans define themselves as "moderate" or "conservative".

    Well, they do. Issue by issue, Americans support a lot of progressive ideas, and yet most of them self-identify as conservative. This being the case, I think it makes complete sense the Democrats would be a little cautious with some of the more progressive ideas brought up in the party. Having said that, I think Obama's recent statement on gay marriage - which, latest polls show barely over 50% of Americans support - was pretty bold. And probably has a more significant societal importance than legalizing marijuana (which isn't to say it's unimportant, either).

    I'd add as well that maybe Democrats aren't just being "cautious", holding back what they really feel about these progressive ideas - maybe they just don't support them, yeah? In which case, I think the best thing progressives can do is get their own people into local offices, and build a base to grow up from, as I said. The Democrats, I don't think, are never going to let a truly progressive candidate win the nomination. Even if, policy by policy, Americans would support them.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:22 AM on May 24, 2012


    The other problem is basically the reverse: The idea that 'centrist' or 'bi-partisan' are going to actually appeal to people who consider themselves moderates. If you look at the "Public Option" for example, the claim was it was too 'Liberal' to put in the bill. But moderates didn't have a problem with it, and it was actually more popular then the bill itself. Even Bill O'Riely came out in favor of it. For one day anyway, before -- I'm sure -- he got a talking too from Ailes and the fox news brass.

    The only problem with the Public Option was that it didn't have enough votes. Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln said they wouldn't vote for it. Blanche in a floor speech.

    If you want something passed, you have to have the votes for it. Doesn't matter how it polls. And Senators and congressmen and women are not elected by the nation as a whole. They are elected by people who live in districts that are far from the mean.
    posted by Ironmouth at 5:16 AM on May 24, 2012


    The only person who responded to me was Slap*Happy, who claimed my comments were Hurting America The Democrats.

    I said no such thing. I said that you were actively campaigning against Obama, and by extension, all of the things he's done to advance the progressive agenda that a Republican president would undo. I'm sorry that you want your words not to have any consequences you don't like, but hey, reality sucks like that.
    posted by Slap*Happy at 6:33 AM on May 24, 2012


    ^Dude, that's the same thing. You are doing nothing of value in this thread. You accused me of supporting a coup because I pointed out Obama has not met his goals while not blaming him at all. Calm down, folks can disagree without you having a freakout about the destruction of the party.

    I think Obama's recent statement on gay marriage - which, latest polls show barely over 50% of Americans support - was pretty bold. And probably has a more significant societal importance than legalizing marijuana (which isn't to say it's unimportant, either).

    Obama's use of the bully pulpit in support of gay marriage, a position some of the less politically astute in this thread actively argued he should not have taken, has only increased support for gay marriage. He could do the same for drug issues and ease a lot of suffering. Doing the right thing has political and moral benefits. Who knows what could have happened if he was that aggressive in arguing for the public option? At the very least he could have increased public support to the point where opposing it would have had a much greater political cost.

    Liberals will always be there to vote for him, they are the loyal Democrats and are far more homogenous in their views than conservatives, the people in the center are the ones at issue, no matter how hard you pander they will still consider voting Republican so it isn't worth losing the base or taking morally wrong stances like opposing gay marriage like Ironmouth or zombieflanders believe is the right thing to do.

    Michelangelo Signorile: The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that in the wake of President Obama's support for marriage equality, opposition to it is at an all-time low, at 39 percent. For the first time, strong support exceeds strong opposition. Moreover, there is now greater support for marriage equality among African Americans -- a whopping 59 percent -- than in the general population, breaking long-held stereotypes.

    Look at that: Leadership happens.

    And there's a lesson here for all progressives -- and for the Obama campaign. We were told by the Democratic strategists and the campaign pollsters, the Democratic establishment, that coming out for marriage equality would be harmful to the president. The establishment pundits, gay and straight, were defending the White House, giving the president a pass, as were the establishment gay groups. The DNC's openly gay treasurer, Andy Tobias, continually defended the president's record and continually predicted disaster if he were to go further on LGBT rights.


    Now Obama ads can be about a civil rights milestone rather than the lame tricks Rove is pulling, that scares the shit out of him.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:10 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Obama's use of the bully pulpit in support of gay marriage, a position some of the less politically astute in this thread actively argued he should not have taken, has only increased support for gay marriage. He could do the same for drug issues and ease a lot of suffering. Doing the right thing has political and moral benefits. Who knows what could have happened if he was that aggressive in arguing for the public option? At the very least he could have increased public support to the point where opposing it would have had a much greater political cost.

    Well, my point was that he took this stand on gay marriage at a time when there was a barely-there majority in favor of it, so it's not like this is a guy who never takes a stand on anything, or is constantly cowering under the fearsome shadow of the GOP. I think that with Obama, you have a) a brilliant strategist who knows what battles to pick and what risks are worth taking, and b) a Democrat, i.e., likely not someone who's going to come out full bore in favor of legalizing marijuana tomorrow. He could, and very well should, but I wouldn't expect it from him, or any Democrat, for that matter, sorry to say.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:17 AM on May 24, 2012


    It would be wise to take the first step of supporting medical pot since the polls are so overwhelming there and action is reasonably possible. Romney is a buffoon and would instinctively take up the opposite side and run headlong into the 80% of the country who disagrees with him on it.

    I'm okay with baby steps in the right situations.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:25 AM on May 24, 2012


    Well, who knows? Six months ago I would have thought Obama would come out in favor of medical marijuana before gay marriage. Maybe he's biding his time, maybe he's just really, sincerely against any sort of legalization of it. The administration's sure been doing their damnedest to actively ignore any calls for relaxing drug laws.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:39 AM on May 24, 2012


    You accused me of supporting a coup because I pointed out Obama has not met his goals while not blaming him at all.

    No, I didn't. And no, you didn't. I mean, it's not even he-said/she-said, it's plain as day upthread. I can deal with honest differences in perspective, I won't put up with this. I'm out, kids.
    posted by Slap*Happy at 8:40 AM on May 24, 2012


    [don't become the self-fulfilling "MeFi doesn't do this well" prophecy. It's in your hands team.]
    posted by jessamyn at 1:37 PM on May 24, 2012


    If your reaction to my perspective is that I might want the United States government to be overthrown I'm not sure you are really dealing as well as you think.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:59 PM on May 24, 2012


    Well, they do. Issue by issue, Americans support a lot of progressive ideas, and yet most of them self-identify as conservative. This being the case, I think it makes complete sense the Democrats would be a little cautious with some of the more progressive ideas brought up in the party. -- Marisa Stole the Precious Thing


    So let me see if I understand this. Because someone supports progressive policy, but calls themselves "conservative", democratic lawmakers should oppose the policies they support?

    Like for example, if someone supported the public option, which a majority of Americans do, but called themselves "conservative", you think that person would be more likely to vote for the democrats if they vote against the public option?

    Or, if someone calls themselves "moderate" and supports legalizing marijuana (which is actually a majority opinion in some polls now) you think that person would be more likely to vote for democrats if those democrats oppose legalizing marijuana?

    That makes zero sense. If people support progressive ideas, they will vote for politicians who support those same ideas, regardless of how those positions are 'labeled' by the pundits and lobbyists who run Washington DC
    Well, they do. Issue by issue, Americans support a lot of progressive ideas, and yet most of them self-identify as conservative. This being the case, I think it makes complete sense the Democrats would be a little cautious with some of the more progressive ideas brought up in the party.
    The only problem with the Public Option was that it didn't have enough votes. Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln said they wouldn't vote for it. Blanche in a floor speech.

    First of all, we've been over this before. The public option could have been included in the "Patch" legislation that passed the senate via reconciliation after scott brown was elected. It would only have needed 50 votes, plus Joe Biden to pass. Who are the eleven democratic senators who would have voted against the HCR "patch" if it included the public option?

    Anyway if someone's main concerns are issues X, Y and Z, and the democratic party doesn't do anything to actually move forward on X, Y and Z, or only moves forward by such a small amount that the problem just gets worse anyway, then there isn't really any reason for that person to support them. They may just decide to stop worrying about it and ignore politics forever.

    Sure, X, Y and Z might get worse, but if they will never get better no matter what you do, there's no reason to get worked up every 4 years only to be betrayed over and over again.

    And look. It was the democratic party in the senate who killed the public option, and didn't even bother with the global warming legislation passed by the house in '09/10. And beyond that I don't recall them doing much of anything about anything else other then pass the too-small stimulus and relatively insignificant, stuff like re-authorizing unemployment insurance every few months, rather than doing it indefinitely or tying it to the unemployment rate or whatever.

    Then when the republicans came into power they passed a shitload of spending cuts over and over again, which in turn did more damage to the already weak economy so they could look tough on the deficit.

    Given that track record, I don't see any reason why I should think that I am somehow on the same "team" as the democratic party as a whole


    Also, you never answered my question about what facts you think I got wrong in this thread, which I asked because you claimed that people said I was wrong about something, even though no one had.

    Are you going to answer?
    posted by delmoi at 12:48 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


    So let me see if I understand this. Because someone supports progressive policy, but calls themselves "conservative", democratic lawmakers should oppose the policies they support?

    No, that isn't what I said, at all. I said that these two contradictory messages will make Democrats understandably cautious about moving forward the more progressives ideas being bandied about. And added that even so, Obama still took a risk in vocally supporting gay marriage, which has considerably less support in the polls than legalizing marijuana does, so it's unfair to say the guy is cowering in fear of the GOP. And that his opposition to legalizing marijuana might not be because he secretly wants to but is playing it safe; but that he's simply against the idea altogether, as his administration has proven to be pretty strident in ignoring any calls for legalization or decriminalization.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:13 PM on May 25, 2012


    No, that isn't what I said, at all. I said that these two contradictory messages will make Democrats understandably cautious about moving forward the more progressives ideas being bandied about.
    In order for that to be true, they would have to believe that people who call themselves moderates or conservatives would be more likely to vote for them if they oppose the policies that they support. Which seems unlikely.

    A more likely explanation is that they support policies that their campaign donors support, along with the those donors hire to convince them. Even if those policies are unpopular.
    Obama still took a risk in vocally supporting gay marriage ... so it's unfair to say the guy is cowering in fear of the GOP.
    When did I say he was cowering in fear of the GOP? Obama's wealthy supporters support Gay marriage, and so does he. They don't support him attacking wall-street or bankers in general, so he doesn't.

    It's pretty obvious that most of the policy positions are being driven by campaign donations. Gay Marriage is one example, while, say, criminal prosecution of bankers for crimes during the mortgage meltdown is another, along with not much wall-street reform. The public option is another. Worrying more about the deficit rather then unemployment is another - the very wealthy have nothing to worry about with unemployment, but a lot to worry about a large deficit, because in the long run it could mean inflation (bad for those with dollar based wealth) or higher tax rates (bad for those with high incomes)

    That's obviously the axis where a lot of these decisions are being made on, although some are inexplicable, like the medical marijuana policy. Bill Maher publicly gave a million to an Obama super-PAC and obviously supports legalization. Conservative Bête noire George Soros supports legalizing drugs, etc. It's hard to see where the political upside is in attacking state-legal medical marijuana.
    posted by delmoi at 1:00 AM on May 27, 2012


    Yeah, like I said in the High School Obama thread, his administration's drug policy confounds me, to an extent. Even with the things he said in state senate, I never really expected him to support decriminalization, let alone legalization, on account of being a Democrat. However, if it were to happen, I'm pretty sure it'll be in a second term. You know and I know and lots of other people know that legalization is a health and human rights issue, but "Obama wants to legalize DRUGS" is what the GOP would be hammering on if he decided to publicly support it between now and November. Yes, even with 80% supporting medical marijuana in national polls. I just do not see it happening before election day.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:16 AM on May 27, 2012


    Yes, even with 80% supporting medical marijuana in national polls. I just do not see it happening before election day.

    For electoral politics, it is the calculus of the passion of the opponents versus the supporters, whether the opponents would have voted for you anyway, and to what extent new voters on either side will be brought out by the issue and to what extent those favoring it will not vote for you if you don't support it. It's never a simple matter of "the majority support it" when it comes to electoral politics.
    posted by Mental Wimp at 9:28 AM on May 27, 2012


    Obama goes to war with GOP secret money: The Obama campaign has filed a complaint with the FEC saying Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS must disclose its donors
    posted by homunculus at 9:02 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


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