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Can Y’all Smell What POTUS is Cooking?
Barack Obama has decided to put himself on the Democratic “ballot” in 2016. You heard that right. He’s running again. Why not? The entire Republican Party is running against him anyway, so why not get himself on the “ballot”? Give ‘em and their corporate stenographers something to REALLY talk about. POTUS is going to be everywhere front and center, on the trail, in the media, in your backyard cookout.
He’s not going to campaign FOR the Democratic party’s candidates, he’s going to set and drive the Democratic Party agenda, which Dem pols may choose to join, not the other way around. Why? Because the Democratic Party needs to be shaken from its death throes.
A party that had everything going for it with the advent of Barack Obama, the organizing energy of his coalition, resources, cutting edge technology, simply gave up on itself after victory in 2008. It got a dead cat bounce during the 2012 re-election, then promptly went right back into willful stupor.
With a party leadership so cross-eyed, doddering around on two left feet, unwilling to embrace its own legislative successes, running away from Barack Obama, and even more zombified after the 2014 electoral losses, it is a miracle that there is barely any sign of life left to whip up for the 2016 cycle. However, strolling from cycle to cycle hitching ourselves to time-limited election campaigns will not do much to resuscitate the dried out soul of the party. We’ve needed a MOVEMENT larger than the Democratic Party itself.
A MOVEMENT comprising CITIZENS who are passionate about CAUSES like the literal survival of the 99% and the CORE VALUES of fairness of this country; who match the zeal of the billionaire vampires sucking our blood, who doggedly mobilize, cajole, trek the “streets” real or virtual, persuade persuade persuade fellow citizens to join, and never suck on purity binkies or descend into hissy fits. In short, a movement made up of CITIZENS who really have no more fcks to give.
That’s what my tea leaves say Barack Obama is cooking with 2016 elections penciled in as item one. And his coalition best gird up to run with him. The coalition is slightly expanded now. He’s invited “responsible gun owners” and Americans simply fed up with the incessant gun violence that has brought grief to so many families of diverse political stripes, to join us the usual motley crew who’ve hung with him since forever. Together he’ll lead the charge to put politicians in Washington who are ANSWERABLE to US the PEOPLE, while firmly telling especially fork-tongued Democrats: “Uh uh, it’s either us or the NRA. No compromise.”
Just as he sparked off his 2012 re-election bid with the famous Income Inequality speech in Osawatomie, Kansas in December 2011 much to the utter confusion of the beltway and media lackeys, plus the usual centrist bedwetters gnashing teeth about Barack Obama veering too far left, so too his mission on gun safety is meant to drive the 2016 agenda. It is a natural fit with the demographic make up of his expanding coalition. The energy is there. Prez Obama lit the torch this week.
Barack Obama knows a thing or two about building movements from the ground up. Sure, it successfully propelled him to electoral victory; a detour into that little something called saving us from a recession, saving an auto industry, drawing us out of two wars, building the foundation for alternative energy, preventing us from needlessly dying from a macabre healthcare system, repairing our image abroad, righting historical wrongs against Native American populations, redressing disparities in a broken criminal justice system, presiding over record job growth, and many more “detours”.
Yet MOVEMENT has always remained at the heart of POTUS’ core belief in citizenship. It’s why OFA stayed alive while he ran that obstacle course called Washington DC, and now he’s revving up to give his movement a new mandate. Are y’all ready? All aboard
M.E. Dyson Misses Prez Obama’s Forest for Symbolic Trees
Dyson says: “Yes She Can”
In this very title lies the crux of a derailed argument that Michael Eric Dyson’s latest travelogue pushes in the New Republic about President Obama vs. SOS Hillary Clinton. How does Dyson arrive at this grand flourish? He traveled with Mrs. Clinton from New York to Atlanta, observed her interaction with the “old Black Guard,” Black Lives Matter activists, and concluded: “Yes She Can.” Can, What? Stay tuned.
But first, some cold hard FACTS before we indulge Dyson any further. In case he missed it, Prez Obama ALWAYS says: “Yes WE Can”, not “Yes I can”. He never lost sight of the collective effort required to drive the disparate gears that grind within this country toward the collective good.
And Contrary to Dyson’s erasure of the Obama Administration’s tangible achievements for Americans, and especially minorities, this is where we have been these past 7 years in three key areas: a) Economy & Employment, b) Healthcare, c) Incarceration rates
1. We suffered a financial catastrophe in 2007-2008 that collapsed not only US economy but global financial system too. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aka Stimulus Package was passed in early 2009 to put a floor beneath the abyss that people were falling into. Unfortunately, many Liberals joined GOP to mock the unprecedented scope of the Stimulus and missed its remarkable successes . And as with most Obama policy successes, the real value of the stimulus has been better known to its enemies, than its beneficiaries. Here are the numbers:
2. At Prez Obama’s inauguration we were losing 800,000 jobs per MONTH! Unemployment rates skyrocketed to 10.1% before his 6th month in office. Today, after more than 13 million net jobs added that Jobless rate is at 5%. The rate for African Americans is higher but it has seen a dramatic decline.
The wide differences in state level rates offer a more complex picture
More importantly this administration tackled one of the cankers at the heart of African American and other minorities’ joblessness and poverty rates: HEALTHCARE
I have been spooked these last 10 days by the insanity that erupted here in the US since the Paris terrorist attacks. I wanted to give words to my thoughts. But I froze. Then I rediscovered this piece I began writing in April 2013, but had abandoned for being too alarmist! If only I knew….
Here is the piece completed with a few edits…
Rwanda: A Haunting Lesson
April 6 marked the (21st) anniversary of the launch of the genocidal nightmare in the central African country of Rwanda that ended 100 days later with 800,000 people dead, and a nation scarred deeply. That was 11.4% of the total population of 7 million. Nearly three-quarters of those massacred were Tutsis who comprised 14% of the entire population.
The word “anniversary” seems inappropriate because although it is technically a neutral term it still invokes positive associations and anticipation. No one should anticipate a genocide nor look forward to marking milestones in its aftermath. Yet mark, we must. The lessons are not simply framed in dog-eared history tomes or award winning films about a bygone tragedy. The lessons are here. With us. Today.
In societies wracked by mass economic, social and political faultlines the signs are always there for a Rwanda Redux, or a Srebrenica. Hate Radio. Divide and conquer. Nihilism. Opportunistic politicians and cultural loudmouths. Group resentment. Grievance. Silence and apathy from the majority population. Now, all of these do not a genocide trigger. But they exist to be manipulated if conditions ripen.
“The Rwandan genocide resulted from the conscious choice of the elite to promote hatred and fear to keep itself in power. This small, privileged group first set the majority against the minority to counter a growing political opposition within Rwanda. Then, faced with RPF success on the battlefield and at the negotiating table, these few power holders transformed the strategy of ethnic division into genocide. They believed that the extermination campaign would reinstate the solidarity of the Hutu under their leadership and help them win the war, or at least improve their chances of negotiating a favorable peace. They seized control of the state and used its authority to carry out the massacre. (UnitedHumanRights.Org)”
You dance with the one who brung ya.
So no one thinks that the coalition of 65-69 million American citizens with a proven record of WINNING back to back presidential elections in record numbers, because they organize, stand in line for hours in rain and frost, MUST be feverishly re-activated for the next election? Of course it must.
Yet thus far none of the Democratic Party candidates has seriously courted the Obama-Coalition. I say seriously, precisely because it took more than the letter “D” beside a candidate’s name, or political platitudes, or a liberal wish-tree to put the coalition together in the first place. Plus no one size fits all in activating this coalition, as its different components were motivated by different strategies of persuasion. This is a coalition that did not care about name, pedigree, or size of wallet when it backed the insurgent Obama candidacy. It did not have its head in the clouds in a lofty quest for unicorns either.
So it boils down to this: Trump suffers from Obama size-envy. Crowd size, that is, and maybe more…
But first, it was only a matter of time before the object of Prez Obama’s ridicule at the White House Correspondents’ Dinners in 2011 and 2015, would be prompted to redeem his ego. Behold, the Trump2016 presidential run.
In 2011, President Obama chose deliberately to inflate Trump’s gargantuan ego, using the very vehicle of birtherism to surgically puncture Trump’s pompous ass at the precise moment for maximal humiliating effect, the night before the OBL operation. That we the American people enjoyed the take down of the hotair without knowing about the OBL mission underway, only prolonged the deliciousness of the schadenfreude when we found out the next night when POTUS interrupted Trump’s “Apprentice” show to deliver the unbelievable news. Trump was doubly slayed. We roared!
As icing on the cake, Prez Obama gave us a spoof sneak peak into what a Trump White House might look like, complete with gaudy Trump insignia plastered all over the WH exterior, plus female posse wading in the WH fountain. We found the idea of a Trump presidency absurd. But Trump began dreaming big.
The coup de grace came this year, when POTUS Obama raised and then immediately dashed Trump’s hope of the President engaging him again in full glare of the cameras. POTUS simply said “Donald Trump is here…..still”, then moved on to the next segment. Ouch!
I posit that Trump’s mind was made up that night to run for President by hook or crook. How do we know this? Answer: Trump himself is the fire breathing clue. A narcissist thrives on attention, and President Obama flippantly cut off that oxygen on an important media stage, the same one on which he had been humiliated irreparably in 2011. Trump could deal with the ridicule during the previous WHCDs, because they accrued to him media notoriety. Media attention is the currency of Trump’s very existence. But to be swatted away like a fly with nary a word more from Prez Obama to indulge his outsized narcissism? Naw. He had to get even.
No mincing words. Killing the #IranDeal is a vote for war with Iran. Listen Bibi & Schumer: War with Iran erases the single obstacle to the total conquest of the Middle East by ISIS Sunni Extremists. How do we know this? One word, Iraq. If we think it’s bad enough that Iraq today is overrun by ISIS that we toil at great expense to reclaim; it will be a Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade compared to what the region will look like if we get embroiled in war with Iran.
We will in effect be acting as ISIS’ turbocharged cavalry and bombardiers. I repeat. We will be fighting ISIS’ war for them by demolishing their arch Shia enemy. More than a decade ago, America’s dangerous stupidity in waging the Iraq War created the vacuum that led directly to the rise of our worst nightmare; ISIS/ISIL. Now we will be both their cannonballs and fodder.
But our tunnel vision predated GWB’s Mid-East blunder in the maniacal miscalculations we made in backing Saddam Hussein against Iran during the Iran/Iraq War all because our fee fees were hurt about the ouster of the Shah in 1979 (not to mention the horror we committed in 1953). As surely as there exists the law of gravity, we nuked ourselves in the foot each and every time we dabbled in the Middle East by creating cancerous power vacuums as we zoomed in and out detonating blowback ordnance on our own heels.
The NeoCon cabal, their Military Industrial Complex puppetmasters, plus their myopic Democratic Party bedfellows may satisfy their immediate greed, but America will be crippled and isolated permanently in its hubris.
Okay, let’s cut to the chase here. It seems as if Democratic Party poobahs think President Obama’s back-to-back electoral feats were a cake walk that anybody with a “D” beside their name can replicate. And so all we need is to dispense with an actual primary contest, crown our fore-ordained nominee, sprinkle some liberal pixie dust on a fawning electorate, then presto! we crush Republicans in 2016. At least that’s what I’m hearing from Liberal doyen, Barney Frank.
If that is what he and the Democratic Party establishment believe then they really have another think coming! I gotta break it to him and his ilk: We will suffer an apocalyptic bloodbath in Nov 2016, that will make 2014 look like a summer picnic by comparison. Here’s why: That mindset of entitlement is not how Barack Obama won TWICE. Let me repeat: Barack Obama re-wrote the blueprint for WINNING hearts and minds across a wide demographic swathe in this jungle of American politics.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Truer words were never spoken.
President Obama, ONCE AGAIN showed last night in his Immigration Executive Order speech, that he is guided by deep moral convictions that do not bend like a willow to breeze or choppy storms. Not even when lightening strikes, will you find this steeled man flinching an iota from his true North Star. He’s real. He’s Sui Generis. He follows the teachings of the leader of his faith. “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, and “I am My brother’s (and sister’s) keeper”
Time and again, this President of ours demonstrates that the core of his moral fiber is never perturbed by fame, glitz, nor rancid hate. Yet time and again observers and the bobbleheads are Shocked! Shocked that President Obama does not sway to the beltway religion or its airheaded acolytes. He’s called no drama Obama for a reason. He neither gets carried away when things are rosy. And neither does he sink into despair when things are rough.
We here on TOD know that he’s always focused on the long road. He’s always guided by the circuitous path that our forebears have trodden to gain their freedom, be they slaves, or Native Americans, or immigrants aboard ships into the unknown West, or women, or gays, or refugees fleeing war or economic peril. He’s learned the lesson of their tenacity over loooooooooong stretches of time.
Ebola: Victims, Heroes and a Cynical Western Media
US mid-term elections are over. The GOP and corporate media allies’ Willie-Horton-like exploitation of the Ebola disease to gin up stratospheric fear has suddenly vanished from our airwaves.
Over in Europe, rightwing xenophobic politicians are copying the GOP playbook.
West African travelers and immigrants to Europe and the US are facing the full brunt of media-sanctioned hysteria, as the ugly stench of racism wafts in the air disguised as “health and safety protocols.”
A different take on the election
Much handwringing over the Democratic party’s electoral fortunes has taken place this past week. Teabaggers are ecstatic. The most loathesome wingnuts are going to make our lives even more miserable than we have already endured. Some young people justify young voter apathy by saying Democrats did not give them what they wanted, as shown below in the Carl Gibson piece titled:
And Democratic Party leaders will probably learn the wrong lessons and move further repub-lite.
I think differently about what happened. I believe what we are seeing is the brick wall that Coalition Politics slams into when the regular institutions of Democracy have been irreparably subverted and perverted by oligarchs and their political minions who have convinced many Americans that nihilism is their birthright. What do I mean?
Normally, in a democracy, aspiring politicians and party platforms woo voters with promises of what they will DO for said voters, and the campaigns go full steam ahead in competition. And whoever wins tries to maintain voter approval and possible reelection based on their ability to account to the voter. Otherwise how do you win power again, right?
Wrong. Voters? What voters? GOP-Oligarchs’ answer to electoral imperatives and demographic change, is to shrink the electorate till they could “drown it in a bathtub”!