"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. Truth was never put to the worse in a free and open encounter..."
~ Milton
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~Benjamin Franklin

Reading:
A Fistful of Euros
Andrew Tobias
Angry Liberal
Archy
Bad Attitudes
Common Dreams
Fablog
Hullabaloo
Informed Comment
Madelaine Kane
Mahablog
Obsidian Wings
Off the Kuff
Orcinus
Sarah Kendzior
War and Piece
Washington Monthly

Books
The Emerging Democratic Majority (Judis & Teixeira)
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (Franken)
Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot (Franken)
The True Believer (Hoffer)
Still Being Bushwhacked

All Book Reviews
Race, Gender, and Sexuality
It's always "us" vs "them"
Women's March on (fill in your location)
Children learn what their parents teach them.
You Got My Support. But.
Even Endangered Penguins Do It

All Race, Gender, and Sexuality
Campaigns and Voting
Where do we go from here?
It's always "us" vs "them"
Some interpretations
On and on I go
Just appalled

All Campaigns and Voting
Lecture Circuit
It Was 40 Years Ago Today
July 2, 1964
Pledge
May 14-15, 1970
The Erotica of Bare Knees

All Lecture Circuit
Media
The Liberal Media, At It Again
Fairly UNbalanced
P.S.
What's this?
OHMIGOD

All Media
Big Brother
Shoulda' Guessed
Where did my country go?
You know what you never thought you'd read?
Not in his name
Sleight of Hand

All Big Brother
World O'Blog
It's Vocabulary Time!
They wrote it
Mighty-fine blogging
Other People Said....
Phillipines

All World O'Blog
Aimless Ranting
It's always "us" vs "them"
So, I'm thinking with half my brain
Do You Know Peter?
Long, Little Privacy Rant
My Takeaway

All Aimless Ranting
Archives
February 05, 2017 - February 11, 2017
January 22, 2017 - January 28, 2017
January 15, 2017 - January 21, 2017
November 13, 2016 - November 19, 2016
October 09, 2016 - October 15, 2016

All Weekly Archives


Electioneering
Open Secrets
Political Wire Exit Polls
Politics1
Polling Report

Information
American Research Group
Center for Democracy and Technology
Center for Public Integrity
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Congressional Report Cards
Death Row Roll Call
DebtChannel.org
Democracy Now
Economic Policy Institute
FairVote Colorado
Foreign Policy In Focus
Global Exchange
Human Rights Watch
Independent Judiciary
Inequality
Institute on Money in State Politics
Institute for Public Accuracy
JobWatch
Lying in ponds
Media Reform
Media Transparency
Move On
One World
Open Democracy
Pew Research Center
Project Censored
Public Citizen Health Research Group
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Take Back The Media
The Urban Institute
WHO Outbreak News

Connections
XML & RDF
Peevish for PDA



Blog Directory


Search








Credits
Powered by Movable Type

Site Design by Sekimori





All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

May 14, 2009
Cabin'd, Cribb'd, Confined

You have to wonder how soon the people crazy enough to win the president in this country come to regret it?

While I was honest during the campaign that Mr. Obama was not the progressive candidate of my dreams, that's not at all the same (as I should not have to say) as not wanting him to win.

Since the inauguration, I've been watching President Obama with sympathy. Caught between his vow of being committed to doing what the voters asked for, and the reality of the complex international economic collapse. Trapped between demands for peace and the impossibility of leaving the Middle East now that we've lit the match. Paralyzed by the need to simultaneously rebuild this country and almost all our international relationships. Torn between a desire for "intelligence" and the growing (albeit far too slowly) outrage over his refusal to let us, as a nation, publicly condemn the use of torture.

Hobbled by the rotting legacy of the Bush/Cheney years, he's discovered that not only can a country with a population of millions not turn on a dime, but that most of Congress is all about doing whatever it takes to make things better--unless what it takes is making hard decisions and committing to personal (or personal campaign donor) sacrifices.

He also has the Left's most enduring blind spot--the odd perception that the Right is, in any way other than purely rhetorically, interested in "bipartisanship" or in reaching across the aisle. The Right doesn't share. That's one of their defining characteristics. They don't care about working together for any common good. They don't share. My country. My god. My oil. My power. My rules. My success. My way, or not at all.

This is one in way in which I think President Obama's background of community organizing might really hurt him. At the community level, everyone is too close to the individual people whose lives are at stake to refuse negotiate in reasonably good faith. People simply must learn to compromise. At the national level, representatives (and the government overall) are simply too remote to recognize any individual whose identity isn't connected with, say, a five-figure campaign donation.

Since Republicans turned Congress into an all-or-nothing grudge match by over-free use of filibusters, many of the checks and balances envisioned by our too-rational founders are weak, at best. Bonehead & Crookface's joint efforts to castrate Congress with signing statements has left a complicated imbalance of power that, lawyers being lawyers, would probably take freeze-framing the entire country for a decade while the courts argued it out to solve.*

I don't have any answers. Just sympathy.


_____________________

* "... whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within."

I'm just saying. Be careful of those checks and balances. They protect the government from the people as much as the people from the government.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:16 AM


Comments

VERY good point about Republicans' unwillingness to share being one of the party's defining characteristics (at least the current incarnation thereof). I'm actually old enough to remember when there were reasonable Republicans with whom one could have actual policy debates.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at May 17, 2009 09:49 AM