Please get over your dislike of Flash. It frustrates the hell out of me that my own web site won't run on my iPad. It's ridiculous to deny the ubiquity of Flash, even if you personally don't like the software.
"With a little over a month until Election Day, Congressional Republicans have the clear advantage with voters nationwide, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll says.
"In a generic ballot matchup, the Republican leads the Democrat by 9 points among likely voters - 53 percent to 44 percent."
The all-important words in this are "among likely voters". To my previous point, the fate of progress in this country is in the hands of the unlikely voters. Doing nothing is as bad as voting for the Tea Party, an unused vote is a vote for going backwards.
If, like me, you do not want to see these crazies in charge of our country, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE. It's the only tool we have. Wishing, hoping, dreaming, praying - none of them work as simply as making the time to VOTE!
Please, America, don't let this be true for President Obama.
The farcical "Pledge To America" proves the Republicans will now say anything - absolutely anything - to regain power, knowing full well they have no real ideas and that their math simply doesn't make sense. (See Paul Krugman's column in today's New York Times).
The so called progressives, the most liberal of the Democrats and Independents, may actually help the Tea Party crowd to get its way if we are not careful. The problem with those of us on the left of center is that we tend to be very liberal with our criticism. Take Jon Stewart for example criticizing President Obama on Fox. He was holding Obama accountable for his promise of change and pointing out how much has not changed. Fair point. But the Fox audience simply hears what it wants to hear, which is “Obama has failed.” I do not believe for one second that Stewart was saying he’d prefer Sarah Palin to get a crack at the presidency instead of Obama. But that’s how that audience will interpret his words.
So another liberal has just played into the hands of the Tea Party wingnuts without meaning to.
Last night Rachel Maddow (whose show I usually enjoy enormously) was kicking up a storm over why the president waited until yesterday to start taking credit for all the good things that were part of Healthcare Reform. She should know better. The timing of the new effort on the part of the Democrats to actually seem like they want to win the mid-term elections in November is deliberate and very smart strategy if you ask me. (Which of course nobody does!)
The Tea Party has spent the entire summer sounding more and more ridiculous to the majority of Americans who do not support their racism and religious fervor (they don’t even see the obvious contradictions in their positions!) and celebrating the nomination of candidates that even the core of the Republican Party knows are unelectable. If Democrats had been drawn into defending themselves every time one of these lunatics opened her or his mouth they would have been too busy to get anything done. Okay, what has been achieved is less than perfect but nonetheless this administration has achieved many, truly good things in its first half term.
The right tends not to criticize the right. Have you noticed? I find the openness to discussion on the left much healthier but there comes a time when, as the cliché goes, we must not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
To point out the benefits of the Healthcare Reform package on the day some of its very real provisions came into force was smart. Doing it earlier would not have had the impact. And doing it now, closer to the elections in question, is also smart. The attention span of this country is now at an all time low. Fine, so the Tea Party bunch have been shouting for months, now the Democrats can simply bring the facts to life knowing they will be remembered long enough to affect votes.
Ah but there’s the real problem. So few people vote in primary and mid-term elections. The ones that do are those who are the most motivated. And right now they are on the right – the extreme right. So, Democrats and thinking Independents need to support the only party that will not set this country back decades AND VOTE.
If the Republicans (driven by Tea Party lunacy) gain seats or, worse, control of either house it will not be because they have the vision and ideas to drive this country forward it will be because the people closest to having that vision were not given the support they deserve. Okay, Barrack Obama has probably discovered to his disappointment that changing Washington is harder than he ever imagined but he has achieved a lot. He is changing Washington – just not the overnight change the progressives unreasonably expected. And they do him a great disservice by calling out just his failures as they see them, rather than including his successes.
To the Jon Stewarts and Rachel Maddows of this world I say, If this country’s government is handed back to what is now an even more extreme version of the Republican Party it will be, in part, because you helped diminish the efforts of a very good and still potentially great president. One I know you support. You need to be what Fox claims to be but so clearly is not: fair and balanced. Keep up the pressure, keep up the criticism but broadcast and praise the successes also. (Jon -is it because there's less humor in success I wonder?) The Obama presidency will stagnate without the power to get things done. If the right can block so much progress while being the party in opposition, think what will happen if they gain a majority anywhere. It will be the most immoral, unjustifiable majority ever earned by a political party.
Now is not the time to try to change minds - now is the time to get those who already think alike to get off their asses and vote. Just like we did in 2008. Our president has been criticized in the past for hanging on too long to hopes of bipartisanship. You, Jon Stewart, appearing on Bill O'Reilly's show and thinking his audience would understand you (and your amazing wit) is the same thing. You scored a lot of points for yourself and your new book - but you dealt a damaging blow to our president.
Rachel, we all know you have to fill a show every night but worry less about timing - which may be strategically brilliant, and be happy that the good news is spreading in time to affect voters if we can just get them to vote. The president will never operate on your timetable. Why should he?
* * * *
To my point, I just read this from the astoundingly smart Chris Hayes of The Nation magazine:
There are precious few certainties in politics, but this fall we are faced with one of them: the Democrats will lose seats in the midterm elections. When the economy sucks, people vote against the incumbent party.
He may be right in his assessment but wouldn't a few words like "usually" come in useful? We are not doomed to repeat the past as these people seem to think. Nobody in his or her right mind would vote against the incumbent party right now seeing what alternative is waiting in the wings! But the more these losses are written about as if they already happened, the more they become self-fulfilling prophecy!
I've been a lifelong fan and have found unlimited inspiration in his work. But I've never had the audacity to write a song dedicated to Bob Dylan. A poem or two, maybe. Well, now I have and I'm quite proud of it. You'll definitely be hearing it on my next album (the writing is done - now recording starts!)
This song could just as easily be dedicated to all the men and women who are still out there on the road.
Now there’s a funny sentence for you. We only say it was supposed to be different when something actually turns out to be indeed different. What we usually mean when we say this is that something did not happen quite the way we had imagined it happening. So it was never real. We get upset that reality did not live up to the plans we had for it. And if that’s not the height of human arrogance I don’t know what is.
That said, it was supposed to be different. Everything.
How could we know that having gone through the pain, anger and bloodshed that was the struggle for civil rights, America in 2010 would be wrestling with overt and covert racism as the number one issue driving our politics?
How could we know that having seen the destruction of the Berlin Wall and felt the optimism of just a couple of decades ago, America in 2010 would be suffering the human and financial effects of two wars? With one of those wars having broken the golden rule and seen America attack a country that did not attack it first. Some would argue both wars fit that description, as a “war on terror” is an impossibility since war cannot be declared against a tactic.
How could we know that instead of an age of enlightenment based on the separation of Church and State brilliantly established by the builders of these United States, we would find ourselves in a situation where a so-called man of god threatens to burn the Quran but who would probably take a gun to anyone burning a Bible? Wasn’t “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” supposed to apply to all Americans, regardless of religion? And doesn’t this stupid individual realize that he is exhibiting the exact extremist attitudes that he claims to be against?
How could we know, having defined the American Dream for so many years with words like equality and rights, that out of work Americans in 2010 would consider voting for the policies that lost them their jobs in the first place because the American Dream is now defined as wealth? The newly poor are against taxing the rich because in the new, rather pathetic American Dream they still hope to be rich themselves someday. Their logic is that they would not be happy to pay more taxes if they were rich so why should the already rich be okay with it? “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” does not define Communism as much as it defines a caring society. Let’s hope that some of our rich are smarter than our hope-to-be-rich.
How could we know that many of the very same people who support our national military with the words “freedom is not free” would be shouting “tyranny” at a President and his administration for supposedly taking away the freedom of States to rule themselves? In an ever more complex global economy how can a country as important as America not behave like a single country? Many things are now beyond the scope of individual States –
America cannot function with 52 sets of laws. Freedom from central government in 2010
is lunacy. But lunacy is often defined as freedom in this country.