Like, It Could Get Worse?

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Bush Administration, Republican Party

I always cringe when I hear someone say, “It can’t get any worse.” That’s absurd; it can always get worse. I don’t think “worse” has a floor, unless you count the End of the Universe. And maybe there’s a “worse” beyond that that’s unreachable by human understanding. But let’s leave that for another post.

It is beginning to sink into the rightie hive mind that they could lose the White House as well as more seats in Congress. And they are flapping about frantically trying to warn us of how dangerous it would be to elect Barack Obama.

Like, it could get worse?

For example, Jonah “the Doughboy” Goldberg warns us that electing Obama would be returning to the days of Franklin Roosevelt.

For some reason, I’m not quaking in my boots.

Goldberg also displays his firm grasp on American history by calling Woodrow Wilson our “first progressive president.” Please. Wilson was a damn sight less progressive than one of his predecessors, whose birthday happened to be yesterday, btw. The Wilson administration and World War I marked the end of the Progressive Era and ushered in the Republican Era of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, which took us to the Great Depression Era. But I’ve ranted about that before.

Today the righties are screaming that Obama would undermine the Constitution, never mind that the current GOP administration did more to undermine the Constitution than the previous 43 administrations put together.

And for all their hysteria about “redistribution” of wealth, I second biggerbox — “Pallet loads of cash to Iraq? No-bid contracts for Haliburton, and so many others? Jack Abramoff? Dick Cheney? Ted Stevens? Seven-house McCain?” While the GOP controlled the federal government the Republicans redistributed wealth wholesale — to their supporters and themselves.

We liberals have a crazy notion that people who create the wealth through their labor — i.e., workers — ought have something to say about what happens to the wealth. And that maybe a part of the wealth could be used to benefit the nation and its citizens, and not just the wealthy and powerful at the top of the pyramid. We think that’s democracy. The Right claims it is “socialism,” but it is not socialism by any objective definition of socialism.

Gary Kamiya writes (in an article well worth reading all the way through),

William Kristol warned that an “Obama-Biden administration — working with a Democratic Congress — would mean a more debilitating nanny state at home and a weaker nation facing our enemies abroad.” It takes a deep obliviousness to reality for an ardent Bush supporter to be sounding the alarm about the “nanny state” at the same time that his beloved president and party are solicitously spoon-feeding their wailing Wall Street brat out of a $700 billion jar of Gerber’s.

And then there’s the Religious Right. Sarah Posner tells us,

Religious-right honchos are girding the troops for political apocalypse. Townhall magazine, owned by Salem Communications, one of the largest Christian broadcasters in the country, ran a September feature, “Obamageddon: Could We Survive a Barack Presidency?” This month evangelical publishing giant Stephen Strang, whose magazine Charisma endorsed McCain, predicted that “life as we know it will end if Obama is elected.” Last week, the political arm of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family sent out a “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America”, a 16-page (pdf) parade of horribles, and talk radio show host Janet Porter imagined that Christians will be imprisoned with Obama in the Oval Office.

I say they are already imprisoned in their own lunacy. If it gets worse for them, it will be entirely their own doing.

As I said in the first paragraph, it can always get worse. A great many things are outside the control of an American government and could get worse no matter who is elected. The global financial crisis might worsen, for example. The Middle East could become more unstable. Giant sea creatures could swallow Indonesia. The next big, frightening thing might be something no one is anticipating now.

But the issues the Right is trying to use to frighten us just aren’t that frightening — except to them. To everyone else, “worse” has already arrived.

Update: Via Balkinization — Steven Calabresi, Professor of Law at Northwestern University Law School and Co-Founder of The Federalist Society, warns us what will happen if Obama is elected

“[A]ny or all of the following: a federal constitutional right to welfare; a federal constitutional mandate of affirmative action wherever there are racial disparities, without regard to proof of discriminatory intent; a right for government financed abortions through the third trimester of pregnancy; the abolition of capital punishment and the mass freeing of criminal defendants…”

These people are bleeping insane.

Update: Here’s more. In her trademark lyrical prose, Sarah Palin said,

“See, under a big government, more tax agenda, what you thought was yours would really start belonging to somebody else, to everybody else. If you thought your income, your property, your inventory, your investments were, were yours, they would really collectively belong to everybody. Obama, Barack Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes, and I say this based on his record… Higher taxes, more government, misusing the power to tax leads to government moving into the role of some believing that government then has to take care of us. And government kind of moving into the role as the other half of our family, making decisions for us. Now, they do this in other countries where the people are not free. Let us fight for what is right. John McCain and I, we will put our trust in you.”

“And government kind of moving into the role as the other half of our family, making decisions for us”? This from a woman who wants the government to make our reproductive choices for us?

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Ian  •  Oct 28, 2008 @11:11 am

    Something that always irritated the hell out of me … in trying to justify the latest outrage in the name of the Great and Glorious Gloabl War on Terror, be it torture or indefinite detention or whatever, the righties used to sneer, “The constitution is not a suicide pact!”

    I always wanted to tell em “Yah, it kind of is. You don’t get to rip up the constitution in order to gain greater immediate safety … the constitution exists to safeguard liberty, and to the extent that it gets marginalized, all of our liberty gets marginalized to exactly the same degree.”

    And now those exact same people are whining that if Obama gets in, he would undermine the constitution?!?!?!?!? It’s breathtaking…

    -me

  2. Sunny Jim  •  Oct 28, 2008 @11:20 am

    That Kamiya piece was excellent, Maha. It may be a tad early to start nailing the neocon coffin though. Maybe it’d be better to wait until after next Tuesday. The dozens of letters that follow the Kamiya column also contain some top-notch analyses – like this blog, Salon has a slew of excellent commenters.

    The Kamiya piece also contains a link to the full William Kristol column, which has to be seen to be believed. In it Kristol has the gall to wax critical of the New York Times for endorsing Obama. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! In one its most confounding moves ever, the Times hired this assclown for his editorial drivel.

    No pundit has been so wrong for so long on the subject of Iraq than William Kristol. And yet he remorselessly keeps returning to the subject, this time to explain how only McCain is to be trusted on the matter.

  3. jerri  •  Oct 28, 2008 @11:29 am

    oh, 7 more days of wingnuts yelling at me through the TV screen…what a bunch of cry babies. So if Obama wins do they just get louder????

  4. maha  •  Oct 28, 2008 @11:34 am

    So if Obama wins do they just get louder????

    Yeah, for a while. They’ll go into overdrive trying to undermine his administration. That will start November 5.

  5. RGC  •  Oct 28, 2008 @11:35 am

    I’ve been warning, Rove is trying to lose. I’m voting McCain/Palin because it would serve the fucker right to get elected/selected whatever. The right made this mess let them take, get and keep the blame. Let them harvest the wind. It was all by design – and now letting the left take over is the final act – well fuck them. I say let them keep the keys. Go ahead fuckers. Drive.

  6. joanr16  •  Oct 28, 2008 @1:08 pm

    RGC, you’d better be joking. Who the hell wants to be driven off a cliff by Toonces & Palin?

  7. Bodhipaksa  •  Oct 28, 2008 @1:12 pm

    Good article. The right is very, very scared. Not so much of Obama and his policies but simply of losing control.

    Once Obama is elected the right will forget all about rallying round the president in a time of war, which was only meant to apply to Bush and his presumed republican successor and certainly didn’t apply to Bill Clinton. They will do everything in their power to destroy his presidency, without being much concerned about bringing the country down with it. My only hope is that the Republicans will be so entangled in their own civil war that they can’t mount an effective campaign of obstruction.

  8. joanr16  •  Oct 28, 2008 @1:17 pm

    I say they are already imprisoned in their own lunacy.

    No kidding. Where is their faith? All I hear is gut-deep, tremulous fear. These crazies are the worst advertisements for “Christianity” one could possibly imagine. I’m lucky to know people of actual faith, who understand we have nothing to fear from President Obama.

  9. uncledad  •  Oct 28, 2008 @1:21 pm

    Sure it could get worse, why not? I could also get alot better. The right is always left with nothing left to sell but fear. It is the only thing their voters understand. Most wing-nuts and low information “white working class” voters lack the basic knowledge and or curiosity to respond to anything else. I find it so fucking obvious it hurts. I have several co-workers, friends, family members who all respond to this apocalyptic peddling and I must admit it frightens me. How can half of the country be so fundamentally removed from reality? It’s either them or us!

  10. joanr16  •  Oct 28, 2008 @1:24 pm
  11. VJBinCT  •  Oct 28, 2008 @2:05 pm

    Well, I am for one far more comfortable with a future heat death of the universe than with a gravitational collapse. Heat death we may be able to deal with–‘Drill, baby, drill!, I suppose, but the whole universe scrunched into a volume the size of a hydrogen atom?…….. Background: my dissertation back in the 60’s supported the Big Bang Theory. The possibility of the expansion ending and the eventual contraction leading to a new Big Bang has always preyed on my mind. Recent cosmological theory and observation has suggested continued expansion. Good. I would hate to leave this life thinking that it all would have been for naught. 10, 20 billion years in the future, you say! But what’s a progressive for if not to look forward for future generations?

  12. moonbat  •  Oct 28, 2008 @2:08 pm

    I’m both very amused by rightie “The End of the World Is Nigh!” hysteria, and wary of how angry rats behave when cornered. Nonetheless, the sun will still rise on November 5, whether frightened rigthies want to believe it or not.

    I’m a lot more interested in how to strategically move the ball forward, about how to use power once we get it. If the loser rightards want to wail, let em. We’ve got bigger fish to fry. This piece by Sara Robinson is about how Universal Health Care could change everything by thoroughly debunking the conservative worldview. And in my view, destroying this pathology by any means available is the first order of business, otherwise anything we try to do will be crippled by the yaps of idiots.

  13. moonbat  •  Oct 28, 2008 @2:13 pm

    #11, link is bad to Sara Robinson’s article, try this one:
    http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2008104428/how-universal-health-care-changes-everything

  14. btchakir  •  Oct 28, 2008 @2:27 pm

    Reviewing Four Decades.

    This is the 10th Presidential election that I have been eligible to vote in – 40 years of watching politicians get elected, some that I supported, most that I didn’t. I look back to my college days at Northwestern where, as a Freshman from the Northeast, I entered as a Republican from a Republican family, but where I changed into a Democrat with a profound interest in what a vote for a candidate actually meant.

    I said I came in as a Republican, and that is true. My family supported Nixon against Kennedy and it was a particular shock to me when Kennedy won. I recall having discussions with one of my English teachers at the time (a guy from England, actually) who explained to me why the Europeans were in favor of Kennedy and saw this coming from a mile away. I’ll admit that I didn’t see it at all.

    My mind started to change around the time of Kennedy’s assassination. I think most Americans, Republican or Democrat, felt like someone had kicked them in the teeth as Americans. I graduated the next year and was off to college in the Fall of ’64 having, for some reason, an interest in Goldwater.

    What college in the sixties did for me was get me involved in the Civil Rights movement… not something I was involve in at my 99% white New England prep school. It was there, in Chicago, that I became aware of Lyndon Johnson’s commitment to equal rights (I will admit, his stance on Viet Nam was not something I was willing to support. I couldn’t vote in that election anyway… and when Johnson did not go for a second term, primarily to seek peace in Viet Nam, I was a Humphrey supporter in the first election I could vote in.

    You may recall that 1968 was the year that Nixon implemented his “Southern Strategy” as a technique to win… alienating black southerners from white southerners in tremendously subtle ways: .

    …continued at Under The LobsterScope

  15. RGC  •  Oct 28, 2008 @2:49 pm

    Hey Joanr16, in case you didn’t notice, the cliff face is streaming by right next to your face . . . . we already drove off it . . . . that’s why I ask, “Why would we take the wheel now?”

  16. maha  •  Oct 28, 2008 @3:12 pm

    RGC — I’m with Joan16. The nation has been through worse, believe it or not. There was that little altercation of 1861-1865, for example. Likewise the U.S. can survive the Bush years, although I believe it will be a very different place than it was before. But if McCain wins — remember that I said, “it can always get worse.”

  17. Dave  •  Oct 28, 2008 @3:14 pm

    “… a federal constitutional right to welfare; …” I have to say, I’m very impressed by Obama. As I recall, for instance, he predicted Sarah Palin’s selection for VP before McCain even knew it, and orchestrated the bipartisan investigation into Troopergate. That’s an amazing level of foresight and bipartisan organization.

    Now, he’s going to single-handedly enact an amendment to the Constitution, without the traditional 2/3 majority vote by the states! Wow.

    All sarcasm aside, have any of these morons ever actually READ the Constitution?

  18. FITTER HAPPIER  •  Oct 28, 2008 @3:21 pm

    The only thing the Rethugs have to sell is fear.

  19. alto2  •  Oct 28, 2008 @4:50 pm

    Dave, I’m not even sure all of them have heard of it.

  20. joanr16  •  Oct 28, 2008 @7:59 pm

    There was that little altercation of 1861-1865, for example.

    Not to mention the age of the robber barons and child labor, the Great Depression, WWII, the McCarthy Era, the bloody struggle for civil rights….

    Our current situation is a block party by comparison. Nothing is past fixing, but a lot more can still be broken. The electorate is waking up to that fact, which is our first step in the right direction.

  21. biggerbox  •  Oct 28, 2008 @8:30 pm

    Yeah, can *I* get a professorship at Northwestern? (Not that I’d want one, if the rest of the faculty is as loony as that…) At least I know that the President has almost no role in passage of a constitutional amendment, and the judgement to be skeptical that a nation that wouldn’t ratify the ERA probably wouldn’t go for a Right to Welfare amendment, or the Right to Paid Abortions amendment.

    But seriously, is someone making sure these people have access to mental health care? Isn’t there anyone who cares enough about these people to see that they get help?

  22. khughes1963  •  Oct 28, 2008 @8:52 pm

    Janet Porter (formerly Folger) is truly unhinged. Pam Spaulding posted about her nightmares about Obama becoming president, and now Janet is blogging about how Obama voters are going to Hell. Funny, I thought Christians were the people out feeding the hungry and caring for others.

  23. SteveG  •  Oct 28, 2008 @9:49 pm

    Could be worse. Could be raining.

  24. Steve from Canuckistan  •  Oct 28, 2008 @10:29 pm

    Goldberg is beyond pathetic. He needs to be committed to a state institution. After the Dem’s sweep the White House and Congress I would hope that the LATimes re-examines it’s pundit lineup and dumps him. Same with Kristol at the Times. Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini are extremely concerned that we aren’t even close to the bottom of this mess. Krugman stated last week that he remains “terrified”. Roubini stated today that “the worst is yet to come”. He predicts that “hundreds of hedge funds will go bust next and stock markets may soon have to shut – perhaps for as long as a week – in order to stem the panic selling now sweeping the world”. Remember all the business ventures W ran aground before becoming POTUS? It would be pretty tough for any future president to outdo him on this fiasco…destroying a significant portion of the World’s economy. The Republicans need to be reminded of this for years to come. They have ZERO credibility.

  25. uncledad  •  Oct 29, 2008 @2:41 am

    It’s either them or us?

  26. RGC  •  Oct 29, 2008 @8:23 am

    Maybe I read too much Kuntsler.

  27. btchakir  •  Oct 29, 2008 @9:14 am

    The statistics say that early voting is up everywhere that EV is allowed. They also say that there is a distinct plurality of Obama voters just about everywhere.

    What many pollsters and evaluators are not sure of is how many of the 18-25 year old voters will vote early, if at all. They are very high up in the list of new registrants, thanks greatly to the Obama campaign ad its push for registrations. Historically, however, it is the younger voters who don’t show up to vote.

    So I’m asking you… pleading, actually… fr my younger readers, the majority of my daily visitors, to get out and vote early, if possible. Or, if not, VOTE ON ELECTION DAY.

    And vote for Obama/Biden. Make those Republicans that are counting on you not to show up have a new awakening to a non-conservative world.

    Under The LobsterScope

  28. s  •  Oct 29, 2008 @1:41 pm

    btchakir I am concerned about that too. I will be driving all over the state either election day or the day before to make sure my college son is voting. I am not sure everyone has the option.



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