Forward or Backward?

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Obama Administration

I spent the day at a zazenkai, or short meditation retreat, instead of at the climate march in NYC. I think about half of our sangha must have been in the march, though. Just as we were ending the retreat a couple of people who had been in the march walked in and said it was fantastic, with an estimated 310,000 participants. (See also.)

There really are people who give a damn, you know.

If you didn’t watch the PBS Ken Burns series on the Roosevelts you missed out; it was really good. You can probably watch it on the PBS website. It was a bit depressing, though, to consider how un-progressive the country has grown since then. The great presidents, the great leaders, always left the country with the sense that progress is possible; that the nation could do whatever it needed to do. Those days are sure gone.

In my lifetime I think the last President who made me feel that way was Kennedy, and he didn’t live long enough to accomplish much. I know that conservatives got that feeling from Reagan, but Reagan was leading the nation backward, not forward. For all his economic accomplishments Clinton more or less seemed like a placeholder to me. His motto might have been He Managed to Keep the Right From Screwing Us Even Worse. But I also suspect that if FDR came back to the White House today, he wouldn’t be much more effective than President Obama. There’s just way too much retrograde energy in Washington for anything genuinely progressive to happen.

At Salon, Thomas Franks writes that Gov. Sam Brownback has been so ineffective even the people of Kansas have noticed. Kansas is a state in which the governor and the legislature ran everything according to the Tea Parety/Koch Brothers book, and the results are more than pitiful. They are damn near catastrophic.

“What is going on here is so freakishly self-damaging, so bizarrely self-contradicting that it makes you think of a man trying out his new shotgun on his own foot, or of a president putting a meth addict in charge of the nuclear football.” Brownback is trailing his Democratic opponent, although narrowly. How incompetent does a Republican have to be to be voted out of office? I guess we’re about to find out.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. buddhasteps  •  Sep 21, 2014 @9:17 pm

    The last few years, being incompetent seems to get you *into* office rather than out. Maybe if we had a Congress populated with a majority who wasn’t brain-dead, it would help. A new era of Robber Barons seems to be the way it is going now…. and yes, that movie re:the Roosevelts is wonderful. How come nobody ever kills a *bad* President? A rhetorical question……

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 22, 2014 @7:26 am

    buddhasteps,
    John Hinkley Jr. tried.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 22, 2014 @7:26 am

    buddhasteps,
    John Hinkley Jr. tried.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 22, 2014 @7:37 am

    Before Ronald Reagan, we were a “CAN DO” nation!
    When he got elected, we became a “We can’t afford that” nation.

    The greedy, dark and evil hearts of the people manipulating Reagan, were give cover by Reagans smile and affability.
    “Dutch” would give you a big smile, pat you on the back with one hand, then give you a hug, and stick a shiv in your back with the other.

    Nixon started this countries decline.
    Ford pardoned Nixon – which led to our current situation, where powerful people are held unaccountable.
    Reagan accelerated that decline. And he and “Papa Doc” Bush’s Iran-Contra made Watergate seem like a water park.
    “Papa Doc” didn’t help matters any. He pardoned everyone in sight for Iran-Contra, just to cover his own complicit ass.
    And W damn near flushed this country down the toilet.

    Starting with Carter, when a Democrat is elected POTUS, he has not been allowed to govern by the Republicans in Congress.
    They use every trick in the book, to halt any progress.

    To paraphrase FDR: ‘A conservative is a person with two good feet, but can’t walk forwards.’

    Our MSM is cowardly, corrupt, compliant, and complicit.
    And hence, too many voters are dumb as stumps.
    Oy…

  5. uncledad  •  Sep 22, 2014 @9:26 am

    “I know that conservatives got that feeling from Reagan, but Reagan was leading the nation backward, not forward”

    You are correct, the problem is the cons believe the propaganda, they had a feeling but it had no correlation to what was actually happening. Reagan was nothing more than a bumper sticker sloganeer using racial code to divide the middle class all the while giving them the shiv while enriching his corporate masters.

    Off topic I find the case of this fella Matthew Frain, if you google this miscreant all the “news” sites describe him as a survivalist, a rather innocuous description for a man who has murdered a cop and has plans to murder many more. Again the blacks are gunmen, the rags are terrorists, but a white gut he’s a survivalist!

  6. paradoctor  •  Sep 22, 2014 @12:32 pm

    They tried the red-state policy experiment, with Kansas as the experimental subject. The results were not good. Now what?
    Scientific response: back off.
    Cultic response: double down.
    Which do you predict will happen?

  7. uncledad  •  Sep 22, 2014 @2:55 pm

    “stick a shiv in your back with the other”

    Gulag what are the chances we would both use the term shiv? I thought it was an odd choice but for saint Ronnie it worked, your rant was not posted (must have been caught in the twit filter) when I composed my masterpiece, great minds????????

  8. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 22, 2014 @3:51 pm

    I don’t know about me being a great mind – but I like the way YOU think!

    And yeah – what are the odds?
    🙂

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 22, 2014 @3:51 pm

    I don’t know about me being a great mind – but I like the way YOU think!

    And yeah – what are the odds?
    🙂

  10. uncledad  •  Sep 22, 2014 @3:53 pm

    Is there an echo in here?

  11. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 22, 2014 @4:30 pm

    I think it’s my mouse.
    Every click is duplicated.

    What a pain in the arse!

  12. joanr16  •  Sep 22, 2014 @4:36 pm

    If you didn’t watch the PBS Ken Burns series on the Roosevelts you missed out; it was really good.

    Amen, it was riveting. And I agree that it was also deeply depressing. None of them would have a place in American politics today.

  13. erinyes  •  Sep 22, 2014 @7:46 pm

    When all else fails, blame a mouse ! ( I blame large fingers and poor lighting)

  14. Doug  •  Sep 22, 2014 @10:06 pm

    “There’s just way too much retrograde energy in Washington for anything genuinely progressive to happen.”

    Let’s look at the ‘retrograde’, where it comes from and in the long term how to change the tide. The retrograde in DC comes from the electorate – the electorate has been listening to Limbaugh and Beck and a host of AM radio talk show jerks and electing the jerks selected and sponsored by Norquest and his ilk.

    There’s nothing wrong with giving clowns air time – freedom of speech needs to be unfettered. However the counter-force that hasn’t extinguished the propaganda inferno IS a problem. The Mainstream media should have put a serious dent in the more ridiculous antics with the truth. Instead, we get lies, respectfully repeated in the MSM and a counter argument from the left and no real PUSH – nobody in the media cries ‘BS’ and calls them out. Why?

    Just for fun, keep a log, or make mental notes when the TV is on. Who is buying advertising time. I’m not talking about campaign ads. I’m talking Petro, Insurance, Banks, WalMart…. This is where the revenue for network news comes from and if you offend your sponsors, they can take their advertising dollars to a network that doesn’t offend with the truth.

    The corporate bean counters call the shots. Somehow, we have to divorce the media revenue from the media policy so there’s no implicit economic threat if a network decides to discuss recent pipeline spills or how fracking pollutes drinking water.

    I wonder if there’s some hint of a solution in the revenue sharing done by pro sports. Rewards for market share (viewers), yes. But share the revenue stream, at least for news programming so that the threat of loosing a sponsor doesn’t affect the decision to cover a story or perhaps cover-up a story to protect profits.

  15. uncledad  •  Sep 22, 2014 @10:10 pm

    Sometimes it is tempting, but I’ll never give up on Texas!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGnJRLC3EGI

  16. Dan  •  Sep 23, 2014 @7:34 pm

    What I got out of the Teddy R segments was his split was the last gasp of the Party of Lincoln. Everything since then, barring Eisenhower, has been downhill.



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