Stuff to Read / Lily Update 3

The best thing on the web today, IMO, is Gary Wills’s “The Curse of Poliical Purity.” Reading it, I wanted to print it out and shove it in the faces of every “Obama is worse than Bush” progressive on the planet. A taste —

To vote for a Republican means, now, to vote for a plutocracy that depends for its support on anti-government forces like the tea party, Southern racists, religious fanatics, and war investors in the military-industrial complex. It does no good to say that “Romney is a good man, not a racist.” That may be true, but he needs a racist South as part of his essential support. And the price they will demand of him comes down to things like Supreme Court appointments. (The Republicans have been more realistic than the Democrats in seeing that presidential elections are really for control of the courts.)

The independents, too ignorant or inexperienced to recognize these basic facts, are the people most susceptible to lying flattery. They are called the good folk too inner-directed to follow a party line or run with the herd. They are like the idealistic imperialists “with clean hands” in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American–they should wear leper bells to warn people of their vicinity.

The etherialists who are too good to stoop toward the “lesser evil” of politics–as if there were ever anything better than the lesser evil there–naively assume that if they just bring down the current system, or one part of it that has disappointed them, they can build a new and better thing of beauty out of the ruins. Of course they never get the tabula rasa on which to draw their ideal schemes. What they normally do is damage the party closest to their professed ideals. Third parties are run by people who make the best the enemy of their own good and bring down that good.

My only quibble with Wills’s piece is that he is harder on “independents” than on the fair-weather progressives who want to defeat President Obama because he isn’t progressive enough. The former may be foolish, but the latter are way too effective useful idiots for the Koch Brothers. And let me emphasize the word “idiots.”

The other piece I want to point to this morning is “New NSA docs contradict 9/11 claims” by Jordan Michael Smith. In brief, some newly declassified documents underscore the fact that the Bush Administration was given all kinds of warnings of a terrorist attack on the U.S., and the Bushies pooh-poohed them. Before 9/11 they discontinued Clinton Administration policies that at least took al Qaeda seriously and cut back on the Clinton Administration’s drone surveillance program that was watching bin Laden. And after 9/11 they blamed Clinton and persuaded much of America that only they were qualified to keep America safe from terrorism.

I doubt little of this will make national news headlines, which is a shame. Because Mitt Romney is hiring old Bush II Administration clowns as foreign policy advisers, and it’s important for Americans to fully understand how incompetent the Bushies really were.


Lily was feeling well enough last night to eat a little and drink some water, and this morning she wanted to be petted. So she’s not quite done yet. I am giving her some kind of messy barium compound to coat her stomach, plus prednisone and antacid, to keep her more comfortable.

I’m not yet out of the hole for Lily’s vet bills, so I’m keeping the beg-a-thon going a bit longer.

A big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far; it’s already been a huge help.

14 thoughts on “Stuff to Read / Lily Update 3

  1. What Will’s is writing about is one of the reasons I no longer comment on certain sites.
    “The Purity Police” are there in full force, and want Obama to be more like W, forgetting that W didn’t have a half or so of Congress that was determined to do ANY and EVERY thing to make him a one-term President, and that Democrats didn’t filibuster EVERY SINGLE THING!
    They also forget that they play “Hail to the Chief” when Obama enters, and not all stand and salute him with “Hail Ceasar!”
    And they’re as dogmatic as the people they oppose. There is NO arguing with “The Purity Police.” ‘Ivory Snow’ soap is NOT pure (unclean!!!) – because only ’99 44/100ths percent pure,’ still leave .56% for impurities.
    And yes, the term, “useful feckin’ idjits” fits them to a “Tea-party.”

    Also too – let’s not forget whence some of “Baby Doc” Bush’s idiotic counsellors and advisors came from:
    The older ones, were the young ratfuckers under Nixon.
    Many of the other ones, like Powell, Rove, and Rice, were nurtured along and moved up the political ladder by Reagan, and especially George H.W. Bush, and his crime family.

    And a Mitt victory, means that Nixon’s ratfucking legacy will continue to infest the body politic until it kills the host – America.
    That’s if Reagans “Clown Economics” doesn’t kill America first.

    America – Too Stupid for Representative Democracy.
    So, let’s try a Theocratic Fascist Plutocracy, instead!
    Or, is it Theocratic Fascist Kleptocracy?
    Ah, what’s the difference? Either way, the rest of us 99% are screwed…

  2. Oh, and I’ll send a little something on Friday.
    For some unknown reason or other (at least, to me), it appears that I’m now eligible to have another 6 weeks of unemployment that I can apply for – one of which is already gone, used to pay off some bills, so I didn’t have to use my Mom’s meager account.

    My unemployment expired at the end of February, so this is an unexpected surprise – and a pleasant one at that, for a change!

  3. If you refuse to vote, as the IDIOTS did in 2010, you get Scott Walker and a majority legislature that rams through every, every right-wing lunatic libertarian idea in the past 25 years. In this day and age, a nil vote is a vote for the fascists. The country is almost perfectly split with very few undecideds (the ‘real’ independents, who really are just ignorant people. They, literally, make up their mind who they are voting for on the way to the voting booth.Five minutes is all they take to decide who they vote for). So I don’t blame the repugs for giving us SW, much, but the ‘progressives’ who didn’t like that Barack the Magic Prez didn’t give them all that they wanted.

  4. I never identified much with our political parties. In 2008, I couldn’t bring myself to give money to Obama after the FISA vote. In the end, I volunteered with the campaign a few times, I was caught up in the historicity of it and wanted to repudiate Bush as much as possible. I can’t bring myself to do that this year, though.

    This year I plan on voting Green. I’m in a blue state, so I’ll vote for Obama only if it’s close –Electoral College, baby!

    I’m not a strategist or a Democratic operative. I just want to send one tiny message of my policy preferences. So I can send a message by supporting causes and candidates, protesting, and voting.

  5. (I think, hope, hope, hope, that I’ve finally solved my computer problems, which is why my comments on this site have been few and far between.)

    I’d submit that there is a contingency of (white) people out here who sincerely believe a recent comment on Obama’s deportation policy Friday last, “Obama’s policy will finally put us (whites) in the back of the bus.”

    In their (silent) gut they believe that the rise population-wise/or predominance in positions of power of black and brown people will be a direct threat to the power of white people and even the very survival of the white race in America. (Note that all the hoopla about illegals/legals coming to America is directed at those coming from south of the border – brown people. And, what color is Attorney-General Holder?)

  6. Used Mr Wills essay to argue against some FB people who feel that both parties are corrupt and refuse to see that perfection is only for the divine. We are all stuck with the rest and must make do.

  7. Marcus – for some reason your comment suggests the basic tenet of Christian fundamentalism, a narcissistic faith concerned most of all with the wrong suffered by the righteous and the purification of their ranks.

  8. maha,
    I attempted to make a donation and discovered my card had an expiration date of 04/12. I never use the card. I had received replacements 4 – 5 months ago and, obviously, forgot where I put them. I have new cards coming and will make a donation in e0 or so days.

  9. just hit the wrong key and deleted a brilliant comment! Bummer!

    Anyway, Barn, you might as well stay home. Nobody will see your one puny vote, and you will not be “sticking it to the man” in any way. Realistic voting is the only way to be effective. Throwing yourself on your sword of virginity helps nothing and changes nothing. Of course, you will be pure, but that doesn’t matter to the worms. This is not a personal attack. It is just the result of hearing this same sort of thing in the past, and even being idiot enough myself to vote for Nader once!

    On another note, the racist crowd is not protesting the”yellow peril” although according to yesterday’s NPR report we are currently having more Asian immigrants than Mexican. Wait till they find out! It will be the Pearl Harbor reaction all over again.

  10. Barn: I would say under normal circumstances your approach and vote are understandable. I think we’d all like to vote for the people we would REALLY like to see elected. But these are not normal times, and the Republicans are not a normal party. I personally believe they are two steps away from fascism. They’re not Nazis yet, but the Nazis evolved a lot before they became the full-throated concentration camp administrators. Mussolini, Franco and Tojo were fascists as well, without running the camps. These days I believe it is every citizens’ responsibility to defeat these bastards and save the conscience vote for later. I’m sorry Obama didn’t become everything you thought he would become. That tells me you don’t pay attention much to American politics; with the high standards for passing legislation, Barack the Magic Prez could not wave his wand and make the United States into something different. He’s not progressive enough for me, but I think that’s his nature. But I doubt if a progressive I would really want to see elected could get elected. So I fight for the most electable liberal I can find, and these days that’s Barack Obama. But I’d vote for the devil himself before I’d vote Republicans. In many/most instances, the devil is the Republican.

  11. As I said, I will vote for Obama if it matters. But, seriously, if it’s close in this state he will not win. No one (but me) has said anything about working for the campaigon or donating.

    By no means am I a starry-eyed utopian. I didn’t expect much from Obama and I got even less. Disappointing, but not surprising. The Electoral College is reality. If I were in a swing state, I’d likely have a different calculation. I just think it’s better to push Obama from here. I really can’t support him publicly or privately when so many of my people and causes are either under attack or left to hang by this administration. (Given, today’s Republicans are fascists, but our problem is: how do we stop Democrats from following them ever rightward?)

    I hope we’re all on the same side, though. I’ll continue to hope for the best, but calibrate my expectations.

    Peace and best wishes!

  12. just made a donation to the cat fund.

    Vet bills are hard, I know, especially when at the end of it you are not spared a healthy, grateful cat.

    keep up the good blogging.

Comments are closed.