Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 55,079
Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 55,079
- 2015 (6)
- 2014 (46)
- 2013 (47)
- 2012 (100)
- 2011 (1)
- December (1)
- Older Archives
Posted by bigtree | Sat Oct 27, 2012, 10:23 PM (2 replies)
We are on the verge of re-electing our historic and transformational Democratic president. History will look back with pride and with wonder at the audaciousness of our efforts: We'll look back with pride and satisfaction that we stood and fought, resolved, to propel our progressive destiny into the future; firmly behind this remarkable and capable man.
Whatever else that we win or lose, we've made our mark on American history in a way that will roil the tradition and practice of generations of political aspirants and enthusiasts to come. Despite our differences; despite our setbacks, failures, and disappointments; we're still united behind one principle; one guiding aspiration from our Organizer-in-Chief: Hope. Hope for the future, in all that we endeavor to accomplish in our advocacy, activism, and participation in the processes of government.
Here's to US, in these amazing times, DU! Cheers, and (in the days and years ahead) best of luck to us all!
Posted by bigtree | Thu Oct 25, 2012, 02:16 PM (32 replies)
Having bought way into the media narrative about an Obama 'loss' in the last debate, there's no bottom; no end to the over-the-top criticisms of the president's 'performance,' and using that gripe to brush past the truth and substance of his remarks and responses to Romney's lies.
Now that we've had a clear rout of the pipsqueak, Ryan, by our experienced and seasoned VP Biden, it should come as no surprise that the second-half of the prevaricating republican ticket is given enough of a pass by pundits on his own obvious and easily proven lies to declare his performance equal with his weighty rival.
Folks who thought it was a good idea to give Romney ANY credit at all for that Greek dodge of a debate act of his, are stuck with Romney's media allies and apologists declaring that the excellent fight Joe Biden waged was some kind of 'damage control' for the last debate, instead of judging his debate with Ryan on its own merits.
Any fine point critics wanted to make about the President's debate -- or any fine point about the substance of Romney's myriad of lies and distortions -- will NEVER overcome the satisfaction the media and their conservative minions get from having folks (who are dead set against them and their republican nominees) running down their own candidate because of complaints about superficial issues and theatrics. Just listen to the right-wing critics complaining about the theater of VP's performance; all with the expressed purpose of obscuring the fact that Ryan couldn't hold his own on the facts of his own ticket's positions and initiatives; much less challenge Joe Biden on the actual substance of his responses.
Running our candidate down using theatrics and performance as benchmarks is a fools game designed by folks who are eager to distract from substance and truth. We should brush right past all of that and spend whatever window of opportunity we have to pass judgment on these debates criticizing the substance, rather than the cosmetics. Substance is what we want to be known for.
The theater will adjust itself according to the merits of our Democratic candidate's proposals; especially if we can manage to get behind them; brush past the petty criticisms; and add our voices to those actually care more about what was said, more than how it was delivered. Any other attitude by folks working to elect this President just surrenders that focus to the dilettantes and their deliberate fudging of the facts and truth of what's been said. The equalizing going on this morning of these two mismatched opponent's performances by the majority of the media proves that, without a doubt; joining their chorus is a fool's errand -- plain and simple.
Posted by bigtree | Fri Oct 12, 2012, 09:06 AM (23 replies)
What actual good is a press which treats folks they call liars as legitimate and credible?
There are plenty of good articles about the campaign of lies that the Romney campaign has adopted as its primary strategy against President Obama. In them, Romney's deliberate lies, half-truths, and other mendacious statements are detailed and confirmed. Yet, there isn't any real or obvious penalty in the press for lying to them. If anything, the prevaricating candidate is rewarded by even more coverage; more exposure, until the lies either fall from their promoted interest or the candidate is just allowed to move on to their next subject.
Romney and Ryan have found that politics creates its own reality for candidates which is directly related to the number of folks they're able to convince to go along with their distortions of the truth. If you can accept the lie, for whatever reason, that Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, you can help the liar perpetuate it by providing a bubble of support to lift them up and away from any accountability their opponents or detractors might provide.
That is why it is so important for their opponent to work as hard as they're able to convince a larger number of supporters to elevate their perspective and challenge of those lies by supporting a candidate who will represent their point of view in their campaign for office. Sadly, it's not always the truth which wins the day.
We saw George Bush buoyed by his Iraq lies, into reelection over the truth-telling John Kerry. Bush's lies didn't become true when he was elected, but, they were rendered operable; the elected official was able to carry those lies further -- into actual policy and practice.
As the press has found, it's not nearly enough to point out that a candidate is a liar; they need to actually convince someone to call them that for the liar to experience or suffer any sort of consequence. There is simply no mechanism to actually call these candidates on their lies, outside of voting them down with a majority of ballots. The electoral college makes that public accountability even less certain.
That's all a very real measure of the daunting task for President Obama and VP Biden in this race against two practiced and professional prevaricators; two republican, political liars looking for a voting public pass to continue their mendacious representations of their policy and initiatives into office. That's the next obvious step. The press can holler till they're blue that the emperor has no clothes, but until the public puts their scorn into the form of some kind of political action, the pretenders have room and incentive to carry on.
So, here's a hope that the VP, tonight, and the President, in the subsequent debates, convinces enough voting Americans that Romney and Ryan are inveterate liars; enough folks to vote them down. That's the challenge for our Democratic candidates in the remaining moments of this election. That's the only real accountability and consequence these candidates will actually experience for the way they handle the truth.
Posted by bigtree | Thu Oct 11, 2012, 10:29 AM (3 replies)
Posted by bigtree | Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:46 PM (0 replies)
Nicholas Kristof @NickKristof 31m
Congrats to Philippines for peace deal with MILF rebels. If it sticks, that's a huge advance for a lovely country!
Catherine Warrick @CatWarr
And that's why I never abbreviate Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Posted by bigtree | Mon Oct 8, 2012, 08:30 AM (4 replies)
Barack Obama in Cleveland, OH - October 5th
Photograph by Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America
Posted by bigtree | Sun Oct 7, 2012, 06:20 PM (3 replies)
Posted by bigtree | Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:09 PM (34 replies)
Barack Obama in Madison, WI - October 3rd
Photograph by Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America
Posted by bigtree | Sat Oct 6, 2012, 08:51 PM (6 replies)
The way the lie about 'cooked' job numbers has been spread and adopted by Romney's surrogates and supporters is disturbing and alarming.
Listening to some of his supporters today on c-span and news accounts of the reaction to yesterday's 7.8% unemployment rate, I was struck by the way that even the ridiculousness of this lie about the Labor Dept. manipulating job numbers hasn't stopped his supporters from repeating it like it was gospel.
It's clear that there is no floor to the campaign of lies against Barack Obama. It's also clear that Mitt Romney is singularly the person most responsible for the proliferation of a blatant and demonstrably false accusation against a bipartisan department of career Labor Dept. employees. His supporters are simply following his lead in using outright lies as campaign rhetoric and attacks; even after they have been proven false beyond any reasonable doubt.
Romney certainly didn't invent campaign lies, but, he's made the practice of deliberate and repeated prevarication (even after being directly called on his distortions by an objective press) a standard in republican presidential politics.
Romney is pushing forward with his campaign of deliberate and encouraged distortions and lies -- with no apparent intention to even try and hew his rhetoric and campaign claims to the truth and facts. His advertising campaign has been an amazingly corrupt challenge to the press and others who normally seek to provide accountability to these election-season claims and attacks.
So far, the press has been remarkably responsive in pointing out the lies and distortions, but, there's really no mechanism of restitution or reprieve for the deliberate bull which has proven effective at confronting the candidate, penalizing him, and rehabilitating the reputation of his opponent. What we have now is a shameful dialog from the republican candidate and his right-wing supporters which is so personal -- so demeaning toward his Democratic rival -- that the standard of discourse among the supporting public threatens to descend into a free-for-all of character assassination and deliberate obfuscation. Heck, we have that right now.
I'm not a fan of Ayn Rand, but she made an interesting and relevant quote that, perhaps, Romney's partner Ryan's admiration for the writer might cause him to reflect on with a personal interest of his own:
“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim," Rand wrote in her book, 'Atlas Shrugged.'
In the unlikely event that Romney actually managed to assume the presidency, after a campaign of deliberate and encouraged lies and distortions, he'd be resigned to a political landscape without the accountability that a well and properly informed electorate would provide to measure his own actions and conduct in office. That Labor Dept. he's allowing to be demeaned and slandered today would be his own; presenting job numbers in a Romney administration that would be marred and mostly ignored by a cynical public encouraged to distrust and reject the very product of the very government he propounds to lead.
For most of McCain's campaign against Barack Obama, the republican and his running-mate took great relish in distorting the record and character of their Democratic opponent. Their campaign also benefited from a deliberate campaign to characterize Barack Obama as someone who's values and intentions were, somehow, un-American and dangerous.
Much of that sentiment, deliberately proffered up from the actual republican campaign and candidates, still hangs around President Obama's neck today. Indeed, the Romney campaign has done what they could to capitalize on that sentiment among supporters, like one of their major promoters, Donald 'Birther' Trump.
Yet, one of the most edifying, and redeeming moments in the McCain campaign came from the candidate, himself, in a town hall appearance. A lady stood up and tried to insist that President Obama was an 'Arab' that she 'couldn't trust,' and was interrupted, corrected, and rebuked by John McCain in a profile in courage which I still appreciate greatly today.
At the risk of alienating a sizable number of his base supporters who had invested their opposition in many of the lurid and bigoted characterizations swirling around about Barack Obama, John McCain checked himself and told the woman (against a chorus of boos from the conservative audience), point blank:
"He is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States. If I didn't think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn't be running."
John McCain's campaign had already benefited from the deliberate character assassination of Barack Obama by his surrogates and supporters; yet, he couldn't continue to countenance a following which insisted on such divisive, false, and demeaning rhetoric that the lady had demonstrated in her opposition to his Democratic rival. McCain had an inner limit to the degradation of our public discourse which he refused to ignore or put aside to further his political ambition.
There is no apparent limit to Mitt Romney's ambition for the presidency. He sees no need to temper or reject the more extreme factions of his republican party in their character assassination of the president; or repudiate their deliberate lies and distortions about this Democratic president and the government Barack Obama oversees and manages.
Mitt Romney is short-sightedly 'condemning' himself (as Ayn Rand wrote) to 'faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked.' The government and country he would inherit, if elected, would certainly reflect that cynicism and prevarication that he bred into his supporters with his own unapologetic distortions and acquiescence to the deliberate lies from surrogates and supporters. He's surrendering to the 'blackest of destruction;' he's auguring to become a hapless 'slave' to his own mendacious appeal.
Posted by bigtree | Sat Oct 6, 2012, 09:59 AM (9 replies)