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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 12:47 PM
Original message
Conyers tells Obama to start knocking heads
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/11/john-conyers-t...
<snip>
Earlier this week, Michigan Representative John Conyers told reporters that he'd like President Obama to start fashioning himself after a different model of politician if he wants to get health care reform passed:

"The president could take a few pages from Lyndon Johnson's book... and start knocking heads together," said Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Conyers, who spoke to reporters in Detroit, first came to Congress in 1965, the year Medicare and the Voting Rights Act both passed under the strong hand of Johnson, by then the president. Obama was not yet 4 years old.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. that's the ticket
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Obama has the American Disease and Democrats are particularly prone to it:
he wants everyone to like him. As Democrats, do we really have any effective head knockers, any LBJs?
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. Yep. At some point...
FDR: You just have to say 'to Hell with them'!
ER: Indeed you do, darling. I wish you'd say it more often!

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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. ...as he readies his own subpoenas?
Look to your own House as well, Congressman.
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PearliePoo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. good one
+1 :thumbsup:
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happy2bhere Donating Member (53 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. exactly! Conyers says what he thinks people want to hear
then does nothing.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Awesome!
I was just saying this in another thread. Obama is failing because he isn't acting like leaders of the past who really were progressives and populists. They were willing to appeal to the public will and include public campaigns for helping the poor. That is how they forced legislation though bodies of wealthy old men who didn't care about the poor.

Obama isn't appealing directly to the public. He isn't using the party's base or even listening to the base. He is deliberately excluding public pressure and support, or public participation of any kind. If he really did act more like LBJ or the firestorm populists of the past he would be far more successful.

You can't succeed against corporations if the only ones at the table are corporations and their paid reps.

Obama needs to start allowing the public base, and activist representatives of the public base, to get involved in big ways if he wants to achieve anything big. He needs to add the huge tidal wave of public pressure and support to his power at the bully pulpit, but to do that he needs to encourage that tidal wave and encourage it to build.

He needs to be seen as the leader of what all the people want in order to overrule the corporations, by letting people organize and shout and push for full health care, and by joining them and letting them join him. But that won't happen as long as he keeps excluding everyone who wants to organize for universal health care, and acting as if he alone is the people.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
6. k&r
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. Even when he was running I knew he didn't have the fire he would need
he has to get with it or the republicans are going to plow him under like they are trying. He has got to fight. He can't sit back and let someone else come out swinging. That's why Clinton was and is so popular, even with his girl problem, he did not take republican crap sitting down. HE FOUGHT.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Bubba fought some things, but like Obama he wants folks to like him. But he would play rough
sometimes.

Hillary, on the other hand, has long since written off a lot of folks liking her.
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happy2bhere Donating Member (53 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. I just have a hard time listening to anything from Conyers
Why is it that he would not pursue impeachment after he promised to do so when the Dems won in 2006?

Can you say hypocrite?
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. i dunno. you think it had anything to do with this?
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
10. Clean your own House first, Mr. Conyers, before you cast displeasure.
John Conyers scolded Obama a few days ago:


Earlier this week, Michigan Representative John Conyers told reporters that he'd like President Obama to start fashioning himself after a different model of politician if he wants to get health care reform passed:

"The president could take a few pages from Lyndon Johnson's book... and start knocking heads together," said Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.








As these two articles remain seared into my mind:


David Swanson: Conyers Explains Why He Didn't Push Impeachment, January 14, 2009



And from Arthur Silber on November 8, 2009


.....

As a practical matter, much can still happen between now and the summer and fall of 2010. A lot of variables will determine how successful the Democrats are in maintaining a majority, beginning but hardly ending with the final form of this bill.

Much more significantly, I think Welsh's formulation (at least in this post) fails to mention a deeper underlying problem. I discussed this issue in the final section of "Those Who Enable the Triumph of Evil," where I excerpted David Swanson's painful and detailed examination of how and why John Conyers, once an admirable politician in many ways, slowly and inevitably surrendered certain key principles that Conyers himself had repeatedly declared to be of supreme importance to him.

A few passages from what I wrote there will convey the sense of the issue I'm referring to, both with regard to the Democrats in general, and in connection with this latest abomination in particular:

Swanson documents Conyers' history on the issue of impeachment in devastating detail. It is a genuine Show of Horrors, and it provides plentiful examples of the rationalizations, equivocations, misrepresentations and outright lies that are required when an individual declines to fight against what he himself regards as monstrous and immensely destructive. Swanson goes through all the major arguments that have been used in the last few years to discourage impeachment -- all the arguments that many of you have undoubtedly seen offered by most of the leading liberal and progressive writers -- and he demolishes every single one of them.

...

This is one of the bitter, deadly fruits of cowardice in the face of evil. It helps to illuminate a critical principle, one that would be very simple to appreciate if it were not for the unstinting efforts made by Democrats like Conyers and the most vocal of Democratic apologists to evade the truth and refuse to acknowledge the obvious: each retreat from battle makes the next battle that much harder. The Democrats are always talking about "saving their gunpowder" for the next fight, which will be the genuinely important one. But each act of cowardice of this kind -- and it is cowardice, we should call such acts by their rightful name -- weakens them, rather than making them stronger. Each concession to evil makes evil stronger, while the coward reinforces his own cowardice. Thus, evil consolidates and expands its reach -- and those who would fight against evil are pushed farther offstage.

...

Appreciate just how pathetically shabby this is. Conyers might have lost his prerogatives within the existing system. That possibility carried more weight than defending liberty, justice and fundamental human decency.

Thus, the lesson: when you choose to be a critical part of a system that has become this corrupt -- and the endless corruptions of our corporatist-authoritarian-militarist system have been documented at great length here and in other places -- you will not ameliorate or "save" it. The system will necessarily and inevitably corrupt you.




With very few exceptions, and the exceptions are so few in number that they cannot alter the general direction of events, these are corrupt individuals operating in a profoundly corrupt and infinitely corrupting system.

That is the basic underlying truth, or at least a statement closer to where the truth will be found. Against that terrible fact, all the rest recedes into the comparative meaninglessness and even triviality of empty public pageantry.

In the NY Times story about the House passage of this detestable bill, we read this utterance from the awful Steny Hoyer:

We did what we promised the American people we would do, said Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and the majority leader...


On this occasion, Hoyer is entirely correct.

If you listened carefully to what almost every politician said during the last election campaign -- and I emphatically include what Obama and all leading Democrats said -- and if you understood what they were saying, you realized that they told you over and over again that they would fuck you in an endless variety of ways, until almost every last drop of your blood and almost every dollar you possess were gone. In their infinite kindness, they won't kill you, for they hope to extract still more from you, as your life and hope slowly ebb away.

They've kept their promise. They've fucked you yet again, just as they said they would.

And they are very far from done.





'And they are very far from done.'



The abominable truth of this matter is, where we find ourselves now, there is no reliable representation for progressives in this country.




And my definition of 'progressives'? Those who fight for economic, political and social justice and equality for all people.



What we are facing now is massive, systemic corruption.









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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
12. Enough two-hand touch. It's time to play tackle football. nt
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