Heads They Win, Tails We Lose

When George Bush was catapulted into office in 2000 by a convoluted decision of a thoroughly corrupted Supreme Court, after having lost the popular vote, he and his cronies rolled into town like a conquering army, determined to ram through a radical political agenda they’d been careful not to emphasize on the campaign trail, where he had cynically posed as a moderate, dedicated to “changing the tone”  in Washington that his own poisonous and crazy party had created.  The media, naturally, eagerly eased his path by continually swallowing such flagrant whoppers as “the vast majority of the tax cuts will go to the lower portion of earners” while relentlessly excoriating Gore at every turn for manufactured “lies” about trivia like Love Canal and Love Story.  Bush, with his instant fake ranch and utterly contrived down home schtick, was treated with kid gloves, and his woeful unpreparedness and success-free career only added to his image, in the eyes of a credulous media, of a regular guy you’d want to have a beer with.  (although he supposedly didn’t drink, either; why let the facts stand in the way of a good story?)

Why, indeed?  Even as he loaded up his administration with notorious criminals like Elliott Abrams, Otto Reich, and John Negroponte, we were told that the adolescents of the Clinton years were finally being replaced by the grownups.  As he set about purging the government of any trace of competence, bringing in clueless automatons like Condi Rice to oversee national security and half-witted ne’er-do-wells like Michael Brown to head FEMA, “no one could have predicted” how astonishingly disastrous their tenures would be; at least no one in the media, that is.  Religious nuts like John Ashcroft raised not an eyebrow; a sinister pile of seething conflict of interest like Cheney, nary a peep.  As the few normal people who thought they were there to do their jobs honestly, from Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill to the fired US Attorneys later, were ruthlessly drummed out and subjected to ritual smearing, the Bush team was whittled down to a motley band of the most radical right-wingers who ever pretended, albeit unconvincingly, to run a government.  For this, Bush was considered “bold,” and a “straight shooter.”

Things shake out somewhat differently when a Democrat, even a moderate one like Clinton or Obama, takes office.  You see, no Democratic victory, no matter how overwhelming, is ever seen as legitimate in the eyes of the Republicans and the media that dotes on them, and the idea that a Democratic president should be allowed to staff his cabinet with anyone to the left of, say, Tim Geithner is unthinkable on its face.  Quick, says the media in unison, get Liz Cheney in here to straighten this upstart out.  Thus, the few appointments that actually represented a shift from the Bush years like Valerie Jarrett, Dawn Johnsen, and others are left to twist slowly in the wind because some petulant Republican in the Senate refuses to even discuss their confirmation, and a bland moderate like Sonia Sotomayor is treated like the Joan of Arc of the Reconquista, and no one finds anything odd about this.

Stung by the rapid withdrawal of 57 advertisers from his flat-out crazy anti-Obama show on Fox “News,” the deranged Glenn Beck started screaming for revenge, and immediately found it by successfully hounding Color of Change co-founder Van Jones out of the office of Green Jobs, having declared him variously to be a Black Panther, Commie, you name it, with the help of the usual wingnuts in congress.  As usual, this rank and shameful capitulation on the part of the Administration was presented as an unfortunate necessity for the higher cause of getting Obama’s “agenda” through.  What agenda?  That no-reform health care reform, which is simply shaping up to be another capitulation anyway?  They’ve previously had no trouble capitulating on two things at once, so I don’t know why they were so worried.  Doesn’t the administration think that allowing the craziest Fox News personality (and that’s saying something) to have veto power over their appointments might be a little, well, problematic down the road?  Who’s next? Whoever they are, they’d better get their resumes in order.

One of the most damaging and painful clubs Republicans have always used to batter Democrats is that they’re “weak” in some way or other, unwilling to fight for much of anything, and Democrats, in turn, have a disheartening tendency to prove them right, repeatedly.  If you’re afraid of Glenn Beck, what will you do about Osama bin Laden?  I can hear the commercials now.

The Obama administration is, to its continuing detriment, unable to muster the courage to utter two little words to the crybabies on the right,  ”We won.”  I doubt that the proudly triumphant Glenn Beck, an ignorant charlatan who belongs in a rubber room, but yet has clearly managed a big win over the President of the United States so easily, will show any such polite reticence when he takes to the airwaves next week, undoubtedly with a fresh list of victims in hand.  Smooth move, Obama.


  1. Jim White says:

    Thanks for this, Hag. I dare not check my blood pressure today, because it probably has reached a new high. Every time I think Obama couldn’t possibly do more to sell us out, he proves me wrong. Abandoning Van Jones is the lowest of the low. That condemns a huge number of people to continue in poverty when his programs would have given them a wonderful bridge into the productive work that improves the environment. Couple that with the renewed headlines this morning that the public option is “negotiable” and the pain is nearly unbearable.

    Why do the Beckers win every time? Why does hate win over compassion?

    • cocktailhag says:

      Count on it happening more, now that it’s proven so easy. Remember Lani Guinier? Jocelyn Elders? It’s something in Democratic DNA…. Or worse, there’s no money in being a liberal.

      • Jim White says:

        Yeah, Blue Texan’s post at FDL really sums it up with what Gibbs should have said about Jones:

        “When Jim DeMint, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Bill Posey and Paul Broun step down for their extremist views and coarse rhetoric, we’ll gladly ask Van Jones to step down as well. Until then, that’s the last question I’ll take on Mr. Jones.”

        The party of no backbone becomes the party of no morals when they do not stand up to the bullying.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Not to mention the fact that they look like pussies. The American people don’t like pussies. Look how the media fawned over Bush just because he was so intransigent about everything. With so many smart people, the Obama Administration is looking awfully dumb.

  2. heru-ur says:

    Everything you write is true, well except you left out we freedom lovers were screaming at Bush from the second day he was in office. He truly was another low in the history of the office. (of course, it is true we scream at every president)

    That was then and this is now. Do try to stop living in the past and notice that President Obama threw that man under the bus. There is no way that an idiot like Glenn Beck got the dude fired. Obama threw the Rethugs a bone to gain support for upcoming legislative battles. I think he is wrong to believe it will help any, but it is his (or his staff’s) political calculus and not mine.

    Good article.

    • cocktailhag says:

      If anyone screamed about Bush, no one heard it, although it was richly deserved. You need to take your righty blindfold off again. Have you ever heard of Dan Rather, Phil Donohue, Bill Maher, Ashleigh Banfield, the Dixie Chicks, Janeane Garofalo, and on and on? Throughout Bush’s term, people were smeared, jailed, spied upon, and ousted from their jobs for the slightest criticism of King George, and you know it as well as I do. Please don’t try that with me.
      Name a single Obama critic who has suffered a single consequence for their outlandish criticism, or a thing Obama has done that could hold a candle to the evil that was Bush. I can wait.

      • heru-ur says:

        I got no “righty blindfold”, and I fail to understand what your list of people who were persecuted during Bush’s terms has to do with what I wrote.

        I said we freedom lovers (anarchists, libertarians, civil libertarians, classic liberals, and paleo-conservatives — perhaps others) screamed the whole of Bush’s administration. Should I post links to articles from 8 years ago?

        I also said that Obama threw the man under the bus. Is that what you disagree with? The Democrats have control of the USA government. Total control. It is time to charge the ones in control with their actions. Obama accepted the resignation of the man — fired him in other words. Obama don’t get no pass in my book simply because he gives better speeches than Bush did.

        (bad grammar to emphasize the point — does that have a name in grammar?)

        • cocktailhag says:

          Sorry about that. I was understandably fooled into thinking you were talking about nasty liberals attacking Bush without including yourself among them. My mistake.

          • heru-ur says:

            Lady Outlaws: In Defense of the Dixie Chicks


            This essay was one at lewrockwell.com from 2003. He ended it with, “Thanks ladies, and don’t back down.” Written by Casey Khan who works as a risk analyst in Phoenix, AZ and is just a regular reader who summits an essay once in a while. You should read it; it will tell you a lot about folks like me. (if you care to know) And a plus, the guy writes pretty well.

            Like many Rothbardians, he found the Bushies to be horrible.

            Hag, the point I have been trying to make for a week is that both “teams” are horrible. Even if the Bush years were the most horrible years in the history of all of mankind stretching back millions upon millions of years; we still must face the administration we have today.

            When Obama does a thing, it is Obama that must be called out. It is like when WT said that LBJ was afraid of political trouble if he did not escalate the war in Vietnam — that may well be true, but look at what is says about the man himself.

            The only “team” is the human team, and anyone who hurts innocent humans is not on my team. The jury is still out on Obama to some degree, but the evidence is pilling up.

  3. cocktailhag says:

    I started this blog after Obama was elected, correctly anticipating that he would piss me off just as much as Bush did, and he hasn’t disappointed. I’m not on any “team,” as you must be realizing by now.
    The Dixie Chicks ended up with a powerful muse in Bush: “Not Ready to Make Nice” might become the anthem of that dark era, and is one of their best songs..

    • heru-ur says:

      Yes, I read about their song. Unfortunately I don’t listen to music other than jazz and oldies so I missed all their music. In fact, I did not even know what a “dixie chic” was until the big dust-up over their statements happened. I became a fan without ever hearing a song. Imagine that.

      Are they as good as Elton John? :-)

  4. cocktailhag says:

    No, but still worth a listen. Go to Youtube and watch the video. It’s pitch-perfect pop: catchy and infectious, but with a message. The Chicks are also pretty easy on the eyes, if you need added encouragement.

    • heru-ur says:

      I did that. It was not Steely Dan’s “Do it again”, but it was pretty good. Their career sure has been better than “Wild Cherry” — and all I can say it Play that funky music white girl! and shake you booty while you are at it! Shake, shake, shake — your bootie!

      As an aside, did you know that the Sufi believe that union with The Friend (god) comes most often through a mystical experience while immersed in music? No — I am serious. That is where the “whirling dervishes” come from. I wonder what they would have though of Disco?

      Well what ever you do, don’t mess around with Jim! (a Jim Croce tune) Of course, his “Operator” is one of the best songs of the era — bitter sweet.

      • cocktailhag says:

        And ol’ Natalie has plenty of booty to shake, to boot. My mother loved Jim Croce, and I heard him incessantly for a time. Speaking of disco, she also liked the Gap Band… (first grade teacher voice) “Play that humpin’ song…” And when Bush got reeelected, she called to ask how I was doing. I said, “Fine, I guess. I’m listening to REM.”
        “It’s the End of the World as We Know It?” she asked, unnecessarily.
        “How’d you know?” I responded, equally unnecessarily.
        Music does have a special power to bring us together.

  5. Jim White says:

    Now here’s a reaction I like. It seems there are folks advocating that we all buy and send a set of neuticles to the White House. That just says it all for me.


    • cocktailhag says:

      Count me in. The ball-lessness is certainly starting to get to me. Seems like guys like Jones couldn’t get through the “gonad detector,” installed after 9/11. Beep beep beep….

    • bystander says:

      If only you’d said so. Up until a few years ago I could have sent the White House a bucket full of freshly harvested Rocky Mountain Oysters. Might even have been some testosterone left in ‘em.

      • cocktailhag says:

        After my parents’ divorce, my dad became, among other things, a cattle rancher in Eastern Oregon, and we visited during branding season and the oyster harvest. They cooked ‘em up right there on the branding oven, but only my little brother was dumb enough to eat one. He’s now saddled with TWO freeloading ex-wives. Coincidence?

        • timothy3 says:

          Hey, CH, my family on my mother’s side was also a ranching bunch of people. It makes me laugh, even now, that my uncles disliked me from the word go–they never said it but on their faces was the word/expression “pussy’.
          Now, that offended me at the time (kinda) when I was all of 15 or so, but now, in retrospect, I just laugh.
          Even now I really don’t know what to make of this idea of masculinity–to me, it’s funny but to others it’s oh-so-serious.
          Weird, huh?
          I imagine that for the remainder of my life I’ll tackle this–unsuccessfully–and never realize any sort of meaningful solution/conclusion. But this is probably the nature of things.

  6. timothy3 says:

    You know, CH, you have a measured tone I could never adopt/maintain. These fuckers piss me off so much that I can barely see straight. This whole Van Jones situation, I mean, can any reasonable person believe or accept that idiot Glenn Beck actually has the heft to demand such a thing? Obama, were he half the man he ought to be, would laugh outright and say something to the effect of, “Hey, doughboy, you have as much influence as, say, a fellow retardo in an MIT lab [and I say that with total respect for those among us who are less gifted intellectually].”
    Yet here we are–a guy resigning because he, what, signed a petition a hundred years ago, avowed himself a communist, I mean, Jesus Christ, what are we, children?
    Well, I guess we are.
    I salute you, CH, for your tireless efforts here. We’re such morons here and I really don’t know what’ll become of us. I have my doubts.

    • heru-ur says:

      “Monkeys with tools” comes to mind.

      Beck plays a role in the political entertainment business (an odious role in my opinion) much like the role one plays in the WWF (wrestling). I was not offended by Beck’s call for resignation at all, as I have called for the resignation of damn near everyone.

      What is offensive is that Obama fired him to quite the storm. This is a tactical move on the part of Obama and his “brain trust” — and it will backfire on him. He should have given the fellow the presidential medal of honor.

  7. cocktailhag says:

    I’ve been called a lot of things, T3, but measured has heretofore not been among them. But I do measure things all the time for both business and pleasure….
    This travesty, however, was the most offensively dumb thing ObamaCo has pulled yet, and if I weren’t so tipsy, I’d be seething. Old age grants a degree of, well, numb acceptance (there’s a better word, but it escapes me…) that is my only solace. (it also makes me see things less clearly, which comes in handy, too…)
    I have a barely gelled thought right along the lines of what you’ve raised to talk about tomorrow, would that I can remember it by then.

    • The Heel says:

      …too bad the toughest fighter the Dems have brought forward in decades did not have a penis, so they chose the candidate without balls instead. Nice going dudes…

      • cocktailhag says:

        Yeah, Smartypants. I personally engineered Obama’s victory over Hillary.

        • The Heel says:

          no you were just one in a million – the sperm principal :)

          • cocktailhag says:

            I never gave any money to Obama; he had plenty already. I’ve just never seen Hillary as much of a fighter. She flubbed health care and basically did nothing except become a martyr due to Bill’s transgressions. She won the Senate seat more due to the flameout of her opponent than anything else, and was no Ted Kennedy when she was there.
            This idea of her being some sort of fighting liberal… I don’t see it.

  8. The Heel says:

    I can’t offer much above and beyond what has been said in this great blog.
    I am glad that Molly Ivins doesn’t have to witness this pathetic and aggravating destruction of hope for change.
    Then again, her sharp, witty comments would have been a pleasure to read. Well, I guess we still have the hag :)

    • Karen M says:

      Yeah, it’s too bad that we don’t have someone channeling Molly Ivins right now. Her combined outrage, sense of proportion and ability to turn a phrase would be especially welcome…