Trick or treat, forever.Hey, leftists and liberals and Democrats, remember a couple of years ago how super-excited you were about Barack Obama, the Chicago community organizer? Nobody really expected unicorns and a fair tax burden for the richest of the rich, but we were enthusiastic, right? Barack Obama has remained completely invisible during the intense labor battles raging in Wisconsin and Indiana and Ohio and even Tennessee. We sort of remember being at the Democratic convention and lots of Democratic presidential debates over the long 2007-2008 campaign, and it sure seems like labor played a decisive role in Obama getting the nomination and then winning the presidency. But now, even the head of the AFL-CIO is relegated to a backroom handshake with Joe Biden, because multi-millionaire golfer “centrist” Barack Obama doesn’t want to dirty his hands with the actual lives of the 90% of the country not living large. Rich people protect rich people, it’s that simple.

The Wall Street Journal sneeringly reports:

President Barack Obama, after initially lending his support to organized labor, has stepped back from the fights spreading in state capitals from Wisconsin to Tennessee, leaving union officials divided about his tactics.

Mr. Obama is eager to occupy the political center, Democratic officials said, to help him forge a bipartisan deal on the nation’s long-term finances that could strengthen his position heading into the 2012 election. Mr. Obama has already tacked to the center on taxes, on trade and by working to forge stronger ties with business leaders.

Yeah, because it’s all about strengthening his position leading in ’12, and then maybe he’ll show some interest in working people and labor and the way corporations and the richest people barely pay any taxes in this country, and who knows, maybe then he’ll care about the gazillions that go to the Pentagon — for the sole purpose of enriching defense contractor corporations, unless you consider “maiming and killing poor people with no other job prospects” or “losing gigantic wars all over the world” to be intentional.

You know, Barry, you are president right now. It’s one thing for you to be a clueless spectator on something like Egypt or Libya, but it’s very much another thing to be out to lunch on midwestern labor battles. If you stood for anything, you could get a hundred thousand people to join the Madison protests. You could put Scott Walker in jail for planning to hire thug violence against legal protests, the same way your betters protected the protesters during the Civil Rights Movement.

But, nah, there’s no way to get those million-dollar speaking engagements and free corporate jets and exclusive golf vacations and seven-figure book deals year after year if you go all liberal, right?

Here’s something from the paper they actually pay attention to at the White House:

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said Wednesday night on MSNBC that Obama “should come to Wisconsin and stand with the workers.” The co-chairman of the House Progressive Caucus, Ellison added that he would “of course … like to hear more from President Obama” about the efforts of Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislators to push through a bill that would limit collective bargaining for most state employee unions.

“The fact is, is that it’s working people who are going to be pounding for him in a couple of years,” Ellison said, referring to the 2012 campaign. “It’s working people whose policies that we elected him to pursue, and so, I think it’s only sensible that he would stand on the side of labor at this time.”

Ooooh, but Keith’s a scary Mooslim, so you can’t even respond to that, right? Because there’s a real good chance angry old white people are going to turn around and vote for you in 2012, right, Barry? Right?

You aren’t Reagan. Deal with it. (Reagan was white.)

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  • nounverb911

    "Barack Obama has remained completely invisible during the intense labor battles raging in Wisconsin and Indiana and Ohio and even Tennessee."
    Is Obama a secret republican?

    • glamourdammerung

      It was a secret?

    • MaxUdargo

      I've decided the Democratic party is a Republican plot.

      It's the only thing that makes sense.

      • RowdyRacer

        Max, the Democrats are, quite literally, the Washington Generals to the GOP Globetrotters. They are well paid LOSERS, and their (real) money comes from the same sources as the GOP's money.
        And, by the way, the buckets that they pour on us are not filled with confetti…

        • MaxUdargo

          That's the metaphor I was looking for: the Washington Generals. Thank you. I think I'm done with politics now. All is clear.

    • LeftesTruth

      I, for some time now, have suspected that Obama is indeed a ringer for the Republican party. You may have noticed the many Dems in the Congress that are also ringers. With these ringers in place no true progressive agenda is ever actually made manifest in America.

  • True dat.

    Dwight Eisenhower showed something by sending in the troops to "help" wean the South off Jim Crow.

    It's not like the Kochs are ever going to hold a fundraiser for you, Barry.

    • Radiotherapy

      The Koch's wouldn't hold a fundraiser for Ike either.

      • sati_demise

        yea, they have a family tradition, the John Birch family tradition, to uphold.

    • Fuck Toad

      There was actually a federal interest in making sure the Constitution (as recently interpreted by the Supreme Court) was obeyed by state authorities. What role does the federal government have here? Scott Walker is a union-busting asshole but nothing he's done is a violation of federal law.

      • Negropolis

        Lets get real, here. The federal government only has interest in upholding the Consitutuion when the dude or dudette, up top, has the interest to uphold the Constitution.

        My point being that whether something is clearly unconstitutional or whether it's just politically unpopular, at the end of the day, it comes down to the interest of the president in office. You'd think a former community organizer would show a little interest in issues of labor, but it's becoming clear that those early days of his were spent little more than padding a resume.

  • Bonzos_Bed_Time

    Come on, protesters are getting free-pizza donated to them. How much more socializm do you want?

  • nounverb911

    "You aren’t Reagan. Deal with it. (Reagan was white.)"
    Reagan also took six naps a day and couldn't remember what he had for breakfast.

  • OneDollarJuana

    Well, Barry, triangulate and centralize as you will, when the civil war between the workers and thieves begin, we will remember who you stood up for! And what are you gonna do when the general strike hits on your watch?

    • crybabyboehner

      When they kick down your front door, how you gonna come?

      • BarryOPotter

        You see, he feels like Ivan
        Born under the Brixton sun
        His game is called survivin'
        At the end of the harder they come

    • Negropolis

      Fire everyone, of course. For freedom and the sweet lovin' of "independents" (read: Republicans too afraid of tea partiers to identify as Republicans)

  • baconzgood

    What is this labor thing? Where is these "Jobs" that I hear you speak of?

  • doxastic

    Solidarity in the 21st century:
    Rich people protect rich people = rational self-interest
    Working people protect working people = class war/Communist sedition

  • Who run Bitter Town?

    Who run Bitter Town?

    (I agree with you, Ken, but I have to whore for pee points on occasion.)

  • Oblios_Cap

    I had hoped for better from Barry, but I was pretty sure that he was just another hack whose main accomplishments would involve protecting the interests of the big corporations and Wall Street Banks.

    Unfortunately, he hasn't done much to prove me wrong.

  • mumbly_joe

    Somewhat OT, but apropos this bit:

    who knows, maybe then he’ll care about the gazillions that go to the Pentagon — for the sole purpose of enriching defense contractor corporations, unless you consider “maiming and killing poor people with no other job prospects” or “losing gigantic wars all over the world” to be intentional.

    Hahaha, it ends up that the military was kinda running information ops on visiting congressmen and senators, to get more money and expendible humans to support continuing to lose said gigantic wars, forever.

    This is sorta also a kinda big and kinda terrifying thing, if you believe that maybe the military is supposed to be subordinate to government, and not carrying out actual military operations against the government to further its own agenda.

    Really, how are we not a failed state at this point?

    • Joe, Joe, that wasn't really psyops, it was marketing.

      • mumbly_joe

        There is somewhat of a fine line between marketing and propaganda ops, but a line all the same. And in particular, the general in question sort of had a whole other separate team for public relations. Kinda an important distinction to note.

        • Negropolis

          I guess you missed his joke.

          A lot of modern marketing is mind-fuckin…err…psyops to begin with.

          • Radiotherapy

            I would say the whole Right Wing media machine, from Murdoch to Breitfart to Michelle Malkin, and every shithole between, is some kind of psy-ops. How else do you explain all the madness that is out there?

    • GOPCrusher

      We have indoor plumbing.

    • Amo_of_Bogio

      From Canada, where I sit, you already are, and have been since at least the Shrub's re-election.

    • Beanball

      Amurika is too big to fail.

      Unfortunately, her politicians aren't big enough to not fuck up.

  • baconzgood

    White House Staffer: Mr President, there are Union protests all over the mid-west
    Prez: How does relate to any salmon issue?
    White House Staffer: Uh….Well, it doesn't actual..
    Prez: Talk to the hand!

  • yyyaz

    All foreplay and no kabam. Sigh.

  • prommie

    Hey, fuck you, I may be an old lefty, but I am a worldly, cynical, angry old lefty and I hates me some ideological purists who do shit like vote for Nader and get W elected. I never thought this fucker was any kind of liberal. I do have to admit, though, that I wasn't expecting the fact that he is the first president who is near would get the Nation's fucktards so riled up about him being near that their would be a pigfucker backlash and they would elect so many fucktards to office and wind up enacting more fucktarded shit than even W Bush tried to do.

    • mumbly_joe

      My calculation was that I expected them to react pretty much the same if HILLARY CLINTON (who they already had a 16-year head-start on bashing, constantly) got elected as if a black man did, so that bit was a wash for me. At that point, I went with the person who claimed advocated the least shit-brained foreign policy/civil liberties positions, and on that particular point, I actually do feel kinda fucking betrayed here.

      Hell, Clinton would have done just as little on that front, but might have actually displayed a bit more spine on economics, all told.

      • So you're saying they had a whole stack of Hitler mustache decals stored up they were just waiting to see whose face it was gonna get slapped on.

        Sounds about right.

        • mumbly_joe

          Well, let's be honest; both Clinton and Walnuts made a whole lot of campaign missteps precisely because they didn't know how to campaign against Obama. Walnuts wouldn't have had that problem if Hillary had won the primary; the right had been running against Clinton for more than ten years, by then. It would have been a tougher race simply because Walnuts wouldn't have been as stupid.

          • I think you're right on that. As the whole 24 years of a Bush or a Clinton thing was happening, his whole not being a Clinton certainly appealed to me.

          • Tommmcatt

            Oh my god, you totally underestimate how stupid Walnuts is. This is the man who described the economy as sound one morning, then suspended his campaign that afternoon "because of the fiscal crisis", remember? The guy who found just enough decency to call his opponent "a good man" at exactly the wrong moment in the campaign, alienating the retard right just when he needed his his pigfucker base the most.

            And let's not forget his brilliant snowbilly hail Mary. Yeesh.

            This man would have lost to a copy of Serrano's "Piss Christ" if we had run it for president. I think he's actually more than a bit senile.

          • mumbly_joe

            The snowbilly hail Mary thing is actually one of the things that he might not have pulled, or, at very least, he would have been a lot less stupid for doing so, against Clinton. He'd kinda been served up a fucking golden "experience" narrative to use against Obama, by the Clinton campaign, and picking Lou Sarah completely cut the legs out of that narrative. Against Clinton, this narrative wouldn't have even been a path he took in the first place, making snowbilly -while still a deeply shitty decision- not quite as shitty as it was.

            I also think he probably wouldn't have backed away from the wingnut precipice the way he did, if it were your bog-standard anti-Clinton wingnuttery; at least during the campaign, the birtherism and overt racism clearly *was* a bit much for him (to 2008 McCain's credit, truth be told) in a way I don't really see "Vince Foster, part II: Vince Foster's Revenge" really being.

          • glamourdammerung

            McCain has pulled the "suspended campaign" nonsense on multiple campaigns.

    • Radiotherapy

      I'm with you prommie in that I never thought Obama was anything but a Centre-Right politician. Oh well. But, I do think the reason W won was because of Gore and his incompetence — and not Nader. The fuck didn't even win his own state.

      • GuyClinch

        Well, he didn't need Tennessee since he won Florida. D'Oh!

      • June_Cleaver2.0

        I'm with Prommie too, but I thought he was more fiery than he has turned out to be. He is every bit as liberal as we thought he was. He is just afraid to bring it on. That's one of the reasons we are as irritated with him as we are — he is a liberal, pretending to be centrist. A guy who is really for same sex marriage, pretending to evolve to being for same-sex marriage just in time for 2012. I didn't think he was this much of a pol though. He surprised me on that. But still, I'm going to vote for him. The 2nd term's the charm. (Let my mother tell it.)

    • glamourdammerung

      I am sure the Republicans will run someone so odious as to make holding my nose at the voting booth as easy as it was in 2008.

    • sati_demise

      they are trying to completely kill Medicare in Arizona right now. That will close most of the hospitals in the state.
      these people really are nuts!

      • Honestly … after running out the Mexicans, the average Arizona resident is 75 years old — and worth nothing, as they lost it all in the housing boom.

      • xsluggo

        There goes the Republican base.

        When they came for the Meskins, I said nothing.
        When the came for granny and grampums, I still said nothing.
        When they came for the unions …

    • Angry_Marmot

      I would never vote for a modern Republican, but Barry can go knock on his own damn doors next time– and I went door to door trying to sell Kerry and Mondale.

    • peaceocrap

      I am also an old lefty. I am also wordly, cynical and angry. But I (should have known and now) know better than to keep throwing my vote away on candidates about whom "I never thought this fucker was any kind of liberal." Now we have "not any kind of liberal" in every position of power.

  • WorkTheSaxofone

    Relegated. Or maybe you're after that Outfit vibe. "Regulated" does sound like tough-guy talk.

    • bureaucrap

      I was going to make the same correction, but I'm very protective of my pee points.

    • Other than trying to be an asshole, there is not a whole lot of point to posting typo reports in comment threads. A subject-line-only "hey fix ____ in the ____ post" email to tips@ is both appreciated and useful.

      I'm looking at comments right now to ban some trolls, which is why I saw this just now instead of the usual "never seeing it."

      • HistoriCat

        "I'm looking at comments right now to ban some trolls"

        the first good news I've heard all day!

  • SmutBoffin

    OK. That's it. I'm cashin' in some vacation days and taking a trip back to WI.

    See you in the Capitol, everybody!

  • Gopherit

    It's all about the next election and not the actual problems of your constituents. It's finally happened America……..Style has sodomized Substance and left it for dead. Given our current societal norms, did anyone expect any different?

    I await your next round of empty platitudes, Barry.

    • BarryOPotter

      *It's finally happened America…….Style has sodomized Substance and left it for dead later.

      *This is one for the Wonkette quote books!

    • straighteight

      Win the future!

      (There is no future.)

  • LesBontemps

    even the head of the AFL-CIO is <st>regulated</st> relegated to a backroom handshake with Joe Biden

    Fixed, although I'm not really sure there's anything that could actually fix that.

    • LesBontemps

      What is the freakin' tag here for "strike-through" anyway?

      • ChessieNefercat

        Try &lt;s&gt; or . I found an article and I swear to God, that was the only intelligiblle thing (to me) in it.

        Edit: And there's your proof that most of the helpful article was unintelligible to me.

        Try again: Try s with the greater than/less than pointy things around it, or strike with the greater than/less than pointy things around it.

      • ShaveTheWhales

        strike with the usual lt, gt and /.

        • Ducksworthy

          what oh OK cool

          • HistoriCat

            We need a Wonkette style guide. I'll start:
            use your greater than and less than symbols (< >) and in between them use
            i for italics
            u for underline
            b for bold
            strike for strikethrough

            Help me out folks – that's the extent of my skills.

          • That seems to be it. This <super>might</super> work.

            But I've seen, and on a Ken Layne post no less, this not work.

            So I don't know. And I think you're playing with fire when you do anyof this, then hit the edit button.

  • He has gone to the mushy middle where nothing good is ever accomplished. Come on Barry how about a little Atta Boy to the protesters?

  • EdFlintstone

    Sometimes you wonder why labor donates and campaigns for most democrats. Ever hear of any big doings out of the department of labor? Me neither. Don't they have less inspectors than they did in the 1940s. Employee free choice act, unions big issue for 2008, c'mon the democrats were never going to fight for that. Did it even come up for a vote? The democrats probably were laughing…yeah labor actually thought we believed in this EFCA stuff. More free trade to outsource jobs, yeah the democrats are for that. You would never see the republicans shit on their base and ignore them when the presidents voice is needed most. If hopey can't find the time to be side by side with labor on this then maybe labor shouldn't have the time for him in 2012.

    • sati_demise

      another NAFTA only this time in South Korea!
      Barry! Both you and Hillary campaigned on re-negotiating NAFTA & CAFTA, now you want to expand this fucking program.
      That may be a big FU, Barry.
      Watch out!

    • Rotundo_

      Actually that isn't *completely* true: The republicans had the House, Senate and the White House under Dubya's watch and Rowe v. Wade never was shot down in flames even with the supremes being the conservative lot they are and were. And yet they keep talking a good line of shit about the "unborn babies" and all that. If they did outright ban abortions, it would send a lot of the nutjobs home and fire up the opposition who correctly believe it's not the governments' fucking business.

  • edgydrifter

    On the other hand, [insert name of prominent conservative] would have turned the fire hoses on the protesters by now, so… huzzah?

    • emmelemm

      Fire hoses? Try AK-47s.

  • One_Man_Band

    I seem to remember Wonkette once helping me to laugh at the absurdity, rather than just articulating the pissed-off-ness that I already knew I possessed. Not that this piece isn't well written…I guess it's just the constant stupidity of everyone and everything American is not funny anymore.

    • baconzgood

      Buck up my friend. When Sarah and Ricky S and whoever throw thier hats in to the GOP ring we'll ALL have fun.

    • We'll draw a semen drop on the next Scott Walker jpeg.

      • One_Man_Band

        Thank you. Mebbe a blingee w/semen? That'd be sweet.

      • Rotundo_

        Maybe a "Governor Asymmetrical Face" Blingee contest? (Psst. he's rumored to have a small amount of dain bramage aslo).

        • sati_demise

          well that explains the bald spot.

          (hat tip to the Rude Pundit.)

    • glamourdammerung

      I am nearing "moron fatigue" myself.

  • mereoblivion

    's hard out there for a wimp.

    • Angry_Marmot


  • Radiotherapy

    Frank Zappa said it best, "Broken Hearts are for Assholes."

  • SorosBot

    Barack, stop listening to the idiots of the Washington media, they are completely out of touch with America. I don't know of any national polls, but the people of Wisconsin itself at least overwhelmingly support the strikers, not the douchebag Walker. Just remember what the Post calls the "will of the people" is actually the will of the grumpy old white men who write its' editorial page.

  • GuyClinch

    Dear Michelle Obama,

    You may have noticed what a vacillating milquetoast your husband has turned into, so would you please get up in his grill and demand that he DO SOMETHING?

    And have Malia and Sasha tell him what a pussy he is tonight at dinner, too.


    • aguacatero

      I love it when anonymous typists on the web call anyone who has to stand up in front of this crazy nation — let alone an elected official who hundreds of thousands of our countrymen (I am being conservative) would love to shoot — a wimp (and of course I do it myself from time to time).

      • Dudleydidwrong

        I'm with Guy here. No one forced the presidency on Obama–he lusted after it, as anyone who wants that terrible job must do. But it is his and he has to answer for it. His continuation of rendition and of the farce in Afghanistan, along with his unwillingness to speak up regarding the issues exemplified in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio are terrible examples of inaction. I don't know who else will run in 2012 as a Democratic challenger, which may mean we're stuck with Obama. But he is a wimp who needs to find some truck balls.

  • phlox✔

    The first rule of supporting labor unions:
    Don't talk about supporting labor unions.

  • LiveToServeYa

    First, he kicked out the Muslims and I did not speak.
    I'm a ranting atheist.
    Then, he kicked out the far left and I did not speak.
    Because: have you SMELLED them? Dirty hippies.
    Then, he kicked out the trade unionists and I did not speak.
    I'm in a profession that doesn't have a snowball's chance of a union.
    I'm getting kind of lonely here with these score of killer drones, and they're all that's left.

    • BarryOPotter

      Love the one yer with…

  • JoshuaNorton

    Peanuts Football – 2011.

    Republican Lucy: (holding the football) If President Charlie Brown Obama just compromises a little more, the Republicans might still meet him halfway.

    President Charlie Brown Obama: If I just compromise a little more, the Republicans might still meet me halfway.



    Wah Wah Wah…


    The first message of the 2010 election, for Obama and his fellow "centrist" Democrats, is simple: Stop making your base feel like cheerleaders at Charlie Brown’s football game.

  • WhatTheHeck

    The winds of change are not blowin’ hard enough.

  • Jukesgrrl

    I considered the 2008 speech given by the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka to the United Steelworkers, in which he called out white people for their racism, to be one of the true high points of the presidential campaign. He eloquently explained how racism divides the working people of America and demanded that his union brothers and sisters, as well as the people from his childhood home in Western Pennsylvania, turn their backs on that.

    He called Barack Obama the only candidate who was standing up for working people and said that we would someday look back and see "2008 as the year our government began to embrace workers and love unions."

    I wonder how he feels now.

    • problemwithcaring

      Shocked that white people are still pinning for Hillary? Or maybe that's just me…

  • proudgrampa

    I want my preznit back. You know, the guy we all voted for?

    • aguacatero

      You are the one you have been waiting for?

  • The Difference (between republicans and dems) Stay with me now – because there really really is one:

    A : Repubs truly believe that the US economy and the world economy is a zero sum game. That for them to get a dollar, someone has to lose a dollar. And they don't ever think that they have enough.

    B: Dems don't understand A.

  • OneYieldRegular

    Ken, am I banned for maybe thinking Barry should just maybe NOT stick his head directly into this crapstorm at this very minute, thereby distracting everyone from the Idiot Wind Corporate Mafia Implosion of Scott Walker & Co. and giving said Co. a sudden chance to make it all about him? I mean, I'm with you on all the generally disappointing basics, but only Michelle Bachmann would be crazy enough to grab the limelight at this point in the play.

    • No no, it's a reasonable assumption. But there is a consistent thread with supporters of the Obama Administration (and I am a supporter) of constantly making excuses for what is just lack of action and lack of standing a moral ground.

      • So he should jump in here just to prove something to his supporters, even if tactically speaking it's a bad idea and could actually make the situation worse for the unions, not better?

    • SmutBoffin

      I would normally agree with you, but time is important here. If not now, then when?

      Scott Walker was right when he said that the media WILL lose interest. The people protesting will get tired. THEY ARE TIRED, ALREADY. The unions may not have the will power to call an indefinite strike, because being on strike is harder work than actually working. The Ds who fled the state can't stay away forever, and I doubt they are willing to quite their jobs.

      I would say that Scott has time on his side. He just has to sit in his office, twiddling his balls and imagining how pleased Sarah Palin will be with his union-busting antics.

      • SorosBot

        The thing is, it's not just Walker; there's also the Wisconsin Senate Republicans, and they don't have that big a majority. My suspicion is that this will end when a couple of them decide to jump to end the stalemate and strike.

      • sati_demise

        twiddling his balls pretending to be Ronald Reagan and masturbating to the 'running shorts' photo of Sarah Palin before he sends out the pink slips.

    • EdFlintstone

      Here I thought there were only 3 groups in the top 10 of political donors who mainly supported progressive causes and democrats in 2010, all the rest were for republicans. They were AFSCME, the SEIU and the NEA. I think Obama would be nuts to offer only tepid support for union causes. I guess the unions should expect nothing in return for hundreds of millions of dollars in donations (400 million in 2008) and thousands of boots on the ground.

      • problemwithcaring

        Yes, expect for increasing the budget for OSHA and EEOC, appointing 4 pro-labor folks to the NLRB, 4 of the 11 executive oders he has signed so far being pro-union rules, and ordering all agencies to increase enforcement of existing labor laws (like lack of true overtime compensation by mis-catergorizing non-exempt employees which put the fear of the IRS into the cheapskates at my job) – yes, he is just like George Bush. The end.

        • Christ, didn't the Republicans just about shit themselves over his NLRB appointments? But yes yes, Bush Lite.

  • sati_demise

    Maybe Ellen will have him on again to do an interpretive dance about union solidarity.

  • bureaucrap

    I wonder what would happen if "David Koch" (the blogger) called the White House. I'm scared to think what we would hear.

  • hockeymom

    I keep hearing that Barry's playing Matrix level chess, while the rest of us are playing checkers. That's it, right? Pretty soon, any second, really…he's going to drop something AMAZING on us.

    • Gopherit

      Yes, it's called a multi-million dollar retirement and protection for the rest of his life. I wish I thought we had his A game, but I really don't see it anymore.

    • sati_demise

      he tried with DOMA announcement.

      not big or amazing enough Barry.

  • sezme

    It wouldn't be completely fair to say that Obama took a hands-off approach with Libya:

  • taylormattd

    Maybe next time you should decline to whole-heartedly swallow the line of horseshit being offered by a right-wing rag:

    "President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin's broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits and planning similar protests in other state capitals.

    Obama accused Scott Walker, the state's new Republican governor, of unleashing an 'assault' on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would change future collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.

    The president's political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals. "

    But other than that, he's been "invisible".

    • vulpes82

      But he isn't on a bullhorn in Madison threatening to cock-punch Walker while a chorus of union thugs sings the Internationale in the background, so it doesn't count. And that's why Barack Obama is morally weak.

    • I don't need the fucking WSJ to show me that Obama is hiding out during the Wisconsin showdown.

    • EdFlintstone

      Wow, he said the word "assault" and thats about it. I'm sure those Wisconsin union members protesting wouldn't know to go to Madison unless they got a form email from Organizing for America. I'm no Jane Hamsher hopey basher, but I'm with Layne on this one. His response is weak, unless your wearing David Broder glasses.

      • taylormattd

        For Christ's sake, try reading. OFA didn't send "an email". They shipped protesters there on buses.

        • ShaveTheWhales

          "Working in close coordination" != "shipped protesters there on buses".

          I bet you a nickel OFA had nothing to do with the "shipping" part, because that would involve spending money, and that might actually be a little dodgy from a campaign-finance perspective.

          In the absence of specific information, I'm guessing address lists.

        • EdFlintstone

          Well actually the quote above is from a report in the Feb 18th Washington Post and I did read it. Heres a quote from that story.

          "The group made phone calls, distributed messages via Twitter and Facebook, and sent e-mails to state and national lists…."

          Emails plus tweets and phone calls. Normally I would be impressed with such a hurculean effort, but I voted for Obama not Palin.

    • snoopyfan2010

      I say as long as he isn't speaking out AGAINST them he is supporting them. Support through abstinence, no?

    • sati_demise

      Obama 'thrusts' while 'unleashing' ……..hummm

  • JoshuaNorton

    I keep hearing that Barry's playing Matrix level chess, while the rest of us are playing checkers.

    it still just means that he's only playing games.

    • EdFlintstone

      Or we are being played.

  • That's right, Barry, do everything "your better" Ken Layne demands that you do RIGHT NOW, so that you have no chance of being reelected in 2012, thus ushering in a much worse Republican. And go golf and get speakers fees and book deals, because that's what we're sure you'll do with your post-presidency.

    Clue: Barack Obama does not tilt at windmills, and he doesn't get into fights without backup. Voters sitting on their hands in 2010 and therefore losing half of Congress=no backup. So fucking deal with it, or primary him from the left, or come up with some sort of plan that doesn't end in a far-right asshole in the White House in 2012, or shut the fuck up.

    • We couldn't stomach Humphrey, although he was good on everything other than the War, and it got us Nixon. Given the repubs level of crazy right now, we're likely to get much much worse.

      • sati_demise

        That so true. Look at Arizona. Look at Walker. Now imagine that on a national level.

    • I don't know about the "sitting on their hands" part. I think a large part of this was Citizens United. Plus… isn't he supposed to be part of the whole "getting people excited" part? I mean, it's not like people sat out because they were all busy at the doctor using their free health care.

    • Would that I had more thumbs to give.

    • One_Man_Band

      "Voters sitting on their hands in 2010 and therefore losing half of Congress=no backup."

      I would argue that it's Obama who didn't provide the backup to the people who voted for him, hence the low turnout.

    • Yeah! He's so cool he doesn't have to do anything.

    • ShaveTheWhales

      What you appear to be saying here is that we should (quietly) have zero positive expectations for President Obama for the next twenty months, but should then re-elect him anyway because he'll be the lesser evil. And, in particular, union members should do this. Because they gained so much during the two years while the President had a large legislative edge?

      BTW, I voted in 2010. I'm only allowed to vote once per election. So I'm supposed to STFU because other people didn't vote?

      BTW2, I absolutely do not want to see a primary from the left. I was an adult in 1980, and I've seen how well that works.


      • sati_demise

        It hasn't played out yet. Obama is always a bit late to the party. I dont know why but even Michelle says he is one of those people who is always late. My sister is one of them and it drives me batty.

    • problemwithcaring


    • mourningnmerica

      Chet, I love you man, but you are so wrong on this. Backup? Fuck backup. How about lead, and people will follow.
      You say he doesn't tilt at windmills – shit, he doesn't tilt at ANYTHING. He is too busy hiding under his desk in the oval office. You seem to be suggesting that he "keep his powder dry". For what? At what point do you fight? He handed a winning issue away on the tax cuts for billionaires. Nobody could have lost that hand. He would've had 85% of the counrty on his side if that had come to a fight. He surrendered.
      No, no. Fuck this guy. He just gave the wealthiest people in the world another 70 thousand million per year. He is watching while big money wipes out his core constituency. He's a coward.
      So "shut the fuck up" is the wrong advice.
      How about this. Vote him out in the Dem primaries. Anyone else would have more guts. Anyone. Especially Hillary, who has more balls by a factor of 100 than he will ever have.
      Or try this one on. We lose the White House in 2012. You act like that would look different than the way the Republicans are running roughshod over him now. Let them have it. Then at least they will be seen as the authors of all this madness.
      Our President is a coward and a failure. We don't want his sorry fucking ass for 6 more years. We need a leader, not a chickenshit. You are wrong on this one.

      • sati_demise

        yea, I told Obama he was a lousy poker player. He keeps giving away his best negotiating point right at the beginning.

        But I live in Arizona and believe me, you dont want teh current GOP crazy in 'da house. Not at all. Never.

      • Negropolis


  • JackObin

    Labor rights? And what is wrong with working at Walmart for ten dollars an hour, no benefits and all the shitty merchandise you can fit into your size XXXL sweat pants?

    • June_Cleaver2.0

      Sad, but funny.

  • aguacatero

    There are surely some very sound practical political reasons for not becoming too involved in a state political standoff, in which his side is having to resort to absconding.

    But it would be nice for him to use his unique position (and prodigious fluency) to explain that the only people whose economic situation has improved in the last 30 years are the richest one percent, and that our fiscal problems come from maintaining superexpensive and hard to justify (I will be generous) wars while cutting taxes deeply, so that our taxes are much lower than during our periods of greatest economic growth. He, pretty much alone, has the ability to at least partially counteract Fox/Koch. He needs to use it more.

    • sati_demise

      Bernie Sanders is the only one in Congress doing that.
      He is ignored.
      The only way he could get heard is by giving an 8 hour speech.

  • tl;dr – Obama is probably a shitty friend.

    I may have already done this rant, but I'll do it again. I worked for a union for a few years, the 2008 election happened to be within that time. Anyway:

    A group of union members volunteered to go down to the South to register voters. They went for 3 or 4 months. Away from their kids, away from sick mothers (one woman's mother actually passed away), away from their lives to go register voters. They registered voters in suburbs, projects, in trailer parks. Forgotten people. People who fucking cried because someone actually cared to come to their door and help them participate. 60 year old women who had "felonies" as teenagers, who never go their rights reinstated, got reinstated and registered to vote.

    People went so far out of their way to get Obama elected. States that flipped that would never have flipped – not because of the oodles of cash Wall Street can afford to throw around – but because of regular, working people who walked door to door, through some pretty brutal and impoverished parts of unseen, ignored America, to sign up voters.

    And then, that was the last we heard from him. Which begs the question: What the fuck Mr. President?

    Does he think this some game that he won because he is personally so fucking clever? Is he really pretending he is going to win votes with some centrist strategy for 2012, when we all know know the real strategy for 2012 will be to rely on the same people you have repeatedly dissed since you won the election?

    It's so fucking… uncool man. So uncool. What is this – a friend you give a ride to the airport to, and then he goes around and tells everyone what a bad driver you are? Is that what this is?

    I hope he realizes people are getting pissed. Do what you were elected to do Mr. President. That "Change" thing you mentioned once or twice.

    • aguacatero

      Who is the last president who would not have been a shitty personal friend? I'm guessing Truman.

      • I don't know if he'd have been a good friend, but I bet JFK would have taken you to some awesome parties.

        • Gopherit

          And made sure you got laid.

      • I would say Jimmy Carter.

    • Oh, this is prescient. Someone just sent me this link:

      2007: Barack Obama promised to "walk on that picket line" if workers are denied the right to bargain

      • Ducksworthy

        Whoa. Can you send that to the White House? Maybe he forgot.

    • deyallbad

      the ice cream cone that turned into a turd sammich

  • SayItWithWookies

    If the leaders don't lead, then maybe the people can give them a shove in the right direction. I know where I'm going to be on Saturday:

    • Ducksworthy

      That's a good point. I'll be there too. We're never going to get anywhere until there's a visible "left" in this country. We've been so brainwashed for so long to think that anything not to the right of Joe McCarthy is evil… I recently told someone that Steig Larsson (the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) was a communist and you would have thought I'd said he was a "satanic baby eater". We need something like a strong communist party to counter the lunatic right. Where is the CPUSA?

  • Respitetini

    Democrats are nothing more than a convenient way for the plutocracy to keep the Left voting for the Center-Right. And I've voted for my last one.

  • "Barack Obama Invisible"

    SO everyone who thought he had super powers when we elected him was right?

  • vulpes82

    But I thought he was the puppetmaster pulling the strings of the anarchist union thugs from his socialist hideout in Kenya! What more do you want, Ken?

  • BarackMyWorld

    Obama caving in to conservatives and corporations so the Washington press can give him handjobs for his centrism and the right wing media can keep calling him a commie for the rest of his term hardly seems like a fair trade-off.

  • People, it's a little like why he didn't, say, come out with unqualified support for the Green Revolution in Iran or the folks in Egypt: because that just gives the other side a target to rally around. For cryin' out loud, he made one statement about Walker's plan being an assault on union workers and the right teed off on him. He comes out too strongly and the right will have ammo to get their own base riled up. Right now Scott Walker is shooting himself in the foot, so why would Barry grab his wrist and point the gun in a different direction?

    Obama has shown time and again that he does not give in to the passions of the moment. But by all means write in Kucinich in 2012, you'll have the moral satisfaction of feeling better.

    • One_Man_Band

      "He comes out too strongly and the right will have ammo to get their own base riled up."

      Yes, ignoring one's own supporters to avoid criticism by people who would never have supported you anyway has been a winning tactic employed by many of history's great leaders.

      • user-of-owls

        And yes, voting for Ralph Nader worked out well for our country, didn't it?

    • Obama has shown time and again that he does not give in to the <strikeout>passions of the moment</strikeout> the interests of his supporters, who elected him.

      • user-of-owls

        You know what? People like you, and like me too, were not the ones who elected him. We voted for him. But people who disagree with me, and you, also voted for him and guess what, that's how he got elected. My fucking mother, who listens to nothing, nothing but Fox, voted for Obama because she thought McCain's choice of Palin was so craven and insulting that even though Barry was a 'colored' guy, he was the responsible adult. So it's all good to poke Obama with a sharp stick and say he's a sell-out, but how about you take a peek at the actual demographics of the 2008 vote.

        • One_Man_Band

          And so he got elected. Didn't anybody tell him he'd have to, you know, actually DO STUFF after the election?

          • user-of-owls

            What, pray tell, is the STUFF what he gotta DO?

            –Restore a modicum of humility to US foreign policy? ['bowing to foreigner dictators!]
            –Expend virtually all of his political capital on the most profound changes he promised? ['Death panels! Government takeover!]

            Etc. So in all honesty, do me a favor and look at what the idealistic (i.e., fanatic, fundamentalist) Right is doing as we speak. Do you think these tactics and the people that employ them will move the 'conservative' agenda forward? I hate to do these KOS-esque diatribes, but sometimes I feel compelled. Apologies to all.

          • One_Man_Band

            –Expend virtually all of his political capital on the most profound changes he promised? ['Death panels! Government takeover!]

            -Let Republicans and insurance companies write the health care bill that he then signed? If that's "doing something" in your book, well, we have different priorities.

          • user-of-owls

            Do me a favor, eh? Name one, one fucking policy that appeals to your whiny baby ass that has fucking EVER been passed by 'our' presidents? Don't be a stupid cunt and piss yourself over a purity test for Obama, that is unless you'd like to look in the mirror and see the extreme right you're mimicking.

          • One_Man_Band

            Yes, I am just like a Republican for expecting Obama to do things that aren't just like what a Republican would do. I would type more, but ShaveTheWhales already covered it below. But I guess he's a stupid cunt, too, all expecting Obama to "lead" and "say things" and stuff?

          • Silversmith

            No need for apologies. Diatribes are good and get (some) people off their couches. So pay attention and get on yer damn feet, folks.

        • ShaveTheWhales

          1. All votes count the same (except for the Electoral College, where votes in small states are worth slightly more). Discussion of exactly whose votes caused someone to be elected is always a bit like stock market analists (sic) explaining, after the fact, "why" the market went up or down today.

          2. I interpreted Ken's use of the word "supporters" to mean those who canvassed for him, or made calls for him, or sent him money; not those who simply voted for him (and who might not have done, were it not for the efforts/donations of the "supporters").

          3. With reference to STUFF to DO: One thing that every President is well-placed to do is to tell stories to the public about how things are, and how s/he thinks they ought to be (see Pulpit, Bully). Or "express a vision", or "provide a narrative framework", or whatever.

          Presidents used to have a really big edge in this area, but since the rise of the right-wing cable shit-spewing brigades, and the MSM's change of focus from reporting to entertainment, that edge has softened a lot.

          To me, that says that a Democratic President needs to work even harder at using the Bully Pulpit. Ronnie Raygun (mhrih) got concessions out of a Democratic-controlled Congress just by threatening to say bad things about them to teh peoples. Yes, Reagan was whitegray, and really did have to read his lines off the teleprompter, but part of the reason for his success was that he personified the (alleged) Republican vision.

          I never expected President Obama to become a liberal after his election, but I did sort of expect him to be a Democrat.

          Sorry for the snarklessness. Butt sex also.

          • One_Man_Band

            "One thing that every President is well-placed to do is to tell stories to the public about how things are, and how s/he thinks they ought to be (see Pulpit, Bully). Or "express a vision", or "provide a narrative framework", or whatever."


          • EdFlintstone

            I'm upfisting you right in your blowhole.

      • user-of-owls

        Oh, and on a lighter note: I'm glad we share in common an incapacity to do strikeouts. What's the bloody code already?!

        • DashboardBuddha

          [strike] word/phrase to be struck[/strike] except replace [ ] with < >

          word/phrase to be struck except…

          • user-of-owls

            Something not this?

            woo hoo, it workeded!

          • DashboardBuddha

            Sigh…they grow up so fast.

          • DustBowlBlues

            I can't even figure out what the strike out key is. I'm going to replace the old emac with a new imac next week and I'll ask about it then.

    • EdFlintstone

      "Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me – and I welcome their hatred."


      • yyyaz

        Funny how much he liked to summon the spirit of FDR through the primaries and the general. That's why I blogged for him, defended him against his detractors on Brand X, Y and Z boards, canvassed for him in "swing" precincts in Tucson in August, and, ultimately cast my vote for him. I cut my teeth in politics beginning as a media liaison in a congressional race in '82, so I'm no ingenue when it comes to politicking and politics. Even so, I absolutely did not expect Bush Lite when I voted for what I thought was FDR Lite.

      • problemwithcaring

        If only Black skin were like a wheelchair that you can get out of during the day and then put back on to go to Hot Springs in Arkansaw for the summer.

    • Angry_Marmot

      I don't see anybody suggesting a third party/write in candidate; I see people telling Barry to get off his ass and dance with the gal that brung him.

      • not that Dewey

        But are we doing that (telling Barry to get off his ass), or are we just imploring each other to do that? Are we Hoping® that he reads Wonkette?

        • DustBowlBlues

          I'm guessing he's kicking back with a brew and reading this shit as we write it, right now. Rachel Maddow does, after all.

    • Oh for Chrissakes, you leave your computer for a few hours…

      Let's try this again: Scott Walker seems to have overplayed his hand. Polls generally are showing over 60% of the public back the unions' position. The Teabaggers are flailing around trying to tie Obama's name to their whole Acorn-SEIU-Soros-Democrat-union thugs bogeyman, and the public isn't buying it. The Republicans would LOVE it if he would attack them, but the unions right now are winning the public relations battle without him taking a particularly visible stance. So if you're Obama, why would you now step in and give the wingnuts something that they think somehow validates their paranoid, insane point of view, especially with the dialog and atmosphere being so overheated?

      Answer: you don't. You stay the fuck out of the way and let them keep hanging themselves.

      But I'm sure you all have many examples of the union leaders in Wisconsin shitting themselves over the lack of support they're getting from the White House, right? I'm sure I've missed all those stories where the teachers jumped in front of the cameras to demand President Obama come out swinging on their behalf, right?

      Or maybe Wisconsin residents feel that at the end of the day this is a local dispute between the governor and his constituents and they don't want the federal government getting in the way at this point in time. Could that possibly be? Everyone check out question #12 on this poll over at TPM:

      Yes indeed, 68% of the Wisconsinites polled want Obama to worry about the federal budget and not get involved in a state dispute (said poll was also generally in favor of the union positions, attempts by right wingers to spin it notwithstanding.) And don't pull out the whole "Ike and integration" argument, because it's not remotely close to being similar. Win or lose, the teachers in Wisconsin still get to eat at any lunch counter they want. And until I see polls from Indiana and Ohio that say otherwise, I'm going to guess those states' residents will feel similarly.

      Any Wisconsinites want to tell us how much they appreciate people who don't live in Wisconsin proclaiming that they know what the president should be doing? I mean, I understand reps from Minnesota and Arizona have called for him to be more involved. What about the reps from Wisconsin? How do they feel about that idea?

      But no, one story in one of Rupert Murdoch's propaganda organs (it's the Wall Street Journal for fuck's sake) with some snarky "look the Dems are going to eat each other" tone, and we're going "Hey yeah, the conservatives are right! Why isn't Obama saying anything?" Congrats, you just let the wingnuts frame the debate by directing angst away from the Republicans and onto Obama being a pussy.

      Everyone wants to get pissed? How about you get pissed at the Sunday morning shows, which as of this morning were not going to bother booking one single union rep for this weekend (Meet the Press finally – grudgingly – booked Richard Tromka, but that's it.) Or get pissed at the unions for not supporting Dennis Kucinich in '08.

      As for the FDR quote, awesome. I so loathe the whole "FDR would have done this, LBJ would have done that argument." It's our version of the right wing invoking Jesus Reagan at every turn, demanding political leaders live up to the ideals someone else expressed instead of their own.

      Buttsecks, trucknutz, too and also.

      • ohmyapapaya

        You are awesome. And as far as FDR goes he didn't take any stands for black people, he didn't take a stand for the Japanese he interred and he didn't take a stand for Jews wanting to come to the US to escape the coming genocide from the Nazis. He sucked on civil rights and civil liberties.

      • One_Man_Band

        "one story in one of Rupert Murdoch's propaganda organs (it's the Wall Street Journal for fuck's sake) with some snarky "look the Dems are going to eat each other" tone, and we're going "Hey yeah, the conservatives are right! Why isn't Obama saying anything?" Congrats, you just let the wingnuts frame the debate by directing angst away from the Republicans and onto Obama being a pussy."

        Yeah, because none of the people complaining that Obama is a pussy noticed anything like that before they read that article! Wow, just TODAY, reading something from the WSJ excerpted on Wonkette, I suddenly decided I was unhappy with Obama's job performance. Never had a single thought along those lines before now!

        All you are doing is making excuses for why poor Obama can't do any of the things we elected him to do because…[insert reason here]. Some of your excuses may even sound reasonable, but it is always easy to find reasons not to do something. Way easier than taking any action or risking a failure.

        I reached the point awhile ago when I was no longer willing to make excuses for Obama, and actually expected some results. Is it even possible for you to reach a point where you can't make excuses anymore? When, if ever, would that moment arrive? What would have to happen for you to realize that Obama will NEVER do anything for anybody that would even MILDLY INCONVENIENCE big business, big banking, Wall Street, corporations, the FIRE economy, etc.?

        • Now you're moving the goalposts. Did I say anything about any of that other shit? I'm saying that in this specific situation he would be doing more harm than good for his supporters by inserting himself into the conversation. And maybe he knows that (again I'll point you to the poll at TPM where 68% of the respondents said Obama should concentrate on the federal budget and not Wisconsin's. And those were Wisconsinites being polled.)

          But people want to assume the worst: that it's yet one more time when Obama won't show any spine. Which is exactly why the WSJ would print an article like that.

          You freaking out and saying "none of the people complaining that Obama is a pussy noticed anything like that before they read that article" misses the point. Of course people have complained about it, and so of course the right wing will write articles that exploit your anger about past incidents, and redirect it away from what the Republicans are currently doing. They are sowing dissent in the ranks.

          In short: you are getting played, and not by Obama.

          You say I'm making excuses. I say I'm pointing out there might be something else going on here. After all, do you think that Obama is not getting information from the unions about what's going on on the ground in Madison? Do you think the union leaders are not pushing their analysis of what they do and do not need up the Democratic Party food chain, and that none of that analysis is getting back to anyone in the White House and figuring into its response? Again, I see reps from Minnesota and Arizona saying he should be showing more support, but I don't see the people on the ground in Wisconsin doing the same. But you ignored that point in your response.

          Your whole spiel about Obama never doing anything to even mildly inconvenience anyone is a whooooooole other discussion that distracts from the immediate crisis in Wisconsin. Which is the whole fucking point. But it's much easier to accuse me of making excuses for Obama, I guess.

          Oh fuck, I've put enough time into this shit today. I'm done.

    • DustBowlBlues

      I'm just amazed at how serious this became. Many good points made. Esp. the one about Hopey getting involved and turning the conversation toward him, not Walker. That's a very good point. As it is, it's very hard for the Repubs, even Faux news, to make this little clown, walker, look good.

      The real problem is money. Money and the government it bought. The only hope is for the Republithugs to overreach, which is what they usually do. The fact the Supremes are bought and paid for is the most depressing aspect of this country. Let's impeach Scoot Walker and Clarence Thomas.

      • Apparently Shep Smith called him out today, but then Shep is the only occasionally-sane one over there.

        • not that Dewey

          It was delicious. Juan Williams was squirming like a kid who had to go to the bathroom, trying to equivocate in favor of the anti-union position. Shep wouldn't let him.

  • sportshort

    Hey, am I too late for the "Fuck Obama" bandwagon? Oh. Shit. Well, then I'll be early for the "Yay Obama!" bandwagon, sure to come along any minute now. I'm waiting….I'm STILL waiting….ahem….doot de doot de doo…oh when the red red robin comes bob bob bobbin along…dawg nab it where is that bandwagon?

  • user-of-owls

    As usual Ken, you're so full of shit your eyes are brown.

    Reagan wasn't white, he was gray.

  • hagajim

    The only Change I have seen since Barry was elected is that I have to change my underwear every day – per usual. As for that Hope thing, I just hope I don't get ass-raped by the right any more than twice a day over the next few months….it's like prison time.

  • 4tehlulz_lite

    You know what would help the workers of Wisconsin?

    Having the media spotlight on Obama is doing, not Scott Walker and his Kochsucking minions.

  • Walkinwiddaking

    He is gutless. Even W stuck to his indefensible principles.

    • Walkinwiddaking

      Of course with Bush it was a clear cut case of stupidity. In Obama's case..who knows?

    • DustBowlBlues

      And, incredibly, people actually liked him for it. Democrats don't look principled enough. Maybe because they're not. I wish I could go vote for a senator like Sherrod Brown. I wonder how many protestors bought the Hatriot bullshit and voted against Russ Feingold.

      • Walkinwiddaking

        "I wonder how many protestors bought the Hatriot bullshit and voted against Russ Feingold." Sadly, a majority.

  • “The fact is, is that it’s working people who are going to be pounding for him in a couple of years,” Ellison said, referring to the 2012 campaign.

    Pounding for him = Pulling for him = Whipping for him?

    Congressman Ellison is pretty edgy for the House of Representatives.

  • MinAgain

    "Labor? Ain't that what women do when they have babies?"

    • DashboardBuddha

      Ugh…and if you lose your job, could you face the death penalty?

  • Angry_Marmot

    Barry can go knock on his own damn doors next time– and I went door to door trying to sell Kerry and Mondale with a straight face.

    • One_Man_Band

      Yup. If we're going to get Republican policies anyway, the Republicans should at least be the ones who have to actually implement them.

      • Angry_Marmot

        I'd rather be a hoary marmot than a whoring marmot.

  • Steverino247

    When Walker mentioned the National Guard, Obama could have mentioned his power to Federalize said National Guard and everyone would have gotten the point. Jumping in now, barring some Kent State thing, won't help and will look like political grandstanding and meddling in state issues, which this actually is (although I understand the true mechanics of how this came about–millions of bucks spent by assholes to ruin the middle class and make even more money for themselves).

    The point is that it's too late for him to do anything visible/obvious now barring some huge Walker fuck up.

    Oh, and never, ever, expect somebody worth over a million dollars to help anybody who isn't worth over a million dollars. Dems need to stop looking for enlightened millionaires to run for office. Clinton hanging out with W in Haiti should have clued us all in about that. It's not being bi-partisan, it's looking out for other members of their socioeconomic class.

  • Fuck Toad

    You could put Scott Walker in jail for planning to hire thug violence against legal protests

    Using what particular police power of the federal executive? The "Scott Walker is a meanie" clause of the Constitution?

    You know, fuck Scott Walker, but you seem to have a massively inflated idea of what the President's role is in American society and government. If there's any reason to believe that Walker has broken federal law, sure, send the FBI in there. I don't see any reason to believe that so far.

    • ShaveTheWhales

      Well, it would be a stretch, but RICO?

    • I hear you, but when do we start playing the game a little tougher? The President should do it just to fuck with him. Give him something else to think about, waste his time, make him hire a couple of those overpaid government lawyers.

      Those fucking idiots wasted a year of our lives over a blowjob, we should be able to get some mileage out of threats of violence.

      • Angry_Marmot

        Let he who hasn't wasted a year of his life for a blowjob cast the first stone.

  • Barrelhse

    I won't vote for Obama again. Pretty fucking spineless on Libya. too. It may be time for us to chase a few money-lenders out of the country, ourselves. This place is no longer a dream, it's a pathetic joke.

    • aguacatero

      What exactly should he be doing in Libya? That seems to be one where all of the important stuff will be behind the scenes.

    • Dudleydidwrong

      I have no idea what he could do for Libya. I know damn well that I could never vote for any of the seven mental dwarfs (or however many there are) who are looking for the Republican olive leaf crown. That leaves Obama, as I see it. But I need to prod him to move toward those values that I had hoped he would exemplify as president. And if he won't move Leftward, then I'll bitch, scream, throw a temper tantrum in the ladies' underwear department of Walmart–and still vote for him. What's the alternative?

    • glamourdammerung

      We do anything in Libya and it makes any reform there pretty much fail. Giving dictators an enemy to prop up their regimes is the last thing we need to do with most of that region.

    • sati_demise

      His foreign policy toward these revolutions is exactly right.
      one place he done good

  • qualityshows

    In 2007 Obama said that if workers' rights were threatened he'd "put on a comfortable pair of shoes and walk that picket line…" Here's a clip of Obama claiming he'd "put on a comfortable pair of shoes and walk that picket line":

    I have a humor blog at

  • iburl

    Obama is a lot dumber than I thought he'd be. They say that he spent $700 million or so on the last campaign and that he expects to raise $1 BILLION for 2012. Um… who the hell is going to give that money? The unions won't have it because he sat on his ass when they needed him. Liberal independents like me aren't coughing up any more money in light of his lackluster performance on pretty much everything. (I wanted ACTUAL healthcare reform, like all the real countries got in the 1960's instead of the "force people into our broken system" type of reform.). His wall street friends that he keeps ass-kissing like the fact that they just had the 2nd most profitable year of all time, but, I'm pretty sure they'd still prefer a real Republican to a Democrat who just acts like a Republican when it's not election time. Feingold 2012.

    • ohmyapapaya

      Is Russ Feingold out there protesting? Maybe if the people of his state hadn't been dumb enough to vote the GOP into having complete control of his state and replacing him with a teabagger, this shit wouldn't be happening.

    • DustBowlBlues

      See my post below on GM. Gave more money to Repubs than Democrats. And they wouldn't be a company anymore if it weren't for Obama and the UAW. I hate these evil fucks.

    • The unions can give all they had, the Citizens United windfall going to Republicans will still be twice that or more.


  • rocktonsam

    Where those union mobster thugs and when are they going to kick some ass like in the good ole days?

    good times.

  • Rotundo_

    When the republicans nominate some half-wit in 2012 I think there will be enough people to mount a defense for Barry, or an offense if Barry isn't running. I felt good voting for Barry since he wasn't nuts or senile or stupid. This time it will the lesser of two evils again like most of the rest of my voting history.

  • qualityshows

    In 2007 Obama said that if workers' rights were threatened he'd "put on a comfortable pair of shoes and walk that picket line…" Here's a clip of Obama claiming he'd "put on a comfortable pair of shoes and walk that picket line":

  • EdFlintstone

    "And if American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States."

    Barack Obama 2007

    Oh, and fuck Scott Walker.

  • yyyaz

    … vs. Batshit/And Beyond! — 2012, ain't much of a choice, is it?

  • BarackMyWorld

    Someone inform the president that this isn't what Ralph Ellison meant when he talked about "the Invisible Man."

  • MosestheDog

    Obama needs to be treated roughly. The states can't do much better than avoid deficits, but the federal government has the capacity to bail them all out. Obama is once again siding with the Overclass to everyone else's detriment. All we need do is print money WITHOUT simultaneously accepting debt to the Fed.

  • GodShammgod

    If Barry gets his second term, it'll probably be almost exactly like Clinton's without the blowjob. He won't accomplish anything, and he'll probably sign more deregulatory laws that spark the next meltdown.

    We basically get to choose between pro-choice robber barons and pro-life robber barons. Whoopee.

    • aguacatero

      Jan 1997- Jan 2001 without Monicagate sounds OK to me, frankly. Nobody promised us ponies, I just want a world that is not physically destroyed and in which society is not too mean.

  • Lost_Teabaggers

    Yeah Ken I share the sentiment….I was initially concerned when I heard Obama was hiring all those ex-Clinton staffers….but ya know…he was given the benefit of the doubt to not be Clinton #2. Now that we're 3 years in….okay, it's official…this is Clinton's third term with all the lack of progress inherent….there, you've won me over, damnit.

  • neiltheblaze

    Bottom line – I'm going to vote for this bloodless triangulator again in 2012 because any possible Republican is most likely going to be fucking insane or a moron – or most likely, both.

    And Barry may be a lot of things – but he's not insane, and he's not a moron. And it's going to come down to two people, Barry – and some fuckhead. Choosing not to vote is choosing the fuckhead.

    Besides, in 2012 I get to vote against Scott Brown, and I'm not passing that opportunity up.

    • DustBowlBlues

      I will vote for Barry even if I have to shoot my way through a pack of cowboy morans.

  • sir_digby

    So, wait, are we making fun of people for thinking Barry would be FDR+MLK 2.0 or doing it ourselves now? I'm not a knee-jerk Obama defender but he's handling the Wisconsin thing as well as he handled the Egyptian thing (very well). Being a dick-swinging cowboy would have been bad in Cairo and it would be bad in Madison (following the Arab Spring/Wisconsin Cheese comparison precedent).

  • Guppy06

    How about an official Wonkette pool on when the Democrats will cave on Wisconsin? Winner gets +10p or something?

    I'm taking March 11.

  • ohmyapapaya

    So let me get this straight. These people in these states voted for GOP governors and GOP legislatures and gave then complete control of their state governments and now they want Barack Obama to come and save them from what they either voted for or let happen because Barack Obama wasn't making them feel all hopey and changey in the same way he did in 2008? And before you tell me about how much unions supported Obama, 40% of people in unions vote GOP. The only reason they are pissed is because they thought the GOP would just fuck over Mexicans, women, and black people. Elections have consequences and now they don't want to live with the consequences even though it's what they should have known they were asking for when they voted or didn't vote. We'd just gotten free of GOP rule and these idiots went back for more. I guess all of these formerly blue states turned red, needed a little more. It's not Barack Obama's fault that these fools didn't know who was hitting them over the head. Maybe a few more beat downs will help clarify things. These states dumped the Democratic party and now that their new GOP boyfriends aren't being very nice they want their old boyfriends to rescue them. They got themselves into this mess (again) and now they can get themselves out of it. Fuck these people for the shitty situation they put themselves, the President and the rest of the country in. Maybe now they have a better idea of the crazy, ignorance, stubbornness and evil he was dealing with and will stop blaming him for every fucking thing. Maybe now they know what it's like to not have your so-called allies having your back when shit gets critical. I know that blaming Obama for everything is how shit goes nowadays, but he didn't choose to have the GOP win big in 2010, the American voters did and now they are stuck with what they voted for.

  • DustBowlBlues

    The old days: In 1948 the UAW gave Walter Reuther a house in appreciation for what he had done. It was beautiful. Two bedrooms, one bath, a dinette and an attached garage. Reuther refused to ever move out of it, even when union staff salaries were much higher and his staff would've like to have nicer houses, except the old man was showing them up.

    GM showed a profit last quarter–or was it year? They owe their lives to Obama and the UAW, so the company gave more of their pac money to Repubithugs than Democrats.

    Corporations are evil. Evil. Evil.

  • crybabyboehner

    Wait a minute – Reagan was white?

  • deyallbad

    wow, just wow! i like angry ken layne

  • deyallbad

    Obama is not only invisible, he seems to be oblivious, too. How can he be so unaware that the very people who elected him are appalled at what they have created.

  • deyallbad

    i really didn't believe that things could get worse than when bush was in office

    • neiltheblaze

      Why not? The ones making it worse are, in fact, Republicans. Like always.

  • not that Dewey

    The Confluence called — they'd like their Obama-hating back. They can tell you, in exquisite detail, how effective a strategy that is.

    Prommie, Owls, Opus, Chet, et al.: keep on keepin on. You're much better at making the case for political pragmatism than I could possibly be.

    And Wookies — I agree that direct action is the way to go (I implied as much, earlier). And I don't mean these stupid MoveOn/Credo mass-fax-petitions. Those are easily ignored. Write a fuckin letter. On paper. Or attend the rallies, as NIC and other brave Wonketteers have done. There are enough people here who can put a fuckin argument together that even a couple dozen paper letters/persuasive voices at a rally would have way more impact than 43,000 MoveOn fax-petitioners.

    C'mon, people. Pull together.

    • And if I get my p up to 102 in the process, that's just the cherry on top of this ice cream sundae.

  • Negropolis

    You aren’t Reagan. Deal with it. (Reagan was white.)

    Sometimes, you can be a bit unfair, but I think this is the best observation you've made about the guy and his situation in many moons.

    This actually proves that the president is morally weak.

    • sati_demise

      no, he is just always late.

      • Negropolis

        Conveniently so. He's always late and behind because he wants to be, scoping the landscape until it's safe for him to say something.

        Let's be a bit more accurate: he's following instead of leading like a president should. Besides preparing a budget and overseeing departments, the whole other half of the presidency is playing the head of state, and that gets into meta territory. In that role, the president has to clear paths and make way where there wasn't one before. He has to facilitate the removal of legislative roadblocks and facilitate compromises. He or she has to always be out in the forefront, through. That's the least we demand.

      • Negropolis

        Conveniently so. He's always late and behind the curve because he wants to be. It's by design. He's following instead of leading like a president should be. It's why despite all of our gains since 2006 the Republicans still control the national vocabulary. It's why we're talking about what and how much we need to be cutting, right now, instead of if we should even be cutting in the middle of a weak recovery, at all.

  • Negropolis

    The president is becoming Michael Scott. He seems not to understand that he's "the first black president" with the important and dangerous part being that he's "black" and the the whole novelty of having been "the first" has now completely worn off for "independents" (i.e. rather middling, non-political white folks who wanted something "exotic" for a change, like a pet tiger). This is how it always works in every sector and aspect of American.

    I mean, he has to realize like most of us other black folks, that no matter how good or bad a president he is that it's very likely he would be a one-term president, regardless, right? Given that real possibility, even from the very beginning of all this, why isn't he executing shit as if he were dying? I mean, Jesus could come down and personally vouchsafe for this guy's character, and if the "independents" turn on him, there wouldn't be a single, godddamned thing he could do about it.

    Poor fool. He still seems to believe that he's in control of more of his electoral chances than he really is. He seems to stupidly believe that he can play the traditional political game like everyone prior to him, and reap the same benefits and pay the same costs/prices.

    Hey, fucker. You're in uncharted territory. You aren't Ronnie-fuckin'-Reagan, and most important, you're not white, hate to break it to you. The same rules don't apply to you; you will not be judged by conventional measures and standards. So, you better start fucking leading as if you wont get another chance.

    But, keep on triangulating as if you were some normal politician and see where it gets you. You'll triangulate your ass right back to Chicago so politically damaged you'll be lucky if you could run competitively for your old senate seat. Hear me?

    • Beanball

      It's not like it hasn't been done before.

      Jackie Robinson was a "firster," back when he couldn't even stay in the same hotels or eat in the same restaurants as his teammates. But he went out and played every single game like it was his last gesture on Earth, setting astounding records his entire carer.

      Maybe it's good Obama should stay out of the way *this* time, but, godammit, Obama has stayed out of the way of everything so far.

      Feingold 2012

      • Negropolis

        Maybe it's good Obama should stay out of the way *this* time, but, godammit, Obama has stayed out of the way of everything so far.

        Yes, I REALLY should make this clear. My partisan side would like me see him standing on top of a car with a bullhorn on the Wisconsin capitol grounds, but I understand what he's doing in this very specific situation, though, I would like a stronger statement, even a simple one, where he makes it clear that his sympathies and support lay with working people the nation over. He doesn't have to get specific, but all of this hedging with "I think" and "it seems" is horrible. If you're going to get criticized for making ANY comment on this, at least make it worth it. He doesn't have to be a firebrand, but he has to get the hell off the fence, already.

        To be clear, though, I'm criticizing him, in general, here.

        • Respitetini

          <quote>If you're going to get criticized for making ANY comment on this, at least make it worth it.</quote>

          This has been my problem with him all along. He could say "I'm going to give $10B to each company on the Fortune 500, and add further incentives for them to dump CO2 in the atmosphere," and the GOP would somehow make him look like Jerry Rubin. So as long as the GOP is going to block and confront and whatever, let's start the conversation with wild-eyed idealism (you know, like maybe making sure Americans have enough to eat) and see how much stomach the GOP actually has for a fight. But no, with 59 seats in the Senate and a clear majority in the house, that quisling bastard punted. Now he has much less than that, so obvs. we're all fucked.

          • Negropolis

            And yet you still have well-meaning folks crying "he has to get re-elected" as if what he's doing is in any way increasing those chances. It's not. I hope folks don't look at 2010 like it was some abberation. It could very well become the norm if it's treated that way. You know, where Democrats and Democratic sympathizers just say "fuck it" and stay home.

            We're very close to the point where Democrats don't think they can win…

          • You hit it on the head. I mean, if the roller coaster of emotions that has been the last two years doesn't take a rebound, the next person to come along and say "Change" is gonna get laughed off the podium. We need some empowerment, and like in like a critical way right now. That is why I'm hopeful for this current movement. People stood up on their own it seems, now they need the higher ups to bless it and hear them. Will they? Hate to even hope at this point.

            If we get beat on this, Citizens United, and the tax cuts, not only will the Left be structurally unable to compete, we will get a defeatist mentality. Then forget it forever.

          • Negropolis

            Yep. It's really turning into a hellish tailspin and self-fulfilling prophecy. Citizens United all by itself means that the left has to work at least twice as hard as before. You stack the other shit on top, and we could very easily be buried for a long, long time, and the shitty thing would be that we wouldn't be defeated by a popular movement. Hell, even the Republicans don't like the Republican Party, anymore.

  • Allmighty_Manos

    I've come to the conclusion that the office of president is kind of irrelevant to anything that is actually going on.

  • Teargaskov

    Jeez, he gave them GM, what do they want now, representation?

  • Ducksworthy

    Shit. Until there's an organized left to oppose the oligarchy we're going to be forever screwed. And reading this thread makes me realize how unlikely that is. Nonetheless me and my family will be on the capitol lawn in St. Paul tomorrow.

  • Time to call it: Barack Obama, Worst Black President Ever!

    The David and Wayne Palmer Admins were bad enough, with horrible terrorist attacks on American soil every damned year. But this morally and orally weak weenie, Obama, makes me pine for the deeply reassuring cadences of courtly old President Beck. The world almost ended, but he pulled us through. Learn from your betters, Barry!

  • Ah, the self perceived superior intellect of the progressive left, once again, fails them. What were they thinking? Useful idiots. Thanks libprogs!

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