not really cool with this at all

No Wait, Historians Now Referring To ‘Bush-Obama Presidencies’

'Looking well, Barack!' 'Feeling well, George!'Ugh, is this how people in Rome felt in the decades between barbarian sackings? You know, those supposedly “quiet” gaps in the Historical Timelines between momentous & terrible events? And are we at the end of one terrible-yet-mundane space between Major Catastrophes — 9/11 and then … what? Or, maybe 9/11 is in the same decade-long spot as the beginning of the Global Economic Collapse/Permanent Climate Change/Japan Radioactively Melts Into the Sea which is then followed by … Global Plague Pandemic? Giant Meteor? Will anyone even be left to produce an elaborate historical timeline for the remaining seven students, in the future? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Let’s focus on the immediate issue, which is academic-historian types beginning to describe the previous dozen-plus years as the “Bush-Obama Presidencies.” Oh good lord, really?

Here are two bits from this excellent/terrifying piece at

The record shows impressive continuities between the two administrations, and nowhere more than in the policy of “force projection” in the Arab world. With one war half-ended in Iraq, but another doubled in size and stretching across borders in Afghanistan; with an expanded program of drone killings and black-ops assassinations, the latter glorified in special ceremonies of thanksgiving (as they never were under Bush); with the number of prisoners at Guantanamo having decreased, but some now slated for permanent detention; with the repeated invocation of “state secrets” to protect the government from charges of war crimes; with the Patriot Act renewed and its most dubious provisions left intact — the Bush-Obama presidency has sufficient self-coherence to be considered a historical entity with a life of its own.

Uhh … and:

A certain mystery surrounds Obama’s perpetuation of Bush’s economic policies, in the absence of the reactionary class loyalty that accompanied them, and his expansion of Bush’s war policies in the absence of the crude idea of the enemy and the spirited love of war that drove Bush. But the puzzle has grown tiresome, and the effects of the continuity matter more than its sources.

Bush we knew the meaning of, and the need for resistance was clear. Obama makes resistance harder. During a deep crisis, such a nominal leader, by his contradictory words and conduct and the force of his example (or rather the lack of force in his example), becomes a subtle disaster for all those whose hopes once rested with him.

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  1. Tundra Grifter

    We're a bit close to events here to start making such sweeping statements.

    They say you can't see the forest for the trees. Well, in historical terms you might say our nose is buried in the bark.

    Remember when Henry Kissinger asked the Chinese Premier what he thought of the French Revolution? "Too early to tell."

  2. Serolf_Divad

    Bush we knew the meaning of, and the need for resistance was clear. Obama makes resistance harder.

    Sounds like a line from a Maria Carey song.

      1. prommie

        No news lately on the old war-criminal and his tricky ticker. You suppose that they have already quietly located the perfect genetic match for him and then arranged for the target to meet with a convenient "accident?"

        1. V572 T-Blow

          I've already put them on notice of three stents in my coronary arteries. Pick someone else!

      2. prommie

        Or maybe they are just saving him so he can die right before the 2012 GOP convention, so as to amplify the convention boost?

  3. neiltheblaze

    All these endless comparisons! Can't we just agree that Obama is failing in his own, unique way?

  4. Goonemeritus

    Kurt Vonnegut once compared Presidential power to the steering wheel on a 1960 era childs car seat. Sure you have a little horn and you can turn the wheel but real control — not so much.

        1. AJWjr.

          Right? Nader is an asshole forever because of the hatchet job he did on the Corvair. If the USA had continued building smaller, more economical and more nimble cars, the horrible 70's and 80's Detroit crap might not have happened, the oil embargos might not have happened, and our trade deficits might not have ballooned either. Also, Florida 2000. Fuck Nader.

          1. GOPCrusher

            Growing up, we had a neighbor that owned a Corvair that it seemed like he worked on five days a week to drive it two.
            But, yeah 2000. Fuck Nader.

          2. LionHeartSoyDog

            Gore laid down, curled up in a corner and licked his nuts while the election was stolen.
            That wasn't Nader's fault.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        I drove a Corvair in 1970-71. Great little car, even if it did have that trademark GM handling… I think 65% of the weight was on the rear wheels, which made for great starts and scary turns. Perfect for donuts in a parking lot, but for the streets, ehhhh … not so much.

      1. poncho_pilot

        did they ever stop trying? if i were a writer i'd take having my books treated that way as a badge of honor. or at least a sign of a job well done.

    1. prommie

      In the 1960s, the car was only slightly more responsive to the real stearing wheel than it was to the fake stearing wheel. How do you spell "stear?" Its not like the de-balled bulls, is it?

    1. Dashboard_Jesus

      Bartlett is a Reagan/ Bush I supply-side/ trickle down (your leg) Repig douchebag…I wouldn't even read past the first sentence of this asshole's *anal-ysis*

  5. OC_Surf_Serf

    Same stupid tax cuts, same multiple wars, same shitty economy… but the ability to pronunciation has improved, though.

    1. genxr

      This will all turn around once Obama and Bush hatch a crazy scheme involving a gorilla on a party train, with Condi Rice playing the foreign exchange student.

      1. tihond

        Tickets are now available for "Soul Train 2012." Failing that, Obama and Bush could remake "White Men Can't Jump" with Alberto Gonzalez playing the Gloria Clemente part.

  6. Porter Melmoth

    When will Americans learn that the term 'American Experiment' means exactly that: we are Petri dish protoplasmic slime cells, put on this planet to be futzed with and gutted with and ejaculated on by powers that we cannot even guess at.

  7. Oblios_Cap

    A certain mystery surrounds Obama’s perpetuation of Bush’s economic policies, in the absence of the reactionary class loyalty that accompanied them, and his expansion of Bush’s war policies in the absence of the crude idea of the enemy and the spirited love of war that drove Bush. But the puzzle has grown tiresome

    It's almost like the author believes that there are actually 2 different parties, each with their own ideas for governing instead of the 2 parties who both owned by the same groups of people.

    That's so cute!

    1. Cicada

      Agreed. If Code Pink were successful in forwarding the progressive agenda, they'd be analogous to the Tea Party. As a political force they're about as effective as the LaRouchies.

    2. GOPCrusher

      Screaming WAR CRIMINAL and trying to put Karl Rove in handcuffs=Terrorism
      Screaming SOCIALIST KENYAN MUSLIM USURPER and carrying signs of the President as an African witch doctor=Patriotism

      Got it.

      1. Negropolis

        Also, the tea party got dozens and dozens of folks elected to Congress. Code Pink? Yeah, not so much. Our "crazies" seem to have very little influence on actually changing or enforcing existing public policy.

    1. pdiddycornchips

      Rightwing asshole he may or may not be but it's hard to argue that Hopey hasn't continued many of Bush's policies. Hell, Geithner and Bernanke's policy of felating the bankers while demanding austerity from the rest of us isn't exactly a plank in the Democratic platform. Hopey didn't even need to fire Geithner, he wanted to quit but Obama talked him into staying. There's no logical explanation this. Obama has to know the country is in a pretty foul mood because the economy sucks ass. He should also know that bankers aren't very sympathetic figures among the electorate. Tossing Geithner under the bus is a no brainer from a policy and a political viewpoint. The guy was ready to resign for god's sake. Why not, at the very least, accept his resignation and use the opportunity to stir up his economic team?
      It baffles me why so many people will defend a Democrat who governs like a Republican. It's the worst possible scenario if you're a progressive. Republicans implement their agenda and Democrats get the blame for the inevitable negative outcome.

  8. freakishlywrong

    Really, the only difference is the level of hatred and disrespect dumped on the President. No. Assholes. Both sides DON'T do it. We never even came close.

  9. Rosie_Scenario

    Some of us can see/ make a very clear distinction between Dubya and Obama. Like waking from a nightmare. The Nobel Peace Prize may have been premature, but those old Norwegians were saying something about a new U.S. diplomatic stance and the real possiblity of change. Implementing that change takes time, esp. with the GOP blocking every move and world-wide economic recession/ depression, but Bush/ Obama? I think not.

    1. TX_Bluebonnets

      Rosy Scenario, indeed.

      The only hope I still have is great cataclysm forcing great change, and the only change I see is "Defeat the new boss, same as the old boss."

      But don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow. It'll soon be here. For Annie and the remaining hopey/changey believers.

      Sorry, antidepressants haven't kicked in yet this morning.

    2. V572 T-Blow

      We're all seeking evidence to demonstrate that you're right. He couldn't close Gitmo because Congress specifically forbade him to fund that, okay. But the state-secret horseshit is the worst — it's totally within his power to put an end to that nonsense.

    3. pdiddycornchips

      "The Nobel Peace Prize may have been premature, but those old Norwegians were saying something about a new U.S. diplomatic stance and the real possiblity of change"

      I forgot about the Nobel Peace Prize. Classic. They gave him the prize not for anything he did but in anticipation of what they expected him to do. We elected a guy who is used to getting credit for things he hasn't done yet. That's been true since his days in the Illinois State Senate. No wonder he's under-performed as President. He has no experience in accountability. He's never had to worry about it.

      1. Negropolis

        Bitter PUMA says what? I can always tell genuine criticism from those for whom the criticism is kind of secondary to a negative feeling.

      1. Dashboard_Jesus

        well maybe you should PAY ATTENTION and look at the facts, Obama HAS delivered on MANY of his campaign promises while facing a tsunami of hateful ignorant racism from the batshit crazy white fucks of the *conservatard* movement…here's a good little educational refresher for you, now listen closely…

        1. tejanojim

          Many of his campaign promises? Which ones? I'm not trying to be rude or inflammatory, but the only one I can think of offhand is health care reform, which is a pretty awful clusterf@ck of a bill.

    4. Dashboard_Jesus

      well said Rosie, and AMEN! no comparison at all between the evil fucks at Cheney/ Bush Inc and Barry O'bama no matter what the libs or conservatards say/ think

  10. donner_froh

    I agree with just about everything Bromwich writes, particularly the military/diplomatic issues–which is a shame.

    Obama is as much a willing captive and functionary of the national security state as any recent president.

    However if David Bromwich is a historian then I am the Queen of Sheba.

  11. fuflans

    yeah, 'tom', i can certainly see how barry picked justices JUST like alito and roberts.

    jesus are we in the summer doldrums or what?

    1. TX_Bluebonnets

      Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

      Puppet Masters!

      Futurama's brain creatures!

      But where, o where, is the person whose brain doesn't get theta waves?

    1. reliefsinn

      Great, I am looking forward to more 60 year old grayed haired men with ponytails roaring up and down the streets of my town in dual exhaust motorcycles, plus caravans of housewives in 6 MPG SUV's sucking down high test, headed to yard sales all spring/summer/fall.
      Thanks, President Bachmann!

  12. Porter Melmoth

    I think it's rather quaint that Americans still think that one little mortal President (or his personality) actually makes a difference, in light of the real powers that run the show. This is typical of all empires in their late phase. The difference between Dubya and Barry is about as significant as between Olybrius and Glycerius late, late, late in the Roman Empire's day.

    1. tejanojim

      I agree with your larger point, that the trajectory of this enterprise is largely set, but I think your example is less than apt. Olybrius was installed as a figurehead by the general who actually held power, and he took the throne after Rome was sacked by barbarians and after the Roman Empire had been divided into two political units. I haven't noticed D.C. getting flattened by Canadians and Mexican drug lords, nor is there an East Coast United States and a West Coast United States. Maybe in 20 years or so?

      1. Porter Melmoth

        I am refreshed by your scholarship, sir, and I admit to the superficiality of my example. These days, a fella's forced to dig pretty deep to find historical examples that resonate with we moderns.

        1. tejanojim

          Meh, don't give me too much credit – I just read the wikipedia articles. If there were a West and East Coast United States, imagine how much chaos would be churning around the middle. South Carolina – "Up yours, Yankees. We're the Confederacy again!" Texas – "Fuck you, South Carolina. We're a Republic!"

  13. Sue4466

    Obama continues Bush's right wing policies, but is called a socialist liberal. So the "center" moves farther to the right, leading to complete loons like Bachman, Perry, Paul, et al. as the new GOP leadership. Because of this shift, truly batshit insane rightwing ideas start to get traction as legitimate–like no tax increases ever under any circumstances, warrantless wiretaps, indefinite detention. That stuff is INSANE, but things are so skewed now, it's socialism to point it out. Or America-hating.

    For me, this makes Obama more complicit than the GOP itself in the politicos' lurch to the right and disregard of any even vaguely leftie policies (even those completely supported by vast majorities of this "center right country ™").

    Because these things are bad when the right does them, but worse when they're done by people defined as "on the left" despite all evidence to the contrary. It's not even about betraying the base. It's about completely abandoning policy options that might actually benefit the majority of people because they're seen as too left-fringy. You know, things like the Clean Air Act, EPA, and other Nixonian/socialist programs. Or taxes.


    1. GOPCrusher

      I think Obama went in to this with good intentions. He just underestimated the level of hatred that would be leveled at him and the Republiklans dragged him down to their level, knowing that they could beat him.
      Look, everyone had written off the Republiklan Party as dead and buried after the President's election, and they knew it was true.
      The only thing I can accuse the President off was not seeing it, and not fighting it.

      1. Sue4466

        I'd buy that if this was late 2009 or 2010. But it's now been more than two years, untold number of battles, and he's still not getting it and thinking the solution is to negotiate with people who want to destroy his presidency. If nothing else, the GOP has been honest about that intent. They've said we want him to fail, we don't want to help him get re-elected, we want this legislative fight to be his Waterloo. Yet he keeps falling for it. And he keeps rejecting Democratic principles. Last week (or earlier this week, I can't remember) he said public sector employees would need to make sacrifices on account of the economy.

        And it's not even just that. It's that he has always been a centrist, which nowadays means to the right of Ronald Reagan. But he helps move the line–just like Clinton did before him–by constantly giving away Democratic principles at the outset and then negotiating the rest away.

        Obama is smarter than I am. So if I can see it, so can he.

  14. chascates

    Future historians referred to this period as the 'Golden Age' before the Perry/Bachmann administrations led to the Second Constitutional Convention which removed all previous amendments with the statement that "God is above, the Devil below, and trial by fire shall determine witchcraft."

      1. GunToting[Redacted]

        That's the first article… If they sink and drown, they are innocent of witchcraft. If they float, they shall be retrieved, dried off, then burned at the stake. Consumed = witch. It's the wingtard version of the Court of Appeals.

  15. Ducksworthy

    Lets see. 60-70% want more progressive policies (end the wars, single payer, tax the rich, preserve Medicare & Social Security whole). 20% think the President is a Kenyan usurper. What's the middle ground here? What sort of compromise would work best?

    1. Ken Layne

      Haha, am I putting too much of the editor in the edited?

      Wonkette Jr. is still our testing ground, and we are still tossing a few of these posts up, each week, and none of the tryout contributors has ascended to Actual Byline Status since Ms. Boyd-Johnson made the grade. So, if anyone thinks they can actually do this — without me having to rewrite the things and miss the whole point of my alleged retirement — please do send your audition post to tips@.

  16. prommie

    I like the theory that says the GOP is owned by the extraction industries (the oil bidness) , but panders to rednecks and yahoos for votes, while the Democrat party is owned by the finance industry, and panders to the culture elites and the gay tree-hugging welfare socialist black union thugs.

    1. V572 T-Blow

      There's no innate reason for capital-intensive extraction industries to be run by rapacious greedheads, but they always are. Look at Chile: the whole (beautiful) country is a copper mine with a flag. Salmon fishing and wine growing are just hobbies of the European elites who killed off all the Indians or exiled them to Tierra del Fuego years ago.

      I can speak with great authority on Chile because I spent three days in Santiago and Valparaiso a few years ago, and am giving serious consideration to reading the Wikipedia article.

    1. ThundercatHo

      So, does this mean that Obama is going to turn into a giant meglomaniacal worm from the waist down and Texas will become an oasis?

  17. jus_wonderin

    Why wait to write history? No one will be around to write/read it later. Well, until roaches evolve as evidenced in "Rise of the Planet of the Roaches".

  18. V572 T-Blow

    Jeez, I spend my whole life scraping together enough dinero to maybe retire in genteel poverty if I don't live too long, and now you tell me the only safe haven will be on another planet. Goddammit, it wasn't bad enough that the recession began the day I graduated from college, I got drafted just before the draft ended, got to be one of the last American military people in Vietnam, and bought a house the day the housing market crashed — now this! I'm a victim, I tell you — I feel like Sarah Palin.

  19. Ducksworthy

    Lets see. 60-70% want more progressive policies (end the wars, single payer, tax the rich, preserve Medicare & Social Security whole). 20% think the President is a Kenyan usurper. What's the middle ground here? What sort of compromise would work best?

    1. prommie

      Both sides need to be willing to give a little; we will slash Social Security, privatize medicare, repeal Obamacare, impeach the usurper, BUT, he will get life in prison, instead of death. There you have it, a perfect compromise!

  20. SayItWithWookies

    Sure, the Dubya tax cuts are still with us, as is Gitmo. But one president created those monsters while the next one determined to end them until the tax cuts were kept alive when House Republicans held the budget hostage, and plans to end Gitmo were attacked by the screaming xenophobes yelling about imprisoning terrorists on American soil.

    Not to mention President Obama is restoring at least a moderate amount of sanity to our financial and environmental regulatory structures, passed a $700 billion stimulus that prevented the recession from being even worse, fully funded SCHIP, has cooperated with our allies on foreign policy initiatives rather than bullied them, is also promoting human rights and citizen empowerment in the Middle East instead of looking the other way when dictators murder their people, and — oh yeah — passed a freaking universal healthcare act that, watered down as it may be, has never ever been done before in America.

    So basically there's a huge fucking difference between the two. How someone doesn't see this is a mystery.

    1. Radiotherapy®

      Lest we forget his dusty Nobel Prize was a show of respect by the rest of the world. somehow that trophy needs to be parlayed as a positive.

      1. V572 T-Blow

        Drone aircraft are an appealing wet-dream to a president — or a dictator — because there is no possibility of a heroic white boy winding up in a POW camp, but you still get to blow stuff up. Remote control, suckahs!

        The services resisted them off for years and years until General Atomics applied enough lobbying muscle to force them on the Army, Navy and Air Force.

      2. SayItWithWookies

        I could list plenty of other things our government does that I personally find appalling too — I'm not saying he's perfect by any means, but Pakistan and Somalia are both intractable messes that need some sort of stability because chaos would be even worse.

        Yes, secret prisons in Somalia are disgraceful — I'm not so horrified by the drone strikes because our troops aren't allowed in Pakistan and there's only so much we can do to combat an enemy who's being financed by the ISI, so that's a fucked-up situation to begin with. But right now Somalia is just a bunch of freaks running around with guns.

    2. V572 T-Blow

      Incremental gains are so unsatisfying! We want apocalyptic change, like Bush gave us….oh, wait a minute, maybe not.

    3. SorosBot

      No no Obama is JUST LIKE BUSH because he didn't accomplish everything he wanted too and he could have made the Republicans in Congress do whatever but he refused to use his magical powers and so Imma vote for Nader this time so that Bachmann gets to be President and therefore I'll prove I'm true righteous pure liberal and that's better than preventing a batshit insane wingnut administration.



      1. pdiddycornchips

        Honestly, why vote at all? If a Republican gets elected we'll get rightwing policies that will hasten our return to feudalism. If Obama gets elected we get rightwing policies that will hasten our return to feudalism but Repubilcans get to blame it all on liberals.

        1. SorosBot

          Yes, right-wing policies like universal healthcare, the end of don't ask don't tell, two liberal justices on the Supreme Court instead of a six justice block of reactionary conservatives, stimulus to prevent the recession from being a depression, stricter financial regulations, and attempts to end the Bush tax cuts, enact a carbon tax, close Gitmo, and pass amnesty for undocumented aliens who came here as children that the GOP and Blue Dog Democrats blocked.

    4. imissopus

      I'm probably going to get slapped for defending Obama again, but I was reminding a friend of mine the other day that the Republicans were so determined to keep the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy intact that they refused to work on anything else, including a bill funding medical care for 9/11 first responders who are now dying slow and painful deaths with insufficient coverage, and the lame duck session was a very very brief window to get a couple of other things passed, including DADT. It might have been an ugly trade-off, but these are ugly, ugly people who have an unfortunately large amount of power in our system.

      1. rahelio

        I get what you're saying, I just wish Obama, or anyone else in the democratic party would call these assholes out. What message is more effective than, "these fuckers want to give millionaires tax cuts before they service 9/11 emts…how about you stop voting for them, kthnxbai!"

        1. PristinePantalones

          What you don't appear to be getting is that these assholes are voted into power by assholes just like themselves. There's a reason the Good Ol' Boys keep getting voted into office. Just go visit Inhofe's Web site someday, or Cornyn's. The gushing devotion of their electorate is scary when you consider that these fuckwits are basically screwing their own voters over repeatedly.

          1. GOPCrusher

            The trailer parks are full of people that are convinced that raising taxes on people making over 250K a year, will kill America.

          2. Biel_ze_Bubba

            Koch to the unemployed white bumpkins: "Gimme a tax break and I might give you a job."

            So they vote for the teabaggers, and wait. If they're still unemployed by November 2012, they'll listen to the teabaggers' shit about how it's all Obama's fault, rather than admit they've been sucker-punched by the Republicans AGAIN. Part of me feels bad for the morons, but part of me wants to slap the shit out of them for being so fucking stupid.

          3. Cicada

            The trailer parks are full of poor people, who tend to vote for Dems (when they vote at all). You should be slamming the people in retirement homes if you want to be more accurate.

            We like to mock people like SkoalRebel here on Wonkette, but the reality is that it's the olds and white middle/upper classes who make up the largest voting bloc for the GOP.

            A person who's actually lived in a trailer park.

          4. PristinePantalones

            I actually had a colleague try to beat me senseless with that argument. "But you won't like it if YOU win the lottery …" was one of the arguments proferred. I pointed out that my chances of winning the lottery in some distant future were distinctly lower than my chances of needing unemployment, Social Security, health care, or any of the other bazillion things that are supported by our taxes (you know, like bridges that don't collapse when you attempt to drive over them). She stormed off in a huff and said I didn't understand economics (!!).

        2. starfanglednut

          I agree with both of you, but I think some of the responsibility lies with us. I can only speak for myself. I should be protesting and advocating my ass off, harrassing my senators, etc. If the tea party can have a "grassroots" movement, so can we. Fuck the banks, tax the rich, care for vulnerable citizens as all just governments must do, and protect the goddam fucking environment cuz none of this stuff means shit if the earth is a charred, lifeless sphere spinning in space.

      2. pdiddycornchips

        Well, here's an option the President may have not considered. He could have said fuck you. The tax cuts expire and if you (Republicans) want to stab old people and veterans in the back in order to protect a few billionaires, then go for it. Let's see who wins that showdown. That might have worked and even if it didn't, the precident would have been set. I wonder what lessons the Republicans learned from watching Obama fold like a lawn chair?

        1. imissopus

          Right, but this was the lame duck session; at that point the next election was two years away. Meantime he wanted Congress to ratify the New START treaty, repeal DADT, get the funding for the first responders passed, throw some unemployment extensions in with the tax cut extensions, get the House to pass a Senate bill that had been lingering which funds child nutrition initiatives and free school lunches for the next five years, and pass a food safety act that gave the FDA much more inspection power and was called the most sweeping food safety bill passed since the 1930s. If he'd tried the standoff you're describing then maybe none of those things happen, and they certainly wouldn't have happened after the new Congress was inaugurated.

          I agree the tax cuts need to expire. But these other things do make a difference for a lot of people, usually in much more immediate and visible ways than higher tax rates on the rich would have.

          1. Biel_ze_Bubba

            The tax cuts expire unless there's legislation that extends them. The Dems control the Senate, and they could, if they only had the freaking balls, vote down extensions and let the cuts fucking expire.

            This is the time to give the teabaggers a taste of their own "no compromise" tactics.

          2. imissopus

            Sure, but I don't get what argument you're making, or at least the relevance. If you're saying the Dems should have done that last December, then the Republicans would have blocked every vote on every other bill the Dems wanted to bring to the floor. That's not speculation on my part, they were saying they would do so loudly and publicly. Hell, the entire Repub caucus signed and sent to Harry Reid a letter saying it. They would not have even allowed a vote to decouple the tax cut repeal on those making over $250k a year from those making under $250k. So if the Dems had called their bluff and done nothing and let the cuts expire, the Repubs could have spent the next two years bludgeoning voters making under $250k with "Democrats and Obama raised your taxes!"

            So the Dems made this deal whereby they got all the stuff I mentioned above, plus people making below $250k a year didn't see a rise in their marginal tax rates during a time when many of them are struggling financially. In return, the rich got low tax rates for another two years. Personally, I can live with that deal, even if it does not include the emotional gratification of being able to crow about millionaires seeing their taxes go up.

            Hell, considering how much government regulation and spending went into effect as a result of this deal, I'd say the GOP actually made a large compromise, because they are supposed to hate that kind of stuff with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

            Now, if your argument is that the Dems should do nothing during the next lame duck session that will happen over a year from now, I agree. Long term, those tax cuts have to be rescinded. But that's a long way off.

        2. PristinePantalones

          Those of us who were counting on unemployment to get through the next few months were the ones who "caved." The President knows that most of us live from paycheck to paycheck, and couldn't afford this fight.

          1. pdiddycornchips

            Well let's follow this logic to it's inevitable conclusion. As long as Republicans demand things, Obama will have to cave. He cannot stand up to bullying because the risk to (fill in the blank) is just too great. What is the solution? You're all adults, you have to know that Republicans have learned that bullying works. They aren't about to stop pushing their agenda, especially if they know Obama can be counted on to cave. Is that what you voted for back in '08?

          2. PristinePantalones

            Kid, it's not a game. Moving pawns on a board sounds all nice and cool and clever. In the real world, real people *cannot* hang on, can't feed their kids, without a weekly check coming in. If you're going to repeat these memes you've bought, at least recognize that you're doing it. The Republicans are going to demand things. So are the Democrats. I don't give a fuck about either of them if I can't feed my kids. It's that simple.

          3. imissopus

            But the parties will always be demanding things of each other in order to pass legislation. By your logic, every time Obama negotiates a deal where both parties get something they want, he's caved in.

            So what do you want the ultimate goal to be here? Do you want some sort of "victory" where libs get the emotional satisfaction of sticking it to the Republican Party? Or do you want to pass into law progressive legislation that could help people, even though the price is that rich people get low taxes for a couple more years or Medicare providers like hospitals and drug companies have to take a small hit on reimbursements?

    5. pdiddycornchips

      I get it. Obama would like to do things but he just can't. Those evil Republicans! It's a little too convenient don't you think? I hear variations of this argument all the time. It goes something like this. The president is powerless without 100% Democrats in both houses of congress. Therefore, nothing that happens (at least nothing negative) is Hopey's fault. He's the leader of the free world but we should never expect the leader to actually lead. He's powerless. So tell me again what difference it makes who we elect as president? According to this theory, it may as well be a cardboard cut out of Lincoln.

      1. SayItWithWookies

        He's clearly not powerless, and that's not my argument. Nevertheless, the Republican Senators in the previous session exercised the filibuster more than twice as often as in any other congress, and the Republicans don't mind playing brinksmanship games with every single essential bill that comes along.

        This isn't to say that Blue Dogs don't help them out or that Obama gets himself in trouble when he assumes the Republicans are negotiating in good faith, which clearly they're not. It seems like he's beginning to see that, like the story about Solomon, the mom willing to cut the baby in half is probably not the real mom.

  21. Callyson

    Unquestionably, Obama has not been as strong as he should have been in standing up to the Reeps and getting economic relief for Main Street.
    That said, the Bush – Obama presidency? Riiight…because Bush would have passed the Lilly Ledbetter act, ended DADT, and gotten bin Laden. Oh wait: he had eight years to do those things and didn't…

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Hey, they should both get credit for getting bin Laden — one of them got bin Laden, and the previous one got him a villa in Pakistan.

    2. fuflans

      yes that was my point about bamz' scotus picks.

      there are many things i wish this administration had done differently (for instance: succeeded in firing a – metaphorical – cap in netanyahu's ass) but anyone who thinks the mccain / palin administration would have followed a better course is smoking something i wanna be smoking.

      1. GOPCrusher

        The one thing that would have been smoking is the spot where Tehran used to be. And Secretary of State John Bolton laughs maniacally.

          1. jus_wonderin

            Oh, sorry. I was asking that question from the year 2263. I should have check my “Funk and Wagnalls”. We all have tentacles here.

        1. widestanceshakedown

          So he knows the GOP's inception date?

          He comes off much less smug than he did at the WHCD when he knew bin Laden's good eye was being plucked out by bottom-feeding fishes.

  22. Oblios_Cap

    There is a difference between the 2 parties – Rick Scott would never win the Democratic nomination at any level for any job, and Al Franken would never be allowed in the GOP. But the empty platitudes and pandering to the military and the morans in the "Heartland" by both parties really is getting old.

  23. TX_Bluebonnets

    OK, since we're in agreement at least that we are highly disappointed, and appear to have a large concensus regarding Reagan's 8th term (sweet, Thunder),

    is it time for some 1960's stuff?

    Levitate the Pentagon, anyone? Run a pig for President? Some free love and cheap marijuana?

    Alternative media?

    I could use some good hallucinogens. Antidepressants are far too reality based to be entertaining.

    1. Ken Layne

      We're going to need something a bit more dramatic & serious than media stunts. The age of the media stunt has passed. Anyone can say anything on the radio or on the Internet or (obviously) on the campaign trail. Too many words.

      Actions, however, are waiting patiently to be put to work. All actions are ultimately useful, even if specific events (Wisconsin, etc.) don't immediately turn out the way we'd like.

      1. GOPCrusher

        Last week, after the recall elections where the Republiklans lost two seats, NPR was reporting that in reality the Democrats do have the advantage in the Wisconsin Senate as there is Dale Schultz (R) that voted "No" against the Budget Repair Bill.

    2. Cicada

      Or you could go and work on local campaigns, where more liberal candidates have a chance of going somewhere. I'm not even talking about Congress, but about city-wide elections. If you're against teaching creationism in the classroom, support a school board candidate who isn't a creationist. That is exactly how the creationists got so many states to change their curricula: by targeting small elections.

      And yes, liberals have been less active in contacting our Congress/Senate critters during critical votes than the Teabaggers. It's a lesson we could stand to learn: make your voice heard! I'm not talking emails, but actual phone calls or showing up to public events. The ACA debate was a prime example of where liberals should have been turning out in droves to support our cause, but we managed to let ourselves be out-maneuvered by a bunch of Koch-suckers.

      I'm located in D.C., so I don't have a voting voice here. I still call my home state Reps, though.

      Bottom line: don't give up and keep fighting the good fight. Calling your reps or showing up for protests is a small sacrifice to make.

    3. Negropolis

      I think the Republicans are running multiple pigs for president, so we can scratch that one off.

  24. mavenmaven

    And to think, a short while ago, he was merely a repeat of Carter. What will the next downgrade be?

  25. gurukalehuru

    As far as "force projection in the Arab world" I think that goes back a bit farther than Bush. When was that whole "shores of Tripoli" thing? The Jefferson administration?

    1. SorosBot

      Or, if you want to look to our precedents in a nominally democratic empire that stands as the world's only superpower, as far back as Pompey the Great.

    2. Negropolis

      People seem to forget the no-fly zone over Iraq during the Clinton years (and before) where Clinton was basically bombing the shit out of Saddam for most of his presidency, it seems.

  26. weejee

    Well the Huns showed Europe how to stiffen its grip, laths on their bow grips that is. What have the Teabagging hordes brought? Well trucknutz, but besides that?

  27. poorgradstudent

    Is "Neoliberals versus Randroids versus the US Taliban; No Matter Who Wins, We Lose" not succinct enough?

  28. imissopus

    I can't keep up. Since he came on the scene Obama's been called the second coming of Hoover, FDR, JFK, Carter, Reagan, W, and even Nixon. He's been advised to act more like Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman, LBJ, Clinton and less like Reagan, W., Carter again…and these are just the ones I can come up with off the top of my head. At this rate, he'll have been compared favorably or unfavorably and advised to act more or less like every single president in American history, including William Henry Harrison, who spent the entire month of his presidency in bed dying of pneumonia.

    Just ugh. Someone wake me when my visa to Costa Rica comes through.

    1. SexySmurf

      Remember a simpler time when Obama was only compared to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, the ant-christ and Chavez?

      Pepperidge Farms remembers.

    2. fuflans

      you missed Honorius of rome. or wait, perhaps that should be the Alaric I?

      it's so hard to tell the difference between the sacker and the sackee.

      i said 'wake me up in october' but i like yours better.

      1. starfanglednut

        I love Costa Rica. They disbanded their military so they could spend the money on social programs, infrastucture, etc, and guess what? Nothing terrible happened.

  29. Fare la Volpe

    The American public is like a battered wife: we always go back to the same asshole who beat us.

  30. fuflans

    HAHAHAHA and day 3 proves just as astonishing:

    day #1: fed chairman treason!
    day #2: climate changes is fake and scientists lie!
    day #3: holes in theory of evolution!

    talk about a race to the bottom.

      1. fuflans

        oh THAT is just delicious. a popover.

        and this certainly won't be all over wonkette soon:

        “I’ve got a big mouthful,” Perry said and then ordering a glass of water.

        1. widestanceshakedown

          He could not have said that if he truly had a big mouthful, so it's another instant lie to cover up the previous lie. He really is Bush.

        1. PristinePantalones

          If … uh … if, … uh, if …

          And Conservatives make fun of Obama's speech patterns? This fuckwit can barely talk.

      1. glamourdammerung

        I do recall Fillmore doing a really bad deal with a regional Southern party that was based on this party negotiating in good faith (which they obviously were not) now that you mention it.

  31. owhatever

    At the end of eight years of Obama, then eight years of President Biden, things will be okey-dokey and rightwingnuts will have chewed all of the available lead-based wallpaper.

  32. ttommyunger

    I made the mistake of linking George W. Bush's name with a pedophile axe-murderer once and the latter sued the living shit out of me for Defamation of Character.

    1. proudgrampa

      That's like the guy who murdered his parents and begged for mercy because he was an orphan…

    2. PristinePantalones

      Pedophile adx-murderers have standards too, yaknow.

      Spelling? OK, typo. Edited for typo.

  33. DahBoner

    I find the Conflation Historians quite often make this logical error by treating two distinct concepts as if they were one, producing many laughable errors and misunderstandings.

    Is it Sweeps Week already???

    1. GOPCrusher

      Don't know. But she is familiar with the wars between President and a hostile Congress. And she knows what levels Republiklans will stoop too.

      1. PristinePantalones

        She also did a lousy job managing her campaign money and her people. Daily shit-flinging fests between your subordinates does *not* make you look like a good manager.

  34. tessiee

    "A certain mystery surrounds Obama’s perpetuation of Bush’s economic policies, in the absence of the reactionary class loyalty that accompanied them, and his expansion of Bush’s war policies in the absence of the crude idea of the enemy and the spirited love of war that drove Bush."

    Good point, and well stated.

    I will say, however, that however codependent Obama may be, he at least has a triple-digit IQ and can utter a coherent sentence in English. I haven't forgotten (unfortunately) what it was like to feel shamed and sickened every time dumbass spoiled rich kid Bush opened his mouth.

  35. tessiee

    We pretty much should have seen this coming when Obama didn't drive a stake through Bush's heart, chop off his head, set fire to his decapitated body, and then sprinkle holy water on the ashes.

    Yes, of course I realize that's a ridiculous statement.
    Everyone knows Bush doesn't have a heart.

  36. Chet Kincaid

    Fuck it. Layne/"Jr." mindlessly negative posts are a stinking turd on Wonkette, and the almost-certainly voter suppression trolls in the comments who only show up to take shots at Barry have shut the windows, doors and vents. I think I may have better things to do than wade through threads of relentless, witless negativity. If I was into that, I'd just read Redstate, Yahoo comments or World Net Daily.

    If you want to stick around and attempt to "restore sanity", be my guest. Meanwhile I will seek perspective in a bunch of places, but not here.

    1. imissopus

      Chet, I sympathize. We've tried to hold the line on this place turning into yet another bar full of firebaggers drowning their sorrows in local microbrews, but reason and carefully constructed arguments and sympathy with the challenges faced by the president just can't compete with such a simple and easily understood soundbite like "Barry gives tax breaks to billionaires! He's just like Reagan! Argle bargle!"

      As the man said,
      (warbling voice with Southern accent)
      you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em…

      Godspeed, Mr. Kincaid. I'll comfort LimeyLizzie in her grief.

        1. imissopus

          Aw, chin up, Lizzie. Tell you what: I'll put on my Gruppenfuhrer costume, you put on a simple peasant girl's dress, and we'll play "The Nazi Army Officer Interrogates the Simple French Milkmaid." You'll cheer up right quick.

          1. Limeylizzie

            Oooh yes please, or I'm good with the whole Jewish partisan hiding in the woods thing or handsome and cruel Maquisard , any and all or these scenarios tend to end with me naked and lying on top of some kind of food product.

      1. Limeylizzie

        Nicely put by the way, I have faith in our Barry and it breaks my heart to see him treated thus.

    2. Limeylizzie

      Nooooooooo!!!!!! Oh ChetKincaid, don't go away, just take a day or two off, but I will sob if you go.

    3. starfanglednut

      I feel your pain, Chet. I find one of the last bastions of intelligent snark on the web, and the source of so much liquid through the nose laughter for me over the last few years to be a darker place of late. It seems Ken kinda went off the rails, or off his antidepressants, and now is hiring only interns with equal Obama hate, and if you try to express support for Barry, or merely suggest that he may not be some kind of demon, there is a vibe like you are willfully naive or stupid, which I frankly resent. It is easy to be angry, and to equate Bams with Reagan, or Bush, when you were born during the Reagan years and/or you tend to think in absolutes. It is much more challenging to simply feel the despair sometimes inherent in American politics without blaming it on someone just because they havent been able to prevent it, as If they are the one who caused it, and then to keep shoveling in the right direction.

    4. not that Dewey

      The absence of your voice will cede more power to the haterz and doomsayers, whose minds won't be changed anyway. I always thought that the silent majority of Wonkette readers (7,000-something "likes" on the facebook page; how many commenters? A few hundred?) benefited from reading your fire-extinguisher wit and your steady sense of reasonableness. I'll have to try to learn how to do what seems to come so naturally to you. Better to light a candle that to curse the darkness, and all that.

      Cheerio, Chet.

  37. Negropolis

    Way, way, way too early – or at least not nearly enough real evidence – to be be forcing the two presidencies so closely together. If there is a real connection, it's not more real than the one that's stretched back to the presidency since at least WWII.

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