My name is Barth, and I am addicted to posting at TPM Cafe. You are supposed to say, “hi, Barth.”
Well, well, well. This is a nice place, a new home. The neighbors look familiar, though. Yes, this is going to work out just right.
I have not kept up with the whole TPM Cafe controversy. One day, it felt as if I was no longer able to post there. This morning, I was. I have read scattered expressions of frustration, but I am not one hundred per cent certain I understand all of the issues or what’s going on.
Whatever is going on there, I will continue to post there if I am allowed to since it has been proven repeatedly that TPM attracts an interesting crowd who, more than at any other site I know, appear to think through issues and not just spout either the party line or the provocative screaming that seems to be the core of other places where I also post such as, of course, Daily Kos.
During the election campaign in 2008, I got so frustrated with the nonsense at Kos that I threatened to never post there again, but that didn’t last. Still, the place I go for thought and interesting feedback, is TPM.
But this lovely place has many of the people I have come to depend upon and so here I am, too. If it’s allowed I will cross post from TPM Cafe on the one day a week that I am usually able to do this.
Maybe I will find a way to do new things here, too. I don’t know. For now, I can promise only this: I will try to limit my mention of or quotations from Regina Spektor to a reasonable level. I suspect that every other post at minimum will reflect my view that the greatest president we have ever had was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the most inspirational, at least in my lifetime, was John F. Kennedy. The current president is the next best I have seen in a sorry lifetime, which commenced less than a year before President Truman’s term (the one he won by election) was over.
Today, though, at a new home, it seems sort of dopey to post here, what I already posted at TPM today, though any comments about that post that you would want to drop here would be just lovely.
Instead, unable to really write two essays in one day, I thought I might republish something from 2008 which concerned what the Republican Party of today is. This first appeared when they were certainly about to lose and lose big (though I was warned against saying that). Reading it again, to see what I should save if the TPM cafe was to crumble, it seemed worth pasting here as they are about to recover some of their losses. (I am not sure that they will do as well as Mourning Joe and his ilk think, but we’ll post about that some other day.)
So, joining this ancient wisdom already in progress, with the first sentence below obviously referring to President G W Bush and his putative successor, Senator McCain…
Had the Republicans nominated Arnold the pig they would have presented a more qualified person to serve as president than the fool they foisted upon us for the past two terms and with all of his faults, and there are many with more appearing every day, he is far more serious, much more intelligent, and considerably better suited to be President of the United States than the man he would replace.
The more important point is that he is the candidate of the party that nominated that idiot twice and, poll them if you don’t believe me, would love to do so again, except that they are not allowed to because of a constitutional amendment foolishly enacted after President Roosevelt’s death to prevent any other president from serving more than two terms (more on that in paragraph or two) and the fact that even the hardcore in that party recognize that George W. Bush could not get elected as safety patrol coordinator in the most Republican part of the country given his historically low approval ratings.
The party tried to foist Mitt Romney on a gullible nation and, when that didn’t work even among Republicans (no mean feat to be too detached from reality that even Republicans would notice) they decided that Fred Thompson could take time off from his acting career, to serve as almost Reagan, but despite the altered history their party has written about the eternally popular Reagan, those of us who were awake in 1988 remember otherwise: that the country was quite sick of Reagan by the time his eight years were up, but since he seemed to be slipping away quietly it was not worth making too much of it. Another actor pretending to be president was not going to work twenty years later.
So Senator McCain looked like he might be the candidate, and the party made a deal with the man they so long considered to be the devil: if he would stop attacking them and acting as if they were bad, they would suck it up and accept his candidacy. Senator McCain in turn, like Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, could not resist the deal and took it. Within seconds, he stopped becoming John McCain and the man he is now is simply a front for the same Republican party that:
—gave us candidate Dole to run around the country talking about “Democrat wars” meaning World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam, thinking we knew no better, but eventually elected a second Bush to start a war in Iraq after we were attacked by people who were allowed to establish a base in Afghanistan and were protected by Pakistan,
—-piously claimed that government was too intrusive, then tried to remove any regulation that protected the public but retarded profits and then decided to spy on us,
—argued that the military was allowed to decay under a Democratic administration, then stretch it so thin by its foolish war as to endanger not only our country but the rest of the world, while sending soldiers out to die for the benefit of private contractors who contribute to their political campaigns, torturing military prisoners and removing the moral plane from which we could reasonably threaten those who did the same to our military with war crimes prosecutions,
—were willing to and did impeach a president for lying about his personal indiscretions, but would do no more than shake their heads at the most destructive president since the pure evil they foisted upon us while we were distracted by all that was 1968.
This is not a “brand” that has been “damaged” as the talking heads like to say. The Republican party of today is not the party of Lincoln or the first Roosevelt or their last president, Dwight Eisenhower, or even of Taft, Dewey or Vandenburg, not to mention Landon, Rockefeller, Scranton, Javits, or even (are you listening Senators), Chaffee (who paid for his “loyalty”) and Spector (who has also, but not in the same way), nor of Snowe and Collins in Maine and, cut the crap Arnold, of Schwarzenegger. It is the party of Rove and the late Viguerie. It is the party that mourns the memory of Joe McCarthy and how badly he was treated. It is not fit to govern any part of this country, let alone have its nominee elected as president.
And just as the country figured this out in 1932 when they laughed Hoover out of town and destroyed that party until Hoover had become a dim memory, they have figured it out again.
Franklin Roosevelt was elected president four times; once when many people believed he was not healthy enough to last through the full term, and, indeed, he died less than three months after taking the oath of office for the fourth time. Despite that the country, then on the way to critical decisions that would have to be made as World War II ended, trusted his party and whatever obscure Missouri Senator would become Vice President and then President to make those decisions, rather than turn to the party that wanted instead to spread discontent and lies, an art they have perfected today.
Since they could not beat him in a fair election, though, they convinced the country to prevent them from freely electing the best person available for the presidency if that person had already served for two terms. It is the most undemocratic part of our Constitution which survives today, right up there with the one that forbids any person not born a US citizen from becoming president, which both spares us a Schwarzenegger candidacy, but prevents Jennifer Granholm, the governor of Michigan, from being president or, umm, a candidate for Vice President.
This party means nothing good for our country. That’s the change we are all seeking and from that change, a great hundred days should follow to change our country if not forever, for a good long time.