It’s funny–I’m thinking that to most progressives like me, Barack Obama’s presidency has been a bit of a struggle and a letdown. It’s my own fault. My expectations were way too high. It was hard not to get swept away in the idealism of the moment back in 2008. Reality could never live up to that, for so many reasons, whether because the President himself wasn’t gutsy enough or because the Republicans hated him too much. The presidency itself has become mired in so much nastiness–government shutdowns and gridlock and calls for secession and endless vitriol–that it’s difficult to recall that once upon a time, it was inspirational to watch this guy get elected.

So it’s been a little surreal to see Barack’s old slogan “Yes We Can” take on a life of its own on the international scene. The Prime Minister of India recently used #YesWeCan as a hashtag to solicit suggestions from citizens about how to improve the country. And the Spanish anti-austerity party, Podemos, has been chanting “Si Se Puede” at its marches. I suppose that for people in those countries, the phrase has not become soiled by our domestic political wrangling. Or maybe the world still loves a catchy American meme.

I find the Spanish left-wingers especially humorous. Watch out, if you keep chanting that, you might get a…paralyzed center-right government? Oh well, perhaps their willingness to protest will get them what we haven’t been able to achieve. The Europeans are pretty good about standing up for themselves when they feel their quality of life is being curtailed.

My personal aspirations for “Yes We Can” are a lot more humble than they used to be. “Yes We Can” elect someone other than Scott Walker to be the next President? Please?

Advertisements

I’m not sure if people have just been forgetting their basic debate etiquette lately, but I’ve been seeing violations of Godwin’s law happening left and right (although usually right).  Godwin’s law, of course, being the Internet discussion rule which mandates that the moment you compare someone to Hitler or the Nazis, you automatically lose the argument.  Unless your name is Stalin, any comparison to Hitler is going to sound way over the top.  One would think that we would know better by now than to exaggerate that much, but “OMG 1930s Germany” scare tactics never go away.

The most frequent victim of this kind of hyperbole over the past few years has been President Obama, because trying to provide health care access to millions of people is exactly like killing them.  I’m happy to report that the Tea Party’s rhetoric has changed…somewhat.   The latest political video sponsored by Foster Friess doesn’t claim Obama is like Hitler, it just claims that Hitler would have been unhappy with his insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  But wait!  If Hitler hates something, doesn’t this mean we should like it?  This is so confusing…

Another Godwin’s law violation was committed by South Carolina state Senator Mike Fair who, as part of the GOP’s ongoing outreach to female voters, decided to compare Planned Parenthood to Hitler.  The Senator was displeased with the results of a Planned Parenthood poll which show that over 60% of those surveyed support a legal right to late-term abortions, once they are informed that those abortions are rare and most of them happen for medical reasons.  I will come right out and say that I don’t support late-term abortions myself, unless they indeed happen for medical reasons.  However, that is still no excuse for the Godwin’s law infraction, which only hurts one’s cause in the eyes of rational people.  Since the poll results contradict sacred conventional wisdom about the American public, the Senator reacted by stating that he would no more trust any information coming from Planned Parenthood than he would trust good old Adolf himself, and that Hitler “by the way, had the same philosophy of Planned Parenthood and that is that some people deserve to live more than other people based on what the culture says.”  Hold on, you might say, a fetus, especially in the early stages of a pregnancy, is not the same thing as a full-grown person.  You might say that and then you might remember that to social conservatives, a fetus is more valuable than a person.  Fetuses need to be protected…people can just fend for themselves.

Speaking of guys who aren’t big fans of reproductive rights, Rick Santorum is receiving a Godwin’s law citation for comparing Iran to Nazi Germany.  Yes, there is a good point to be made about the anti-Semitism of the Iranian leadership.  But the hateful speeches have, as of yet, not been matched by large-scale violence, and they likely never will.  So the Hitler comparison remains invalid.  And, no matter how often our hawkish politicians keep suggesting it, going to war with Iran is a bad idea.

So…you know what?  Since it sounds like everybody else is breaking Godwin’s law, I might as well do it myself.  Hitler?  Bad artist.  George W. Bush?  Bad artist.  Just saying.  See how silly that is?  Still, I hope W. keeps on painting…might be safer for the world that way.

All day long, I’ve been listening to conservatives accusing Obama of looking weak over Syria.  He has been too indecisive, he has changed his mind…  If only he was a stronger leader, then they might be able to respect him.

Yeah, right.  What complete bullshit.  I can only imagine the hysterical outcry that would be happening right now if Obama had been a Bush-style, more decisive leader on this.  For instance, if he had not consulted Congress over Syria and had just gone in.  We would be hearing discussions all day long about Obama being a dictator and about FEMA camps.  How dare he not consult Congress!  He is trampling on the Constitution yet again!  It would be another one of those days when, if you’re a right-wing radio listener, you retreat to your basement to polish your guns.

One of the dilemmas this President has to deal with is that he cannot appear to be too strong.  He’s already considered a dictator for passing the moderate Republican health care plan.  I’m no fan of military involvement in Syria, but I suppose at least I can be grateful that the President hasn’t been too much of a “decider”.  There is only so much right-wing hysteria I can take.

I’m torn about the rodeo clown thing.  On the one hand, I’m offended and disgusted by what the clown did, and even more disgusted by the audience of morons cheering him on.  But I still don’t want his right to be a blithering idiot taken away, and here’s why:

Because one day Paul Ryan might be President.  And as President Ryan goes on his merry way privatizing Medicare and outlawing abortion, there will no doubt be a late-night burlesque show taking place somewhere in Portland, in which Paul Ryan (or someone wearing a mask) will dance seductively in lingerie and a garter belt, simulate sex with the Koch brothers, and then get bent over and spanked with a dildo, as is our way here in PDX.  And if Paul Ryan ever becomes President, then goddammit, I really, really want to be able to see that show.

I want to be able to mock the future Republican President just as relentlessly as I did back when W was in power.  My concern is that I’m going to have to deal with a bunch of right-wingers whining that “Well, you wouldn’t let us do this with your President!”

The most satisfying revenge against stupid people, including stupid racists, is not to censor them–it’s to give them a proper spanking when it’s their turn.

Not all the news coming out of Egypt these days is violent or depressing.  Take this, for instance:  the new new Egyptian government has softened the punishment for insulting the President.  It used to be that when you insulted the Egyptian President, you would go to jail for it (something which apparently happened a lot under the deposed Pres. Morsi’s tenure).  Now, all you have to do is pay a fine of $4,300.  Piece of cake!  Although being a comedian in Egypt would still be very expensive.

I felt the urge to post this because I hear so many conservative talk show hosts refer to our current administration as an “oppressive regime,” making it very obvious that they have no idea what an oppressive regime is like.  If this truly were an oppressive regime, these guys would at the very least be bankrupt from having to pay massive fines every day.  After all, insulting the President is their basic occupation.

Which makes one wonder, if they could no longer make a living spewing insults, would that force them to do something useful?  Hmmmmm….

And no, it’s not about Snowden’s asylum in Russia.  Just wanted to note that President Obama has proposed lowering federal corporate taxes.  Because he’s SUCH A COMMIE.  Seriously, I can hear the North Korean military orchestra from here.

The President’s plan has been praised by groups representing large corporations, and criticized by small business owner organizations for being too skewed in favor of big business–a sure sign of socialism if I ever saw one.  There has been some bi-partisan support of the plan in Congress, but then…there is the response from the usual suspects.  The House Republicans are rejecting the proposal, because according to them the President is offering “nothing in the way of compromise”.

Well, this must be how Congress has managed to earn popularity ratings lower than the cyclospora stomach bug.  Yet again, the President offers a compromise, and the House insists it is not a compromise.  Because the only deal they would ever accept would be the President completely caving to the Tea Party agenda, which wouldn’t be a compromise at all.  So…oh, the irony…a very capitalist business tax proposal will likely go down in flames due to Republican opposition.  Now who’s the commie here again?

 

Why not?  Conservatives are obviously salivating for this to happen, no matter what the reason.  Don’t get me wrong–I don’t actually want President Obama to go away.  For the most part, and despite some disappointments, I still like the job he is doing.  No, I have a different reason for my impeachment cravings–nostalgia.

I’ve lived in the States since 1991, and the Clinton years were quite simply the best years I have ever seen in this country.  For a short while, America really became the land of milk and honey I’d always heard about.  The abundant jobs, the peace and stability….those days when our biggest problems consisted of Jerry Springer and Monica Lewinsky.  Ahhhhhh.  Since Clinton, it’s been a depressing downward slide into the war on terror and austerity.  Is it really too much to hope that an impeachment rerun might bring back some of that mid-90s deliciousness? 

The story would be pretty much the same this time around, except without the adultery.  Once again, only half the Congress is Republican, so the House would vote to impeach, and the Senate wouldn’t.  The President would remain in place.  If the American people got too irritated with all the time and money spent on the investigation, as they did during the Clinton debacle, the President’s popularity might go up and the midterm elections might bring more votes for the Democrats.

So I say, bring it on, Republicans.  If you do, I might be able to say with a straight face: “My favorite Presidents always get impeached.”