Thursday, September 06, 2012

Light Our Darkest Hour

Barack Obama... strikes me as a nice guy. Certainly the best viable option to be President, heart in the right place on most things, decent politician, guy I'm almost-definitely going to vote for.

That said, as anyone who watched the DNC tonight can attest... there's still only one King.


(image inspired by tweet from @MichaelKuzmanov)

39 comments:

smile said...

Lesser of two evils I guess and there's plenty of evil on Obama's record.

Craig The Destroyer said...

So, if I pull open Clinton's chest, I can steal a blue glowy thing and inherit his power/manliness? Cool.

Joshua the Anarchist said...

Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely voting for Obama, but I don't think I'll go as far as hero worship until/unless he gives Michael Douglas's speech from the end of The American President.

Spook said...

Holy crap. I'm a Canadian who's never even had much interest in American politics...and somehow I find I'm twenty minutes into this thing. WHAT IS THIS MAGIC?

Anonymous said...

@spook, that's the charisma and good sense mixing. Putting the two in a cauldron, mixing in a bit of arithmetic, and uttering the correct incantation about community produces a potent draught that can inspire even the most passive person to action.

Benfea said...

In 2008, I voted for the other black candidate for president precisely because I knew Obama would be too much like Clinton: a corporatist Democrat surrounded by DLC people who desperately want to appease conservatives as much as possible. Don't get me wrong, Obama is a less bad candidate than Romney, but only slightly.

Benfea said...

In case I wasn't clear: I approve of the Transformers analogy, but only because I never liked the Transformers. Whether Clinton or Obama is better at sucking up to Republicans and putting the needs of corporations ahead of the people is kind of a meaningless comparison. That's like arguing about which ant is more emotionally accessible.

Saarai'ari said...

@Smile: Oh stop with that lesser of two evils nonsense. No president in history, nor any politician in history or currently period has ever been a saint. I mean, I don't like Romney, but even I won't go past the line of calling him evil. It's more or less voting the lesser of imperfect candidates. Obama's imperfect yes, but far better choice than Romney and has a chance of winning of the election.

On topic: Was great seeing Clinton speak at the convention. I do miss the Clinton era a little. As for comparing him to Optimus Prime, I guess it fits.

Aiddon said...

good times and before I forget

-pulls up a lawnchair and gets a tub of popcorn-

Just in case

Cyrus said...

Sort of tangential, but here goes: Ever since the beginnign of the economic crisis, my historical perception has been that things started going downhill with Reaganomics, but I'd be remiss not to call the holier-than-thou mudslinging contest that was the Lewinsky scandal another important turning point.

Not that I condone infidelity or by extension dishonesty, but the moral grandstanding and zeal that was on display back then informs the quality of the "political" discourse in the US to this day.

Coming from a European, this might sound like mockery. In my case it isn't, in fact I'm genuinely saddened to see a great nation cannibalize itself in an endless he-said-she-said-think-of-the-children-in-god-we-trust-we-want-that-birth-certificate maelstrom.

ToddIngram said...

Hey, Bob... you know, your blog used to be about, um.. MOVIES. :P When you're done spending 80-90% of your blogspace sucking off Obama, we'd like to see you get back to that. Well, maybe. You've gone pretty down in quality on that end too.

Lee Kalba said...

ToddIngram,

I've been coming here since before the videos, when it was all text reviews, and the political stuff has always been here. Especially in an election cycle.
You can either ignore, or engage. Your choice.

Anonymous said...

You say Barack obama's a nice guy - defend his kill list, Bob:

http://www.fox19.com/story/19456470/reality-check-president-obama-one-on-one-how-does-he-justify-having-a-kill-list

lemonvampire said...

"Lesser of two evils I guess and there's plenty of evil on Obama's record."

I'm so tired of the "Democrats are just as bad as Republicans" argument from conservatives who are just intelligent enough to realize they can't defend how horrible their party of choice is, so instead rely on this argument as a defense because it makes them feel like they're so well informed as to be above both parties and see them as equally atrocious, and you're just naive if you disagree, so hey, it's okay if they support Romney in spite of the indefensibly horrible aspects of the GOP because it's not as though the Democrats are any better.

If Obama really is "evil," if Democrats really are "just as bad," I dare you to convince me with specific examples of how. What, specifically, has Obama done that is equal to DOMA, to a declaration of a specific desire to deny civil rights to a specific minority? What, specifically has Obama done that is equal to trying to take rights away from women? When, specifically, did Obama fabricate a blatant lie in order to start a war that devastated our economy? When, specifically, did Obama ever use a phrase like "Legitimate rape?"
Show me evil that is equal to that level, and then you can say "Democrats are just as bad."

Mads said...

Guess this marks the first time Bill Clinton has paid any attention to a presidents wife.
http://badum-tish.com/

Pat said...

@Anonymous

So let me get this straight. You believe that if, during a time of war, a U.S. Citizen were to defect to the opposing side of that war, become a prominent figurehead of that side, and seek shelter in a place where live capture is all but impossible, it is unreasonable and even evil to order his death?

I mean, I GUESS I can see that argument. You worry that if a President can order the death of a U.S. Citizen because he is a terrorist, what's to stop a President from ordering the death of ANY U.S. Citizen by simply claiming they are a terrorist?

But things aren't that black and white. This is a war the likes of which we've never truly faced. A war Obama inherited and has an obligation to see through. The U.S. Citizens that were killed were not good people. They were prominent figureheads and had done truly evil things and would have continued to do so. Capturing them was next to impossible, so the best option was to take them out.

If this is the only "evil" thing on Obama's record, I'd say it's closer to morally gray or "Chaotic Good" even.

And besides, do you REALLY think no President ever ordered the death of a defected U.S. Citizen during the Cold War or any war for that matter?

Shark said...

Is President Obama as Rodimus supposed to be a stealth insult? People hate Rodimus for inadvertently causing the death of Optimus Prime in the movie.

Nox said...

50 minutes of watching a master politician sell a mediocre politician. Now I just wish I could vote for Bill Clinton.

Don't get me wrong. He's as much of a corporate tool as Obama or Romney (or Bush, or Bush Sr., or Reagan, actually, pretty much anyone you get the chance to vote for), but he's definitely the Optimus Prime in this scenario.

Clint Eastwood's chair 2012

Anonymous said...

Pat: No, there is much more evil on Obama's record. Indefinite detenion, drone strikes, continuing the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq, expanding troop presence into Pakistan & Yemen, renewal of the Patriot Act, continuing to imprison people for non-violent marijuana offenses, ect.

Obama sucks as much as Romney. You cannot refute that.

Anonymous said...

@lemonvampire - When you're done being overdramatic, Bill Clinton has a dick that needs sucking, you fat moo cow. :P

Pat said...

@Anonymous

So your definition of "evil" is "not libertarian".

Look, I understand there's a case to be made for a policy of non-intervention. I'm not overly fond of how involved we got in various middle-eastern countries during the Bush era.

But pulling out entirely has just as many ethical problems as staying the course. Obama decided that the best option was to continue forward but try to turn things around. And for the most part, he's succeeded. Yes, we've expanded troop presence, but if we hadn't established a presence in Pakistan, we wouldn't have killed Bin Laden. We've also finally pulled out of Iraq. Yes, the decisions he's made regarding the War on Terror may have largely been to keep doing what we were doing, but at least now we're actually experiencing some degree of success. And while I may not agree with a lot of the policies in place during this time of war, I'm pretty sure we haven't turned into a police state yet, so I'm not really sure I'd call any of it "evil". "Troubling" or "risky" would be better.

Regardless, I CAN refute your claim that Obama sucks as much as Romney because if Romney becomes President, ALL of the things you list would continue, AND we also wouldn't have a President who would veto an attempt to repeal the healthcare bill, AND we also wouldn't have a President that supports women's rights, AND we also wouldn't have a President that supports LGBT rights. Sorry, but from where I'm standing, Romney would suck WAY more.

Lord Slithor said...

Not to derail the conversation, though I think this is still on topic, and since it slipped my mind when commenting on the "Depth of a Salesman" Big Picture segment, was I one of the few who was honestly willing to accept Rodimus Prime? I'll admit, I did like him. Maybe he did have his origin as a marketing scheme by Hasbro, but I was willing to accept the new status quo if it meant this was how it was going to be from now on. I had already come to accept not seeing Tom Baker play Doctor Who anymore and have him be replaced by Peter Davison. So I kind of saw it in those terms; the franchise was evolving. It had to in order to stay relevant. To suddenly have Hasbro cave into demands, bring back Optimus, and subsequently rudely brush aside Rodimus where he's since been regarded as a footnote in the series I thought was a rather harsh fate for the character, and I've always thought that he was never really properly given his due.

Now that I think of it, I have to wonder if this was the moment of current fanboy entitlement; where if you rage and whine and complain enough, companies will just cave in and put things back the way the fans wanted it, just like in, say, oh...Mass Effect 3 (also, see Jim Sterling's Jimquisition "Why Boycotts Fail Where Whining Tantrums Win."

I think the whole Optimus issue really did deprive kids of a valuable lesson: dealing with the loss of a loved one. In real life, when grandpa dies, no amount of whining or crying or locking yourself in a room is ever going to bring him back. You have to learn to accept the loss, deal with it, and move on. New people will come into your life all the time as well, and you need to be able to accept them. That's what I took away from the whole Optimus/Rodimus issue. And best of all, it didn't need to be moralized after the fact like so many shows of the day did. That's why I think it helped make it so powerful. And again, to just simply bring back Optimus and treat the whole thing like it never happened seriously cheapened that whole message.

And while I hate to keep bringing up Robotech as a counter-example, there's a reason why that shows was so good, and different from what was being shown at that same time. The death of Roy Fokker was just as hard-hitting. For me, it was the "shit just got real" moment of the show. It was treated with a poignancy and sincerity you didn't see at that time. And he didn't come back. There was no easy or magical way out, and the characters all had to deal with that loss.

So while the whole thing might have been driven by marketing, I still think there was an important lesson that was lost by bringing Optimus back. And as much as I like Optimus Prime as a character, that's probably why I still feel some resentment whenever that part of the character's history comes up.

Anonymous said...

Bob when you get tired of pointless shit like dicking around in paint, and telling people who you think the "nicer" candidate is, maybe you could put together a few coherent thoughts on why you think Obama is actually better.

Anonymous said...

It sure is nice that these comments are no longer being immediately derailed by James any more. Guess he finally found something else to do with his life.

v_opposition said...

The whole killing American citizens thing... You know Lincoln orderd thousands of Americans to kill thousands of Americans. It's nothing new. Washington did it too.
PS Fuck the recaptca.

lemonvampire said...

@anonymous

Great job convincing me that I'm wrong. I just can't stand against your indisputable reasoning skills, your finely woven thread of articulate discourse.

Markus said...

BOB! PLEASE LISTEN! Barack Obama is NOT a nice guy! He's just a giant corporate whore and a war criminal, just like Bush! HE SIGNED THE NDAA, FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!

Pat said...

@Markus

Dude, you need to do some research. The big misconception about the NDAA was that it existed primarily to give Obama the power of indefinite detention. That's not the case. The NDAA is a bill that's reviewed every fiscal year to decide on tons and tons of policies and budgets for national defense.

The additions regarding indefinite detention didn't really get any attention until mid-December and the bill had to be passed before January. Obama opposed the sections about indefinite detention, but unfortunately the GOP-run legislature didn't get rid of it. The only compromise they made was changing the wording so that Obama could choose to ignore the powers.

Obama put off signing it until the last possible minute and he signed it with serious reservations, swearing that he wouldn't use the power granted by the bill.

If he had vetoed it, it would have effectively meant that our military had no budget for the fiscal year. Not really a viable option, particularly leading into an election year. Time was just not on his side.

The good news is that now that we know about the new sections, it will be easier to have them removed or reformed when the next NDAA bill comes up at the end of this year. That is, assuming that Obama is still President. If he isn't, then I expect little will change.

Anonymous said...

Pretty ridiculous. Dems saying Obama is better than Romney, Reps saying Romney isn't as bad as Obama.

You're all fucking morons. Every single one of you who'd put either of these filthy corporate whores names in your mouth with any form of endorsement.

No one in America save for big business will win this election. Just like we wouldn't have won last election. It's been that way for years now, and honestly until this country takes it's place as a third world nation.. It'll keep happening.


Clinton endorsing Obama says nothing. He benefited from the internet boom. He was able to sign and implement NAFTA at a time when the internet bubble was creating enough jobs to replace the ones we were sending to Mexico.

Then he finishes up and we put another corporate stooge in there who throws us into whatever wars possible to try and distract Joe Blow American from the fact the economy is tanking.



The worst part? It doesn't even matter. The corporations have their talons in both parties. We'll never get a president who cares about the country.

Even if 90% of the population of this joke of a nation ended up banding together to get corporations out of politics... We'd still end up having our leadership sold to the highest bidder.



It'd probably be better if China took us over, at least they don't let you falsely believe you make your own decisions.

Cyrus said...

Anonymous that just fucking brilliant! This fatalistic now-way-out scenario leaves absolutely no room for anyone, including you, to avert or fix anything. Hence we can all (again, including you), lean back and proclaim we did all we could.

Get off your ass and do something with your life, will ya?

Cyrus said...

Note to self: Proofreading is your friend. -_-°

TheAlmightyNarf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheAlmightyNarf said...

Ok, this is something I've wanted to rant about for a bit and I guess this is as good as an excuse as any.

The thing I have to put into perspective first is that I live in Connecticut. And when you live in such a decidedly blue (or red, I assume) state, concepts like "throwing your vote away" or "viability of a candidate" don't really come into play the same way they would in a swing state or even a more moderate one. No matter what I do November 6th, Obama is going to win Connecticut's electoral votes.

So, the question for me is how I can actually make my vote matter, preferably in a way to further my personal political views.

Well, I've been making the prediction for the last couple years, and it continues to become all the more evident, that our 2 party system is becoming increasingly unstable and we'll be seeing at least one more viable party with-in the next decade or two. See, the thing is that having one big broad left wing party and one big broad right ring party is actually very atypical. Most parliamentary countries have several political parties representing specific political views. Take our neighbor to the north, for instance... Canada right now as 5 parties with seats in the federal Parliament. The Liberal Party (moderate, nominal left), the NPD (more overtly socialist), the Bloc Quebecois (originally a Quebec separatist party, now pretty much exists just to tell the federal government to fuck off), the Green Party (pretty much the same as our Green), the ruling Conservative Party (a merger of the Canadian Alliance and Reform parties), as well as a variety of political parties at the provencal levels (like their own version the the Tea Party, the Wildrose Party, which has yet to show itself especially viable).

With out this post getting too long, I will say that the US is becoming increasingly parliamentary. The 2 political parties are becoming increasingly homogenous (with increasing outcries of the outliers), and the House Speaker is increasingly becoming the de facto prime minister. As a mater of fact, I would have no problem at all calling Nancy Pelosi America's first prime minister, considering the way she governed and John Boehner has governed since.

cont...

TheAlmightyNarf said...

But, while there many possibly was for a 3rd party to emerge only a few are especially likely.

The one I see as the most inevitable is the break of the Democratic party. What the left always seems to like to brag about while ignoring the long term implications is the largest growing demographics in the US are Blacks and Latinos who are mostly pouring into the Democratic party. The problem is that while they're largely economic liberals, they're also largely socially conservative Baptists and Catholics respective. This is why when ever we see Obama talk about how much he supports gay marriage or abortion, we see these socially conservative Democrats always speaking out against him, and why there were so many hang ups with-in the party about the Affordable Care Act... and they are the growing demographic. It's pretty much inevitable at this point that white social liberals are going to be a minority in the Democratic party sooner than later. I hope you're enjoying Obama talking about social change, because you're never going to hear a Democratic president or house speaker talk like that again.

So, a break there is inevitable... probably the remnants of the "Occupy" movement becoming outraged that their own party won't openly support social issues any more.

Then there's the increasing friction between the Tea Party (social conservatives) and the Libertarians (social liberals) with-in the Republican Party. This break isn't so much inevitable as it is already happening, but happening slowly. We're seeing a compromise now with Romney, but the Tea Party would obviously have preferred Santorum and the Libertarians would obviously have preferred Ron Paul and are now starting to drift to Gary Johnson (I almost wish Santorum did win the nomination, because the party would have split in half right then and there).

Assuming that once one party splits the more moderate daughter party will then soak up moderates from the other side thus delaying the other split, we've got 2 potential out comes:

1 - A Democratic party that's socially conservative and economically liberal, a Socialist party that's both socially and economically liberal, and a Republican party that's economically conservative and likely socially conservative as libertarians drift around to other parties.

2 - A Republican party that's socially and economically conservative, a Libertarian party that's socially liberal and economically conservative, and a Democratic party that's economically liberal and increasingly socially conservative.

I, obviously, see option 2 as the best option. Not only does that further my own political views, but a Libertarian party is likely to take root in Connecticut which would let my vote actually matter. But, what does that have to do with November 6th? Well, the best way for me to see us reach that outcome is to help the Libertarian party seem more viable. No, I don't expect Gary Johnson to win, and I especially don't expect him to take Connecticut. But, the more votes he gets, the more viable the party becomes.

So, not only is a vote for Gary Johnson not a thrown away vote in my case, it's actually the most useful thing my vote could possibly do.

Pat said...

@TheAlmightyNarf

While everything you say is true, in order for this to happen there needs to be some sort of catalyst. Something so big and divisive that droves of people collectively all decide to break away from the party.

Given how deeply entrenched the two-party system currently is, it would have to be huge. Like "Obama is a Cylon" huge.

People will only jump ship if they know that they're jumping with hundreds of thousands of others. Otherwise you just run into the same problem of people not wanting to throw their vote away.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

@ Pat

Well, like I said for my situation, in roughly 30 to 40 states people's votes are effectively meaningless anyway.

And, historically, it hasn't taken all that much to shake up the parties in the US. Our current party system (seemingly dubbed "the 6th party system") has only been around since the late 60s. Either the Tea Party or Occupy could have easily formed new parties if either of them had actually made the attempt.

Pat said...

@TheAlmightyNarf

True, but since the 60s, we had Watergate, which pretty much spawned the 24-hour news circuit and general distrust in politicians. In this day and age, people are so terrified of actual change and abandoning their comfort zone that I doubt they'll seriously consider it without a push.

But I guess only time will tell.

Zeno said...

@Pat:

There's more to Watergate than meets the eye. There's a lot more to the news media than meets the eye.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

@lemonvampire - When you're done being overdramatic, Bill Clinton has a dick that needs sucking, you fat moo cow. :P

4:39 PM "

This comment is NOT OKAY.