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View Diary: The problem with presidents (290 comments)

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  •  Better (less defeatist) ways to approach this (2+ / 0-)
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    sebastianguy99, Sam I Am
    A primary function of any president is to shore up and defend the Status Quo, no matter how odious it may be and no matter what promises have been made.
    It's not clear that anyone has been standing up for the status quo.  (The status quo circa the 1970s included a much higher employment rate, less income inequality, and a generally more progressive political environment.)  What you're really seeing is that most presidents, like most CEOs, are risk avoiders and are afraid of being made to look bad.  Obama may understand that PRISM is wrong and illegal, but if he just goes along nothing bad is going to happen to him or is legacy; if he shuts it down and there's a terrorist attack (even given that the two are probably utterly uncorrelated events), he's going to take the blame.
    The office has been captured and is wholly owned by the Military Industrial Complex and Wall Street – in other words, the 1%.
    This might well be true.  But the owners are a pretty diverse and fractious lot.  The M.I.C. is not Wall Street.  Wall Street is not Bain Capital or its ilk.  None of them are mainstream corporate America.  So instead of complaining about how the 1% own everything, think about how to get them to turn on each other.

    Our problem with Obama and the rest is that we tend to expect people to be either good guys or bad guys; tyhe good guys are pure of spirit and the bad guys are a rather ill-defined blob of evil.  The world is more complex than that.   We need to break that mode of thinking and think of the whole goddamn bunch as nothing more than hired talent.  From there, we decide which ones have done the most for us lately.

    And we really need to work on that Vast Left Wing Conspiracy thing.  The ugly truth right now is that there is no vast left wing conspiracy; that's part of the problem.  I don't mean something out of a B-movie about sixties revolutionaries, but a serious infrastructure whose leadership makes serious strategic decisions.

    In the mean time, I'm disinclined to either sing Obama's praises (we are not getting full value) nor to trash on him (he's the talent we hired; we're stuck with him for another 3.5 years and we should be asking how to get the maximum yield, not arguing over how pure or how apostate he is).  In 2016 we should be asking how to get the most yield from Hillary Clinton or whomever else is the Democratic front runner, and each candidate's partisans should be thinking about how to maximize the output from their candidates in terms of progress on an overall progressive agenda (in the process, dramatically improving the civility within our own faction).

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