Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

While [President Bush] will miss many things about Washington, he won’t miss "the petty name-calling."

"I came with the idea of changing the tone in Washington, and frankly didn’t do a very good job of it," he said. "You know, war brings out a lot of heated rhetoric and a lot of emotion. I fully understand that."--


He looks utterly depleted and sad. Look how he slumps in the chair -- drained even of the vanity that it would take to make the slight effort it would take to hide his pot belly.

Obama didn't just gain an electoral mandate. The economic crisis gave him another mandate. Like Roosevelt, Obama has a mandate to try anything that might work to create jobs and improve people's economic security. In such a situation, the most important thing for Obama to do is to build a machine that can carry out his agenda.

It's somewhat frustrating to see that many of the people that will be tasked with carrying out this agenda are not the people that kept their faith in these progressive principles during the lean times. But, think about it. A lot of former New Democrats are now on board with a distinctly liberal agenda. Part of this is because conditions changed. The Republicans are no longer riding high . . . they no longer have a cash advantage. But part of it is that we're in a crisis and Obama has strong leadership qualities.


The fact that most of the managers and CEO's whose unconscionably reckless and – dare I say – greedy actions got us in this mess in the first place still have jobs at these companies does not give me confidence that anything will change. In fact, many of these top managers gave themselves large bonuses on top of their huge salaries.

In a true market economy, those guys would have trouble getting a job picking fruit. But today, they are rewarded for hastening the end of the free market in America and the arrival of the Plutocracy.

People who are upset about a politician doing something they don’t like that’s essentially symbolic in nature — like the selection of Rick Warren — often have difficulty articulating to skeptics exactly what the nature of the problem is. Simply digging up more and more quotes of the offending person’s offending activities doesn’t answer the reply “so what? it’s just symbolism?” These arguments can get especially difficult in the progressive community which is shot through with a heavy dose of nominal commitment to rationalism.


I would rather see the New York Times prosecuted for their constant and continued abuse of the First Amendment. Their treasonous behavior on almost a daily basis is far more damaging to our country than anything a Bush Administration official past or present is alleged.


A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.

Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it.


Republicans have to offer real and positive alternatives to the Obama agenda. They need to rebuild their credibility as a small-government party and start focusing on uniting the GOP around core values rather than fight each other on every possible front. First and foremost, we have to prepare an economic agenda that promotes investment and growth as solutions that will benefit all Americans and stop the massive government interventions in markets that have brought us to this pass.

If Republicans can manage that, they may have a very good 2010 and force Obama even further towards the center. If not, there won’t be much difference between electing Republicans or Democrats anyway, and the entire question will be moot.


Top photograph by Jim Young/Reuters

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