Our Only Hope


To the Editors:

Our only hope is long-term hope, and our only real power in dealing with peak oil, climate change, and financial chaos is locally within our communities.

Having said that, I’m a registered Independent because I cannot stand either major political party. I can’t stand the Republican Party leadership for their stupid, greedy, corrupt, libertarian selfishness who don’t give a hoot about their constituents and spend all their time and energy trying to defeat their opponents and kill democratic governance. I can’t stand many of the Democratic Party rank-and-file for their stupid, mumbling, head-shaking, back-stabbing disloyalty to the President they worked for and elected.

President Obama plays by the rules with the hand he was dealt. As one of my favorite bloggers wrote: “He’s not Moses, he’s the President. He presides. He doesn’t rule. We gave him an awful job, and he’s doing it with dignity, sobriety, intelligence, and a variety of other personal and administrative virtues that were absent or compromised in the prior two administrations… while running a country that risks devolving into misery and chaos… in a system rigged against him.”

What is wrong with you people? Obama hurt your feelings? Poor babies. If nothing else, don’t you understand what will happen if the dark side rides again and appoints a couple more corporate Supreme Court judges who, illegally and unconstitutionally, rule us as Kings? We will be a lost nation for generations to come.

Get real, Democrats! Even though he’s not the second coming of Jesus Christ, I’ll be supporting and voting for Obama in the next election, and if you sit this one out you will have betrayed us all.
See also So ya think Obama’s not doing his job? Think again…


At first I read this as “Dave Smith [is] Our Only Hope.. That would have been easier to swallow than this.

Apologetics for a man who’s policies haven’t varied from the 2nd Bush administration, except to escalate the war. I can’t get behind that. Is that what you really stand for? Holding steadfast to the policy of “the lesser of two evils?” I know we can do better than that. As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (the second one), are we getting any closer to truth and justice for all, or is it a vanishing point on the horizon? If you think this about “hurt feelings,” ask a million dead Iraqis and Afghans how they’re feeling. Ask the Americans dying with no health care about their feelings. Ask the people who voted for his empty promises, and Brand Obama. Presides? Resides at best. While he is “presiding” millions are suffering and dying, and we’re left to mop up the mess.

Oops, gotta change that title! Well, Sean, I voted for Ralph Nader, and though, as a California voter it made no difference in the election, and Gore actually won, I’m afraid our choices in the two party system we have still makes a huge difference in millions of lives whether we like those choices or not. The actions taken by a few Republican outlaw Supreme Court justices have done more to harm our democracy, and kill million of innocents, than anything I can think of. Do we then just walk away from voting because the better of two choices is constrained by the system?

Obama might be our only (marginally better) choice, but “hope” has been thrown under the bus. And the President doesn’t just “preside”. He’s the chief executive officer – as in “get things done”. And that’s what most folks were naively hoping for, based on campaign rhetoric.

Next year we’ll all go through the motions again. Does anyone seriously believe The System, at this point corrupt to the core and failing in countless ways, can even be saved? It’s not just the political theatre anymore. Our entire way of life has jumped the rails. The betrayal has already occurred, and the Dark Side now prevails, no matter who is elected. Guilt-tripping the disenchanted is ultimately a small-minded and impoverished strategy.

Sorry, Dave, I can’t follow you on this one. I’m not disappointed in Obama. I didn’t vote for him and didn’t expect anything of him, and I got… worse. From Rahm Emmanuel to Timothy Geithner to Larry Summers to Petraeus, Obama surrounded himself from the start with the architects of disaster. He has continued the Bush era abuses of office and extended them, starting with gratuitous acts of war in Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. He has excercised zero leadership in providing Americans with a fair health insurance system. He put Social Security on the table, for God’s sake! in an effort to placate Republicans in the House.

The game is lost. We don’t have to worry about the next Supreme Court Justice or the next appointee to the SEC or FCC or Joint Chiefs of Staff. We have to worry about how to protect the most vulnerable as the system crashes. We have to worry about helping in whatever little way we can to bring it down, helping to bring it down with the least damage to the things we hold dear. We have to worry about relearning how to do things for ourselves, from growing food to caring for the mentally ill to protecting children from battering parents to providing our communities with libraries and art and theater and music. We have to worry about living with people frightened and angry and lashing out in the face of what is going down all around us.

The parties are dead. The Republicans are the party of big business pretending to be the party of small business and local entrepreneurs. The Democrats, Obama first of all, are the party of big finance pretending to be the party of the working class and social justice. We don’t need to breathe new life into them with a new election. We need to put them out of their misery, here and now.

If we must vote, we will have to find candidates to vote for, not jump to the rescue of dead men and dead women dressed in some party finery. There’s still a lot to do in local government and at the state level to protect ourselves from the worst they can do at the federal level. Among other things, it would be nice to get the state off our backs (yes, I said that, and I know who said it before me) so we can govern ourselves for a change. But that doesn’t mean we should be playing the lesser of two evils game anymore. Time’s out, game’s over.

Michael Foley

For me a lesson learned: Do not place all my hope in any single woman or man. I will be disappointed 100% of the time. And, do not hope only in myself. Hope, if it can exist, resides in a measurable collective human consciousness. We will soon be recognizing 10 years of hope wasted in violent reactionism, but also 105 years of transforming hope that began on that same day when Mahatma Gandhi “launched a new way of waging conflict”. The Kochs and Bushes and Perrys will not rule this world unless Gandhi and King and Christ were all mistaken.

After hoping, then giving up hope, then embracing anything that might bring back my hope- including “escalated civil disobedience”, I am back to hope. But this time a Satyagraha hope, because anything else now just feels stupid.

Oligarchy in this country will be stopped again.

You have all written excellent responses. I may have another spin. First, I voted for Nader in the last election, since it appeared clear to me, from the people with which he chose to surround himself, where Obama would be going. He has not disappointed me.
Dave, it seems you’re saying we should support Obama because he is the lesser of two evils. That surely is true, but voting for him would still be voting against our best interests. Perry appears big on the horizon. Certainly he is ignorant and his beliefs promise only catastrophe, but he is not stupid and he presents himself as willing and able to take charge. In contrast, Obama looks like a wimp, all upper class U. of Chicago economics and Harvard law, who folds at the least fake from the uncouth opposition, hardly the stuff of leadership. Of course, his Wall Street and corporate campaign contributors are supporting him in this. Perry, on the other hand, will grab the attention of all those “real” men and women of the right and middle. Look, they are ignorant of all the fine points you have been arguing so well on this blog, they are feeling increasingly insecure and fearful, and Perry will be selling them that he is able to deal with these problems. John Wayne to the rescue. Certainly, he is full of it, but here he comes.
Would that be all bad? Surely, Perry will finish the crumbling of the economy and the country, which is going to happen anyway if more slowly. Surely, many will be hurt, maybe most. But, there is a potential win here. Global warming and the otherwise destruction of the Earth slow, so there may be a future for the human race. Yes, Social Security and Medicare are going, both of which are important to me financially. But, I’m willing to sacrifice them and all the other uniquely American perks if it will aid us in the longer range. No, I won’t vote for Perry – or Obama.

Sorry, Dave, I still don’t buy it. It all looks like a new Japanese car to me, all electronic gismos and plastic. At the site indicated, Andrew Sullivan sums up: “This, after all, is a president who has ended the war in Iraq, killed Osama bin Laden, passed universal health insurance, rescued Detroit, stabilized an economy in free-fall, dispatched Qaddafi, deftly presided over a democratic transformation in the Middle East, and guided the political system toward a far more honest assessment of our fiscal crisis.”
Yes, we are apparently leaving Iraq at the end of the year, but at the insistence of the Iraqis – we’re still dragging our feet. According to recent reports, we have left an extremely ill situation that promises to collapse into civil war.
Yes, Osama was apparently killed rather than bringing him back for a public trial, with all the difficulties that might result attempting to prove what he has been accused of doing. The new American approach to military conquest: stealth assassination.
Yes, a universal health care bill was passed that actually will be a gigantic government subsidy of health insurance companies, which are already rolling in profits.
Yes, maybe he rescued Detroit. Or, is it Detroit in Mexico that he rescued?
Yes, the economy apparently was stabilized at zero growth, if you look at the stock market and Obama’s government statistics. Even with the increases in employment in earlier periods, we are still far from answering the needs of the more rapidly increasing numbers who need jobs and those who manage to get them are doing so for less wages. Oh, we’re getting our highway repaired thanks to his jobs stimulus. What happens to those workers when the job is finished? It seems to me that most of the stimulus money was spent on short term patches. It can be argued, though, that the Fed had more to do with stopping the fall anyhow. Meanwhile, Obama is pushing the next NAFTA treaties with S. Korean, Columbia, and Panama so that more jobs can be shipped over there.
Yes, we’ve bombed Libyan cities into submission, with much loss of civilian lives and at great cost to our budget, and reportedly are leaving the country in control of a ragtag bunch of Taliban wannabes.
Yes, there is now some hope for democracy in the Middle East, but certainly not in that Siamese twin Israel/Palestine or in Saudi Arabia where most of our support is focused.
On the other hand, the good news for Obama is that Perry can’t keep his mouth shut and may be blowing it. Still, the electorate is so confused it is hard to tell. Will Obama have the guts to go for the throat, which could assure him a win – as the least of the evils? Great fun to watch all the political doubletalk.

OK, as my partner (wife) puts it so simply and succinctly, “WE NEED A WOMAN!” But, where is she?

Not that funny Dave. It is time for your trip into the airlock.


    Actually, I am half-serious… I was hoping that Michelle, seeming to be much saner than any politician, would have a much better influence on him than it appears… or maybe we can thank her for any sanity that we do see.

Chrystia Freeland, writing in a Reuters editorial blog entitled “Will belief trump facts?”, made some comments that appear to be quite perceptive:
“The president is an empiricist. He wants to do what works, not what conforms to a particular ideology or what pleases a particular constituency. His core belief is a belief in facts.”
“Obama the empiricist is not the man who surged from behind to win the 2008 presidential election. That candidate was the Obama of soaring rhetoric, who promised hope and change.”
“But the pragmatist has always been there. Writing in September 2008, several weeks before the presidential election, Cass Sunstein, who has gone on to serve in the White House, had this to say about his candidate: ‘Above all, Obama’s form of pragmatism is heavily empirical; he wants to know what works.’ Word crunchers found that the president’s 2009 inaugural address was the first one to use the term ‘data’ and only the second to mention ‘statistics.’”
“That cognitive approach is one reason Obama attracted so much support, especially among younger people, on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. Obama is a data-driven technocrat, and so are the traders and the Internet entrepreneurs. As one insider, who is equally familiar with Wall Street and with Washington, told me: ‘You want your money managed by people who are responsive to evidence, who care about results and who understand that the world is an uncertain place. Obama wants to get his economic advice from the same sorts of people.’”
In other words, given the confusion he is facing on all sides, expect nothing momentous, no leading from the heart, just engineering. Just the facts, ma’am, nothing but the facts.

Maybe it went something like this:

Good, Sean! So, who in their right mind would want to be president? Well, I guess Clinton made out with a big stash. Didn’t his daughter’s wedding cost $30 mil or some such? What is Bush now worth?