First of a Series: Annoying Obama Quote

On Tuesday night, Obama opined:

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

What a maroon. The election results were still being tabulated, and he had already swallowed the right-wing Kool Aid.

Newsflash: The wars against the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq are not designed to keep us safe. They are designed to keep us afraid. You can’t keep people nervous without recruiting new enemies.

Anyone who thinks Obama is a progressive has only to read that idiotic quote.

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26 Responses to “First of a Series: Annoying Obama Quote”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    It’s not encouraging, is it? But I have not given up hope yet.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Bring the boys back home
    Bring the boys back home
    Don’t leave the children on their own
    Bring the boys back home…

  3. Aggie Dude Says:

    Slow day Rall? you had a week for that one. It’s a silly appeal to the patriotic standard -love the troops, they’re putting their lives on the line for us.

    Big deal, old news. There are so many more pressing issues to attend to, like the evaporation of Wilmington, OH, a town of 12,000 that just lost 9,500 jobs.

  4. Ted Rall Says:

    I went to high school band camp in Wilmington. It’s not far from my hometown of Dayton, and it’s known for its antique stores. Very cute, nice Midwestern town. I’ll miss it.

  5. Angelo Says:

    here it comes. The moment when a republican first brings back the phrase “strategic interest”.
    I think we will hear it within the 30 days after Obama takes office.
    Any one want to make it interesting?

    As for Wilmington, there should be a spanish inquisition for people who voted wrong in 2004.

  6. Grouchy Says:

    This retarded, patriotic drivel: all American politicians spout it. I doubt it’s done with sincerity even by the right. I don’t think it says anything about Obama, other than that he understands the game he must play.

    The problem with “democracy” is that it must pander to the lowest common denominator. And in America, the denominator is pretty low because public education is so crappy, and unlike Canada and W. Europe, higher education isn’t provided for all who want it–unless they are willing to become slaves to massive debt. Enlightened countries recognize that higher education is a human right, and must be guaranteed if a capitalist society is to even begin to be civilized, let alone self-governing…

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Of course, Ted would only like a President that will implement radical left-wing policies so extreme they would make Hugo Chavez and Noam Chomsky shriek in terror.

    Ted, did you ever think that Obama’s a politician? Hmmmm? Should he have said “We will now end the illegal and immoral wars we should have never started?” Yeah, that would go over real well.

    Deeds, not words. He’s already started talking about closing Gitmo. Give the guy a chance to get in office first and get some things done before you start hating him regularly. And fuck the rhetoric. Who cares. It’s for the NASCAR set.

  8. Flamingo Bob Says:

    Considering that the last 8 years of Republican rule have basically proven correct everything that Noam Chomsky (and Hugo Chavez for that matter) has said about the corruption and one-sidedniess of the American system, why the words “We will now end the illegal and immoral wars we should have never started” wouldn’t “go down well” remains a mystery.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    He never did use the word “protect” and people in the miltary put their lives on the line anywhere they are; it’s their job.

  10. Angelo Says:

    Ted would only like a President that will implement radical left-wing policies

    you do realize that there is a whole universe left of Ted, right?

  11. John Says:

    …so a progressive is now primarily (if not exclusively) associated with the conviction that the soldiers in the US Armed Forces are mercenaries, and stupid ones at that. And that the sole reason for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is to scare people. Were you aiming at self-parody, Ted? Do you ever re-read what you write?

  12. devil Says:

    obama works for the same people they all work for. and it ain’t us.

    meet the new boss…

  13. Joe Says:

    Grouchy —

    You really think the problem is that higher education isn’t provided on a universal basis in the US? As far as I can tell, there are already too many kids who can’t even withstand the rigors of a proper high school education. Kids who didn’t master basic math, english, science and social studies at the elementary school and middle school level obviously see their troubles compound in high school. Forget about higher education, if we could address THAT problem we’d all be much better off.

    Higher education is in no way a human right and Europe and Canada don’t have the answer. Research universities in the US are the best in the world and making them “free” would help. Nonetheless, there are numerous scholarships and financial aid programs out there to help defray the cost. Not many people pay full sticker price.

    My other point is that college is overrated anyhow. Most people treat college as a very expensive trade school. Employers view it more as a signalling device about that person’s intelligence or drive.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I recognize that electing an African American president a sign of social progress. Unfortunately, it seems like genetic diversity masks ideological homogeneity. I think you did a cartoon about this a few weeks ago.

    Give me a real liberal who wants peace or a real conservative who doesn’t want to pay for eternal war. I don’t care what color he or she is.

    Regan’s conservativism had as much to do with fiscal responsibility as Taco Bell has to do with Mexican cuisine. Clinton’s supposedly liberal presidency was just as unauthentic. Mainstream American poltics has involved mindlessly compromising on the worst ideas for the last 30 years. Anything approaching rational thought is too radical.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    noam chomsky, yes. hugo chavez, no.

  16. Joseph Says:

    I agree with Anonymous. Such talk about the bravery and heroism of the troops is politically necessary. Let’s see what Obama will actually do to end the resource wars and make America a force for good in the world.

  17. djelimon Says:

    Ted, every country’s populace will value their army even if they’re in places they have no business being. Them being in Iraq or Afghanistan may not actually make America safer, but but they are there at least in part because they THINK they are keeping America safe, and this is a noble thing. Misguided, but noble.

    Of course, you can’t have a self-guided army, so really it’s the CIC who is misguided. Troops are always noble (war criminals excepted). That’s the deal.

  18. Aggie Dude Says:

    Sometimes ‘the best’ can be the biggest enemy of ‘the good,’ and sometimes ‘the good’ can be the biggest enemy of ‘the could be a hell of a lot worse.’ Ted seems to be one of those color commentators of our time who revels in abject disenfranchisement as an almost desirable outcome to modest steps forward, or at least slowing the pace of regression.

    He oscillates from a reluctant-yet-eloquently defended vote for Obama to a ‘this isn’t change at all!!!’ just a week later. However, as an aspiring opinion leader for a progressive agenda, it’s his place to spearhead the extent to which we could go, with the hopes of moving the center that way.

    At least that’s what I get. My guess is he’s not interested a ‘bubba’ president who placates the masses as well as the intellectuals, but rather someone who demonstrates why the intellectual left is correct. Ted wants a Lenin without the Stalin that generally follows.

  19. G. M. Palmer Says:

    Considering Lenin was also a murderous bastard, I hope not.

    Yeah — real conservatives would never, ever pay for war (and certainly not these silly ones). As much as I hate to say it, Moderation is bad for America (but very, very good for CEOs of corporations, apparently).

  20. Anonymous Says:

    I think Ted’s best cartoons are the ones aimed at street level, the everyday bullshit that we hear from our friends and neighbors. That’s the real enabler for the politicians we get. The occasional, finely tuned characterization of a particular political actor’s contribution to the mix is great, e.g., the very idea of Generalissimo El Busho plus all the nuanced visual embellishments is great too. The world needs more of those and there are a lot more candidates than the president.

    I don’t think we’ve seen the “real” Obama caricature yet… the one that will hit home. I don’t think there’s enough to go on yet. For example, El Busho was not possible until after 9-11.

    Where Obama is concerned personally, if I take Max Weber’s piece on politics as a vocation to heart, I think the man a) aspired to the first black president and b) if he got it the job, simply did not want to screw up badly. Thus, I expect something like a Carter outcome as opposed to something immediately world changing. As such, I don’t think he’ll provide much interesting grist for the mill but his apparent ineffectiveness will help to expose the rampant street level bullshit.

    If Americans really wanted the kind of changes that seem necessary, then that’s what they would get. The Congress and the president would have no choice. Instead, they mostly want their turn at the trough and to see someone else’s ox get gored. It’s not like we are a civilized nation or that the majority even realizes what we’ve done to places like Afghanistan or Iraq, the implications of Gitmo, etc, etc. Jeebus, they elected El Busho or at least let him keep the position and the GOP thought it was cool to put Caribou Barbie center stage and buy her a new wardrobe. The bar is set low and there’s a higher one that will take your head off if you try to clear the low one by too much.

    Who knows? Maybe 40 years of bubblenomics and the boomers retiring will force some adjustment. I’m not worried about a Lenin or Stalin; Americans wouldn’t get the former and are too lazy to want the latter. I’d worry more about a Petraeus, some consummate bureaucrat who’s not averse to causing collateral damage… I mean: has no concrete sense of the real, human consequences of his decisions, just like quite a few “citizens” of this fair land.

  21. Angelo Says:

    anonymous said:
    If Americans really wanted the kind of changes that seem necessary, then that’s what they would get. The Congress and the president would have no choice

    anonymous, please come up with a name, and post here more often.
    I think you are right on the money.

    But there are serious consequences to what you are saying. For starters, it implies that collapse cannot come soon enough. So, what incentive do we have to not vote republican?

  22. Aggie Dude Says:

    Angelo, you keep acting like the desire for complete structural failure validates a vote for the worst candidate. That is incorrect on two accounts: First, the foregone conclusion of failure does not justify a desire to see it come, and second, the brand of republicans we have right now in the US are far far more likely to go nukular as a last resort to losing grip on the world at large. Once we go nukular, it’s all over, for everyone. The environment won’t be able to weather (no pun intended) a nuclear exchange and maintain human life. So if you have that attitude, know that you are annihilistic in nature.

    Next, revolutions (total collapse would bring that), real revolutions, always end in tyrannical bloodbaths that are never good for anyone, and ultimately slow the progress of mankind considerably. Most Americans think of the American ‘revolution.’ Again, at best it was a conservative revolution -intended to keep things the same- and at worse just a war of independence. It was not a revolution in the sense of an overthrown institutional power. In REAL revolutions, people like Ted and I get lined up and shot first thing.

  23. Angelo Says:

    the foregone conclusion of failure does not justify a desire to see it come

    …only the desire to bring it about more quickly.

    and second, the brand of republicans we have right now in the US are far far more likely to go nukular as a last resort to losing grip

    After Carterbama’s presidency ends in failure, and his weak, deal-making legacy erased, historians will view his election as a strategic blunder for progressives. There was a window where if we elected one more reaganite, true economic collapse would have come. When the TVs start blinking off, and McDonalds went under, we would have gotten a new deal, not a revolution. This would have happened after the progressives swept both houses and a Chomskyite became president in 2012.

    The historians will rule that we missed that boat, if it was ever there.

  24. Wayne Says:

    Dejelimon, you said exactly what I was going to. I don’t know why Ted has such a fixation with bashing the troops whenever he can.

    It isn’t the Soldiers who make the policy. Its the politicians. Generals advise. If they had listened to Shinseki, we could very well be out of Iraq by now.

  25. Grouchy Says:

    I don’t know why Ted has such a fixation with bashing the troops whenever he can.

    Soldiers have made the choice to become automatons in a criminal machine. Not many of them were literally forced to enlist. Certainly they share some guilt with the politicians.

    This culture has a fetish for cops and soldiers. It reeks of fascism. It’s sickening.

  26. Grouchy Says:

    Joe:

    collegescholarships.org says “Most undergraduate students graduate with close to $20,000 in student loan debt.” Those who want to be lawyers or doctors are going be looking at closer to $100k.

    Isn’t that a nice way for a young person to start out?

    I’ll admit that my theory only works when people pursue education to become educated. That track isn’t largely encouraged in the present American culture.

    You’ve got some good points, but I’d add that employers don’t just look at an education as a signaling device about a person’s intelligence or drive, they also look at it to signify that the person has been broken and will remain docile and slave-like in fear of financial ruin. It’s about empowerment. If “workers” don’t feel hounded, and know that the government is actually responsive to their interests (and therefore provides a modest safety net to back them up), they begin to feel more engaged and can actually become citizens.

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