Imagine……….. Part I.

Well, I have heard the continual banging of the drum from the Left, saying that President Obama hasn’t done this, hasn’t done that, isn’t committed to this, isn’t committed to that.

Imagine that the Democrats had not taken control of Congress in 2006. Imagine that they had not extended their margins in 2008.

Imagine President McClain and Vice President Palin.

Well, some of you think that we would be better off, since President Obama hasn’t done enough. The reality is that a continuation of Bush II policies would have led is to destruction, economically and socially.

Let’s look at a world if the Republicans had won the Congressional and Presidential elections.

Start with the Supreme Court nominees under President McClain? Sotomayer and Kagan? More likely twins of Scalia and Thomas. Seven to two – every SCOTUS decision.

Wanna go there?

Do you really want to go there? Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” Not only would “DADT” not be repealed, it would be reinforced under a McClain administration. Gay rights would be, at best, a fleeting memory – a “wish list” for gays and lesbians. The hostility of Republicans towards gays and lesbians would be the law of the land, with no exceptions. One of the central planks of the GOP is opposition to gay rights.

Wanna go there?

Under President Obama there is hope for the gay and lesbian community. Under President McClain, there would be no hope, but a high probability of government sanctioned, continued discrimination against gays and lesbians, in the military, in the government, in business and in their private lives.

Wanna go there?

Let’s go back to 1987. The SCOTUS ruled that sodomy laws were constitutional and that average Americans, homosexual and heterosexual, could be arrested and prosecuted and jailed for those crimes. Under a conservative president, the rightward slat of the Court would be even more pronounced and laws such as that might pass “constitutional” muster.

Wanna go there?

Well, the question is rhetorical – the election was won – but it could have happened in 2008, and it may happen in 2012.

Before the progressives of America turn our backs on President Barack Obama, think about what could have been and what yet may be.

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under American Society, President Barack Obama

44 responses to “Imagine……….. Part I.

  1. tosmarttobegop

    Shoot there has not been an administration that did not at one time or another disappoint me.
    I was criticizing Reagan as much as I have Obama, but do realize that they will never do everything I think is right.

    Pretty much the President has been exactly how I thought he would be just smarter then it has seemed to be.
    I knew he was a centrist, I think he knows what is sane and logical but just has a real problem with getting it to transfer into action. He depended too much on the Congress knowing as well as he did what was he right thing to do.

    Ending up the ole herding cats.

  2. prairie pond

    “Yay, vote for me. I dont suck as bad as the other guy!” Hell of a thing to aspire to, no?

    Please repost where I EVER said we’d be better off under mcsame or a repuke congress.

    Having said that, it does not excuse the president’s broken promises or his complete back of the hand treatment to the gay and lesbian community that helped elect him.

    Please note there was not ONE single obama appoitee on the SCOTUS that decided Lawrence v Texas. That court handed down the decision that made sodomy laws go away. And WHO was preznit when that happened? Btw, the presnit had nothing to do with it.

    Of course the SCOTUS appointments made by obama are better for everyone than ones that would have been made by mcsame. See my first comment here.

    “The reality is that a continuation of Bush II policies would have led is to destruction, economically and socially.”

    I’d say obama has done a GREAT job of continuing the bushco policies that led us to economic and social destruction. Remember, he has done NOTHING to rein in wall street, banksters, and the bush tax cuts are still in effect and may be renewed under him and his democratic congress. Geitner has done NOTHING different than Hank Paulson.

    “Do you really want to go there? Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” Not only would “DADT” not be repealed, it would be reinforced under a McClain administration.”

    Obama’s administration IS actively enforcing DADT. Just ask outed U.S. Army captain Jonathan Hopkins, who was discharged this week; West Point cadet Katherine Miller, who just resigned from the academy; and Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, who filed a request in federal court Wednesday to stop his impending discharge from the Air Force.

    There is no stay or “on hold” for DADT. It’s repeal has not happened and there is no indication obama will repeal it. And did I mention that obama’s DOJ is actively defending both DOMA and DADT in court? This is different HOW than bushco? HOW would I be worse off? The repukes had the white house and all of congress for six years, and the laws they passed were no worse, and no better, than what has happened to us since 2006.

    Do you really wanna go there?

    “Before the progressives of America turn our backs on President Barack Obama, think about what could have been and what yet may be.”

    Yeah. Hope and change. How much of that has my community seen from obama? Talk is cheap. Action has been non existant.

    When he REALLY repeals DADT or at least stops enforcing it, give me a call. When his atty general and the DOJ stop their vigorous defense of DOMA, give me a call. When he actually, you know, DOES something about equality, other than announce, on the day Prop. 8 was struck down, that he STILL doesnt support gay marriage, give me a call.

    • WSClark

      “Please repost where I EVER said we’d be better off under mcsame or a repuke congress.”

      This column/series is NOT directed at you Ms. Pond, nor is it direct at gays in general.

      My apologies if you felt I was singling you out.

  3. paulasayles

    Progressives owe no allegiance to any party or any one politician. Progressives owe an allegiance to the values and principles on which they base their policies and they have an allegiance to seeing that those policies get put into place.

    I walked in the rain, made phone calls, blogged and donated money to do everything I could to see that Obama was elected because I believed that a McCain presidency would further the damage that conservative policies had already wrought on this nation. I did so knowing that Obama was supposedly a moderate. I didn’t agree with all of his policy platforms and he wasn’t my first choice, but when he was nominated, I worked to get him elected.

    But I don’t owe him any allegiance. He sure as hell doesn’t think he owes me any allegiance. And from the very first act that he performed as President-elect, he turned his back on Progressive values and policies. So, tell me why you think that I should blindly and quietly go along while he continues many of the conservative policies that have destroyed this nation?

    • WSClark

      “So, tell me why you think that I should blindly and quietly go along while he continues many of the conservative policies that have destroyed this nation?”

      I am not suggesting that anyone “blindly follow” anyone. That is not the point of the column.

      I have been highly critical of Obama on gay rights issues, and the lack of single payer in the HCR bill. Yes, Obama is more moderate than I would like. But if he was truly far left, he would not have been elected – see: Kucinich, Dennis.

      Obama has been a disappointment in many areas. The purpose of the column, however, is that it would have been far worse under a McCain/Palin administration.

      “He doesn’t suck as bad as the other guy!” is not the point – at least with Obama we have a chance to make progress towards progressive goals.

      • paulasayles

        I’m sorry but I have to disagree with your conclusion that we have a chance with Obama to make progress towards progressive goals.

        This is why progressives are angry and unhappy with Obama–because the “chance” that progress will be made is more perception than reality. Prairie Pond lined it out pretty well in her post–the things that he promised and has not moved on, the things that he has been pushed to do and has refused to do.

        Really he had an historical chance to implement the kind of change that he talked about on the campaign trail. But he has blown it because his administration has taken half-measures ever since they came to office. I refuse to pretend that wasted opportunities equal success. My back is turned because he has been a disappointment. But my mind is open whenever he wants to start working for the kind of change he promised–I will be right there beside him. He has to show me something though. And I believe that attitude is a reasonable one.

        You may rightly say that there is more of a chance for progressive gains under Obama than McCain because under McCain there would be no chance at all. But the chance has been MINIMAL under Obama. I supported him for a period of time while I waited to see what he would do on various issues. What I have seen is a lot of status quo, which is NOT a progressive attitude. A snowball’s chance in hell is still a chance, but not a very good one.

      • WSClark

        I respect your opinion, Paula and that of Pond as well. That having been said, I have to be realistic.

        There were very high expectations for Obama when he took office – perhaps too high. The reality is that the country is sharply divided, red and blue. While Obama won in an electoral landslide, his popular vote margin was only 53 – 47. The Dems control the House, but they effectively share power in the Senate, in part due to an incompetent Majority Leader (sic) and a few loose cannon Dems, most especially Ben Nelson of Nebraska who may as well just switch sides.

        The America public is fickle and impatient. The GOP has played on that to turn opinion from Obama and to undermine his agenda. Passing a liberal agenda in today’s political environment is impossible. To get anything done requires compromise, even for a President that won with a 2 to 1 Electoral College vote.

      • paulasayles

        “The reality is that the country is sharply divided, red and blue.”

        I don’t see the evidence of that. I see that there is a small minority of extreme conservatives and a small minority of extreme liberals. There are a lot of people in the middle, when informed on the issues, share opinions on those issues. And I see the way “both sides” of the political spectrum manipulate those groups to create a firestorm that effectively destroys all chance at change. BOTH SIDES.

        Let’s take the healthcare debate. You had a conservative group that, as soon as Obama was elected, funded what they created to appear as a grassroots movement whose only task was to derail any efforts at progressive change in healthcare. Well-funded and highly exposed by the conservative media/political machine, the conservative special interests were able to sway A VOCAL MINORITY of people to protest healthcare change. But, even through all the propaganda that was repeated by the usual suspects, polling showed that the majority of the American public SUPPORTED some form of universal healthcare.

        If the American public was bombarded with lies, yet still over 60% of the people wanted a system of government run healthcare, why didn’t we get it? It was never in Obama’s healthcare policy, he never supported it, the Congress knew that and they worked the way they always do–the companies and special interest groups with the most campaign contributions wrote the healthcare laws and there was never any consideration of universal healthcare. The Congress and Senate are bought and paid for and a strong President with the people firmly behind him MIGHT have made a difference. But we didn’t have that.

        As to the “common wisdom” that a Kucinich could not be elected, who says? The media, political experts, who?? I have never seen the evidence that Kucinich could not be elected because he has never been given a chance. Written off almost immediately by the press, his campaign barely got any coverage. Did you ever ask yourself why or did you just buy the crap that the media and the pundits were serving up? Without press coverage, it is really difficult to get your message out. How convenient that the media picks two or three candidates out of the pack and they become the front-runners. How does that happen–who makes that decision? Can’t be the people because they haven’t even had time to study the field yet before Kucinich has already been written off. Who is behind the scenes telling us which candidates are viable???

      • Unless and until there is a progressive groundswell in the elections for the House, the Senate, and yes, the Presidency, any “liberal” agenda is DOA.

        As to Kucinich; paula, I beg to differ (a bit). Had his campaign really caught fire, the media attention would have followed. It did not, and the media did not.

        FWIW, anyone who is not a centrist does not (again, IMO) stand a chance (on the Dem side, at least) of being elected President. I recall the McGovern fiasco of 1972. A better factual situation for election of a “liberal” could not have been presented. It seemed the country was ready for “anyone but Nixon”. Well, as is said in sports, “scoreboard”. Like it or not, that is the fate of a candidate perceived as “too liberal” in U.S. politics.

        The ability to mobilize the vocal minority who a) vote and b) have considerable financial support has been accomplished by the RINOs who have taken over the GOP. This matters greatly in today’s political climate. The Democratic party is yet to figure out how to accomplish this. Thus, the need to appeal to the center for Democratic success.

      • WSClark

        “or did you just buy the crap that the media and the pundits were serving up?”

        Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, I can be accused of many things, but “buying the crap” is not one of them.

        The fact is, we don’t elect a Dennis Kucinich or a Ron Paul or a Ross Perot as president. That is American politics today. If you look less than “presidential” you are not going to get elected. I didn’t make the rule, but I am realistic enough to know it.

        Regardless of positions and policies, one cannot be an effective president if you can’t be elected. Elections are largely decided by the 30% of Americans in the middle. Presidential elections are rarely won by a popular vote margin of greater than 8%.

        Do people vote for (or against) a candidate fro the wrong reasons? They do – and always have.

      • paulasayles

        “anyone who is not a centrist does not (again, IMO) stand a chance (on the Dem side, at least) of being elected President.”

        Except we haven’t had a true centrist. We’ve had conservative Democrats. Clinton and Obama are both conservative. Maybe not entirely on the social issues–they SAY they support liberal positions on social issues, but then they pass crappy laws like DADT–but most definitely where it matters most on constitutional and economic issues, they are conservative. Obama doesn’t get to claim to be centrist when he puts Larry Summers and Tim Geitner on his financial/economic cabinet.

    • Looks like we’ll agree to disagree, paula. Neither President Clinton nor Pres. Obama was/is a “conservative”, as I understand the term. Neither was a “liberal” as that term is commonly understood, and that was very clear before either was elected. Hell, FDR wasn’t a liberal as that term is used in today’s parlance; while somewhat progressive, he seemed to me to well understand the benefits (politically, to him and his party; generally, to the country as a whole) of sticking more in the middle. Example: after the 1929 market crash, there was the great potential for abolition of the securities markets in toto. Instead, the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 brought about reformation thereof through tighter regulation, which ironically (at least to me) was designed to make these markets act a bit more like the hypothetical ‘free market’ that is often seen as the Golden Fleece by requiring, inter alia disclosure of information, etc., necessary to the formation of informed transactions. FDR was responsible for pushing these through, and they worked fairly well until the growth of the ‘cowboy’ attitudes in the 1980s, where the goal was invention of new and better ways to circumvent regulation.

      • Another example. FDR took no steps to racially integrate the Armed Forces during his time in office. Did he have the power to do so? Yes. He recognized that notwithstanding the urging of many (including, IIRC, his wife) and his personal beliefs on the matter, pragmatism dictated leaving that hot potato alone. It was President Truman who issued the Executive Order in 1947 (as memory serves) to accomplish this. HST was many things; a “liberal” or a “progressive” are not common adjectives used to describe him.

      • Perhaps the people we hear most from (we are in Kansas after all!) are far enough to the right they have no idea what far to the left actually is. And, Obama is not guilty as often charged.

        Much of what we hear is without basis, underscored by perception and dissatisfaction, a good amount of speculation that isn’t based in fact, and a healthy dose of ‘our side lost’ sore loser attitude.

        As I always ask, what legislative accomplishments are the Republicans proud of? What did either a Republican president or a majority in Congress (sometimes in tandem) actually accomplish that they can toot their horns about?

        It’s strange that no one has ever answered that question. I take it to mean they aren’t able to list any accomplishment they’re proud of. I do know they guard carefully against any achievement that may give credit to democrats no matter how much Americans would benefit!

  4. No, I don’t wanna go anywhere near a McCain/Palin administration.

    Things could be worse than they are, much worse.

    All those who poll and predict say Republicans will regain majorities in Congress this fall. What will change?

    –We’ve already discussed the investigations that will begin.

    –Someone will undoubtedly present a bill of impeachment in the house.

    –There will be lots of talk about repealing, or at least ‘fixing’ the health-care reform bill.

    –If the Republicans can’t get anything passed it will be the fault of the obstructionist democrats.

    –There will be lots of talk of cutting taxes.

    –There will be lots of talk about keeping America safe. Much banging of war drums.

    In other words, there will be lots of talk. Even ineffective or less than desirable legislation won’t get anywhere. There will be much gnashing of teeth. The one thing we can count on is that the American people won’t be helped.

  5. G-STIR

    I think the only one that might benefit from a McCain/Palin ticket would be Saturday Night Live.

  6. Who is it that will win against President Obama in 2012? Is it someone we have yet to hear about?

    • G-STIR

      Good question. I wonder how scarey the answer will be?

    • I wonder that too.

      Because we can do much worse!

      We have a few Americans who vote. A few of those vote for the little letter beside the name. A few vote for the party not in charge as a protest when they perceive ‘things’ aren’t going smoothly.

      The outcome of our elections can be determined by those people who would perhaps stay home — not bother to vote at all — if ‘things’ seem to be running fairly smoothly.

      So if enough noise is made, enough complaining is heard that even the least interested hears the rumblings if not the substance then ‘things’ must not be running fairly smoothly.

      • With things not running smoothly (and no, I don’t see any real improvement before 2012), there could be a very large turnout. That does not bode well for the incumbent, IMHO.

      • prairie pond

        I dont know who the repukes will nominate in 2012, but may I point out no one really knew about obama in 2006 either. The presumptive nominee was Hillary.

        Obama has lost the middle. Independents and many moderates now disapprove of his handling of the economy, the gulf oil disaster, etc. Pretty much, obama hasnt made anyone happy. All his pandering to the right and the repukes hasnt gotten him ONE iota of support from them. Any support he gets from the left or left of center will be because “he doesnt suck as much as the other guys.” And mostly, the left is going to stay home in 2012 unless things change dramatically. And like 617, I dont see that happening.

        We didnt nominate Kucinich. But mcsame didnt win either, and romney and huck could not have won.

        I dont know who the next preznit will be, but I’m willing to say right now, it wont be obama. WHO is going to support him? His approval ratings are in the toilet. Just like those of the democratically controlled congress.

        And now, I see the polling says voters trust the freakin’ repukes more than democrats to handle the economy?

        Je-sus WEPT!

        Nice going democrats.

  7. G-STIR

    I am amazed that after inheriting 2 wars and a major recession, people are mad the President can’t fix it in less than 2 years! Now they want to return to the party that is largely responsible for many of the current problems , which is beyond belief. That’s change in a direction that is going to rectify the situation?


    • They began expecting Obama to ‘fix it’ in November of 2008. By the time he took office the next January they were already mad he hadn’t gotten the job done.

    • prairie pond

      Gstir, I’m not mad that he hasnt “fixed” things.

      I’m mad because he doesnt even TRY to fix things.

      All his pandering to the repukes has done NOTHING to improve matters. WTF would it hurt to just put his foot down and TRY to do more than pander?

      At least then, when things arent fixed, he could say “I tried.”

      Now? He cant say that. Not with a straight face anyway.

  8. It’s what politicians count on — people don’t pay attention. They aren’t interested. We choose where we spend our time because we can. Some of us are interested in politics and too many aren’t.

    Too many go vote without being informed, they simply aren’t interested enough to take time away from what they are interested in, or obligated to, or busy with.

  9. Look at the number of people who are interested enough to blog about things political who have no idea who was president when TARP funds saved Wall Street, banks, insurance companies…

    Time began January 20, 2009. I have that on popular opinion.

  10. G-STIR

    I can’t quite figure out the photoat the top of the thread. Is McCain having a Jeckylll/Hyde moment?

    He looks like a really sloopy pickpocket about to pounce!

    Or is tha his Soupy Sales imitation?

  11. G-STIR

    I was wrong- it was a gas attack. Bring on the Beano!

  12. itolduso

    I would sure like to see the video that picture comes from. I can’t imagine anything happening that would produce that picture. Wierd

  13. G-STIR

    Yes, I do. It’s a good thing it wasn’t a bathroom door!

  14. G-STIR

    I wonder if that’s why the Shrub wore so many dark suits- in case it was indeed a bathroom door?

  15. prairie pond

    You might be interested in this little piece from The New Republic, via DU.

    “By early January of this year, Obama was clearly losing the battle for the middle class. According to a CNN poll, 60 percent of Americans thought Obama “had paid more attention to the problems faced by banks and other financial institutions” than to the “problems faced by middle class Americans.” Only 28 percent, barely more than a quarter, thought he had paid more attention to the middle class. As Brown surged ahead of Coakley in the polls, the White House temporarily embraced a populist approach. On January 14, Obama called the bank bonuses “obscene” and said, “we want our money back.” In a January 22 speech at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio (a far cry from Georgetown), Obama used the word “fighting” 13 times and “fight” nine times. “I will not stop fighting for you,” he declared. But, faced with a falling stock market and anger from Wall Street, Obama once again turned conciliatory. On February 10, he said that he didn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to Dimon and the $9 million to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. “I know both guys. They are very savvy businessmen.”

    If Obama’s politics leads to a Republican takeover of one or both houses of Congress, and even to a Republican president in 2012, then much of what Obama has accomplished could be undone. It’s unlikely that a new Republican president and Congress would actually repeal the health care or the financial reform bill. But the former could be starved of public funds and deprived of regulatory oversight; and the latter could be neutered by a hostile treasury secretary and by weak or hostile presidential appointees to the Securities and Exchange Commission or the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Reform legislation needs administrations and congresses committed to reform. That is where politics has to come in; and that’s where the Obama administration, with its aversion to populism, has fallen short.”

    Read the thoughtful and well written full article at:

  16. prairie pond

    It’s just like what happened in Kansas with Sebelius. By stripping the democratic party in Kansas of resources and talent, and doing NOTHING to build the party or secure the state agenda, she left the door WIDE OPEN for a governor brownback.

    And much of what little good she did will be repealed as soon as he and his merry band of cons take over in January.

    It’s not enough to win one or even two elections on charisma. If you dont build the party along the way, it will all vanish as soon as the charismatic one leaves office.

  17. Zippy

    Uhm, Will, I think it’s fair to ask–and I’m just asking–who exactly is it in the “Left” who would have preferred a McCain presidency?

    It’s a straw-man argument, my friend.

  18. Zippy

    P.S. BTW — I sent a message of support to the White House, as Obama had the nerve to–literally–support the religious people who worship outta this book instead of that book.

    It’s all crap to me, but even if I didn’t have human empathy, I know that opposing anyone’s freedom endangers your own.

    Now if Obama could just apply that matter-of-fact constitutional logic to the rights of all persons to not be second-class citizens.

    Waffling around the realities may temporarily make for good politics, but after a while reality–whether it’s the economy or the Bill of Rights (and muslims, let alone gay people, have good reason to be skeptical, given some of the creepy positions supported by the Justice Department), has a way of rudely asserting itself, even if a good portion of the public is still lost in la-la land.

    I think there’s still time, but it will require drama.