Congratulations unqualifying Obama supporters!

You won.

If this election demonstrated anything, it's that a President no longer has to keep the employment-population ratio up in order to win an election, and that there really is nothing to the left of Barack Obama in government anymore.

In 2008 Barack Obama won the Presidential race, by a sizable margin, over John McCain. To arrange such a victory, Obama made a number of once-significant promises. No insurance mandate, a public option, and so on. Obama no longer needs to make such promises in order to win elections. Perhaps the Democrats will generally no longer have to make such promises in order to win elections. We shall see.

To be truthful, a number of people expressed disappointment with the Obama administration during his first term in office. What this re-election proved is that these people are no longer important to the political process. The great mass of Obama supporters, then, did not qualify their votes for him, and did not withdraw their votes even if they had objections to the way the Obama administration acted. The most popular "left" candidate in the Presidential race this year, Jill Stein, earned less than half a percent of the vote, which reveals more than anything how very few "liberals" took seriously the threats to vote for someone else.  And Obama showed Tuesday that he now has a core of unqualified supporters, and no longer has to pander to those whose support for him is qualified -- at least not from self-identified "liberals" or "progressives."

Here we must note that clearly the Obama campaign had re-election help from the Republicans, who ran a campaign of unprecedented obtuseness. But the closeness of the popular vote in this election helped the Democrats to close ranks while Obama's lead in the electoral system provided a significant margin of victory.

The situation is now such that "left" objections to the President's policies are completely futile. The people at Firedoglake talk about "putting pressure upon the President," but this is nonsense. The President is immune from any pressure mere voters might have upon him. He can do what he wants. To be sure, there might be a Republican Congress standing in the way. But this shouldn't be a problem for Obama, who is smart enough to maneuver around those people. The Republican agenda has become completely pointless -- as Matt Stoller has pointed out, the Republican Party no longer wants to win very seriously; its main role today is to provide the requirement of an "opposition" so that America can continue to have a "two party system." So what is left standing, in this political moment, is Obama's agenda.

Thus the real beneficiaries of this election are the unqualifying supporters of Obama, the people who will support what he does regardless of what it is. Congratulations, again. You won.

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Comments

But really -- I am!

Cassiodorus's picture

And you win!

 

(I'll let you figure out what, precisely, it is that you won on your own...)

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Subversiveness FTW

priceman's picture

I got mine therefore the employment to population ratio doesn't matter. I feel important because of OFA therefore I am.

2.67
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The Obama 2008 campaign bus ran on ...

BruceMcF's picture

... pixie dust and baby unicorn farts, both renewable resources. And Tinkerbell cannot stay alive unless the children clap.

If fewer are clapping, those remaining must clap harder or Tinkerbell dies.

DO YOU WANT TINKERBELL TO DIE???

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welcome catnip!

nemesis's picture

I didn't vote for the duopoly. I also didn't vote for Jill Stein. So I am more irrelevant than even the "left". So I have that going for me, which is nice.

2.889999
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thanks for the welcome :)

catnip's picture

This fucked-up election (well, along with all of the other fucked-up US elections) gave me a nifty story idea. So, there's that. I won't elaborate (state secrets and all of that) but I am inspired. :)

2.802
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Aha, so you admitted it.

BruceMcF's picture

Now we know who to blame for Jill Stein coming in fourth place, conceding the Bronze Medal to the Libertarian Party.

And being able to lay blame, as is well known, is the most important thing. Though, sadly, my memory is not good for such things, not being able to keep track of such things without a blame scorecard. And not only do I always forget to take notes on my blame scorecard, I'm always losing the damn thing.

 

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oh dear...how true!

Shahryar's picture

as the numbers came in last night I was a little surprised that Obama plus Romney totalled 98%. I expected Jill Stein to get 3 or 4%, with Johnson getting another 2%. Surely, I thought, with 120,000,000 people voting Stein would have 4,000,000 of those. Surely there are that many people on the left who are disillusioned (and I mean that literally) with the President.

Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be 400,000, 1/10th of what I thought it would be. Even in Oregon, where there are a lot of lefties and where the outcome wasn't in doubt, she only got 1%. I guess that's better than the nationwide 0.3% but still....Oregon, which includes Little Beirut, otherwise known as Portland, gave her 16,000 votes out of over a million and a half. In Portland itself she got 4500 votes, about 1.5%, where Obama got over 75%.

Now I'd like to find out what districts those 4500 votes came from. But it's a really weak number. I'm disappointed.

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Not guts no glory.

Big Al's picture

Most people just can't bring themselves to go outside of society's parameters and mores.

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I think...

catnip's picture

...if you hit that moment in life when your conscience screams out that the party or politician you're voting for is severely compromizing your core beliefs (ie. you're anti-war, they're killing people) and you don't wake up and change your behaviour, life just becomes intolerable. Or, it should - if your conscience means anything at all.

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Now is when --

Cassiodorus's picture

all of what the "frustrati" said pre-election about "withholding your vote" starts to look interesting...

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Disappointing, yes.

downsouth's picture

But not really surprising to me, even though I supported and voted for her.  This election, we had an entrenched incumbent Democrat with a cult of personality that would make Kim Il Sung blush.  Most progressives were so enamored with him that they probably never even considered a third party vote, even in very, very safe states.  Voting for Obama, to them, is an almost religious obligation, like giving to your church or sacrificing a virgin to the volcano.

In the 2014 midterms and the 2016 race, I see much better prospects for third party candidates..if they begin work right now.  The Green Party needs to make plans and begin the process of recruiting candidates to challenge House and Senate seats, along with state and local offices wherever they have some strength.  That means Maine and Oregon, particularly, and possibly Arkansas...which elected a Green candidate to the Legislature yesterday.

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If Jill Stein had got 3% to 4% ...

BruceMcF's picture

... Johnson would have got 6% to 8%. No way is the extra-partisan "left" in this country better organized than the extra-partisan right.

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Fool's gold.

Big Al's picture

That's what the supporters are getting and will get.  It doesn't seem to matter to them though just as it doesn't matter to the rabid right when they grin and bear it. Daily Kos is now irrelevant, the notion that electing more and better democrats will somehow solve climate change, poverty, joblessness, permanent war, financial crimes, austerity, the health care crisis, etc., is ridiculous.  Shit, it's still a republican Congress so the next two years are out, then Obama's actions the first two years certainly aren't going to inspire a democratic takeover in 2014.  Fuck no, anything Daily Kos is doing is useless now, they got their man, that's all.  Now they'll get the shaft.

We need all sites, organizations, people that want to work outside the system and to develop radical measures within the system organized and connected.  

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Ssssshhhhh!

Cassiodorus's picture

They're still examining it.  Don't disturb the moment!

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My take is rooted, as always, in raging paranoia

geomoo's picture

I see this election as a victory of propaganda and a vindication of the thousands spent by the advertising industry over the decades learning how to get people to buy products.  Not in which candidate advertised more effectively, but in getting most people to believe this election was about things it was not about, in not noticing that this election was never about any of the major issues facing us, and that things are so about the man in the WH wants and believes certain things in the face of mountains of evidence that he believes and wants the opposite.

I did have one thought, though.  After all this "lesser of two evils" talk, with the worst evil vanquished, can we start addressing the evil that matters, the one that is in the WH?

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I just watched

shaharazade's picture

a Will Ferrel movie called Campaign it made me laugh so hard I cried, . It was a better show then last nights and funnier.  All though I did snicker a lot  during Obama's rhetoric soaring as he laid out his complete and utter mendacity. The ending however, where the Moch bros. get theirs and the 14th district of SC doesn't get sold to China and the corrupt Democratic slimy incumbent sees the light was a real let down and  totally ruined my suspension of belief. It's really sad that the 50% who don't vote are less delusional then those that do, including me.

The bots are the Democratic counter part to the upside down wingers and bush dead enders, worse in a way because they do not go beyond the persona the object of their adoration. What we win is irrelevant to them.  The ordinary Democrat's and Indies, most of the ones I know, voted out of sheer fear and loathing of the RW  maniac's They voted for the candidate they saw as the good cop.

Self delusion is better to most then admitting and looking at what has been done and their part in creating it.. Reality bites and the reality that people have consented to and believe is somehow better or less evil. is the same evil and  reality. that partisans have  collectively created and are empowering the  .. 200,000 Greek citizens hit the streets last night? and the pictures of them made made me ashamed. This wasn't an election it was a bad extortion scam wherein you vote and when you win your get no protection instead it's handshakes across the isle and grand bargains with the devil you fear..     

  

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Another terrific comment

geomoo's picture

I was thinking that you could put some of these substantive comments in a blog.  You could enter them as a series of entry in your blog, or perhaps a blog with your SO.  I was thinking you could call the series "Lifting the Veil", but that doesn't quite capture the character, because you do more than expose, you actively point at.  Perhaps a different reference to Sharazade involving hitting the targetor naming something straight, perferably not a violent reference.  Anyway, I'm really just thinking aloud.  These comments also go well as they are, interspersed throughout.

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The popular vote election result is within a couple of ...

BruceMcF's picture

... of where it ought to be based on the demographics, unemployment rate and year on year rate of change in unemployment October 2011/2012. Adjust by the net favorability rating, and the centerline poli sci "quant" fundamentals prediction would be a narrow win by the incumbent.

Then the effect of the effective Obama campaign organization was basically to inflate the Electoral College score, getting maybe twice the amplifier effect as normal.

Meanwhile, if he had done as any President could have done in early 2009 and pushed through policies called for by not only real world economists like Jamie Galbraith and Randy Wray, but also the more open minded of neoliberal economists, such as Krugman, got a Green Jobs bill through, and and the National Romneycare had been slated to begin implementation on enactment, the unemployment rate would have been under 7%, and he would have routed Romney.

 

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A rout would be bad for television ratings

geomoo's picture

And would limit the transfer of vast wealth from the obscenely wealthy and poor suckers who give to candidates to the propaganda wing of the oligarchy.  For some constituencies, both these things are undesireable.  

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Yeah, but it would be good for the power ...

BruceMcF's picture

... of the Imperial Presidency. Obama has an exclusively neoliberal economic team, and what he did makes perfect sense in neoliberal economics.

Its only in the real world that it falls short, reliably and repeatedly, since its a faith based academic doctrine rather than a scientific effort to arrive at cause and effect explanations about how the world works.

The primary bulwark of defense of neoliberal economics to progressive change is that "There Is No Alternative" to the neoliberal model of the world: somebody can screw the middle class and working poor in sorrow rather than in glee, but all of the things that could directly "grow the economy from the middle class out" are, under the neoliberal model, impossible, so that the only visible ways to "grow the economy from the middle class out" while wearing the neoliberal blinkers somehow all are guaranteed to help some members of some economic elite up front, with the "benefit the middle class" always coming through some indirect bank shot effect predicted by an approach to economics that predictably fails to call bank shots correctly.

While the radical reactionary trick is to fool the low information, perhaps not so clever, people by crafting fairy tales that fit their pre-conceived views ~ librul elites gonna take their guns ~ the moderate neoliberal trick is to fool high information, perhaps not so clever as they reckon themselves to be, people by crafting fairy tals that fit their pre-concieved views ~ government must of course balance the budget over the business cycle.

The frustrating thing if Obama is a neoliberal true believer ~ which would be entirely unsurprising, it IS the Ivy League thing to be ~ is that he won't sneak in real world policy even for crass political advantage, because the blinkers that he is wearing would blind him to some of the crass political advantages that are available to him.

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What could be a more perfect set-up . . .

geomoo's picture

. . . for reactionary policies than an electorate of self-identified liberals thinking they've just won a mandate matched by an electorate of low-information "conservatives" off in crazy land but eager to participate in the destruction of the commons and their own impoverishment.  Obama will be called a communist while he does his dirty work, and the dominant meme from "liberal" citizens will be that, no, he is not a communist, just a good reasonable liberal.  While all this distraction is happening in the bank lobby, the looting of the bank safe will be child's play.  Painful.

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The advantage of wrapping it all up in ...

BruceMcF's picture

... a politics of personal identity is that Obama cannot run again, and in two years the race will be on in earnest on both sides to be the candidate to replace him.

 

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This should remove the IF

shaharazade's picture

in your comment. He's a long time  believer a freaking Rubanite. He even says so repeatedly, he just uses Obama style double speak and convinces people that neoliberalsim is the inevitable way forward. The obots kept telling me that I hadn't listened to him properly in 2007-08. So I quit filtering what he was saying through my own hopey/changey//bottom up  brought on by the bush regime. It became crystal clear that he was exactly what I fought and worked against in the primary.  The FISA vote removed by blinders. In short  he's a ringer, we took the bait and got the switch.  The neoliberals had it covered Clinton or Obama either way they maintained their ownership of the Democratic party. I really didn't want Big Dog and Hillary to get another term.  I knew were nasty ass neoliberal/neocon's. This blinded my ability to see that Obama was just the latest free market fundie PR guy and would appease the rabble with his 'you are the change' ... bs.      

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Who's comment?

BruceMcF's picture

When I do a browser search, I find "if" appearing in a variety of different comments.

I've been saying he's a Hedge Fund Democrat since 2008, but people were all hope and changey and needed to believe in the fanfic written by the blogosphere in order to be enthusiastic campaigners ~ and then needed to keep believing in order to justify their investment.

 

 

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If you were fooled, raise your hand.

geomoo's picture

There are an awful lot of us.  I knew better at first, but I let my young, idealistic and less cynical son-in-law, who actually works with legislators some, convince me that he was the real deal.  I do know how to change my mind, though, if I'm hit over the head hard enough.

The question that has been bouncing around in my paranoid mind is, why do TPTB contest these elections so fiercely?  Is it a turf battle between varous gangs of the 1%?  Is it for show to make U.S. democracy seem vibrant?  Is it for the marginal differences between the parties?  Is it blind ego and nothing more?  Is it that they refuse to admit that they have bought both parties, so they need to play the game?  One thing I'm certain of--it is not the passionate commitment to policy differences that is pretended.

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Why do they play the game?

Big Al's picture

Hard to say.  I think it shows that humans are just not as smart as they think they are, none of em.  It also shows what happens when something gets ingrained and accepted.   In a sense it's no different from say, the NFL.  Look at the first Super Bowl in 1967, it barely made a blip on the society landscape, wasn't sold out, but look at it now.  Worldwide audience, it's practically a national holiday.  We, as humans, seem to take things to the extreme and that's what the election has become.  Are they doing this all on purpose just for show?  I doubt it, it appears they believe in the process and the differences between the parties.  Both are bought and corrupted but those playing still seem to think the game is valid. It's just that greed, lust for power, self preservation, etc., all overpower everything else.

Or maybe they really do have practices and meetings like they do in the World Wrestling Federation. 

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The thing is, a lot of people equate sincerity in ...

BruceMcF's picture

... stating progressive goals as the same thing as being progressive, when a quite moderate politician looking at the economy using real world economics could well propose a slate of more progressive policies than a "sincere progressive" who sincerely believes the neoliberal model of the economy.

And, after all, the neoliberals are "all the best economists" at "all the best departments" at "all the best schools", since they gained their dominance in the profession by winning the high ground in the highest status PhD granting institutions in the country. So a Kennedy style "best and brightest" administration will be locked down completely for the neoliberal model.

 

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Not me.

Mehitabel's picture

I was never bowled over by him, not from the beginning.  People comparing him to Lincoln back in the early days of his first campaign had me rolling my eyes so hard I could practically see out of the back of my head.

On the other hand, I was completely taken in by John Edwards.  Go figure.  Sigh

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I've never backed a politician because I thought they ...

BruceMcF's picture

... were a wonderful person, but I was convinced by Edwards that he saw the Two Americas as the political ticket to ride when I saw him on CSPAN from Iowa late in the 2003 pre-primary campaign, in the only trip I took back to the US during my decade in Australia.

I've seen some reporter argue that he fell in love with running for national office as the VP nominee, which would suggest that he spent the next nearly four years playing the candidate and politician he used to be, before it all fell apart due to a case of SZS (slipper zipper syndrome).

But going through grad school in Economics in the early 90's, the days of Rational Expectations presenting a laughably absurd model versus "New Keynesians" presenting a laughably absurd model of the long term on which they cobbled a more or less realistic model of the short term ...

... I already knew all of the neoliberal code words and code arguments when I heard Senator Obama trot them out in 2007.

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I bought the bait

shaharazade's picture

I spent 4 months of my life and 1200 hundred dollars because I believed that this was the way to defeat 'the fierce urgency of now'  the one we still face and always wil, be they terrist's or right wing maniacs.l That's a lot of money and time in my world trying to change what was and still is intolerable.  Obama's FISA vote was my pivot back to reality..The whole lot of these elected pols D or R don't work for us but for the anti-democratic and anti-humanistic inalienable universal rights we all need and that took centuries to win. Why do the Democrat's in power bargain them away ? 

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you sent Obama $1200!!???!!

Shahryar's picture

haha...I write that for everyone else's amusement. Sh'zade and I had a little chuckle about that last night. She sent it in without telling me, so the cartoon version of me would go "what??!?" but I'm sure if we had discussed it, back in early 2008, I would have been in favor. Those were some really good speeches!

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The FISA vote

traveler's picture

was a wake up call. Seeing the appointments of CFR members Hillary and Gates I realized nothing was going to change, that many of us had been duped.

Obama has served the power elite very well. It was easy to predict the outcome of this election well before the R candidate was selected.

I considered ignoring the charade but cast a vote for someone that obviously would not win but at least it was a vote against the status quo.

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this one

shaharazade's picture

The frustrating thing if Obama is a neoliberal true believer ~ which
would be entirely unsurprising, it IS the Ivy League thing to be ~

I  agreed with your comment and the one right above here. I was just providing a smoking gun as Jane Hampsher described this old video. The Hamilton Project is/was chalk full of Rubanite's  including Ruban himself. These folks may be slightly more rational but in a way they are more dangerous as they are ideologues. They think their brave new world is way better then the old outdated models of government and politics.They have no scruples with destroying economic equity   Funny thing about those stat's from Clinton's bubble machine. Orazag's running around pumping SS 'reform'  and deficit bs this very day. How do we deal with the losers? I guess cat food and eat your peas is the answer.

 

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The thing about belief ...

BruceMcF's picture

... with respect to politicians, is that its so hard to establish independent of an effective mind reading machine. I don't know whether the President is sincere, and so is a neoliberal true believer, or whether he knows perfectly well that its bullshit, but he's gonna dance with the partner that brung him, and he knows that's what the money men in the Hedge Fund wing of the party want to hear.

if he's sincere, its harder, because even as he takes actions that undermines the economy, he can be firmly convinced he is "taking the hard measures that are required to grow the middle class in the years ahead".

The Steel Interstate and Electricity Superhighway is the best neoliberal bait I got ~ a genuinely good project in real world terms but also in neoliberal terms ~ so as the Sunday Train in post-election mode gets back into a regular weekly schedule, it'll be a regular feature in the rotation of topics.

 

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Your so much more

shaharazade's picture

trusting then I. Tell you the truth I don't give a rats ass about his motivation, sincerity  or intentions or inner beliefs. They are irrelevant to what we the planet, the country, the people are supposed to roll over and accept. This is what democracy looks like? and furthermore why should anyone trust Obama or any pol at this point? He seems to me to be totally unbelievable and I don't want want this Third Way crammed down my throat as better then when in fact it just sucks regardless of any comparison

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I care very much about his motivation ...

BruceMcF's picture

... sincerity, intentions and inner beliefs. As the War Marshall (or whatever she is) in Starship Troopers, said, to defeat the Bug, we must know the Bug.

But I only want firm evidence. Self-reported or staff-created claims on what a politician "believes" are entirely useless.

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