Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

‘This Was the Moment When the Rise of the Oceans Began to Slow and Our Planet Began to Heal’

with 13 comments

Between the pipeline (1, 2, 3) and the ozone standards (4, 5, 6) the Obama stickers are coming off the car tonight. I don’t know how long I’ll stick with the utopian fantasy of a new constitutional convention (as announced on Twitter just moments ago), but it’s clear what’s left of the Left in the U.S. needs some new approach.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm

13 Responses

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  1. I had forgotten that line from Obama’s victory speech. Here it is on YouTube (around 1:15) .

    I have to wonder, of course, if parallel universe President Gore would have had the integrity to blog (as our rebuild Al did), “The tar sands are the dirtiest source of fuel on the planet.”

    Alex Chaffee

    September 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    • Jesus christ, just listen to that bullshit…ok to move his status from “disappointment” to “fraud” now??


      September 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm

  2. “It would be almost impossible to design a system more broken than the one we have now.”

    Unlike you, I have faith in that the unstoppable ingenuity and can-do approach of the American people would enable us to accomplish this task.

    Stepehn Frug

    September 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    • Trying hard to work out which one of us is the pessimist.


      September 2, 2011 at 10:55 pm

      • Old joke: a Jewish pessimist says: “things can’t get any worse”. A Jewish optimist says: “oh yes they can!”

        Stepehn Frug

        September 2, 2011 at 11:40 pm

  3. […] The pipeline (1, 2, 3) and the ozone standards (4, 5, 6) made the Obama sticker come off Gerry’s car. […]

    Sunday Reading « zunguzungu

    September 4, 2011 at 9:35 am

  4. The stickers came off my car some time ago:

    But Salon has a good, constructive piece on what the Democrats can do next (which is probably too optimistic as well)


    September 4, 2011 at 10:26 am

    • It took me a long time to take the stickers off in part because of my sense that the Obama presidency (specifically 2008-2010) was the best chance we will ever have for election-based reform on the federal level in the U.S. It’s clear we didn’t get it — but that seems to have as its implication that we will never get it that way.

      That leaves us with local reform (difficult, even more susceptible to big money), dangerous institutional/structural reform schemes (Constitutional convention, etc), and of course the one that seems most inevitable at this point, picking up the pieces after final systemic collapse.

      Given those choices I would have liked to have done things the electoral reform way. But alas.


      September 4, 2011 at 11:50 am

      • I am absolutely astonished at the lack of transparency on the ozone regulation issue. (The Georgetown Law Blog discusses this here:

        I think electoral reform remains a real possibility, but not in the Obama administration.

        I still hope we don’t have systemic collapse, but as Obama continues the deregulatory policies of the last three administrations, it seems inevitable. If not now, then some time in the next ten years. I don’t know if its naivete, optimism or something more sinister guiding the belief that actors will behave responsibly in the absence of rules.


        September 4, 2011 at 11:57 am

      • That piece is great. The one silver lining of the ozone betrayal (and it’s genuinely a betrayal) is that the stated reasons for doing are apparently so transparently illegal that the lawsuits will likely succeed when they go forward again. That’s a pretty small consolation

        As for electoral politics, I really do think Obama was the moment. A landslide victory, large legislative majorities in both houses, and the clearest possible denunciation of Republican politics in the form of 8 years of Bush. What did we get? A tepid health care half-measure that will likely never see full implementation anyway due to its decade-long timetable.

        That was the moment to strip the filibuster and really *fix* stuff. Do everything the left-center wanted to do and let the results (which would have been improvements over the status quo) stand for themselves. Instead we have a situation where Obama has genuinely nothing to run on: no real accomplishments, no affirmative case beyond “the GOP will ruin the Supreme Court even more.” It’s a mess and nearly entirely self-inflicted.


        September 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      • Phew! As silver linings go, that’s a thin one.

        The time wasted on an inadequate health care plan really makes me tear my hair out. Unfortunately, Obama seemed to learn the counterfactual lesson that nobody supports progressive policies. Which isn’t true.

        I’ve worked for the Democratic Party in the past, and I’m at a loss for why support for Obama’s rightward shift seems so entrenched.


        September 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

      • For a while the constant refrain was that Obama was achieving the most progressive results possible. Lately this has been breaking down, and for good reason; the purely volitional, executive-branch ozone decision is a pretty manifest disproof. But nothing has replaced it yet either in support of Obama or against him. No one seems to know what to do.


        September 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

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