Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘victories

Vermont-Style Socialism

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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (and Several More)

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* Between the tax compromise and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, I think Obama did a tremendous amount to help his chances for reelection this week. Rachel Maddow rightly calls the DADT repeal the president’s victory:

Politically, the thing to not lose touch with here is that this is the President’s victory. This is something about which the President took a lot of criticism, a lot of abuse, a lot of skepticism from his otherwise most loyal supporters. He continually insisted that this was possible that it would get done.

Guilty as charged. I confess I also love the sweet sound of right-wing screams, especially when their own caucus collapsed in the face of this “generational change.” Even Richard Burr voted the right way!

* It looks like Harvard and Yale will return ROTC to their campuses in light of the repeal. Frankly I’d prefer to see the trend going the other way—we need tighter restrictions on military recruiting, not loosening of the few restrictions that already exist—but I suppose this was unavoidable.

* Seen on Facebook: Obama wants to let gays vote. That’s why I’m voting Tea Party.

* Watch out Texas: bad news coming.

* Aside from the matter of actual violence, drugs, and squalor, there was the fact that in the 1970s New York City was not a part of the United States at all. It was an offshore interzone with no shopping malls, few major chains, very few born-again Christians who had not been sent there on a mission, no golf courses, no subdivisions…

* The message to Nicky Wishart and his generation is very clear: don’t get any fancy ideas about being an engaged citizen. Go back to your X-Box and X-Factor, and leave politics to the millionaires in charge. Via MeFi.

* And still more trouble for Britain: There are a growing number of grassroots organisations campaigning about the over-professionalisation of childhood football. Give Us Back Our Game launched four years ago. “The game has been taken away from children by over-competitive coaches and parents,” says founder Paul Cooper. It has several offshoots, including Football Football, an initiative to revive inner-city football. Then there’s the Children’s Football Alliance, which champions “mixed ability” football, and the Don’t X The Line campaign against over-the-top parental behaviour at children’s football matches. Also via MeFi.

* Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is evolutionarily novel, so the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to consume these substances.

* And Fringe announces its move to the Friday night death slot with style.

Middlesex Philosophy Saved!

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Kind of. Kingston University in south-west London announced today that it will re-establish our Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston, by employing the four senior staff in Philosophy at Middlesex (Eric Alliez, Peter Hallward, Peter Osborne and Stella Sandford). Our MA and PhD programmes (full-time and part-time) will be re-launched at Kingston this September, and all current post-graduate students will be invited to move along with the staff. Institutions in France and Germany have also made significant new proposals for collaboration with the CRMEP, which may allow it to expand the European dimensions of its work considerably in the near future.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Health Care!

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* With Stupak’s relent, it was in the bag.

* Accordingly, Obama’s numbers are inching back up in Gallup. I’ve said this before, but I’m with Bill Clinton: Obama’s numbers should jump up significantly as soon as people realize the magnitude of what he, Reid, and Pelosi have accomplished. As ari says in the link, whatever else we might want to say about Obama, and whatever else (good and not-so-good) he goes on to do, as of tonight he is the best president since LBJ and perhaps since FDR, and Pelosi is one of the greatest Speakers of the House of all time. It’s been said many times, but why not once more: that the bill is not all we might have wanted doesn’t make this not a victory.

* Lessons from the health care fight from Tom Schaller and Al Giordano. Here’s Al:

The US left (if such a thing has even existed in recent decades) for once in a lifetime did not fall for the orgy of petty bickering that led to so many previous epic fails, and what we see now is a convergence of forces, from the grassroots up, that can be defined as A. Pragmatic, in its multiple expressions in favor of advancing the ball down the field, and in rejecting the calls for “all or nothing” that had so defined many squandered US progressive political efforts over the past 30 or 40 years, and, B. Disciplined, including in the miraculous appearance of organizing to insist on discipline in the ranks of anyone who traffics in the term “progressive” to promote themselves.

* Republican speechwriter David Frum is devastated.

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us….

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

* And so is NRO’s Mark Steyn.

I try to be a sunny the-glass-is-one-sixteenth-full kinda guy, but it’s hard to overestimate the magnitude of what the Democrats have accomplished. Whatever is in the bill is an intermediate stage: As the graph posted earlier shows, the governmentalization of health care will accelerate, private insurers will no longer be free to be “insurers” in any meaningful sense of that term (ie, evaluators of risk), and once that’s clear we’ll be on the fast track to Obama’s desired destination of single payer as a fait accomplis.

If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in history. It’s a huge transformative event in Americans’ view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing. Their bet is that it can’t be undone, and that over time, as I’ve been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people.

You say this like it’s a bad thing…

Yes We Did

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Al Giordano reminds us that one year ago today Barack Obama got his ass handed to him in New Hampshire.

The pressure was now on Obama. How could he possibly retake the initiative after the New Hampshire primary shocker? That same January 8 night, he took the stage in Nashua:

And with three words – “yes, we can,” introduced for the first time as a call and response line in his speeches – Obama parlayed his defeat into a victory. In temperament, with confidence and calm – and with the assist of a raucous crowd that was determined not to let the setback get it down – he kept himself in the game.

I remember that speech well, and I bet you do too: it was a much-needed call back to arms on what had seemed, at the time, to be a devastatingly and perhaps determinatively bad night. “Maybe I’m doomed to always back the wrong horse,” I wrote in the post introducing the speech. “But maybe not.”

In a week and a half, he’ll be president.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 9, 2009 at 12:33 am

A Forgotten Place Called Not America

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Meanwhile, in that forgotten place called Not America, Bush’s other poodle has been smacked hard in a landslide victory for Australia’s Labor party, while Vladmir “Pootie-Poot”1 Putin does the batshitcrazy thing I didn’t think even he’d have the stones to do and has Gary Kasparov arrested.2


1 Actual nickname.
2 Never bet against Putin’s stones.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 25, 2007 at 1:56 am

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