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Why Did Democrats Lose in Massachusetts?

(Photos by Robin Holland)

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with liberal academics Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Eric Alterman about why Democrats lost Ted Kennedy's former seat in Massachusetts' special election for Senate and how progressives should proceed from here.

Melissa Harris-Lacewell, who worked on Obama's 2008 campaign, said that the significance of the Massachusetts election has been overstated, but that the loss reflects the failure of both the administration and its supporters in the general public to maintain the excitement of the campaign:

"I think a lot of our emotions about this particular seat has to do with Senator Kennedy, the sense that Senator Kennedy was one of the first and strongest voices on health care, and that somehow replacing Kennedy with a Republican who is voting against health care or is likely to vote against health care is a very painful sort of shift.. The changes that may have been happening in the electorate may be these secular shifts that have occurred for some time. They're not just about the moment of this one question about this President... [There's been] a failure on the part of the Democratic Party writ large to tell a better story and just a more accurate story about what's going on... The brilliance of the Obama campaign had to do with creating a sort of outline figure of who Obama was - a figure of change, of hope, a representation of what America most wanted itself to be. But what was amazing was how at the level of very ordinary people, there was an opportunity to project onto Barack Obama all of your greatest hopes... The missing piece is that those same people who had such enthusiasm to tell a story during the campaign have failed to tell those stories during governing."

Eric Alterman said that the Massachusetts defeat was due to a mediocre Democratic candidate and that President Obama has not fought hard enough to enact the progressive agenda:

"[Massachusetts is] a liberal state. They went for McGovern. They have gay marriage. They elected a conservative to replace Ted Kennedy, who by the way replaced John Kennedy. It is shocking. The question is what's at the source of the shock. If you ask me, it's the fact that this President and particularly this candidate has not given people an inspiration to turn out the way these same people had an inspiration to turn out a year ago. Barack Obama carried Massachusetts by 28 points. That is a liberal state, and so it should be a shock to the system, but it's not a repudiation of everything that Barack Obama believes, and it's clearly not a repudiation of him for being too liberal, much less socialist. It's equally plausible, and to my mind more plausible, that it's a repudiation of his being unwilling to fight for the agenda that people thought they were electing him for."

In his syndicated column, conservative historian Victor Davis Hanson argued that Democrats have alienated many voters by arrogantly pursuing policies opposed by a majority of Americans. He wrote:

"In Plato's ideal society, philosopher kings and elite Guardians shepherded the rabble to force them to do the "right" thing... We are now seeing such thinking in the Obama administration and among its supporters. A technocracy -- many Ivy-League-educated and without much experience outside academia and government -- pushes legislation most people do not want but is nevertheless judged to be good for them. Take the Obama proposal for health care. A large percentage of Americans do not trust those who run the Postal Service to oversee the conditions of one-sixth of the U.S. economy... In fact, on a number of other major issues, polls show more than half of all Americans are at odds with the Obama agenda: more federal takeover of private enterprise, gargantuan deficit spending, and 'comprehensive' immigration reform, for starters... Why, then, does the Obama administration persist with such an apparently unpopular agenda? Like Plato's all-knowing elite, Obama seems to feel that those he deems less informed will 'suddenly' learn to appreciate his benevolent guidance once these laws are pushed through."

What do you think?

  • Why did Democrats lose Massachusetts' special election for the Senate?

  • Do you expect Republicans to score more victories in November's midterm elections? Why or why not?

  • In the wake of the defeat in Massachusetts, what strategies should progressives pursue?

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    I think that we should pull back are troops from the war in Afganistan.

    Senate math: 1\50th=control!
    It would take stupid idiots that have no clue as to the significance of a seat in the USA Senate & what it means to Mainstreet--at least when our hackles are up--to lose "Teddy's Seat", unless there never was a "Teddy Seat"!

    Ken Burns, "The National Parks", high lights how fortunate our country has been to have had so many "good" people at the right place & right time.

    There are good Americans out there (Gates) but Congress' Seniority System will not let them be heard except as private citizens.


    Billy Bob underwater in Florida

    Rabble-rousing mobs

    claiming to be the


    in charge of homeland security...?


    I don't THINK so...!

    I watched the show this morning with Dr. Why was she arrested? Put in "Handcuffs" during the her delivery of reasons why she was there and why she, with many other Drs. were interested to have congress persue the "one payer" idea for health care reform. Please, if congress could have time for a retreat,at our expense, then they have the right to at least hear a citizen's suggestion!!! Mary

    Why did they lose?

    1.) The candidate was not an incumbent with the considerable privileges and power of seniority.

    2.) The President came and told us that we were stupid and that we did not know what was in the healthcare bill. Does he really think that no one in Mass. read it?

    3.) They bribed members of their own majority to vote for the health bill.

    4.) They failed to hear the citizenry at town meetings in the dead of summer. They believed their own spin, that it was all "troublemakers and agitators." Sure, there were, but they had no problem finding spear-carriers. When the mob's outside the castle, it's not because the King is not explaining things well.

    5.) Martha Coakley's scintillating personality and warm embrace of the constiuency.

    6.) Attitude: Win the primary, it's a slam Dem dunk in Blue Mass.

    7.) Making fun of his truck.

    8.) Slow and steady wins the race. See Aesop, "The Tortoise and The Hare"

    Why did Democrats lose Massachusetts’ special election for the Senate?

    It is all about the present administration's falling in line with the Republican agenda.
    The present administration is working for the "No" Party instead of working for change. The working people are being crushed by trickle down economics and rising prices. The unemployment numbers have sky rocketed and many people are losing their homes.
    It's the politics and the economy based on stupidity.

    The Kennedy seat issue should of been strategized and put in place right after he had past out it happened for a purpose and as usual we missed out on a vital signal. When one decides to walk on high voltage grounds he or she must know that they have to be 100% well connected with its current electric charge.

    Myles, "Political scientists long ago established that liberals do not vote when the weather is bad, and New England winter is no time to expect liberals and Demos to come out to vote."

    Really? Huh, who knew...

    I heard that "organized crime" basically scoffed at an Attorney General who is deluded enough to actually fight "crime" would be elected as a Senator. They'll put up their own partner-in-crime in 2 years up agaisnt Brown...all politics are local...lots of competing tribes among 300 million...

    Chris responded, "You were not the only one creeped out, I was too."

    I like to think I have a broad sense of humour, but the schtick last night still has me going, "...what the hell was that...?"

    By Alyce Vrba
    FOCUS: Our economy is interconnected, and increasingly it is globally interconnected. Our socioeconomic well-being is interconnected. Our economy, our socioeconomic well-being and stability is not just short-term, bubble to bubble, speculation boom or bust, but consists of our constructive long-term thinking, our feelings, our actions, our investments collectively and individually as our AMERICA and as AMERICANS.
    Let's implement constructive plans and policies for our future:
    1) Restructure our healthcare system...a) Its cost(s); b) How it works; c) How it is delivered; d) How it is funded.
    2) Restructure our financial system.
    3) Restructure and implement our comprehensive clean-energy plan and policy, designed to conserve and to protect our environment.
    4) Fight for, protect, and expand our MiddleClass. Fight for, protect, and reduce the demographic ranks and suffering of our POOR.
    5) Invest in our PEOPLE, our America, our infrastructure, our businesses, our communities...
    FOCUS: Think, feel, act not just for our short-term, but for our collective, our individual constructive and sustainable long-term. CHANGE is never easy, CHANGE may not seem to come fast enough. CHANGE will be a steady and sustainable stream of our constructive collective and our individual thinking, feelings, and actions.

    People of Massachussetts woke up from a long "delusional" dream of Camelot!

    "I was totally creeped out by all the laughter in the state of the union address last night..."
    Posted by: Anna D

    You were not the only one creeped out, I was too.
    Last night as usual a "lip service" was provided, a reminder of the theory,"read my lips!"

    Last night, as well as many times in the past we were assured with more of the same,
    as status quo continue!
    "ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER" then pretty words to fulfill empty

    Political scientists long ago established that liberals do not vote when the weather is bad, and New England winter is no time to expect liberals and Demos to come out to vote. Our part-time Democratic Committee chair Tim Kaine should have known that. Republicans, conservatives will always come out in bad weather, because they vote with their emotional drives, and Republican poliiticians appeal to the emotional and survival parts of the brain, the "lizard" brain, while liberal politicians appeal to intellectual cerebrum parts of the human brain.
    Had Paul Kirk waited until spring or summer to give up Ted Kennedy's seat, the lazy liberals would have come out to vote in the warmer weather.

    Demos lost Mass for the same reason we lost the Virginia and New Jersey elections: because the PART-TIME Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine was AWOL and failed to do his job. Compare his absence to Republican National Committee chair Micheal Steele, who is in the media
    all the time, pushing Republican causes and candidates. Fire Kaine, bring back Howard Dean! People don't even know who Kaine is, he's so quiet(in hiding?)

    "The Jews and others that lost their life during the World War II,"
    did not give anyone any power to take their lives, I witness that!

    Posted by: Chris

    Actually, they DID give POWER over to a Big Giant Head who was channeling what everyone wanted to hear, but of course, did not mean it.

    Declaring a JUST WAR against D.C. is a DUTY.

    I was totally creeped out by all the laughter in the state of the union address last night...

    Everyone can PROVE that they were robbed - and the 100K that every household owes as "debt" has already been sucked out of savings, home values, IRAs - even out of the mattress...

    They have the 100K from everybody already - they HAD to give cash to the 187,000 mercenaries in their corporate army...

    No one is mentioning the "Enronistas" who are now at Wells Fargo and Chase busy at work issuing the most ABSURD wording since their sub-prime stuff and sending THAT crap out as "note modifications" - read THOSE stories on the internet...

    There are TOO many technocrats - like the Enronistas - who are finishing off the "decent" people...

    Anyone who still does not know how to "interpret" a politician's speech - well, all we can do is try to educate them, right?

    Last night boiled down to an acknowledgement that "decent" people need to be targeted for additional pressure from D.C.

    It's a WAR, my friend.

    Once any human being adopts a theoretical "ism" designed to support their psychotic "animal instincts" of craving power over others

    that human being gave away their POWER...

    scour history - which "nation" survives a pre-emptive strike...?

    As a resident of Massachusetts, I agree that Coakley was not very compelling and ran an abysmal campaign, and that had a lot to do with why she lost (Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan, are you serious Martha?). That said, it also had a lot to do with terrible voter turnout in working class cities, typically Democratic strongholds, like my city of Fall River, New Bedford, and Worcester.

    Why such low turnout? Because the Democrats are failing through both rhetoric as well as policy to make real change for working class people. If they want to win, here and across the country, they need to pursue a serious Keynesian jobs program and break up the big banks. Even if they don't happen, at least they will clearly establish themselves as the champion of working families. Otherwise, progressives will stay at home and moderates will have difficulty distinguishing between the two parties that are both so wed to the interests of corporations and the wealthy.

    Anna D.
    Dream on, dream on...
    Life is a bowl of cherries and we get the pits.
    Mercy, mercy and there is no mercy.
    We need action to make things right and get our nation back on the "Solid Rock". Otherwise, we get washed out to sea in the metaphorical darkness.

    "No one has "power" over you unless you give it to them."

    "the dude was a REGULATOR who was put there to
    follow the "rules"...
    Posted by: Anna D

    "The dude or dudes - REGULATORS who was or were put there NOT to
    follow the "RULES," has inflicted a substantial harm upon me and millions of others.
    I/we and millions of people did play by their rules, only the "rules" the LAWS
    were not worthed the paper that they were written.
    You can be sure that I did not give the "do-gooders" or anybody else any power
    to violate the the CONSTITUTION or the LAWS, not by a ballot or any other means.
    The corrupt JUSTICE System, turned blind eye and inflict harm to others.
    "Simple," the dude, the person, that sees the persons
    on the other side of the mirror is the person, the dude himself.
    It is not a coincident that there are hundreds of corporations and banks in
    They swindle the money under TARP and now the conservatives blame
    the president for not being able to provide jobs and/or health care insurance
    for millions of Americans!
    "The Jews and others that lost their life during the World War II,"
    did not give anyone any power to take their lives, I witness that!

    The power that denies the people to express their "WILL on all ISSUES!"

    Posted by: Chris

    Hey Chris,

    No one has "power" over you unless you give it to them.

    And they will always be trying to take your freedom, your body organs, your stem cells, your "fruits of labor", etc etc etc.


    The current players, like Timmy rationalizing on TV today, are claiming that the only way to "save" the PEOPLE was to steal from them!

    A total ethical freak show - the dude was a REGULATOR who was put there to



    follow the "rules"...


    From what I can gather...
    It is becoming self- evident that the present administration is no more than a puppet administration to lay down a smoke screen while the real power players set us up for a Return of the Republicans as a dictatorship which will eliminate our Democratic System and enslave the people in a Dystopia.

    "A power grabbing faction that If allowed , will change america into a
    socialist "nanny state" Posted by: chrisvb |

    America has been into a socialist states for sometime. The GMC investors in
    Equities and Bond holders lost everything. The bond holders for example of
    their $100,000.00 value, in exchange will receive only $140.00. This is total
    A confiscation that far exceed confiscation in any other socialist "nanny state!"
    This is only one of the 149 corporation in the bankruptcy courts just in New York.
    The FDIC in 2009 has foreclose 140 banks and 9 banks so far in 2010.
    Bailing out the Freddie Mac, The Fannie May, AIG and others was a
    "socialist confiscation" under socialist rule for the benefits of the elite.
    Is this not the American socialist "nanny state?"
    "Never under-estimate the power ... " of "OLIGARCHY!"
    The power that denies the people to express their "WILL on all ISSUES!"

    I cut and pasted this from the Peace Through Education conversation because there is, obviously, a "war" being fought about "hearts and minds" in OUR "government".

    Harriet wrote, "I used to think that educating people in "developing" countries was all good, but I'm beginning to learn about the dark side. I'm now reading "Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh", by Helena Norgerg-Hodge. It describes in detail the life before and after western-style development, including education, arrived in the trans-Himalayan region of Kashmir.
    It's a wrenching description of how "educating" people who have been self-sufficient for thousands of years turns them into dependents in a money economy, and actually creates poverty where none existed before. In the process, a rich culture, a peaceful and harmonious community profoundly connected to the land, is being replaced by sprawling slums, crime, religious intolerance, and pollution.
    I admit, I haven't read Greg Mortenson's books, but several articles about them. One says: "According to the World Bank, a single year of primary education can increase a woman’s income 10 to 20 percent later in life." and: "Almost no jobs exist for rural women in these developing countries."
    These quotes make me uneasy. One of the problems described in "Ancient Futures" is just that; people educated for jobs that don't exist, who have, meanwhile, not learned the skills needed to participate in their old communities, end up isolated in desperate slums.

    If this has sparked your interest, you can find out more at the International Society for Ecology and Culture:

    Posted by: Harriet Russell"

    There is no disagreement, whatsoever, among PEOPLE that they, personally, were robbed. We've got the paperwork.

    Here's the dictionary definition of "currency":

    1. Any form of money in actual use as a medium of exchange
    2. A passing from hand to hand; circulation
    3. Common acceptance; prevelance.

    When 1% of PEOPLE claim to "own" 95% of the "currency", that means that there is NO CURRENCY.


    Back to the craven shenanigans of liars, thieves and murderers...the "divide and conquer" schtick has actually created an "Independent" political party. Human beings really do have SURVIVAL INSTINCTS.

    The most OBVIOUS reason that the "right" and the "left" are in cahoots for the same purpose is because they haven't started shooting at each other, yet, in D.C.


    How can we get them to do that?

    I think that defending the biggest part of the federal budget - "entitlements" - will do the trick.

    USA not only was able to sustainn it's own population in great style for at least a decade, now and then, in its 300+ year history, it was also GENEROUS in its trade relations with the rest of the world.

    Yup, let's take a look at the "entitlements" area of the federal budget.


    The "right", at heart, is truly a hate-based philosophy. They're completely irrational when it comes to "labor".

    The "left" protect the "specialness" of the DELUSIONAL and their theoretical imaginings about "currency".

    USA citizens are caught between two SEMITE factions, both of which DO NOT have anything other than contempt for an agricultural civilization.

    Mr. Mortensen should be "educating" people towards "peace" in the Middle East, not in Afghanistan, shouldn't he?

    We the People NEED to put a new "currency" in place because we really do not have one!

    The "right" are sadistic thieves (spunking hooligans on Wall Street - one HIGH TECH Enron scheme after another)

    and the "left" are delusional thieves (a truly WEIRD blend of shamans, wishful thinking scientists, and psychobabblists)...

    For "Independents", getting rid of the "right" and their flying monkeys will be much easier - they're OPEN and BOLD in their hatred...and they all hang out in the same bars :-))

    It's the "left" that is going to be harder to corral into an "institution" - a MENTAL THAT's an interesting book in the making - how they convinced themselves (derivatives?) that they belonged in banking institutions instead of mental institutions.

    MATH TRUTH - Even if you throw EVERYBODY out of their home, close the banks and lay claim to all the deposits in there, stop producing food, ban MOTION, and well, I'm sure I'm missing something that is worth a fraction of a penny that PEOPLE could still say, by law, that THEY "own"...

    your neighbors in the Middle East STILL have the oil....and you are down to selling "slaves" (STUPID USA CITIZENS?) to keep up with the "joneses".

    Why did Coakley lose? Anyone watching the TV ads just before the election might not realize that Scott Brown was running as a Republican. Here was this down-home guy driving his truck, or standing in his kitchen, who said he could think "independently" and would listen to the voters for a change--no more "politics as usual." He represented the people, not the special interests. It was the people's seat he was running for, not Ted Kennedy's, and on and on.

    Never under-estimate the power of advertising to promote a slick, seemingly fresh product.

    could it be that the reason the democrats tanked in mass. and are poised to incurr heavy losses in november is much simpler than many comments here? perhaps the vast majority of people now have seen obama and his infighting democrats for what they are . a power grabbing faction that If allowed , will change america into a socialist "nanny state"

    Obama has always hugged the "center". If consecrated political language and terminology were accurate, the "center" would be recognized and described as the pragmatic, non-loopy, and "responsible" (ha!) right. In 2008 he elicited some energy and naive hope via stirring but deliberately vague rhetoric, and on account of not being the inept and shortsighted George Bush. Scott Brown, he of the loopy right and ultra-nationalists, recycled Bush. But what the Massachusetts vote really reflects is a hard times reaction against yet another round of the Democrats' stock liberal capitalist style and substance (i.e. pragmatic, rightism in tough times in the service of the long view and long term interests of concentrated wealth and power). Spending trillions may agitate the grass roots right (when it's not their guys doing it). But shoveling it to Wall St. thieves, health insurance bloodsuckers, and imperial adventures has either enraged or demoralized the rest of the voters. These days there's less room for the hacks to operate in, and Obama's moves appear to point toward more Dem losses. But let's be clear that this is not about "tategy and stractics". Obama is not, and no one in his position ever could be, a friend to the people he has claimed and pretended to represent.

    Ben Schainker,No one can state this better. You are 100% right. I know plenty of social liberals who are ardent advocates of environmental or LGBT issues but play the neutral role when it comes to making “any effort to make the country more fair for everybody” as you rightly put it. I think this is the manifestation of the selfish ideology that emanates for the public indoctrination institutions, the universities and the media. The educated and relatively well off social liberals (Thomas Friedman being a prime example) who are not willing to see the extreme inequalities and real poverty in this country (where some 30-45 million people go hungry every day or are suffering from extreme malnutrition), which are in some places almost as visible as those in Brazil or India, are some of those who pretend like they are the most outspoken advocates of “interpersonal/lifestyle issue” as you put it. But I think, a serious advocate of any humane issue, cannot be impartial towards the most pressing human suffering, poverty. These pretend liberals (Thomas Friedman, Obama etc…) whose only interest is to advance the agenda of their Masters (the Business or Corporate Class), are the ones equally working hard to “derail any effort to make the country more fair for everybody” as are their conservative buddies who don’t differ much from them. Eric Alterman, one of Moyers’ guests, is one of those. He was and probably still is one of the arch bashers of Ralph Nader. These are the people who knowingly try to convince people that there is a real difference between the Ds and the Rs, and that Obama really wants to “make the country more fair for everybody”. Really, is that why Timothy Geithner is the chief comptroller of the country’s funds, Larry Summers is his chief economic adviser, why he thinks that the cost of health care cost will come down magically without a public option (a reversal of his own view), that political convenience is what drives his policies and not the need of the people? For those who are not sure look at critical studies on Bill Clinton’s policies by Chomsky, Edward Herman, Paul Krugman, Hitchens and many others, you won’t be surprised by Obama.

    Gabe wrote, in part, "She never bothered to mention or most likely failed to grasp given her social class (the rich who can’t or simply won’t acknowledge the implications of regressive policies on the general public) that a discussion about democracy should be about how the PUBLIC participates meaningfully in the system (political discourse)."

    Over and over again, the behaviour issues of narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths come forth, don't they?

    Bottom line is that the American dollar has lost its "value" as currency because of the quality of the people who claim to possess control of "money".

    There is no progress or future in a "game" paradign.

    There's another shoe about to drop - the "freeze" on "spending"...

    There already IS a third political party IN REALITY WORLD - for simplicity's sake it can be officially designated as "Independent".

    We can write a new "charter of government" which might want to begin with "We the People do not believe that GOVERNMENT is a game."

    Before I comment on the democrats loss in Massachusetts, I want to comment on your guests especially Melissa Harris. I want to start by criticizing Melissa and her idea of democracy. Melissa repeatedly tried to emphasize that the essence of democracy is in how politicians politic with each other or playing the game as she describes it. At one point she even states “What we do is fight as nasty as possible to win the policy we want, because at least then we will win the policy we want at the cost of who we are together in a democracy.” This is how far she went to defend Obama’s failure by defining democracy as a game that politicians play and the rules they abide by while playing this game. She never bothered to mention or most likely failed to grasp given her social class (the rich who can’t or simply won’t acknowledge the implications of regressive policies on the general public) that a discussion about democracy should be about how the PUBLIC participates meaningfully in the system (political discourse). In her view, as she clearly and repeatedly described it, the essence of our democracy is the political gestures between politicians but not how the interests of the populous are represented. This view of hers which is in line with that of Obama’s, contempt of democracy and impartiality to the public’s suffering, is why the Democrats lost in Massachusetts. Picking Larry Summers as his chief economist (astrologer), first abandoning and then actually working to get the public option off the table via Rham Emanuel, trying to weaken the consumer protection bill coming out of the House, and so on has lead lots of democrats to give up, and not vote. Obama’s performance in his first year is THE MAJOR REASON WHY LOTS OF LIBERALS DID NOTE VOTE HERE IN MASSACHUSETTS, it probably made the difference.

    Posted by: Ben Schainker "What I can't understand is this: do social liberals really feel that as long as the populace is unconvinced on the propriety of whichever interpersonal/lifestyle issue they are championing, there should be no universal health care? No progressive taxation? No social safety net? No regulation of the financial sector? No product safety enforcement? No anti-trust enforcement? No safe pensions? No affordable education? No protection for our domestic markets? No campaign finance reform? No judicial reform? etc. etc. etc."

    Because, if it is not the intent of social liberals to derail any effort to make the country more fair for everybody, until their social concerns are dealt with first, then they really need to reevaluate their game plan.

    I just wish those who called themselves progressives would put progressive issues first. Or if not that, at least compartmentalize.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Americans could have at least some say in their own economy?

    Without that, how can we have any say about anything?

    Uncontrolled aggregation of wealth has always been the bane of empires. From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century.

    Once again, we have to decide if our fragile union is worth preserving.


    Well spoken post Ben.

    Voting for change is a very popular sales pitch that lying rhetoricians make when campaigning. You have to understand, our whole political system fights change. And if perchance some change does come about, it is quickly squelched every 4 years by the new incoming administration and we backslide.

    One candidate may have better spin on the question - so you vote for him or her. But when it comes down to it - politicians will say anything to get in the ignorant public just votes for the best liar!

    Remember how change was the buzzword for 2008 elections....Vote for Change! Well, lets be politics substantive change (for the average citizen) is only paid lip service. Because citizens don't run the government, the rich run the government.

    As the disparity between the rich and poor escalate, the poor will start class wars as they have done throughout history when he rich crowd out their very survival through greed.

    The poor have no other alternative-do they? The rich control the gov and only pass legislation to benefit the rich.

    Now sure, we get to vote between piece of shit 'A' and piece of shit 'B' every 4 years. But no matter how you slice it, we are fed a diet of shit with the politicians we elect.

    Remember what Obama ran on..."Let's spread the wealth!"

    Then it was "Let's tax the rich 5% to pay for universal healthcare."

    Then "Let's tax the fat cats of Wall Street to reign in some of those big bonuses."...and on and on with the lies.

    What lying rhetoricians do is to float some popular headline to appease the public into thinking they will do something to fight whatever corruption is disturbing Joe Public (Not to be confused with Joe the plumber)

    Then the ignorant public thinks something will get done. They relax, thinking their problems will be solved and lose track of the issue. And the lying rhetorician has succeeded in fudging the public once again.

    Now, let's say the filthy scumbags in office do pass some token policy to appease the citizens.

    What do they do with the legislation?

    They wont make it effective until 2 or 3 years down the road. That gives the hypocrites time to come up with more legislation to counteract the new laws or it gives time to the industry to maneuver / lobby around it.

    And if all else fails, the corrupt politicians just wait until the next administration comes in to strike down the laws before they even take affect. It is all smoke and mirrors my friends.

    RE:Why Did Democrats Lose in Massachusetts?


    RE: Do you expect Republicans to score more victories in November’s midterm elections? Why or why not?


    Edward Miessner,

    No one is coming to take you away.

    My point is simply that true progressives are the counterpart to economic conservatives. And liberals are the counterparts to social conservatives.

    What I can't understand is this: do social liberals really feel that as long as the populace is unconvinced on the propriety of whichever interpersonal/lifestyle issue they are championing, there should be no universal health care? No progressive taxation? No social safety net? No regulation of the financial sector? No product safety enforcement? No anti-trust enforcement? No safe pensions? No affordable education? No protection for our domestic markets? No campaign finance reform? No judicial reform? etc. etc. etc.

    Because, if it is not the intent of social liberals to derail any effort to make the country more fair for everybody, until their social concerns are dealt with first, then they really need to reevaluate their game plan.

    I just wish those who called themselves progressives would put progressive issues first. Or if not that, at least compartmentalize.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Americans could have at least some say in their own economy?

    Without that, how can we have any say about anything?

    Uncontrolled aggregation of wealth has always been the bane of empires. From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century.

    Once again, we have to decide if our fragile union is worth preserving.

    Ben Schainker



    AP Associated Press,
    "Obama to announce new initiatives for middle class"
    Status quo will continue of the Conservatives and the Bush administration.
    "Obama ..forgiving all remaining debt after 10 years of payment for those in
    public service work -- and 20 years for all others."
    Which means if you are "one of us [the party of -Money] will be forgiven in 10 yeas,
    if you are one of them [the labors, workers, farmers, homeless etc.] will go on for 20 years!"
    There is no end of "discrimination in sight"!
    "The debtor in possessions" has more rights on a personal property of labor,
    workers etc. under the corrupt justice system - simply confiscation!
    Yes "You've GOT a JUST WAR...!"
    A Continent sourounded by water a "concentration camp"
    for labor, workers, farmers, under preveleage etc.
    Only the first one hundred years "crossing the bridge of life" are hard, thereafter
    will be a peace!

    Ben Schainker wrote: "Then a bunch of limousine liberals pull up with their free trade agreements and gay marriage megaphones and scuttle everything."

    Wrong. Gay marriage was first brought up by aggrieved same-sex couples in HI, VT and MA. Result? The religious right, who are natural allies with the corporate elitist plutocracy and continually work for a totalitarian theocratic state, has latched on to this issue and absolutely refuse let go: in every state where gay marriage is a issue they have heaped all manner of lies and calumny upon lesbians and especially upon us gay men, successfully using fear and loathing to get their way. And when the vote appears it won't go the way they want, it can be fixed with electronic voting machines as was the case in California. And where are the limousine liberals and straight progressives in all this? Heading for the hills, as per usual.

    Will this be the American progressive movement's epitah? (Credit to Pastor Niemoller of Germany)

    First they came for the gays and I didn't speak out, for I wasn't gay.
    Then they came for the Muslims and I didn't speak out, for I wasn't Muslim.
    Then they came for the undocumented immigrants and I didn't speak out, for I was a US citizen.
    Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak out, for I wasn't Jewish.
    Finally they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Time for a new Declaration of Independence,
    Time for an evolution toward Freedom again.


    "I agree with him the gov keeps a certain amount on the citizens beholden to the politicians for handouts"....allenwrench, again...


    and then a schill like you is HOPING someone is on the right medication/medicated booze

    (think there's no "nicotine"-like secret additive to the booze?)

    and will consider suicide just like YOU are "suggesting"...?

    Come clean, wretch, who is PAYING YOU?

    It is again painfully clear that the two predominant parties are in cahoots with big, powerful businesses and individuals.

    I think it is time for a new party: the Nemesis Party.

    Nemesis was the Greek goddess of divine retribution, righteous anger... the force that meted out justice for greed and hubris.

    There is no choice between the vast majority of the congress. The young people of Massachusetts saw that and stayed away on election day.

    I can't see any meaningful change coming from the current set of buzzards or their established supply ranks. There are a lot of angry folks in this country who feel betrayed by Obama and the Dems. They wanted change and they got more of Bush.

    We need a movement that will make an honest break with the past.

    It really is time. Let's realize reality and organize a new party.

    It will take a while to build it up, but that's better than relying on these craven, money grubbers that are in office now and who aim to stay in power unless folks start to organize around the core principles of our republic and a higher morality than we have now in public life.

    Arlen Comfort wrote, in part, “They are there to facilitate the Republicans.” (Peter Camejo) When you can accept that concept as a possibility then the reasons for what they do seems so obvious."

    It's been "obvious" since the assassination of Jack Kennedy - why else would Brown cynically take on that mantle?

    allenwrench wrote, in part, "Listen Anna dear. If you act up too much the gov will microwave you and curdle your breast milk darling."

    You are a spunking hooligan that even the military will keep away from the "micorwave".

    Disgusting posting - pointless and worse.

    Only reason its on here is because its STILL the official media message (talk about where there REALLY is no "change" - psych ops and the kick in the teeth they deliver to WOMEN) Little Ms. Princeton teacher would not have her job if she could raise an "army" to fight a JUST WAR, would she?

    You've GOT a JUST WAR, suck it up and start microwaving, if you can.

    Calling everyone "stupid" who forms a cogent and lucid solution to INCOMPETANT "government" is a sign of dementia, as was your blatant misogyny.

    Go read your history - a WOMAN is always "commander in chief" of the army when it's time to clean out the genetic pool of hooligans like you.

    Even Palin would put you in her rifle's sights - wonder which biblical verse she has etched into hers...?

    To the Citizens of the United States, and Bill Moyers,

    Election of public servants is clearly defined in the Original Language of the Constitution of this now not so Great Nation pertaining to both Houses of Representative of the People. Therein one flaw not accommodated by the Constitution, offers what certainly amounts to Corporate, Business and various other entities, which promotes unjustified impartial Equality between Entities as Described whereas, the Supreme Court, did Strike down the one attempt to Remedy that Defect. The ruling was a Five to Four margin.

    The Problem stated thusly

    If a Citizen works for or a member of any entity as described above, and Said member or person in and or of his own right voluntarily contributes to the Political Campaign of any Representative of the People that is Certainly the Right of said Citizen. However, if that Citizen belongs to any identified entity, and the entity also contributes to the same Political Campaign or sponsors the Person running for Political Office despite type of and where or when an Election is held within confines of Places any Voting occurs, holds an Advantage over the Citizen not so privileged.

    By the argument as presented, it is imperative that the premise, Taxation without Representation as is therefore guaranteed, and takes place during every Election across the United States of America. The existing situation is neither a tolerable nor tenable premise, nor will immediately cease, unless we the People Speak out and Force the Seated Congress to Enact Legislation that corrects the Remedy at the Earliest time possible!

    The Constitution inappropriately offers Religion the Status of no taxation; however that premise does not fit the same interpretation to warrant, Contributions to Political Candidates by individuals and or Collective Religious founded entities. As a Citizen that practices a Religion, and supports his faith as many people do, any person who pays tithes to the religion that contributes to a Political Campaign is not different than a Business, Organization, Union or organized entity that does collect dues to belong to that separated entity, of which the majority of Citizens are not so privileged.

    Religious Entities, Entities of Business be it Corporate or Private, Collective Bargaining Entities such as Labor Unions, the National Education Association etal, that Contribute to any Political Campaigns Despite the type of it, gain advantage over any and or all Citizens that neither participate nor belong to similar groups.

    The options are

    1. Prohibit Political Campaign Contributions by Religious Groups, any and every type of Business, and, any and every type of Organization, None Withstanding!

    2. Experience the wrath of the People of this Nation as they RISE Against the Government of it that continues to turn Deaf Eyes and Blind Ears to the Voices of the People!

    Business is Business, and it is not Government
    Religion is Religion, and it is not Government
    Organizations are Organizations, and are not Government

    Never the twain shall meet, and never the same will taint the integrity of Citizens Running for any of thousands of Political Offices in this very weak-minded era of unstable and wholly ineffective trivial Legislative Actions, resulting in the dire predicament of now Divided United States. Divided, not by the People of it, who Fully Support it … but by the Laws filled with Loopholes that benefit Greed, or the Lies of Deception that further insured newly Elected Representatives of the People, become the next seated governing bodies who readily accept any and all contributions. That as described herein should never been allowed to happen. Such Political Contributions insure Corruption of Government, and Guarantees the Voices of Citizens are stomped into the steps of the Capital, and not heard in what hallowed halls of Congress? The Halls of Congress, and thousands of other Elected Officials across this vast Nation are corrupt for accepting the Bribes of Lobbyists, and political whores of every type as readily known to Every Seated Member of Congress as now Constituted. The figure of $62 Million comes to mind as stated on a Public (PBS) Television Station as being the Amount contributed to Seven Seated Members of the Senate of the United States, by the Insurance Industry that provides Health Care Insurance to paying subscribers. The hideous fact, there were only NINE members that did most of the writing an act of legislation that directly impacts, and Effects Every Citizen living in the United States. Still yet even more horrible, the Legislation as approved by the Senate consisted as was passed by the Senate, more than 2,000 pages of intricate legalize no single human being of sound mind could read, study and correctly interpret the result as would occur. Moreover, it would not be a plausible act of legislation that could be successfully implemented and administered.

    I, Jim White, Citizen, Veteran of the United States Air Force, serving two Enlistments, and possess Two Honorable Discharges, and subsequently Disabled directly by my Military Service, DEMAND the now Seated Congress of this Nation at the First Seating of it during the Present Session of it, to Propose, Compose, and PASS as if by a Single Voice by Unanimous Vote in Both Houses of the now constituted Congress of this Nation, a Satisfactory Remedy to the Problems outlined herein.

    If the Seated Congress does not fully understand, and comprehend this Public Posting, I Promise, that a Legal Complaint against Both Seated Houses of the Congress of the United States of America, will be filed in the Western District of the Great State of Missouri, and I will WIN THAT LAWSUIT, by ROTE, thereby rendering every Election held before the Remedy as DEMANDED, Null and Void. If such legislation IS ENACTED by Congress, and SIGNED into Laws of this Nation, before any type of Election in this Nation is Held, at least honest representation of the People is one step closer to the fact of being True.

    Similarly, the Recent Bailouts wholly funded by Tax Paying Citizens was most unwise for there is no such Entity that is … Too Big to Fail! Further more, President Obama went to the Very Source of the Problem of High Finances in the Business Sector for Heads of High Office that Caused the Problem, and appointed them to his Watch as Seated President to straighten out the mess, they were in fact so Responsible for!

    President Obama missed the boat on four Points:

    1. He ignored the Mandate the People of the United States gave him
    2. He never instigated or even attempted to insure Bi-Partisanship happened. Instead Speaker Pelosi mandated of Self Volition the Seated Members of Congress would RAM a HORRID piece of Legislation DOWN THE THROATS OF ALL CITIZENS, because Democrats did in fact Control Both Houses and the Presidency. She did it too, and should be Removed from her Seat and position of Powerful Authority, just two heartbeats away from the President’s Seat!! GOD, help us if such an occurrence did happen (most highly unlikely and I pray it to be so).
    3. Loss of a single Democrat Senator has now pushed the Panic Buttons of all Democrats now so Seated in both Houses of Congress!
    4. The People have now observed “cool Barrack Obama” frustrated, bound to Duke it Out with the ILK of Wall Street and High Finance, but I am afraid it is to late to Prevent the Idiots that Raped Every Citizen, from Collecting Huge Bonuses for tramping US Citizens into the DIRT, under their Collective Raping Mentality that infers, Business is more Intelligent that We the People? How Stupid can any human being become? Apparently extremely … Stupid! Can we the People survive another Three Years of ineffective government, and another three years of NO NEW JOBS as we observe the Unemployment numbers climbing? Where is all that er, uh Stimulus Funding? All States have in hand infrastructure planned that would immediately on the First Hand put many construction workers in many fields to work, and on the second hand could also put Teachers, Police, State Police, and many small municipal or local government workers to work.

    What Say you Citizens of the Divided States of America?

    What Say you Bill Moyers – Call Me, you are our Only Voice. The Commercial Media Venues that Distorted the previous Presidential Campaign by wrapping their Collective Opinions around Obama in and his Suave Attire and Smooth Speeches, into a Political Candidate that raised $800,000,000 in his successful bid to win Seat of Office, and yet no human being to my knowledge has even viewed his Official Birth Certificate that includes the name of the attending Physician, or the hospital where born!

    Please see my post #1895

    Jimmie Lee White, aged 68 years

    USAF18588060 February 1, 1960 – June 13, 1967
    402 Carr Street
    Greenfield, MO 65661
    Telephone 417.637.5294 – This is a Private Unlisted No-Call Number without an Answering Machine!

    Their plan (at least the plan of true republicans) is called the free market. Government policies have kept health care from getting as good as it could be and as cheap as it should be.
    Posted by: jscottu

    There is nothing free about the free market.
    A free market is a game of monopoly with real money where the rich people win and everyone else loses.
    Maybe in a world where people were perfect and people did what was right for everyone a free market would work. In this world; it is obvious that greed and maliciousness prevail.
    Get real!

    Dear Mr. Moyers,
    Just caught the re-run of 1/22. Good show, but most of yours are in my opinion. Such a broad, complicated subject, but to focus on one aspect: I couldn't agree w/Eric Alterman more about the road forward for Obama. While it may be a noble theory for the President to continue to be Mr. Nice Guy, as Melissa Harris-Lacewell suggested, it won't work. Two main reasons: The Republicans keep moving the center farther to the right; and any capitulation by Obama will be used against him in the end. They know how to cover their bases. You can't play nice w/people who are hellbent on destroying you, and having their way at any cost. Maybe it works in academia, but this is bloodsport. Eric knows. Obama has to fight back now, hold the line, and do it fair and square. Otherwise we are looking at a failed presidency, with the GOP back in power in 2012 to pick up where Bush left off. No amount of civilty is worth that. It's way past time to take the gloves off, and fight the good fight. That's the best example any president could set at this critical juncture in history. And for the record, fight is a verb.

    Thank you Lee. Appreciate you agreeing with me!!!

    There is so much here to disagree with. These people live in a dream world. But I'd like to rebut one point. When Eric Alterman says "the republicans don't have a health care plan" that is not true. Their plan (at least the plan of true republicans) is called the free market. Government policies have kept health care from getting as good as it could be and as cheap as it should be.

    I'm so frustrated! Why, Mr. Moyers, when you show how fine you are by having the magnificent Ms. Lacewell on your show, do you allow Eric Alterman to interupt her repeatedly and monopolize the conversation? Everything he said was typical boilerplate pundit-speak yet Ms. Lacewell brought new reasoning and ideas that I wanted her to elaborate. I'm so disapointed. You could make it up to me by having her on for an entire hour with no other guests. I'm waiting.

    Bill Moyers,
    I normally love your shows but, The Journal 1/22/10, gave me the chills as you were promoting mostly what the MSM does every day and that is, make excuses for all of the so called failures of the Democrats. Everything they do and every so-called failure can be explained with one answer. “They are there to facilitate the Republicans.” (Peter Camejo) When you can accept that concept as a possibility then the reasons for what they do seems so obvious.

    I could send you another 70 unique excuses I have seen and collected for what the Democrats are doing and have done but your interview takes the cake for the most excuses in one program.

    I know it is hard to be cynical enough to really believe both parties are working for the same goals but the that would be the best explanation I have heard of why two extremely different people who won the presidency, Bush and Obama, can work for such similar results. Did you notice any similarity in their appointments? Did Obama role back any of Bushes signing statements? Has he really stopped any wars? Did he eliminate the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy?

    You had a great question “But can either of you name one gift he has given to the liberal wing of his party since he became President.”
    1) Net neutrality. Government-- We have had that since the inception of the internet. Was he saying the Obama didn’t take net neutrality away from us?
    2) Government trans-- What was he saying?
    3) Lily Ledbetter Equal-- That’s good but I don’t remember Obama working for it.
    4) Releasing the torture memos. Some memos only, that’s
    good but not significant
    5) Canceling the F-22. Good move, but was there a piece dividend or was the money just moved to another MIC project.

    Maybe you have a better explanation of why the Democrats need so many excuses to keep the public informed of why they are doing what they are doing but facilitating the Republicans almost always fits for a feasible answer.

    Maybe it would be more acceptable to you to think that both parties are funded by the same sources therefore they are after the same results. This just gives a reason why the Cameo quote works because both parities know that they must keep an image of a left and a right two party system to keep pulling off the sham of a government of the people.

    I hope that this list will let you see another perspective of what your program was saying to your audience.

    I may criticize you but I still think you are the best.
    I wish you were not leaving the air and I hope that you will return soon.
    - Arlen Comfort

    Here is the list of excuses or reasons given for the poor Democratic performance in 1/2 of The Journal 1/22/10.

    (1) there was no reason to vote for this woman
    (2) She didn't even know who Curt Schilling much less run a competent campaign.
    (3) They did no polling
    (4) But the media have constructed this narrative. Democrats have allowed them to do it.
    (5) this President, this and particularly this candidate has not given people an inspiration to turn out
    (6) the hand he's been dealt is incredibly problematic from the perspective of any progressive President.
    (7) He has to play the cards he's been dealt. And those cards are being determined by . . .
    (8) I think, to a failure on the part of the Democratic Party writ large to tell a better story
    (9) The narrative that's come out of this presidency is really at fault
    (10) They haven't done a good job of telling the story they want people to understand.
    (11) But instead he came in on issue after issue where he thought the deal was to be done
    (12) They should have come in with an incredibly ambitious and idealistic stimulus plan.
    (13) He hasn't taken a big hit. And I think this is a mistake
    (14) of not talking about the Equal Pay Act. Of not talking about the fact that he's trying to move towards a closure of Guantanamo.
    (15) simply because he doesn't fight back does not make him not a warrior.[[[Is this an excuse???]]]
    (16) Now it's time to slap them around a little and get something done. He hasn't taken that step.
    (17) He's giving the impression that he can be pushed around.
    (18) he's playing tennis and there's nobody hitting the ball back.
    (19) he keeps pretending that he's in a tennis game with two sides.
    (20) the Democrats are so committed to being reasonable,
    (21) he's governing as if he's- it's 50-50 or even he's in the minority
    (22) He's not leading the fight
    (23) This is the failure of the ability of the President and his party to tell their story
    (24) they have been so successful at defining the terms of the debate that the mainstream media accept their definitions of the issues and the parameters of discussion [[[Media Excuse]]]
    (25) That's not Barack Obama's fault
    (26) he's basically caved on all of the issues related to the war on terror and civil liberties
    (27) And he's bet on being effective. But damn it, that's not working either
    (28) this is the best way he could figure out to do it.
    (29) And yet the other side didn't go away
    (30) they are better Democrats than our side

    (1) “The Democrats are there to facilitate the republicans.” Peter Camejo

    (1) reason that it didn't pass more quickly was a sense that we wanted to include all of these different ideas and perspectives in it.
    (2) this hasn't been some solid 60 in lockstep behind a progressive President
    (3) those same people who had such enthusiasm to tell a story during the campaign, have failed to tell those stories during governing.
    (3) We got right on the defensive immediately and started feeling very anxious.
    (4) we've got Barack Obama. Now we can go back to tweeting and blogging

    (1) “The Democrats are there to facilitate the republicans.” Peter Camejo

    (1) Do you find it laughable that Obama is considered too liberal?
    (2) he prefers the argument to the battle.
    (3) take on the enemy and be defined by his haters, he doesn't seem to have the- [[[Not sure about this one]]]
    (4) He ruled out a single payer system ahead of time and then,
    (5) refused to be strong for a public option hoping to get Olympia Snowe and one Republican vote.
    (6) Does he really know who his opponents are?
    (7) they refuse to go along with his hand out. They slap it away.
    (8) They don't give him a single vote on anything.
    (9) The Republican strategy has set that up. Obstruct, obstruct, obstruct
    (10) the man you helped elect is making compromises with conservative elements in the Democratic Party
    (11) But suppose he knows something you don't want to believe.
    (12) Suppose he knows that Americans really do fear a proactive, social democratic agenda
    (13) Maybe he knows that this is not as progressive a country —

    (1) “The Democrats are there to facilitate the republicans.” Peter Camejo

    Maybe what we see as Democratic failures are accomplishments as seen from behind the closed doors. You may have to become more cynical to be able to accept Peter’s words but if you do it is so enlightening but very depressing. Maybe you don’t want to go there.

    - Arlen

    PS: The election in Massachusetts looked like a "let it happen" event by the Democrats. Why? Because too many Democrats makes it harder to pass the Republican agenda.
    I'm writing to correct the link previously posted. This is the page I wanted. Newer material, such as 4 Positive Practical Steps for Responding to Citizen's United, is on the right. The Editor's Introduction spells out some history.

    I'd hoped to inspire hope. Regardless of age, health, economic status or time limitations, there is something everyone can do, (domesticated or not). As I said before, baby steps.

    Allenwrench, I'm with you 100% on National Healthcare. I've done everything I can to promote HR676, short of getting arrested. I'm well aware of the problems with our current system. I have to admit, I've become battle weary lately, and it's getting harder to be hopeful about the outcome. Possibly the real battle is just beginning. Spreading the word about standing up to corporations is something I can do.

    Your question: "In the wake of the defeat in Massachusetts, what strategies should progressives pursue?"

    Progressives should be encouraging another Democrat, someone like Dennis Kucinich or Russell Feingold, to defeat Obama for the 2012 nomination. Our President is not just an incompetent, he is a bad person: he is responsible for widening our military commitments, killing innocent foreigners abroad, trashing our Bill of Rights, raiding our children's future taxes, etc. This is not a person to respect or support. Those who voted for him made a big mistake.

    Prof. Harris-Lacewell said that progressives need to remember that we are "a small 'd' democracy" and need to respect the opinions of the opposition. This is a quaint notion born of living in a state (I presume New Jersey) where she is represented by big "D" Democrats. I live in the reddest part of the red south, and since Max Cleland was destroyed by Saxby Chambliss, I haven't had a single Democrat to represent me or my opinions in Congress. I have an intimate knowledge of what it is like to deal with "the party of NO."

    As a member of OFA I went to my Republican Congressman's office to register my opinion on health care reform. His receptionist at the door asked me to leave my sheet expressing my reasons for my opinions with her and then I was invited to leave. The Congressman was "out in the district" that day. He never held a public meeting as the Democrats did, since he knew that the Republicans in his district would support him and the Democrats didn't matter. If we had "mattered" his seat would have been filled by a Democrat. That's how it works down here, majority rule, no voice for the minority. If Prof. Harris-Lacewell had lived as I have, unrepresented, with no voice to speak for her in Congress and few true progressive opinions in the media, she might be more willing to engage the Republicans rather than try to negotiate and conciliate. Democrats need to really stand up for what they believe in. A lawyer like our President should understand that in an adversarial system such as ours, the first job of each opposing side is to represent THEIR views and allow the other side to represent their own. Only then can the negotiations begin. But "the party of NO" has had their way for far too long, so it will take some very strong rhetoric to effectively oppose them.

    Leading up to the election, my inbox was FULL of emails from NewsMax (several a day) asking for money and support to run ads in Mass.(I live in Florida.)

    Dick Morris (former political adviser for Clinton and a major behind-the-scenes player)is playing hard ball and mostly flying under the radar.

    Here is one of the ads his League of American Voters sent around on the internet, creating a sense of panic and urgency:

    These are the same swiftboating tactics that have been used to win many an election...just on the internet instead of TV.

    Watched the show. Still very disappointed that you don't really care to know the answers to the questions. Instead of talking about the other side, why don't you talk to the other side?

    And what's-her-face's snear about the opposition "turning the hoses and dogs onto the democrats" is simply outrageous and should not be tolerated. Even for your show. This is what passes for "progressive" thought? I want nothing to do with this fraudulent principle.

    Oh, and Bill... why was it so predictable that you would blame America for Haiti's misfortunes? You fully encapsulate the reason why America rejects the "progressive" movement and is embracing the Tea Party Movement. You have expired.

    Posted by: Anna D "Civil disobedience IS a JUST WAR. Keep in mind how this "revolution" got started in the USA - assassinations of "leaders"."


    Posted by: K.C. "Say No to corporate food. Withhold your dollar wherever you can. I think it's a move before we're forced type of issue."


    Listen Anna dear. If you act up too much the gov will microwave you and curdle your breast milk darling.

    The gov to too powerful to fight nowadays as they did back in the day with muskets.

    That doesn't mean citizens can't fight back in other ways.

    KC touches on the right idea. BUT, the sad fact is most of you guys are too domesticated to fight back.

    I think apathy is fueled by the fact that most Americans are just trying to survive.
    Tony Benn:

    Best way to fight a corrupt system is to strike it. But the politicians learned a long time ago that the 'Domesticated American' is impotent when it comes to controlling political policy.

    Consumer strikes en masse could change many things. But the politicians have a way of forgetting and going back to old ways. As such, it would take continual strikes to keep the knuckleheads in DC going down the right path.

    After all 70% of the economy is based on the consumer.

    But such strike would take a measure of self-sufficiency that 99.9% of the modern day people lack. They can't miss one paycheck or will be behind on their mortgage or If they are unable to go to market for a few days they will starve.

    Back in the day, (prairie and turn of the century) citizens were more of a self sufficient nature. Most of us have lost that skill of self sufficiency and we have shifted gears to be dependent on gov and a few other such as farmers or oil producers or China to take care of the whole pop of the US. The problem is, it is very hard to go back without causing a lot of pain. (Actually a lot of deaths)

    Hell, the impotent people of modern day and age can't even make pancakes or peanut butter sandwiches and have to buy them ready made in the's really scary.

    As I posted earlier, "one of my mentors said....'You can't regulate integrity.'"

    Lets discuss this idea of integrity as it affects our political system.

    While the US had all these same issue in politics back in the day. The politicians were either less corrupt or abstained from giving into their corruptness back then.

    Look at Medicare and SS?

    You could never get those passed today. They had some true bipartisan support back then too. Of course, all this can't be defined or regulated....because you can't regulate integrity!

    You say to yourself I want politicians with more integrity. What does that mean? How can it be defined?

    I guess it is like the wind or gravity. You know it is there, but can't see the source. Same with integrity, you just know when you have it in a person, but can't define the parameters, other than the fruits of their labor that person produces.

    Another fellow (I think on the AR-15 forum) had a solution to America's woes. He subscribed to the "Scrooge Theory."

    He said if a person can't get along without pills, medicine, social security, psychiatric care, welfare, medicare, food stamps or gov handouts then they need to just die. He wasn't bitter about it, just viewed under the law of natural selection.

    I heard similar views from the survival podcast man about gov entitlements. (He didn't mention the need to die part) but, I agree with him the gov keeps a certain amount on the citizens beholden to the politicians for handouts,

    But that is how we built our nation. Do we kill off half of the pop in midstream? If that was the case, America would be a very different place, wouldn't it?

    But as America goes bust, we run out of fossil fuels and fewer and fewer of us can afford to get healthcare...that 'kill off' is exactly where we are headed.

    Northeastern pointed head pseudo intellectuals should be confined to those Ivory Halls & not expose Mainstreet to their myopic mania.

    All Ivy League graduates should receive the same status as foreign borns, that is excluded from holdoing the office of President of the USA!

    B. Moyers just can't help letting those two professors hang themselves with their own tongues!

    If Mainstreet sees these two as Obama establishment mainstreamers, then Obama is through.

    We need some getter done, rolled up sleved, honest Sunshine or C-Span operating in the open, people in Washington and send the Backroom Boys packing!

    Love it or leave it,

    Billy Bob Florida

    Posted by: K.C. "During 2009, I've seen the tone of this blog go from cautious optimism to near despair regarding Healthcare Reform. We're all good at seeing the problems"


    Couple things KC.


    Yes KC, America can NEVER fix it's healthcare woes as it stands now. We've always had the same healthcare system in the US. The only difference is incomes have not risen as fast as healthcare costs. And no amount of wishing or crying or praying to god is going to fix that. Capitalism has just made the gap too big to close. The ONLY solution to the mess is to step outside the box and introduce completely new thought to solve or at least improve upon problem my friend. I address what will work below in section #2 KC.

    Employers are decreasing ins coverage to keep their bills down. Companies are letting go of full timers to replace them with part timers to cutout benefits offered. It used to be companies stayed with a medical insurance plan for years, Now the trend is to change plans yearly shopping around for the lowest cost plan which translates into lower coverage for the employees.

    The trend with healthcare benefits has been steadily declining. A friend told me 2 years ago their jobs med insurance went from no ded with a $10 co pay to $20 co pay and $750 ded. This year it was $20 co pay and $2000 ded. Next year they are talking about only covering the actual worker and not covering the family members and / or a $5000 ded.

    In addition to these cutbacks, in 2010 the insurance company now mandates that the insured cannot use either of 2 local state of the art hospitals, but must use 3 regional smaller hospitals to get coverage for most medical needs.

    Doctors are losing biz since the ins co's have raised the ded, so fewer patients are coming in cause they can't afford to pay the high ded out of pocket. So the trend with MD's is to charge patients a yearly subscription or membership fee that allows you to be in that doctors practice.

    A radiologist told me that the trend is to send the X-rays to India now via facsimile for the Indian MD's to read. Just takes few seconds to export why not save hundreds of dollars so the healthcare industry can make more profits?

    And it is not just this isolated area that MD's are concerned with. Nurse Practitioners have made a dent in the traditional MD's livelihood as well.

    Here is a glimpse of your future...

    "Kaiser forecast that the yearly family premium for health insurance could reach $30,803.00 in ten years if the 8.7% annual increase of the previous 10 years were to continue."

    And lets go out a further 10 years. Now, the average premium is $70,939.00 per year at an 8.7% annual increase. Would you like to be forced under penalty of law to pay a $70,000 a year bill?

    Some of you say that is ridiculous?

    Well, why so?

    If it has happened on a continual and regular year in - year out basis for decades...what will stop it? Are healthcare costs suddenly frozen for all of eternity?

    Once healthcare insurance is mandated under penalty of law, the insurance companies will really start raping the public. They will have a captive audience.

    Let me tell you how ObamaCare would have affected our family.

    When the original proposal to jail those without healthcare proved too unpopular and was dropped, the politicians decided to fine familles $3800 for not buying gov mandated healthcare.

    The proposed fine they mandate on the uninsured would make it a decision of whether to pay my $345 a month house payment or pay Obama's fine of $316.66 per month (pro-tated)

    If I pay the fine, the bank takes back the house. And if I refuse to pay his fine, I'll still lose my house to the IRS? Either way we are out in the street.


    KC, there is ONLY one solution to the healthcare mess in the US of A. The solution is this. We need a SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE plan for the poor (people making under $150,000 a year) as well as a 'FEE FOR SERVICE' plan for the rich. (current healthcare plan in the US.)

    All you politically correct idiots...stop calling it the public option. Just call it socialized medicine and stop all the bullshit trying to sugar coat it. That is half your problem living in a world of lies and delusions as you try and figure out which god to pray to next. Wake up knuckleheads! (not referring to you KC) We cannot afford living a life of delusional thinking in this day and age while the corrupt politicians flush America down the drain.

    But the insurance companies that own the politicians wont go for socialized medicine even as an adjunct. Capitalism and greed block social ethics at every turn.

    And if per chance a politicians leans in a direction of social ethics. The lobbyists funded by the rich tell him or her we will back your opponent and take you out of office come next election. But if you play ball we will fund your campaign. So human nature what it is, they go where the money flows.

    We already have a socialized education system. We all pay for educating the kids through taxes. And some of us use this system and others don't, but we all pay. The people that don't want to use the public education system go the private education route.

    So it should be with healthcare.

    Tax people 1% to 6% depending on income and start a gov run healthcare system that can be used by ANY citizen in need. If that tax is not enough revenue, then start charging foreigners flying into the US an arrival and departure tax. Or start charging a 1% SHC (socialized health care) sales tax.

    And tell all those new doctors in and out of med school the must work for the gov for 2 yrs with the socialized med plan. Tell them if you want to be n MD and make big bucks work in a cushy office and squeeze boobs all day you are going to have to give back to society a little before you go off to your practice.

    If some of the citizens don't like receiving socialized government run healthcare, then they can always go the private healthcare route and pay their own way. Just as they can do with private education, if public schools are not to their liking. This is the only way a socialized healthcare proposal would work in the US of A. You need duplicate healthcare systems to satisfy all comers. The rich and the poor that cannot afford the rich healthcare system.

    If the government has to limit care for the elderly, then do so. Sure give seniors good med care, but if it comes to hundreds of thousands of dollars for life support, tell them they are free to pay their way to private healthcare, but the gov and the people can't afford a half million dollars for every senior in the country just to keep them on ventilators.

    And I'm not a young guy bashing seniors either,

    I'm near 60 myself. But I realize that we can't keep printing endless money in the US of A. We must all start to think of what is best for society, as our world is fast decomposing before our very eyes.

    Most important, put this plan to a NATIONAL VOTE....Let the people decide what they want.

    Oh ... there is one fly in the ointment with my suggestion. The problem is getting a bunch of greedy, lying, power hungry rhetoricians in DC to oversee socialized medicine in a way that is not corrupt and money squandering like Medicare is. As one of my mentors said....'You can't regulate integrity.'

    I gotta rant a little over the knuckleheads on TV that demand affordable healthcare. I wish they would stop talking nonsense about how they want 'affordable healthcare' without a socialized healthcare system.

    Doctors pays hundreds of thousands of $$ per year for malpractice insurance, as everyone is sue happy and tries to hit the lotto by going to court. The doctors runs every test under the sun to cover their xyz if they do have to go to court.

    The doctors have high overhead with office and personnel expenses. In addition, the doctors work hard to go to expensive schools for many years, so want to earn some big bucks. And their high priced houses, expensive cars and trophy wives suck down lots of money.

    The drug companies pay off the politicians to keep their drugs artificially high priced. And the insurance corporations are run for max profit for the high salaried CEO's and money grabbing shareholders. The hospitals are very expensive to build and run and have lots of expensive employees and overhead.

    So where in the hell do people get the dream that ALL this will EVER be AFFORDABLE?

    Many people seem to think the health insurance companies are charities and supposed to work for the benefit of the sick and needy. They are ONLY in biz to make money and not dole out charity. So don't get confused on this point.

    The good customer for the insurance company is the customer they never hear from, other than to get their premiums each month. The good customer for the insurance company is one that gets sick and then dies immediately in their sleep...before the insurance company has to dole out a red cent. The well run insurance companies job is to DENY as many claims as it can to MAXIMIZE their profit...that is the capitalists way.
    After all, we are a capitalist country and not a socialist country, so one must take the good with the bad.

    In my own case I have 'gone naked' for the last 25 years when it comes to health insurance. I just can't afford it. I used to have Kaiser insurance when I lived in L.A. I paid about $60 to $80 a month for it, can't exactly remember. Then moved out of L.A. in the 1980's to the East coast. Times got tough with the jobs and had to drop the med ins and could never afford to get it back.

    The last time I checked, health insurance would cost me just under $15,000 per year for me and my wife. Just can't afford it.

    All that is left for me to do is to take care of my health the best I can and live like they did in the old days before hospitals were invented. But many Americans are not such health conscious.

    You are right KC to lecture ion health improvement.

    Get this DVD from your library:

    Showcases the poisonous diet that is being pushed off to Americans...again under the mandate of the almighty dollar that capitalism promotes as god.

    Americans will keep getting sicker and sicker as their unhealthy lifestyles and poisonous unnatural diets work their evil...and healthcare will just keep getting less and less affordable for them.

    Repeating LIES long enough did create massive dementia among the "politicial class", so why not keep doing the same...?

    Repeating again the JUST WAR discussion from 1000 years ago that is even more important today - go figure :-)

    Here is is - again -

    "Four strict conditions for "legitimate defense by military force":
    • the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    • all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    • there must be serious prospects of success;
    • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition."

    Point 2 - all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective - is becoming clear, huh?

    Can't legislate "morality" so then that means that the Libertarian idea of "government" is null and void, eh?

    "The ONLY role of gevernment is to protect the individual against forece and fraud."

    Especially is it null and void when a corporation has SUPERHUMAN, special needs "rights" because what a corporation DOES is provide the force and fraud to take care of its "special needs"...

    We're in a big bowl of political "ism" crazy!

    There was NO LOSS - we still HAD an election in Massachusetts.

    The Obambi campaign was CARTOONISH...meaning that all the rhetoric was supplied by what other people revealed was in their hearts. At least the Dilbert cartoonist ADMITS that his material comes from people in corporate cubes.

    Ben Schainker wrote, in part, "Melissa Harris-Lacewell obviously hasn't studied much American history. Under her concept of little 'd' democratic process, Lincoln couldn't have fought the confederacy during the civil war. It would have been too 'uncivil'. In her mind the process trumps the ends. If it were up to her, if there were no bloodless way to end slavery, then slavery should have gone on, and the Union should have fallen.

    Moreover, Melissa Harris-Lacewell is simply ignorant of what America is. It is not a democracy with plutocratic tendencies. It is a plutocracy with democratic tendencies. It solves nothing to blame ourselves for this. She sounded like a republican who invites Americans to blame themselves for their falling standard of living under laissez faire cronyism."

    Ms. Harris-Lacewell has a great job teaching the elite how to control the masses with psychobabble, doesn't she?

    Agreed, she's delusional.

    No politician can make the case for why the civil disobedience we have right now is WRONG. All they are pathetically trying to do is keep swimming in their River of DaNile...

    Civil disobedience IS a JUST WAR.

    Keep in mind how this "revolution" got started in the USA - assassinations of "leaders".

    Actors have stepped in to fill the void and the machinations of vainglorious men continue in the background and it's OBVIOUS that they are NOT doing anything FOR THE SURVVAL OF USA's INFRASTRUCTURE. They're ripping it down just for the hell of it to show POWER over "the people"...

    Yes we are at "war" - which means there must be a "just war" somewhere in this bowl of crazy...

    Am I inciting a riot among spunking hooligans...?

    Nope, just having a church meeting :-)

    Here's an excerpt from MY "holy book":

    "No being in all the universe has the rightful liberty to deprive any other being of true liberty, the right to love and be loved, the privilege of worshipping God and of serving his fellows."

    Me thinks a "corporation" ain't "human"...

    Yup, one humdinger of an existential war (profits for ME ME ME) versus a JUST WAR...

    First, ditto to Emily's comment. Bill, we need you more than ever.

    Thank-you, Elizabeth. I did Google Project Mockingbird, and SCOTUS for that matter. (I'm not exactly a wonk.) Your point about not blaming the victim is well taken. Brings to mind Pat Robertson's comment on the Haitians, and the Horatio Alger myth that is deeply ingrained in our social consciousness.

    During 2009, I've seen the tone of this blog go from cautious optimism to near despair regarding Healthcare Reform. We're all good at seeing the problems. Crafting solutions is a whole other ballgame. Check out Yes! Magazine's Fall 2007 issue: Other hopeful places to read are: Post Carbon Institute and TransitionUS.

    I think every person knows at least one thing they could do to improve their health. IMHO, it's the same with change. Baby steps. I've read that changing your diet is "the single greatest impact you can have--far greater than which car you drive or which lights you use". (PCI's FB page) Say No to corporate food. Withhold your dollar wherever you can. I think it's a move before we're forced type of issue.

    I suppose I should spend time with exit polls from Massachusetts and also with Massachusetts results from the general election in 2008. I haven't. My hunch is that Massachusetts in the just-finished election does not represent any general endorsement of Republicans (what is there to endorse?) Rather what happened is that Obama abandoned his base when he put through a bailout of the banks that was the wet dream of the wealthiest Republicans. His base has now abandoned him. The Democrats who could have put his candidate into Kennedy's seat stayed home. By reason of the bailout, the Obama Administration was stillborn at birth.

    Well spoken,Jane.

    Or it may be that the voters of MA may not be as "maliable" as you think.What else might we expect as a result,with the kremlin style secrecy by this administration?

    The lib failure in Mass. was due to arrogance and disrespectfulnes for what the American people believe in and want. They do not want corrupt and back-room dealing politicians as is what is going on with this administration. BO spoke the word fight 20 times in his last TV appearence. Americans don't want to fight and battle. They want a president who respects their words and needs and not fight with them, if they don't agree with his socialist agenda. They also want a president who takes responsibilty for his failures and quit blaming

    Your programs always inspire thinking. I will really miss your program when you retire in April!

    Did Scott Brown really win the election? The answer is: we don’t know. There is no citizen oversight of voting in Massachusetts.

    As someone who has watched the “election integrity” issue play out in my home state, there seems to be two sides, the advocates who are trying to defend the integrity of our elections and election officials, vendors, government officials (most, not all) who defend the appearance of the integrity of elections.

    Hopefully someday soon this will break into the public consciousness and it will be okay to talk about this. Currently, the advocates have been successfully marginalized by the other side. Those of us not on either side should be asking tough questions and expecting answers that make sense.

    I think you can contribute an enormous amount to the sheer incompetence of the Democratic campaign and the obviously poor choice of the candidate. A competent campaigner would have done much better and a really good candidate might have easily won.

    What I think is an issue that no one wants to admit is the, shall we say, 'maliable' nature of today's voters. The polls I've seen show a significant number of those stating they were voting against health care didn't know why...but by god they were against it. Somewhat understandable since the Dems in Washington lost all control of the message last summer. Nobody has any idea what they will get from this bill and no idea what it might cost them (in spite of the fictious messages of the Republicans and the Tea Party) Beyond the messaging, what most Americans saw was the ugliness of the battle with self-serving conservative Dems. Much of the credit for this can be laid at their doorstep.

    Simple political competence is an issue for the President and the Congress. It's as if at every turn in the political landscape they are saying "I didn't think THAT would happen!" Just how many years of the Atwater/Rove model are we going to have to watch before the Dems might FORESEE how the opposition is going to respond??

    I was a bit confused and somewhat taken aback when it appeared that Melissa Harris-Lacewell seemed to be suggesting that we continue with the same naive approach to bi-partisanship the President started with. Patience and a "we'll love you to death" approach might be very good with a child, but I can see it being a very intelligent or effective approach to unprincipled 'win at all cost' conservatives. One of the problems (for now anyway) is there is no evidence that the Republicans have any honest interest in playing by the same rules. As soon as Obama took office they understood 'minority party' to mean 50/50 (or more)governance. It seems to be the Republican nature to be a victim. They were victims at every turn during the years they controlled the WH, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. I think it might be wise to have the Republican's write a detailed statement of what bi-partisanship and sign it before you thought about agreeing to it. I'd wager it would be a very 'fluid' document.

    The concern I have right now is that the progressives may believe there has been a course correction by this President that is much greater than it will actually be. That further disillusionment of the base might bring even more results like MA if they stay home.

    Ms MH-L is an apologist for Obama. She does not face the darkness of his character (not his skin!).

    Mr EA had nothing to say worth the time.

    Mr. Moyers:

    I saw part of your show this AM - the part that discussed why President Obama has not been successful with working with the Republicans in Congress. I believe your guest completely missed the key missing strategy of proper engagement.

    Lets take health care: President Obama should have asked both parties to provide members to a "focus group" (and perhaps invite other key segments: Big business, small business, insurance industry, etc) - that starts out with listing what are the problems and for whom. Then what are the possible solutions, and cost of those solutions.

    The group should have been able to distill this all down to a range of issues to solve and solutions that then President Obama could have reviewed and said: OK, I can support a plan that does this and that with this piece as the best compromise. President Obama could have gone on National TV to sell his vision and explain his final choices.

    He would have had Republican support because they would have been active participants in the process - and I think that a workable health care reform package could have been passed in 6 months with this approach. I also believe that the final package would have been much different that what was put together behind closed doors.

    If President Obama would adopt such an approach it would be a welcome change - it would be seen as inviting active participation of the Republicans (and other interested parties).

    I think that is what the American people voted for a year ago.

    Q: Why did Democrats lose Massachusetts’ special election for the Senate?

    A: The people said they were tired of the Democratic machine. They voted for change....change THEY believe in (not change Washington believes in...which is represented by "health care reform"..a ravenous camel built by a committee having 6 feet going in two directions, two heads and two huge stomachs).

    Q: Do you expect Republicans to score more victories in November’s midterm elections? Why or why not?

    A: It is up for grabs, but if Republicans try the same old same old, they will fail. I hope that independent voters will get busy and speak out.

    Q: In the wake of the defeat in Massachusetts, what strategies should progressives pursue?

    A: Independent of the machine thinking, progressives first of all need to look at the reasons why the US is failing. Mostly, that is because we are a fractured nation, filled with egos who make up "facts" and sell them to the packagers (mostly media) of personalities. Few politicians are dedicated to public service..the good of America as a whole. Until we come together in a united push for reinstatement of basic American values like justice, real freedom (not license) with responsibility, Constitutional rights,
    we'll just have more of the same. Can Scott Brown deliver on his promise? He faces the biggest test of all...the test of success!

    Though the theory that a rising tide lifts all boats didn’t work from the Wall St. down; it does, in fact work well from Main St. up. Workers dare not miss this moment of clarity that the collapse of this socially corrosive, greed driven, oligarchic structure provides us. The tide will inevitably recede for labor again. It is our duty to our fellow workers, our employees, our communities, our country and in fact the entire worlds fiscal and social stability to capitalize this economic tragedy into the greatest union expansion in history. What we don’t earn today collectively will be the suffering endured tomorrow individually.

    It was inevitable really given the nature of the American citizen's self interest. Any country worth its salt and worth fighting for is a nation which lives together and dies together, the USA isn't anything like that. The people dying in the all too frequent wars are volunteers, usually the poor and ill educated who return home with the most traumatic medical problems and no facilities to care for them as all too clearly shown on NOW.

    The elections, or should I say, selections are simply that, the Supreme Court, that body which gave Bush his first term, have now given the corporations full steam ahead to steal the next selection. This on the basis of free speech, but who makes up a corporation, the board of directors, or all the employees. Do these corporations run their own internal poll to determine the corporations view, not on your life. So it isn't free speech at all is it.

    The Democrats lost the Senate seat because the Democratic candidate ran a terrible campaign, just assuming that she would be swept into the seat. Now the conservatives are crowing, reading into the upset all sorts of things that inevitable will lead them back into power.

    Politics as usual!!!

    Obama lost in MA (my state of residence for 60 years) because we're disgusted with corporate ownership of government, feel powerless, and we were sending a message to Washington. We thought we were getting a candidate committed to "change," but instead we got Clinton redux, DLC corporate centrists. At this point in time its evident that the Democratic party has abandoned it base, and its principles.

    I won't vote for Republican extremists, but the Dems will have to give me a reason to vote them other than they're not Republicans. I stayed home on Tuesday, and will again if things don't change. I'm fed up.

    The big take-away from the Mass. election? Democrats and liberal pundits are delusional.

    Brown ran against Obamacare. That is why he won, pure and simple. Independents and republican voters - and now even moderate dems - can see the fiscal catastrophe imposed on our country by Obama and company.

    Alterman and Lacewell above think it is because Obama isn't "getting his message out" or he isn't "willing to fight". Ha - like I said...DELUSIONAL.

    The "progressive" dream is dead. Can't wait 'til the 2010 elections so we can all spit on the corpse.

    Democrats lost because they put health care as the main issue in a state where 95% have cover anyway under a state program and the independents in the state who are fairly wealthy think its them paying for it.
    Many of them are under attack from Obama as being part of the financial institutions and also earners at a level likely to be additionally taxed. They saw a three year window to maintain status quo and frankly the Massachusetts independents are more likely to come down on the Republican side when the economy, health care and the war(s) are 90+% the whole agenda.
    Mid terms do not mean much really as turnout is always low.

    1. I think the Democrats lost in Mass. because voters saw Coakley as a smug, self-interested and out of touch politician, whereas her opponent carried the torch for a backlash against big and out of touch government. Obama may have been the "fill in figure" we pinned our hopes on during the election according to Harris-Lacewell, but in reality, he exemplies the out-of-touch and smug leader, wishy washy and weak, willing to cave on all but the most insignificant of deals.

    2. I think Republicans will serge in November, unless the Democrats dramatically change their game plan. They could dump Pelosi and Reid for starters. Unless they can change horses (or even policies) in midstream, they will probably lose.

    3. Progressives should start to march on Washington, create a lot of noise and somehow get Obama and the Democrats' attention. I think they are too comfortable in their upper class, intellectual elite world to dirty their hands reaching out to the masses who are confused and disheartened. So the strident, the dishonest and the greedy will triumph in the market place of ideas, at least until a true leader or a coalition of leaders, emerges (from either party). This would probably happen only after a deepening recession or other serious threat to the nation, as happened during the Revolution (Jefferson, Washington), before and during the Civil War (Lincoln), Great Depression and WWII (Roosevelt, Eisenhower), and Civil Rights struggle (Martin Luther King, Kennedy Bros. and Johnson). Without committed enlightened and patriotic leadership, this ship of state will continue to sink.

    I was a little disappointed in this segment that Bill Moyers didn't probe the obvious Obama slant of Harris-Lacewell and Alterman. She was pretty pollyannaish with her comments about not playing dirty, as if anything ever gets accomplished good or bad without a serious struggle and strong leadership. Alterman was correct that the Massachusetts election was a repudiation of Obama's unwillingness to fight for what the programs, policies and values he ran on in the election.

    I want to put a light on a couple of the 800 pound elephants in the room.

    First - Everything any government does, is done at the point of a gun with the intention of achieving monopoly power as the means.

    Both so called liberals and conservatives are able to disguise this monster with the drug of power.

    Liberals generally labor under the illusion that somehow we can create a more peaceful prosperous world at the point of a gun.

    At the same time Conservatives just want to scare the population into a vote for them with their fear mongering.

    Do you really want to completely militarize what is left of the already broken health care system. One of the most dangerous least caring greedy monstrosities that our species has come up with to date.

    I hope people are waking up to see that the more accurate truth is that the special interest groups are the real power behind politics and that they have no interest in the greater good. Only their unenlightened self interest.

    This show talked about the 'story' of the new administration. I was hopeful, but what I see is business as usual with the powerful military industrial complex, which includes 80% of the business world, is slowly turning our world into an Orwellian police state regardless of the party in power.

    Good hearted People need to find a new way to come together in a voluntary collaborative way to tackle the problems facing humanity, before our new world order makes things so bad we loose the humanitarian advances we have made and spiral back into the dark ages.

    Using the force of Government is like the training wheels. We now need to use the relative prosperity and stability that these devastating training wheels have provided to build new institutions that are not based on force.

    Your show is a beacon shining on the dirty side of Government. I hope you can evolve away from looking for the monster to do the good things we all want to see. To help to vision a way to take advantage of what little freedom we have left and create a dynamic strong voluntary alternative structure.



    Before I read J. Michael Fay's brilliant sum-up of the current state of our totally corrupt republic, I was going to vote for the person who said the Alterman and his colleague where "vacuous."

    Actually I vote for both comments. They were vacuous!

    Your vacuous broadcast of January 22, 2010 may have reached a new low. You and your guests may keep and express your/their opinions, but I ask, please do so in some slighly intelligent way.

    Dearest Mr. Moyers:

    Your pieces last night (friday the 22nd) and last week's with Mortenson were just phenomenal!!!! If you were not married I would seriously consider you as a potential mate!! I love your work and I am soooo sorry that you are finishing up this March!!! You just CAN'T, CAN'T, CAN'T go!!!! We NEED to hear your voice!!! Your opinions NEED to be heard on television being that there literally are NO other journalists who have an independent voice!! I fear strongly what will happen without your perspective, your guests, your questions, your subjects, your open-minded viewpoints! You MUST reconsider your departure!!! It is good to work; retirement is a bad word and only makes the brain go mush! I know a good number of people who worked even into their 90's! Just take a few months vacation per year! Please, please stay and continue on with your show! With Bill Moyers & NOW going, we are in serious trouble!!!! Please, please change your mind!!! I look forward to my friday nights and I tell everyone else to watch your show! WE WANT YOU BILL MOYERS, PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP CREATE OUR DEMOCRACY WHICH IS SO TENUOUS AND SEEMINGLY FLEETING!!! AT LEAST WITH YOU, YOU BRING OUR DEMOCRACY TO LIFE! FOR ONLY ON YOUR SHOW DO YOU ACTUALLY QUESTION THE SANCTITY OF OUR LEADERS, OUR GOVERNMENT AND OUR TRUE NATURE AS HUMANS! THANK YOU FOR YOUR STRONG VOICE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR HONESTY, THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR STRENGTH!!!! I really feel that you are the only voice that rings true on t.v.!!! You delve into the psyche, the motives and the actions of the most important policies and people of our time. Who will take your place when you go???? NO ONE!!!

    I will miss you very much! To me, your departure will bring in a SAD, SAD future for all us Americans!!!

    Many Hugs,


    My comments:

    For me, Mortenson's experience re-enforced exactly how I feel about our country's military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq; TOTAL OVERKILL!!!!!!

    In terms of the Mass. election, I see a bigger picture. There is little good in naming the democrats as more altruistic than the republicans. For me, they are both equally corrupt (both are bought and sold by corp. america), sinister and WEAK just in different ways. The dems. have not been able to give a voice to their platform precisely b/c they have acted as repub.s by letting corp. america off scott free as we now face a quasi insurrmountable defecit all the while letting us mainstream guys choke (no jobs, foreclosures and no health insurance). I thought the dem.s worked for main street??? They have abandoned their supporters and have communicated poorly the few hand outs that they did give the average joe.

    Yours Truly,


    I have just written to Mr. Obama the following thought:

    In the speech you gave accepting the Nobel Peace Prize you made the point that as a head of state you could not behave in the manner of Martin Luther King. The point, on behalf of a 'just war' was made out of its appropriate context. True, a head of state has that state to concern himself with while a moral leader has a different constituency. But - and here is where the Massachussetts election points the finger - as a political head of state, Mr. Obama is required to do internally what he only seems able to do exteriorly - and that is wage war on behalf of the people.

    To my mind, in an international context it DOES behoove Mr. Obama to walk in Martin Luther King's shoes. The war, which neither of your guests mentioned, is the enormous elephant in the room.

    Mr. Obama has a fighting spirit when it comes to external matters, where it does us and the world the most harm, yet he has no guts when it comes to defeating his enemies (and now they are legion and he even has many of them on his team) at home.

    This is not about parties. This, as the Supreme Court has just evidenced, is about influence.

    The people are fooled no longer. We know, even if the president WE elected does not, that we have a fight on our hands.

    As Eric Alterman said: the Dem's loss in
    Massachusetts was a "repudiation of his (Obama's)being unwilling to fight for the agenda people thought they were electing him for." Amen to that. There was no desire on Obama's part, or in the Senate, to fight for a public option, which a majority of Americans still want. Democrats and Independents both voted for Brown in Massachusetts to send a message--lets have real health care reform. So far, the mainstream press doesn't get it. Quite simply, Americans want real health care reform, not more giveaways to the Insurance industry. It is still possible to pass a public plan in the Senate by a bare majority--Bush did it with his tax cuts for the rich--and the 50-50 tie breaking vote was Dick Cheney! Or has that also gone down the memory hole? Democrats, including Obama, have been unwilling to fight for a public option or single payer. They were sent a message from Massachusetts. I hope they get it, start over, and this time start fighting for "change we can believe in." That would be Universal Health Care coverage--not 30 million new customers for the private health care industry.

    The Democrats didn't lose because they are "playing fair" and the other side isn't. The Democrats lost because they promised "hope and change" and delivered the same-old same-old. Matt Taibi described it best in Rolling Stone magazine:

    Dear Bill,

    I can certainly understand Demcratic Party hacks making excuses for Obama. But I am a little disappointed that you didn't call them on all the money-in-politics corruption that you yourself have covered so brilliantly over the past year, for example the role of Goldman Sachs in the new economic team.

    "The [CONSERVATIVES] government has flooded the financial system with so
    much money in just the past 8 years, they've devalued [stolen] the US dollar by 42%!
    That means your dollars buy little more than half as much bread and milk... half
    as much gas... half as much anything."
    "What good is saving ... tomorrow comes, your money won't buy you
    anything anyway?" The corrupt Justice system, ... has Legalized fraud for special
    interest groups.
    Obama states,‘‘I can promise you there will be more fights in the days ahead!’’
    He stated, This isn’t about me. This is about you.’’
    If it is about us and/or me "to fight for... bread, milk, gas... etc,"
    Mr. President, "Empower the people to express their will on
    all issue‘‘ no IF'S or BUT'S.
    the PEOPLE to EXPRESS THEIR WILL on ALL ISSUES," the people are smart
    enough to decide their destiny and the direction of their Country!

    Obama just expects us to behave like adults. To not be selfish. To not be ugly and childish. To be reasonable. To want to work together for the common good instead of protecting self-interests. He over-estimates our maturity. Silly Barry.

    For example, Afghanistan. We broke it. Bad idea. But now we fix it. Regrettable but responsible.

    Nothing will change until campaign finance reform; until united groups of citizens have as much influence on Congress as corporate money. The Founders created our government with limited Presidential power, hoping Congress would actually represent the people. I suspect they did NOT suspect corporations would own Congress.

    Basically, you can pick ONE flash of genius in every single one of the posts on here today - which must mean something, huh? :-))

    But what is REALLY happening is that we are at the FINAL table at the trillion $$$ tournament.

    Someone really does have the "nuts", as poker parlance refers to the winning hand,

    and the other eight players want to make sure that the person holding the winning hand FOLDS.

    Everyone - and I do mean EVERYONE - has the paperwork proving that they were ROBBED. Capitalism was supposed to actually deliver a PRODUCT for life maitenance at a fair price and be SUSTAINABLE through constant innovation adapting to REALITY RESOURCES.

    Now, I did something very dangerous last night. I conned a good friend

    (who loves me enough to follow me into the crazy zone now and then when I'm on a "spiritual" mission - he knows he can't talk me out of it)

    to go with and scout out the beings in the bar where all the trucks were parked.


    You all know that you can carry in 'Zona, right? Booze, weapons, hormones...yikes!

    Here's the lesson, the person with the best hand better stay in the game.

    This really and truly IS all about SURVIVAL and we better start playing the same game that they are playing....

    If the American People were and are so stupid, then WHY are we the only ones who have something that everyone else wants to steal?

    There is no need for a "government" that is not interested in keeping the peace. And it's a WAR when LIARS, THIEVES and MURDERERS get to do anything other than stay on the bar stool and blather ME ME ME "philosophy" and then spunk all over everyone as a show of their POWER OVER OTHERS.

    I am cool as a cucumber fresh from the ice box crisper when I say this,

    we really do need to print up "survivor" currency before the whole infrasructure really DOES collapse


    and keep moving towards ENERGY independence.

    We've got the winning hand and no amount of rhetoric should be pushing us out of the game.

    I walked around the table and peeked at what everyone has :-)

    They got nothing...

    Thanks to the brave soul who accompanied me on a Friday Night to a bar in the wild wild west :-)

    "I love you, man" :-))

    Your discussion with two self-described liberal Academics entirely missed the reality of political warfare in America today. Obama was diserted in Mass. in the special election not, as some liberals have suggested, because they have been alienated by his lack of accomplishment but because they are afraid to support a President of color and his stated and unstated agenda. Suggesting that he should, at one year in office, be held accountable for Republican malfeasance over the past ten years and intransigence by both Republican and blue dog Democrats in congress is an asenine and cynical smokescreen for the racism that is at its root. Liberals, while feigning support are the first to desert him using the above tissue of logic, conservatives with media help, constantly oppose with a withering scrutiny of minutae and lies aimed to confuse and frustrate the already biased right. The Black take on this political theatre has gone completely unreported, because they have seen this American farce many times before. American Whites, both conservative and progressive gave America kudos for the election of an African-American while at the same time denying him the support necessary to change anything they see as a threat to their long standng and undeserved priveledges in every sector of this nation.

    A couple more comments (briefer): The Diebold machine mess in MA should be yet another wake up call to paper-only voting. (How many of these wake-up calls do we need from criminy's sake?) Second, I urge everyone to Google PROJECT MOCKINGBIRD. Not only will it help offer historical perspective on the "dumbing down" of the nation, but will show the degree to which corporate America was ready to jump on the television bandwagon to deliver us to fascism. (The program was run by two agents of evil: former Nazis and the OD of the CIA.) The SCOTUS decision is so critical because they struck down legal precedent predating radio and TV, and now the influence of the media is so much greater, making the result so much worse (and it was already bad enough before radio and TV). PM is part of the reason why they did this, it's been in the works since the 50s. Bill, you need a historian to enlighten us, and I urge everyone to shelve that disgusting word "apathy" until you've learned the history. Blaming the victim makes things worse, it doesn't solve the problem. Finally, I sincerely wish that we could find a way to bring together all the commenters on this blog to talk solutions. Everyone who doesn't use *ad hominem* language should be invited, regardless of political persuation.

    I think the greatest mistake Obama and his majority in Congress has made is caring what the opposition thinks and wants. When Republicans are in the majority they follow their beliefs, no matter how destructive and short-sighted. They make no bones about the fact they are in office to protect the interests of the wealthy. Democrats are perpetually concerned about how the Right will handle their decisions. This causes them to appear weak and vacillating on issues. People loved Reagan because he imitated John Wayne, not because he produced good policy. Let’s also calm down and remember this is Obama’s first year. He’s a smart guy. Hopefully he will learn from his mistakes. The appearance of Volcker this week may be a move in that direction. Congressional Democrats need to hold their noses and pass the senate version of health care and get it on Obama’s desk ASAP, and then let’s move on. Democrats do NOT have to wait for Brown to be seated. Republicans would NEVER do that if they were in the majority. This is exactly what I’m talking about. Mr. President, strap on those spurs and let’s get going!

    Many here still blame it on Obama, or blame Bush. Mr. Couch is right on! It's the real power in charge. "Oh thats' just a Conspiracy Theory!" Wake up-it's a conspiracy all right, and it's no longer a theory. Read Kissinger, Rockafeller, "One World Government". Stand up for the US Constitution and forget the purchased political manipulation. And Bill Moyers does a good service to us, he tries!

    “Too Big To Fail” dinosaurs of the FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) economy, along with the Congressional-Military-Industrial-Complex (CMIC) and the healthcare industry, have captured Obama, the current personification of governmental unresponsiveness. He campaigned on “hope,” which was an efficacious marketing tactic except that –along with “change”- it planted the seed of a promise for a social transformation. Instead he’s revealed himself to be not a transformative leader, but a transitional figure. Hope meant –I think- taking on power, not putting on the people. (Without diverting too deeply into psychohistory, it impresses me how many times I’ve read that while at Harvard Obama was mocked for unleashing impassioned and eloquent rhetoric in the service of the most trite status quo positions.) From the ecological viewpoint, he is no more self-aware than yeast in a wine vat. Ironically, he is not an agent of “change” but resisting release and renewal -and thereby bringing on collapse. (To put this concretely, the financial houses should have failed; that would have been “creative destruction;” painful in the shot-term, perhaps, but ecologically unavoidable and necessary in the long-term.)


    This show tied the two most important issues together; Energy and Politics. Until people realize there is no left or right, only Oiligarch Bankster Illuminati oppressors against the people, the misery and suffering will spread ever further in the world. These wicked people must be stopped before they ruin the whole world and make an end to all of us.

    Now that the Supreme Court has betrayed us all too, there is no where to run for justice and equality. Indeed our chances of recovering Democracy are very slim.

    The suppression of working free energy devices already available to end the use of fossil fuel, the suppression of news stories and crushing of democracy are all related. They all work together to maintain the stranglehold of these scumbags.

    Is it time for the people to take up arms to reinstate democracy in America? Not quite yet. If, and only if, the American Sheeple can wake from their stupor and deception, take charge of elections, remove all the Bankster servants and replace them with honest people of the people, for the people, by the people; we still have a chance.

    How do we do that? Cast not a single vote for anyone who runs an ad of any kind for public office or has an ad from any other source. Vote only for someone vetted by someone you know and trust who personally knows and trusts the candidate. Draft candidates you know and trust. Only send such people to Washington. Unless we do these things, we are doomed.

    Drop the only three issues that separate good Americans and are used divisively to force votes for left and right which are both owned by the Oppressors scum; gay marriage, abortion, and stem cell research from embryos. Table these three issues until the people can take back the country by being united against the Oiligarch Bankster Criminal Elite.

    There is one plan for the rescue of Democracy in America, but there are NOT two. It includes removing the source of their power, money; by restoring the power of the U.S. Treasury to print money and canceling every debt THEY created with "creative accounting" such as "loaning us" the federal budget every year then taxing us to pay it back TO THEM, the ultimate con game.

    Charles Michael Couch

    Massachusetts voters were voting to protect their state based health insurance. They like it -- they really really like it - so much so they were willing to vote Republican.

    Funny, how people have a tendency to think that the populist movement is a recent phenomenon or a result of one of two political parties malfunctioning. Populist philosophy is ancient and is characterized by prioritizing the desires of the general population as opposed to whatever version of "special interests" is presenting at the time and is the root to any revolution towards greater freedom and access by the masses.

    If incumbents of any variety think their position is safe or vindicated by the CURRENT form of populism presenting in the U.S., they're not only displaying the dominant tone deafness prevaling politics, they're openly demonstrating that, they don't understand the very nature of a populist movement.

    Peace to you my friends,
    Rev. Kelly Florez

    Very Comical. I read the whole article and every posted comment to this point. I love to watch Progressive, elitist, out of touch, pseudo-intellectual fruitcakes wring their hands. I have to tune in from time to time to hear the claptrap and the looney perspective. Just keep blaming everyone from uniformed, redneck, tea party voters to Republicans, to lukewarm centrists when the truth of your neo-fascist and socialist, anti-business, anti-American policies is the cause of your downfall. Keep living the fantasy, along with your liar in chief, the big deceiver. Keep blaming the U.S. for the world's troubles with your Jeremiah Wrights, "God Damn America" and Bill Ayer's bombings and Eric Holder's prosecutions of the intelligence officers who kept us safe and the non-prosecutions of the terrorists and the Marxist and Mao loving administration officials. By the way, nice going Mr. Moyers, what a fair debate! Why we don't cut the budget of this totally biased network is beyond me, especially Moyers, you rabidly unfair kook.

    That strange sound you hear if you listen closely is Senator Ted Kennedy spinning in his grave. Could he have possibly imagined a worse consequence of his departure from the Senate when health care reform was so close? Absolutely not. When he was alive he probably was not even aware of Massachusetts state senator Scott Brown. Though Kennedy deserved a better outcome, Democrats richly deserved the Republican win in Massachusetts.

    The main reason is that Democrats in Congress and President Obama have shown nothing but disdain for the overwhelming national desire for an end to the self-serving corruption that is revealed through never-ending sweetheart deals for corporate interests, even as a large fraction of Americans suffer in this Great Recession caused by corporate greed, incompetence and criminality that go unpunished.

    One of the very few truths coming from Obama’s lips was that the forces that swept Brown to victory were the same as those that propelled Obama into the presidency. What so-very-smart Obama apparently did not fully appreciate when he acknowledged this was that the truth of that statement was evidence of Obama’s failures as president. Obama sold himself as an independent-minded, trustworthy Democrat committed to change and better government, and that same approach was used by Republican Brown. If the scam worked for Obama, why not make it work for a Republican? Obviously it worked.

    So two days after Brown’s victory Obama announces a new Wall Street and banking reform effort. Coincidentally, 53 percent of Democrats that voted for Brown said they would vote for Democrats if they would actually fix Wall Street.

    In other words, the national desire for true change and reform that convinced so many independents and others to vote for Obama has been made a mockery by a White House and Congress that has continued to behave as conventional, corrupt and lying politicians. How else to punish Democrats then to make someone like Brown a winner that could derail health care reform and other legislation in the Senate?

    I say bravo! Nice work. Thanks for all the Obama voters who either did not vote or voted for Brown. Nice message.

    All that Obama and the congressional Democrats have shown is that Americans can never believe that politicians who work their way up through the two-party plutocracy can ever be trusted as true change agents. In a system where money dictates public policy corporate and other special interests will continue to win over true public interests.

    As long as third parties do not stand any chance of competing against the two-party plutocracy because the system has been so rigged against them, what else can voters do other than to punish one corrupt political party at critical times by shifting power to the other corrupt political party? So much for American electoral democracy.

    Obama was a little known state senator who had accomplished very little before becoming a US senator. Ditto for Brown. If Obama could become president with good looks and a winning personality, why not Brown? Now we should all root for Brown becoming the Republican’s best bet for preventing Obama from winning a second term. At least that’s what I hope Obama obsesses about and loses sleep over. Maybe then he will stop showing such disdain for democracy, stop making deals with corporate interests and start producing the changes in the political and government system that Americans want and need. And, most of all, get rid of many of your top advisors that are nothing more than status quo establishment figures with terrible political and economic ideas. And also get your Justice Department to prosecute a large number of criminals in the financial sector that created the Great Recession.

    Do these things or millions of angry Americans will surely vote out Democrats in the coming mid-term congressional elections and keep you from getting a second term. Not that Republicans, of course, will ever perform any better. But in our delusional democracy about the best voters can do is shift power between the two useless major political parties. Populist anger demands more than empty populist rhetoric from lying politicians of both major parties.

    Some liberals still foolishly defend Obama. Maybe they want to justify their campaign adulation of the man. Obama has clearly demonstrated, time and time again, his total incompetence, his naivety, his failure to “get it.” For one instance: Tax the banks? One of his many stupidities. Tax the crooks who run the banks, tax those who receive those million dollar plus bonuses. Tax the institutions all you want those crooks will continue to receive those inordinate salaries and bonuses. What promises has Obama kept? Has he even mentioned the Patriot Act as president?

    I live in Massachusetts, and I watched the Brown/Coakley race closely. Brown won for several reasons. First, he ran a good, energetic campaign. Second, Coakley didn't. She had no pulse. Third, Brown's narrative--outsider taking on the Democratic insider--played well to the general anti-Washington sentiment in Massachusetts and in the nation.

    As far as President Obama, Democrats, many independents, and some Republicans voted to put a Rorschach Test into the White House: Mr. Obama had very little experience, but gave wonderful speeches and had a compelling personal story.People who voted for him saw whatever they wanted to in his candidacy: he'll end the war! He'll heal the world! He's post-partisan! He'll close Gitmo! He'll make the world like us again! He'll end racism! And on and on and on.

    Norman Solomon wrote that the best way to avoid disillusionment is to avoid harboring illusions to begin with. Everytime I saw the President speaking before adoring crowds during the election, I thought of the slave who would stand by Caesar's ear during triumphs and whisper, "Remember, thou art mortal."

    You get what you vote for, folks. You voted for a man whose resume in no way prepared him for this job. It's little wonder that just 12 months in, his White House and party are in near total disarray.

    Another great interview, I really enjoyed this discussion. I was pretty impressed with Alterman’s analogies and comments. Harris-Lacewell was informative while pointing out Obama’s qualities, but then it also sounded like she was making excuses for his mistakes and choices. MLK may have had a gentle approach, but when it came to his message, I don’t ever remember him “standing still while others attack[ed him]” -- metaphorically, of course. And, what was this “Rule of the Game” stuff? This isn’t church, this is United States politics.

    I strongly agree with Alterman when he said, “Now, he [Obama] should be willing to take some hits for what he strongly believes in, and the American People will respect him for that, even I think, if they disagree.” Imagine if Obama wouldn’t have tried to cater to Nelson and the Lieberman, and the Senate would have voted on a health care bill with a public option. Okay, we all know it would have failed, but this would have made the general public see the Republicans as the obstructionists that they are, and the Democrats could have held their heads high for, at the least, trying (this is all under the assumption that during this process they would have grown spines in which to hold their heads onto :o). I think this would have given them more support in the upcoming mid-terms. But no, what did the 55 or 56 left-wing Senators, who favored a public option, do, they more or less said screw it, let’s just pass something.

    I was sort of surprised that Alterman never mentioned Bernanke, Geithner or Summers during the show. He could have mentioned them when Moyers asked “He's [Obama] being repudiated. Repudiated for what?” His “pushed around” response was a good example, and it probably can be applied to less politically informed liberals and moderates, but my, and I assume a lot of other progressives’, trust or support for Obama was lost long before this health care debacle, our support was lost when he praised Larry, and appointed Moe and Curly right after we elected him.

    Here’s another instance when Alterman could have mentioned the financial trio (Larry, Moe and Curly), and if he hasn’t already done this, I think he needs to stop and think about this, because he sounded like he was confused or in denial when he said it:

    No, I don't think offense is the right term. There are a lot of things about politics that offend me. It offends me, as I'm sure it offends most Americans that the amount of money that we gave to Goldman Sachs that went to A.I.G., $13 billion is exactly equivalent to the amount of bonuses that the Goldman Sachs executives are getting this year. That really offends me. That's not Barack Obama's fault. There are- I trust Barack Obama. I think he's the best possible President we could have. That said, there are a lot of things I don't understand why he's doing. I don't understand why he's basically caved on all of the issues related to the war on terror and civil liberties. I don't get that. I can't explain it. I take some comfort in the fact that he's a very intelligent man. I think he's got good values. And he knows a lot of things I don't. He's smarter than I am. And he has information I don't. And maybe he's right. I sure hope he's right.
    I wonder if this interview was recorded before Obama had given his campaign speech in Ohio yesterday, because if it was, then Alterman’s assessment hit the nail on the head. Yesterday, Obama’s theme was “I will continue to fight for you” (I was surprised there was not even one “change we can believe in” in there), and then last night on the show, while talking about Massachusetts, Alterman said, “his [Obama] being unwilling to fight for the agenda that people thought they were electing him for.”

    Once again, great interview.

    I missed the discussion of the energy policy, but disagree with virtually everything I heard regarding the assessment of Obama's first year. The current political situation has been brought about by the disheartening of the Democratic base that was the foundation of the movement that lifted Obama to the Whitehouse. I, for one, was not "totally relieved and complacent" when Obama was in the oval office. I along with every Democratic and liberal friend I have understood that, particularly under the circumstances, we were in for a hard row to hoe. And that is where leadership is vital and it has been lacking. We do have serious minded and capable people who would be willing to run if tapped. But many do not fit the profile that the current leadership is being advised to front and the party machine has grown lazy. Few (least of all the leadership) is willing to do the grunt work. I was told by a local Democratic office holder when a critical meeting was poorly attended that "they sent out three thousand e-mails", so what about the people who haven't subscribed? This district has a disproportionate number of elderly do they not count? These are the people that have been paying into the system for decades yet they don't count? Mrs. Cohane 90+ years old and had a polling place in her garage as long as anyone around here can remember until she was injured, she doesn't count because "she's not linked in"? The rank and file is tired of hearing the excuses of the leadership and their mouthpieces; we delivered a Congress and Whitehouse and got more excuses. Your guests were out of touch, I personally have sent scores of letters and e-mails, supported numerous campaigns across this country, and participated as a volunteer for the Party. I have mailed and phoned the offices of our office holders, I have walked, had meetings in my home and raised money. I understand that I am one in thousands and don’t expect a personal conversation. I also know that opinions are like certain orifices, everyone has one. But the response to the vast majority of my mail, regardless of brevity, indicates the mail is not read. Even the response to petitions signed by thousands of people reflects ignorance on the part of the officers as to what the points of the petition were. They aren't read, they are probably vetted by an algorithm that has two categories "love" or "Hate" and the applicable response is automatically sent out. There are only two times that I received a cogent response: Edwards after the 04 elections and Boxer after I refused to attend a $4800.00 per plate luncheon until she decided to act like she deserved it. We voted for leadership and we made clear where we expected to be led. The idea that this is our fault is exactly why Brown won, the powerful blaming everyone else, the banks and car companies blaming customers for their bad management, the credit card companies blaming customers for using their products. People are fed up with it. Lead or get out of the way and that includes Obama. Your guest from Princeton suggested that when Obama was "showing us the way" we should have all just decided to become dog catchers etc... Well I don't know what history she is watching or what country she lives in but Obama's campaign wasn't all that linear and was in no small measure based on his recognition of the value of the Fifty State Strategy (championed by Howard Dean) which was put in place after the 04 election. But the beginning of Obama’s campaign wasn't always smooth sailing and he had a weak opponent (there were polls at the time that indicated that if Bush had been able to run he may have won). Second we generally have elections every two years at most some locations will have minor election every year. Obama was just elected last year. People are doing what this person suggests but it will hardly have a meaningful impact or even be noticeable yet and there were people like this that ran in 2004 and 2006 and won before the Obama campaign. Third there are more people who want to run today but the Party in its most powerful areas has entrenched district steering committees and it takes money and contacts to win. Who do you think nominated Coakly? I'm not saying it’s impossible but you aren't going to be successful anytime soon without those mechanisms. Don't be mistaken this is not offered as an excuse for the rank and file because I don't believe we need one. The Massachusetts election was a shot across the bow of the Democratic Love Boat. We will only tolerate slackers so long. By my estimation Dems still control both houses and the executive office, do something with it. We need healthcare not an insurance boondoggle that may (I stress may) help some lower income Americans but will put even more burden on an over stressed and shrinking middle class. And that is what the proposed bill represents without greater restrictions on insurance company practices and a public option. This is where the metal gets tested and it’s not looking good for Obama and the Congressional Leadership.

    Looks like Bill S. has read a great deal and watches this program regularly and is very accurate! These two folks just weren't up the standards set by The Journal's usual fare.

    Weak, very weak.

    Melissa Harris-Lacewell obviously hasn't studied much American history. Under her concept of little 'd' democratic process, Lincoln couldn't have fought the confederacy during the civil war. It would have been too 'uncivil'. In her mind the process trumps the ends. If it were up to her, if there were no bloodless way to end slavery, then slavery should have gone on, and the Union should have fallen.

    Moreover, Melissa Harris-Lacewell is simply ignorant of what America is. It is not a democracy with plutocratic tendencies. It is a plutocracy with democratic tendencies. It solves nothing to blame ourselves for this. She sounded like a republican who invites Americans to blame themselves for their falling standard of living under laissez faire cronyism.

    Not that, Eric Alterman was much better. He seemed to bend over backwards to make it sound like Obama was living up to Alterman's fantasies formed during the campaign. I tried to find some of the accomplishments he claimed for Obama. Net Neutrality isn't a done deal yet.

    Both these speakers are, to differing extents, part of the problem, not the solution.

    Perhaps most noteworthy, they think they are progressives. Worse. They thing progressive and liberal are interchangeable.

    They are not.

    Progressive is to liberal, what Economic Conservative (libertarian) is to Social Conservative.

    Progressives work long and hard trying to chip away at the fact that America is primarily a plutocracy.

    Then a bunch of limousine liberals pull up with their free trade agreements and gay marriage megaphones and scuttle everything.

    With friends like that...

    But perhaps most importantly,it seems that both speakers were trying to let the Obama administration off the hook. As if answering Republican lies with Democratic lies will somehow cancel things out.

    Without a doubt Matt Taibbi's article is definitive. Obama used progressives to get himself elected. Then he threw them out and installed plutocrats after he captured the presidency.
    Obama lied.

    No army in the history of time has been successful when the general starts shooting his foot soldiers from behind. Obama has no one to blame but himself if all his would-be allies are too busy counting the bullet holes in their backs.

    For someone who was so fearful of following the Clinton legacy; Obama seems to have ended up copying it word for word.

    Republicans try to be loyal to their base. (Even while they lie and manipulate that base into betraying its own interests.)

    Democrats expect their base to support them, then collapse or betray them at the first sign of resistance. All in the name of compromise and 'reaching across the aisle'. And then they wonder why no one shows up for them at the polls.

    Which strategy has worked best in the past 50 years?

    Granted Obama has been handed a near impossible task. It seems History decided before hand; whoever won the presidency in 2008 would either be the next FDR or the next Hoover. It is a high bar. And it is a pass-fail test.

    If Obama continues to fail, we will all pay the price.

    I will end by asking, what's wrong with pushing a health care bill through before the next Senator from Massachusetts is seated?

    I never saw anything in the constitution that said a lame duck representative mustn't do his job for fear of upsetting someone.

    -Ben Schainker

    I agree with a previous post stating "politicians are the lowest of the low" but what I don't get is the apathy which seems to have overtaken the American people. Why is it that citizens in other countries take to the streets so their voices are heard, do they still believe change is possible? Are we so resigned to the way our government is behaving, are we going to continue to accept corporations dictating their agenda's to congress, are we going to accept the distruction of the middle class? You know, I am so disgusted and discouraged about the state of this country and the lethagy of its people. Remember those forward thinkers of the last century like George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Alan Watts to name a few who asked the fundamental question---can human nature be changed in such a way that we'll forget our longing for freedom, for integrity and for dignity and truth. Can we accept the idea that we can save freedom and democracy by waging war to support the military industrial complex? And remember 'Big Brother' and how convinced we were that it would NEVER HAPPEN HERE, well Big Brother arrived and most didn't even notice. Some still don't! I say lets vote all members of congress out,they aren't working for us, they're working for their egotistical unethical selves. What do you say? Then we can deal with the supreme court! We have to take our collective power back or this downward spiral will never end.

    Don't either of these people watch The Journal. Obama has surrounded himself with crooks and Banksters! His campaign promises all have been Bush wacked! Also, what is this NewSpeak, "Woman's Reproductive Rights"! Does she mean abortion? That is clearly NOT reproducing!
    We are all suckers of these Bankster's plans to shield the truth, even when Bill points it out to his guests, they don't get it!

    Eric Alterman says that the loss in Massachusetts was because the Democrats didn’t offer a candidate who inspired the electorate.

    Well, what has Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the what apparently was a steroidal enhanced version of the formerly wimpy GW Bush, Sarah Palin, and Massachusetts’ Centerfold Brown, all have in common? Well, they all are actors or acting hopefuls, who cite Ronald Reagan as their mentor (regardless of how vacillatingly contradictory he was), all present an imposing physical appearance, and each, (except GW) were good script readers. Schwarzenegger, Palin & Brown have been linked to sexual mischief allegations, but the king of shade is the Bush Family (Neal, in particular) who were implicated in the Savings & Loan scandal of the 70’s that is reported to have cost us, the taxpayers, $1.4 TRILLION. Our national debt had a head start.

    If Democrats want to inspire the electorate, it looks like they’ll have to find a candidate with a raging rap sheet whose resume is X-rated.

    Of the corporation by the corporation and for the corporation .....long live the CEO's
    Posted by: Ronal Becker

    The above post is an accurate assessment of how people understand what President Obama's first year in office has been all about.
    Obama appears to be just another bought off politician following the Republican agenda of stick it to the middle class. He has failed to keep his promises and has supported the greedy vested interests of the rich and powerful. In the mean time he is doing nothing for the middle and desperate class Americans.
    President Obama loves the Republicans and they have turned him into a puppet for their failed agenda. President Obama needs to get us out of Iraq and concentrate his efforts on cleaning out the terrorist strongholds. He needs to invest our money into jobs instead of greedy CEO's. Getting people back to work should be his first priority.
    The only hope for this country is that President Obama keeps his promises to the people and becomes the president that people expected him to be. Otherwise, we are going to become another Haiti.

    Well. Since Tuesday, too many people are running around saying "The sky is falling. The sky is falling."
    Many things about this country puzzle me. For instance, how the Republican Rant is allowed to prevail in what should be an impartial media. Tune in to C-Span any time, and you'll find a Republican talking.
    After what they did to this country from 2000-2008, how do they even have the gall to crawl out of the woodwork? And why is it that every Tom, Dick and Harry, and even distinguished journalists like Bill Moyers, feel free to nit-pick and criticise endlessly to a degree never seen before? If, after witnessing the country almost going off into the ditch and doing nothing to impeach an ex- president who clearly was liable for it, how do Americans now withhold their support for the best president this country has had in decades?
    Okay, he is too conciliatory and doesn't give up. After all, he campaigned on an end to the divisiveness, right? So we fault him, and not the Party of No, whose stated aim is to make sure his presidency fails?
    The former president got rid of all sensible bank regulations and nearly caused catastrophe. But we criticize Obama, who saved the capitalist system by rescueing the banks. We throw up our hands in horror as the dollars spent to pull off this rescue and keep our economic system afloat. But we forget that, in the 1930s, the depression dragged on for 10 years because the government was afraid to spend the necessary money on the financial rescue.
    We refuse our support because so many people are out of work. But whose fault is that? This is not a socialist country; the government doesn't provide the jobs. The private sector does.

    The social contract between the citizens and the government is in need of radical repair. Let's learn to put the Republican menace out of the driver's seat and regain our sanity. Otherwise, together with the absurd latest ruling of the Supreme Court, with its two G.W. Bush appointees, I'm afraid we have stepped on to the downward path towards totalitarianism.

    The current bill to reform health care has no strong provision to control costs. A single payer bill would have brought the entire 300+ million Americans in as the largest bargaining chip the health insurance industry ever could see. Now we are not even left with a public option nor lowering of Medicare age limit. How does the White House expect enthusiatic support for what amounts to little if anything.

    President Johnson fought long and hard with all the experience of Senate majority leader with all of the clout of the Presidency and got for all Americans, Medicare.

    This President doesn't even try.

    Who supports half-hearted efforts?

    Pundits will, but Massachusetts won't.

    Obama got poor advisors, Emanuel for caution, and Summers & Co. for discredited economic strategy, certainly didn't heed any others of the populist ilk, and for all his eloquence, never sent a clear message to us the people, and as Alterman said, never tried to instigate a movement, in fact discouraged his friends at every turn by his actions. The continuation of disgusting rights violations is, well, disgusting.
    Now there is some overstatement in the above -- it's hard to see how he could not have gone along with the bank bailout, and some other not very liberal actions.

    I have a sort of theoretical question: What if these guys who were held at Guantanamo for years without charge, what if they were given justice; say, freed in the US, offered citizenship, an education, and otherwise compensated, would they have gone back home or to Yemen to become
    Just a thought.

    Everybody missed the point. The deciding factor in this election was not anything Obama did or did not say or do, it was the Tsunami wave of financial influence exerted by Big Pharm, Big Insurance, and every other large entity supporting the status quo. Rather than focus the spotlight entirely on the Office of the President, we need to be looking much more thoroughly behind the scenes at what the nation's largest money movers are doing. We need Moyers to invite panelists who are not afraid to tread in this area.

    Martha Coakley was not up to the political minefield she found herself in. She was viciously attacked by the right wing hate radio faction in Massachusetts. Their one sided tirade was drummed into the drive time commuters who are afraid they may have to pay a tax to help out the less fortunate. It is all about money fear and selfishness.

    According to Martha Coakley won the election. The lesson to be learned is Democrats should ban electronic voting using Diebold machines, while they still have control of Congress.

    In response to the above comment
    RE: "Bill Moyer's show is biased toward liberals"
    Let me educate this little twit who been overdosed and brainwashed on the kool-aid the Fascists have been feeding him...his premise is wrong...Here is the correct premis:
    The Republican Party is the Fascist Party, the Democrat Party is the old Republican Party, far left liberals is where center use to be 40 years ago. There is no one representing anyone making less than $50,000 a year. The fascists made the poor is too stupid, busy and dumbed down to do anything...they are to stupid to vote for the real people representing them...people like Kucinich...who is a real centrist but he is only 1 centrist out of hundreds of Fascists that control our legislative branch, executive branch, and the judicial branch isn't going to get rid of the Fascist control in America. The twit who been drinking the kool-aid above is a prime example of the control and influence that the fascist controlled media has over poor dumbed down Americans. Any American that makes less than $50,000 a year and votes for blue-dog Democrats (traitors) or Republicans (fascists) are just plain dumb. By the time they wake up, it will be too late...Hilter as their leader.

    Your guests (whom I admire a great deal) talked all around your question about being offended. Well, I won't. I AM deeply offended. It's not all Obama's fault, to be sure, but I deeply am offended that Obama hired Rahm Emanuel and Larry Summers, two men I find deeply offensive based on their past experience, their modus operandi and the fact that their MO is DEMONSTRABLY DESTRUCTIVE to our republic. (And I know them, so unlike Mr. Alterman, I do not trust that they know more than I do, in fact I know the exact opposite to be true.) I am deeply offended that K Street is stronger than ever thanks to five extremists on SCOTUS stealing the presidential election in 2000 and then the entire government yesterday. (January 21, 2010, may easily enter the history books in a few years as the moment the barbarian fascists broke down the gate and the official end of the American experiment.) I am deeply offended that We the People are cut off from our very own Constitution because no matter how hard we try, we cannot call the Article V Constitutional Convention our founders gave us to allow us to correct these problems without another bloody revolution. (Something they most definitely wanted us to avoid and we have been hell-bent to subvert pretty much since 1790.) I am deeply offended that our budget for all defense & intelligence-related activities has GROWN under Obama, and now approaches two-thirds of the money our grandchildren will be paying in their taxes. (Assuming we still have a country.) And I am deeply offended at the propaganda that passes as news, including the crucial factor no one talks about regarding the MA election: The Republican victory was most likely due almost entirely to the fact that 87 percent of young MA voters voted in 2008, and only 15 percent were moved to vote in this special election. Obama inherited a horrible mess, and I did not expect miracles, but I sure as hell expected a few frickin baby steps on the KEY ISSUES with a majority in Congress and a better staff. (The tangential stuff your guests discussed is meaningless: It's like spraying a fire extinguisher at an inferno - IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. In a second Obama administration, when the worst of the fire is out, it might be worthwhile to pull the final plug on a fighter jet that was already all but dead, but right now it's nothing more culling easy catch for the purposes of resume-padding, and that, too, is deeply offensive.) Now I hear we might finally get those baby steps. I hope that turns out to be true. And as for the rest of us, once again I implore everyone (and that includes you Bill, and I do love you), stop listing the problems and start brainstorming solutions and sharing them EN MASSE with our elected officials (because they sure won't hear us over K Street if we aren't SCREAMING at them over the din of the coin changers in the Temple). For example, pay attention to people like David Cobb is at or the dedicated women at Visit the folk at Friends of the Article V Convention ( The emphasis your other guests placed on working toward practical solutions should be OUR MO in for EVERYTHING, not just energy and the environment.

    I see no evidence to support the views of Alterman and Lacewell that Obama had the slightest inclination to enact progressive reforms in health-care or in anything else, finance for example. He is a much over-rated person, not a deep thinker, simply a self-promoter, obsequious to power-centers, corporate and imperial. He exemplifies the Peter principle and has no moral inhibitions relative to making unnecessary wars and causing great misery abroad and at home.

    If Obama does not start biting, I can't vote for his 2nd term... or any other democrat... Green Party? :( George W. Bush bit until it hurt so much. Why can't Obama do the same?! Maybe the greatest achievement Obama has is in getting elected. Maybe now he should move aside and let somebody else lead since he is unable...

    Your 2 liberal guests as usual gave us a biased view. After listening to their observations they should join the tea party..Wash is ruled by educated elite theorist who have never met a payroll.. they obviously don't know how to govern. Yes Charley Rangel should be in jail..where is the liberal sense of justice & ethics. Ops those are words they don't understand. To say the conservatives are corrupt & misleading WOW that take guts..look at all the BS that came down with the healthcare bill.. State after liberal state got bribes for their support. This man is only a talker surrounded by weak & chicago type politics. Senator Scott Brown was the tea party answer to this liberal Admin

    Thank you Bill. Thank you Bill. Thank you Bill.

    Wish you had run some time (Pres.), or would ... but I know ... "too liberal". Too thoughtful. Too concerned. Too empathetic. I know. I too.

    "Democracy is a rich man's game, the average need not apply."

    In truth, OUR "Democracy" is a corporation's game ... the citizen need not apply. Thus spoke the Supreme Corp today.

    Money speaks. Money controls. So says our Constitution! You heard it from the top.

    nancy hilge:
    Why did you watch in the first place?

    My Irish Grandmother use to say, the young may be smarter but they are no wiser.Obama might be smart, but he lacks wisdom. Wisdom comes from working a real job, paying for your own education, helping your family when needed.
    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how fed up the real voters are with Obama and: his agenda, his arrogance, his spending my hard earned money like there’s no tomorrow. No more bailouts, no health care until Congress and Obama sign up for the same –FAIR plan that they are shoving down our throats. Ms. Melissa and Mr. Eric you obviously only see one side – the left side – and you certainly have no idea what people feel – so, next time DO NOT MAKE STATEMENTS THAT YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT - . Do you know how it feels to have a son who’s unemployed? Oh, I guess it’s the previous president’s fault that our unemployment is 11%. I am sure Obama isn’t to blame for that one. Do you know how it feels, to still work when your in your sixties/seventies? Do you know how it feels when your kids can’t afford to purchase a home for their families even though they are working 50 hrs a week?

    Mr. Moyers – I viewed the story regarding your son, and thoroughly enjoyed the show and have a lot of admiration for him. I have also watched many of your shows, Mr. Moyers, and don’t understand for the life of me, why all of your shows are so slanted to one-side and then to add insult to injury you ‘put down’ the other news shows and newspapers, that may disagree with your opinions. What’s up with that? Never have I seen a president and the news media so jealous of other news media.

    The next time I watch one of your shows and it reeks of your prejudices, I will cease to watch another.

    The biggest Supreme Court ruling in my life time I believe was made yesterday. When the Supreme Court Ok Corporate Campaign Contributions. I wonder If the PRoC Corporation wants to spend money on campaign if the American public will know who they are. We are a country that tell the world about freedom of speech what would happen if the PRoC Corporation gives us an education on our own words . Then do you think we as Americans would care if Googols got censured in China. There are many corporations owned by the PRoC and you think this can’t happen someone need to get a life. If you don’t know who the PRoC corporation is I know you seen the name in WalMart it the People’ Republic of China. Maybe if you want to throw a election the way you want you support the one you hate. I think we got highly educated idiots running are country starting at the top at the Supreme Court. I am told all the time we are living in a global economy so guess it open to any corporation.

    We all know the horrendous mess we're in.
    How much more analysis do we need?

    With very few exceptions it's clear our government does not represent us and has tainted intentions.

    What have our people and other nations done as in the past?
    They certainly did not/could not work within a broken, corrupt system to effectively make change. The forces were too strong and suppressed those efforts with violence. Today the forces appear
    Are our choices any different now than they were during the American Revolution? They are as serious.

    "I'd say that Bill Moyers is open to truthfulness"

    If he's open toward truthfulness and he's going to have TWO guests on, why would you have two liberals on? Is it not a more interesting discussion when voices from the entire spectrum are represented? If he's so interested in truthfulness, then both sides should be represented or else he's not interested in truthfulness, he's preaching to his own liberal choir.

    "Bill Moyer's show is biased toward liberals"

    I'd say that Bill Moyers is open to truthfulness rather than biased toward liberals. There's too much of the astro turf going on on other networks. Pockets of integrity are few and far between so we need to celebrate those who have the courage to venture for their news stories beyond the manufactured "truths" that are far to evident on the larger media outlets. So I salute Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman and the others (The Nation) that raise their voices in the pursuit of truth and open dialogue. By the way, Mr. Moyers has had guests who were not considered to be liberals.

    It seems your guests have assumed that Obama is sincere in doing the right thing.
    Assumptions that Obama wants to do the right thing in a right way is another elite propaganda.

    I have not seen anybody pointing out that Obamma is and was supported by the big enterprises and that his talks and actions are mirroring to what these organizations want from him.
    (a) Healthcare reform from the begining is a laughable facade and most of the dems to be blamed.
    (b)Education - talking about the schools/teachers not meeting the criteria, misses the point - it is the family(students), and not the teachers/schools that make a student. Don't we see other countries, as how do they educate their kids?
    At least the Republicans are clear and show what they are. It is the media owned by these big enterprise, are spining the public message in their favor. And we(the people) still are so jaded with pride that we(the people) are looking more and more stupid each day.

    Bill Moyer's show is biased toward liberals. Why not have a voice from the other side? Poor editorial choice! Where's the fair balance?? Disappointed. Will not watch again.

    Democrats don't recognize the unfair fight coming from the corrupt and ingenious rhetoric of the right, and that it is deteriorating President Obama's leadership. He should not allow the democrats to be incremental about the President's agenda - executive orders and LBJ governing is what is needed.

    Why Did Democrats Lose in Massachusetts?

    Jon Stewart said it best, about the Democrats woeful inability to defeat the Republicans'strategies, "It's not that the Democrats are playing checkers and the Republicans are playing chess. It's that the Republicans are playing chess and the Democrats are in the nurse's office because once again they glued their balls to their thighs."

    Republicans have OFFER (rejected by DEMS) lots of ideas. SHUT OUT. Your guests have made many MISLEADING or FALSE statement.

    Sorry, Bill, either you're on the side of this disinformation, or didn't do your homework.

    Obama can't get anything through even with 100% control. That should tell you something.

    Many offers from the REPUBLICAN side have been issued. CLOSED DOOR sessions leave me wondering.

    Thanks for a forum to vent.

    Sorry that the guests were allowed to make such narrow statements without objection or questioning.

    Obama wasn't elected to get things done. He was elected by uninformed people seeking to support someone different.

    Bill In OKC

    Martha Coakley won the locations where the votes are counted by hand! Likely this means the "election" was decided by the people behind LHS Associates who manage the easily hackable computerized voting machines.

    We have left the Democratic Party
    How the Democratic Party left us!

    My wife Emily and I have lived in Claremont for almost 40 years, and during that time never have been represented by a Democrat. The reason, of course, is that we live in a gerrymandered district, safe for Republicans, and agreed to by the Democrats so they can have their own safe districts. The end result of this is that our vote only counts for statewide offices, and for president. And now a group of Democrats is attempting to stop the redistricting commission by a ballot initiative.

    We have lived with this system for too long. If political boundaries were fairly drawn, we could accept whom-ever was fairly elected to represent us, regardless of party affiliation.

    But this isn’t the only reason we are leaving the party. We have begun to realize that when the Democratic Party is in power, they are just as corrupted by, and self-interested in, corporate largess as the other party, yet lack the discipline to implement their stated vision. The Democrats came into power in 2009 and seem to negotiate against the commonweal in order to get a filibuster proof majority, without regard to unintended harmful consequences.

    The first case in point is the TARP bailout of the investment banks and others of the financial services industry early in 2009. Every senator, and every representative, on the congressional negotiating group had taken at least $1 million or more from the industry they were rescuing; the treasury secretary had come from that industry, as well as other administration negotiators. It became very obvious that they were protecting Wall Street, and not “Main Street” during this sordid affair, and worst of all extracted no accountability on the use of the money. The industry has thanked the American people by rewarding themselves with huge bonuses, and fighting any form of new regulation that congress and the administration are considering in order to prevent another meltdown of the economy. A year later, it is obvious that greed has overcome all obstacles.

    A second case in point is the health care legislation that has wended its way through the hallowed halls of congress. The health industry has spent the most money in history in fighting any real reform, and all of the key congressional players have taken millions from the industry. This has been widely reported; the Center for Responsive Politics is one such source. For example, the highest industry paid senator took universal health care off the table, never to be considered. Some of the deals made “into perpetuity” for individual states smack of legislation that is repugnant to the Constitution they are sworn to uphold.

    The recent Defense Department appropriations passed with flying colors and with hardly any dissent. The military-industrial-congressional complex has got its contracts in all key congressional districts, so now no one dares vote against the appropriations bills, rationalizing that jobs that my be taken from their district, this being the only industry that will not be outsourced to the global economy.
    One of the real dangers in all this is not just the sectional interest or unenlightened self-interest of the parties, but that of a “corporatocracy”. This happens when corporations control the government, and they along with the military complex seem to be in complete control.

    We’ve come a long way from the founding fathers that pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” to one where our politicians get into government, and regardless of original motivations, end up doing the bidding of corporations, some of whom are multi-national with a global agenda, and to get rich in the process. They pander to the public in order to get elected, but cater to the corporations once in office.

    Now we borrow from the next seven generations to pay for our misdeeds.
    We don’t take care of our own infrastructure needs that are sadly deteriorated, but we will finance over700 military bases and infrastructure around the world to protect our interests. We’re possibly headed for a 100 years war to continue feeding our sole surviving major manufacturing industry, and we’re leaving a terrible legacy for the next generations to deal with. It’s as if our power centers don’t think about the domestic strategic interests of our own population, our crumbling infrastructure being just one $2 trillions example.

    As for the California State, we are even more dysfunctional, and saddled with a large, complex, and conflicting constitution, incapable of fixing it. The Democratic majority Legislature is making drastic cuts in health, education, and welfare, with threats to eliminate important programs, thus short changing the future of our young people, and yet somehow find the wherewithal to give corporations generous tax breaks. We’re led by a governor who, when running for office, claimed he was so rich he didn’t need any money from special interests, and has since set records in corporate fundraising. Our legislators lack long term experience or foresight, and have left us in one big mess.

    The Democrats won’t miss our votes because they gerrymandered us away. The Republicans are no alternative for us, as they certainly have proven capable of destroying our national surplus with tax cuts for the rich, IRAQ, lax regulation of most industries, and have little sense of governing by consensus, and as well, seem to have no concept of what it’s like to live in working class America. Third parties used to be able to influence policy in the past, but they seem to cater to fringe issues, and don’t really affect the major parties.

    Yes, we are discouraged about our party system, and the long-term outlook. We hope the next generations that have been so sorely hurt will have the courage and wisdom to save themselves from the folly of the current ruling generation.

    It seems to us that there need to be a strong voice of moderate and progressive independents that are concerned about the decline of the American experience in democracy, but it’ll take more than just us. It will take a movement that begins with like-minded Americans leaving the parties in sufficient force to make an impact.

    J. Michael Fay

    This is not the man I voted for. He is an imposter.

    What have they done with my president?

    Mr. Moyers,

    With all due respect, I can no longer handle the promos for your show. One after another, I hear guests saying how they will "take back America", how democracy will find a way and how the average citizen has a say in this country.

    They do not. Democracy is a rich man's game, the average need not apply. The Democrats lost because of a knee-jerk response by the voters to their pathetic and impotent actions. They had one year, one year, and blew it with their arrogance, in-fighting and inability to fight for anything.

    And now corporations have unfettered limits to further enslave their political "partners". For the next three years, Obama and co. are lame ducks. From a filibuster-proof majority to the probability that every Democrat-led initiative will arrive stillborn, and now the cowards in Washington have more to fear should their masters choose to pull their campaign financing, or worse, divert it to their opponent.

    America the purchased. Welcome back to the bad old days.


    Just politics as usual. People get screwed by the Rep party, so they try the Dem party. Then Dem party lets them down, so back they go with high hopes from the Rep party. And round and round we goooo...sad state of affairs with our world of politics.

    The politicians learned a long time ago that the 'Domesticated American' is impotent when it comes to controlling political policy. Controlling policy take great amount of bribe money. And you guys can hardly make your house payment, so not myth bribing potential there.

    Consumer strikes en masse could change many things. But the politicians have a way of forgetting and going back to old ways. As such, it would take continual strikes to keep the knuckleheads in DC going down the right path.

    After all 70% of the economy is based on the consumer.

    But such strike would take a measure of self-sufficiency that 99.9% of the modern day people lack. They can't miss one paycheck or will be behind on their mortgage or If they are unable to go to market for a few days they will starve.

    Change was the buzzword for 2008 for change!

    Well, lets be politics substantive change is only paid lip service. Our whole system fights change. And if perchance some change does come about it is quickly squelched every 4 years by the new incoming administration and we backslide.

    One candidate may have better spin on the question - so you vote for him or her. But when it comes down to it - politicians are pretty much all lying the ignorant public just votes for the best liar!

    Lets look at an example. Pres Carter was gung -ho on renewables so he installed solar panels on the white house roof. Reagan comes in and removes the solar panels.

    Instead of keeping any good gov workers that really work for the citizens. These folks must go and the current political deity puts their cronies and high dollar contributors in power every 4 years.

    If one party is in the white house and another party is in the congress most of the time is spent battling each other and trying to make your enemies look bad.

    Anyone that aspires to go into politics has a desire to control others and make a grab for power and money. Replacing one piece of shit with another piece of shit does nothing to remove the stink in DC.

    Politicians are the lowest of the low - hypocrites and haggard shells of humans that spin webs of deceit to entrap their prey with so many lies you politicians dream up to screw the American public.

    OK, maybe they are a little higher on the cesspool ladder than a child rapist that kills the kid after raping them. But lets be clear about what politicians are, they are filthy scumbags

    ...people don't run the government, the rich run the government.

    Obama has not kept one campaign pledge, the first thing he did, which he couldn't do quickly enough, was to rush trillions of dollars into the hands of rich bankers who had skirted or broken the law and done a lot of damage. Obama always was a centrist before he played to the left, although I admit that was some really good acting, but he's still a centrist, and it apparently doesn't bother him at all that he's nothing like what he told us. The Dem's and Repub's are playing good cop-bad cop with us. Most of them work for the same corporations. There are some outstanding exceptions, like Ron Paul. But look at how much press time he gets, talking about tax reform, doing away with the FED, or how the CIA is running amok. We need a third party sweep. If we don't turn this around we'll have an economy like Mexico, and that's the good news - what will happen if none of the countries we're terrorizing are able to hurt us. I wonder how Ayn Rand would write about the corruption of our time.

    I don't know why people were "shocked"! I mean the same way that Ms. Coakley and everyone else assumed that she was "THE" candidate, why, because Mass. is a liberal state? The nerve! The people are angry, Congress - that supposed bastion of representation for WE THE PEOPLE has abandoned the public choosing servitude to the Oligarchy! Both sides of the aisle have not made any real efforts at reform that have teeth, 2 needless wars, a savaged economy, people are losing their jobs & homes, the Miiltary-Industrial-Complex is thriving and should be halved, the banksters should be in jail - not walking around collecting more bonuses, and (heaven forbid) we need to TAX (the hell) out of the RICH & THE CORPORATE - but that is another dream! And yet the rethugnikans are claiming the win is a resounding NO on health-care reform, and the sad & sorry democrats are buying into this - shame on them!

    If they really want to know why they lost, tell them to look in the mirror and turn around and make sure that they still have a spine, cause they sure don't know how to use it for the service of WE THE PEOPLE!!

    Obama the candidate was against the "individual mandate" but for health care reform. On day one of the actual health reform he cut a deal with powerful industry and insurance lobbyists to sell all Americans as drone consumers of private health insurance. That is a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and a complete reversal of Obama's position during the campaign. From that horrible beginning, the process actually got worse. The accomodation of powerful lobbyists and the corrupt purchasing of individual senate votes was obvious and unappologetic. The arrogance was palpable and Obama never fought for the hopes and ideas presented in his campaign. Democratic members of the House and Senate never allowed real public health reform to be discussed, and Obama never demanded that they try. My only advice to Democrats and to President Obama is this. "Dance with the one that brung you!" The only hope of redeeming your tarnished reputation is this. Do what Obama promised during the campaign. Work for "we the people" and not for "them the lobbyists".

    I agree with Melissa. Ms. Lacewell is correct in stating that during the campaign, the candidate (Obama) rarely got "off message". They connected in ways I haven't seen in a very long time. Then after assuming the Oval Office, Obama became "President" Obama. In fact became aloof. Above it all. Looking down from the heights of power. Working hard, but not bothering to connect with us. Tell us what's going on. Any wonder why Democrats in Massachusetts did not turn out? Were "absent" (with no slip) from the special election? Where's the Barack we thought we knew and loved? Where's the soaring words that inspired us? Even the Inauguration Speech last year (can it really be a year?) fell "flat". We were expecting so much more. And it went downhill from there. I won't even go into what happened with health care. Here's the deal. I'm NOT in total despair (yet!). He can (and I'm sure WILL) pull this out. How? Hey, I might have an idea or two, but it's really up to them. The State of the Union is a great place to start. With thundering oratory about Massachusetts and the recent Supreme Court debacle. And I do mean thundering. Angry. He's already said the fight with the financial institutions is one he's ready to have. Well now he can include the Republicans, their enablers AND the Supreme Court. Quite a roster, don't you think? And Barack is more that capable of doing it. The question remains, WILL he? Will he be bold? Will he "go for it", like he's never done before. Tune in next week, and we'll see!

    President Obama may have missed his opportunity. Maybe many of our fellow progressives thought we were getting something else when we voted for him. I'd like to see him frame the health care debate as a moral issue with the loss of life so high among the un-insured that we need to do the right thing for these fellow citizens. I would support an expansion of Medicare passed by Reconciliation if possible. Then deal with Medicares shortcoming in an honest and forthright manner. Bring the American people along in this process. Our current way is unsustainable. Other countries have done this and it is just the right thing to do. He is a good communicator, now is the time to communicate.

    First, I have to wonder just what objection Hanson has to the postal service. I am continually impressed by the high quality service and value.
    Second, "oversee the conditions of of one-sixth of the U.S. economy... "
    Does that really mean anything? Does it accurately reflect the legislation or is Hanson creating a strawman arguement?

    First, I have to wonder just what objection Hanson has to the postal service. I am continually impressed by the high quality service and value.
    Second, "oversee the conditions of of one-sixth of the U.S. economy... "
    Does that really mean anything? Does it accurately reflect the legislation or is Hanson creating a strawman arguement?

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