« On the one hand, on the other hand | Main | Libruls R Conservatives »

Right twice a day

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday September 20, 2011 05:12 PM

Since I've spent some time on this blog twisting Louis Proyect's universalist-moralist-Trotskyist tail, it's only right to acknowledge that I agree with him on this one:

What’s wrong with a primary challenge to Obama?
Filed under: Obama,parliamentary cretinism — louisproyect @ 4:10 pm

The best thing would be for a high-profile bourgeois politician to run as an independent candidate against both Obama and whichever nitwit the Republicans nominate in the same fashion as Henry Wallace’s 1948 Progressive campaign.

What Louis seems to be saying -- though he takes a long time to get there, via a number of chatty Polonian reminiscences and sectarian sideswipes en passant -- is that primary challenges are silly; what matters is a third-party challenge in the general election -- a challenge that might actually deprive the Donk of victory in a close-run race, as Nader so gloriously did in 2000.

My uncle -- great-uncle, actually -- used to tell the story of the city slicker who (for some reason) came to visit the old Kentucky farmer. So the slicker goes out before dawn to accompany the farmer on his rounds. Farmer feeds the chickens, slops the hogs, milks the cow and so on, chatting very kindly with the livestock all the while. Finally it's starting to get light and time to hitch up the mule and start plowing. Farmer heads up to the south forty where the mule is kept, strolls into the field, picks up a two-by-four, hauls off and whacks the mule a stunning blow right between the eyes. City boy is shocked: "Why'd you do that?"

"That? That was just to get his attention," says the farmer.

Of course the question may be asked, what is the point of getting the Donks' attention? They certainly didn't learn anything -- or rather, learned all the wrong things -- in 2000.(*) A hell of a good question, of course. But I just want to see the look on their face after the two-by-four connects.


(*) Like the Bourbons: Ils n'ont rien appris, ni rien oublié.

Comments (24)

"But I just want to see the look on their face after the two-by-four connects."

That would be the greatest visual in political history.

Charles D [TypeKey Profile Page]:

I actually agree with Bill Schneider's assessment in his Electric Politics interview - that any primary challenge to Obama would be seen as a horrid betrayal by African-American voters and is therefore doomed - if it weren't doomed already by lack of funds.

If FDR had the guts to keep Wallace as his VP in spite of all the pundit advice to the contrary, we might be in a very different world. It's difficult to imagine Wallace signing off on the CIA for example.


A primary challenge to Obama is so utterly beside the point, one wonders why it's even being contemplated. Doing anything within the Dembot structure is utterly beside the point. Yes, if voting is something you feel you just do for whatever reason --- perhaps nostalgic, perhaps sacramental --- then by all means vote for the furthest left indy candidate on the ballot, or write in the homeless guy who shakes his cup in front of the bodega.

"A hell of a good question, of course. But I just want to see the look on their face after the two-by-four connects. "

Secretly, that's all the farmer wanted too.

I'm fully sympathetic.

Mules are not... sympathetic I mean. They can't reproduce and so they're just in it for whatever they can get out of it.

Sorta like the folks who run the country.

"write in the homeless guy who shakes his cup in front of the bodega."

He's got my vote.

"Like the Bourbons: Ils n'ont rien appris, ni rien oublié."

Damn you MJS for making me look up a bunch of French and Latin all the time. Us ignorant masses have better things to do you know.

Point well taken though.


DP, some advice from the Bourbons for you:

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.

"DP, some advice from the Bourbons for you:

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche."

Such advice is still useful today. Just ask Jamie Dimon.


In my idle dreams I imagine Jamie Dimon in the same predicament as Marie Antoinette.


Freedom is violence in the "Risk Society", mon ami.


I think the people contemplating the primary challenge either still believe the Dems have merely strayed, and therefore can like lost sheep be saved or cynically want to demonstrate that the Dems have always been Bad Shepherds.

(Most probably believe in that last minute salvation...)


Jack, institutionally and/or psychologically, they can't let go. It has become truly pathetic.


Finally we come to the election

I strongly urge .....
Ignore the prez race
Focus on defeating democrats in the house

Prolject as a Unrecovered trot is forever pushing third party
....... third leg fetishisms

We need a vanguard party of cadre
But not an electoral party of dubious construction
That is a confusion of movement work with ballot boxing
That fails to attend to our American electoral system
In fact the primary is precisely the run off system here

If you want to defeat some Jack ass run-in m Indy wise as a small d democrat

And split the vote electing a GOP er

That part of the proyect project makes sense
But go after ...
And here's where strategy matters
Is it Barny Frank and the pwog poofs
we go after
or some poor blue dog remnants?


Do we try to punish the pwogs that will not cut loose and form a congressional rebel bloc that faces off agin the two headed
corporate party center aisle monster
Or try to weaken the foot soldiers of the center aisle party
Like the t baggers are trying to do. Attacking from the right
The GOP corporate bag men

Problemthe right wing has so many corporate cut outs it's like my younger sister

Joy paine's 19 th century paper doll collection


This site has an intrinsic ambivalence
Do we boycott the ballot boxcar ala
On the old narco-anarchy line
" if it worked it would be illegal"

Or tamper with it by sabotaging the dembots in an effort to force
Class struggle
Out into the open

by insuring an unbroken reign of right wing deadly buffoons

If the job class majority saw the system as in The hands of
an ......"enemy from above "

Why I'd claim
we'd see a civilian maquis emerging here in a matter of weeks
not even months ....weeks

But now most job class white Americans still think this is their country
Even if "we" lost or are losing control of it to aliens from below


Btw I say leave bummer be
Because he will win regardless if the GOP nom
Is a yahoo ass pincher like Rick the manly hick

My take

Wal street wants a divided gubmint
In thre rings

Technocrat potus
Lethal Gas bag senate
And hell bent house
Which between the three can maintain the stag

Not a yahoo rodeo bull riding contest
A key stone pol muddle up


I can't see how legislative victories have any value without social unrest and the threat of more to come. Even with unrest and agitation, the tussle between the two parties isn't (a) going to produce a viable third party, which wouldn't be almost immediately co-opted and (b) distracts far more than it could ever provide relief or benefit.

Peter Ward:

They certainly didn't learn anything

Au contraire, they did learn -- eventually -- producing the miracle of Obama, Part I. Clearly the only thing Part II has going is the comparative craziness of Michele Bachmann; but they sure accomplished a hell of or a lot with Part I...probably as much as they could have hoped for short of actually caving to some of the popular demands.



We do not share views on the value to job class elements
of reformations endogenous to the system

I view a new deal II as worth the struggle
And it would involve both a roiled up base and some superstructure mod
Ie proly a successful dem party internal revolt or bolt

The ohbummer regime never faced a base challenge
And as you suggest that must take an in the streets form

And even that is a necessary but far from sufficient cause
If we seek serious reformation

Obviously world revolution is a preferred outcome


Looks like Clio is playing the death by a thousand revs game here

By my count we're at rev 57 now
943. To go comrades


They learned after only 40 years (take that the 800 year ruling French Capetians, or the 300 year long Romanov dynasts who ended up entrusting keys to the castle to dunderheads who would show their mug for decades to the proles only to act as magnets for resentment; Machiavelli's bones would have proffered better policy).

That empty sleeve

From an August 29, 1968, phone conversation between President Lyndon B. Johnson and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey. Then the Democratic nominee for president, Humphrey was in the process of choosing a running mate. Three days earlier, Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, a Japanese American who lost his right arm while serving in World War II, delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. The recording was released last December by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library.

Lyndon B. Johnson: If you're not going to the South, I would really look over the West awfully good, because I'm telling you the people got fed up with the East. And you can do New York and Pennsylvania with what we gonna do with the Jews and what we gonna do with the Italians by being friendly. Now this would be a natural if it would work, and nobody ever mentioned it to me, but I never heard as many compliments on anybody as I did on Inouye. He answers Vietnam with that empty sleeve. He answers your problems with Nixon with that empty sleeve. He has that brown face. He answers everything in civil rights, and he draws a contrast without ever even opening his mouth. I've never known him to make a mistake. He's got cold, clear courage. He's as loyal as a dog, as you must have observed. He'd never undercut you. He ought to appeal to the West. He ought to appeal to the world. It would be fresh and different. He's young and new. And I think your secretary could call him and say, Would you please go to Utah, South Carolina, San Francisco? And I believe he could go to all of them and never lay an egg. Lady Bird said, watching him on television, This is the best man I know of except Hubert. He's asked nothing, he's done nothing, but he wouldn't be miserable in the place. Now another fellow will be, and be lazy and other things. The Southern boys—I wouldn't irritate 'em more than I had to—they all love Inouye. I don't know why. I think one thing is that they just look at him and they can't fuss at him and say he doesn't love peace. In other words, the South can't get mad at him because he's colored, and he would appeal to every other minority because he is one. I think you have to be satisfied, and I don't want you to think you have to satisfy me. Inouye doesn't appeal to you?


I'lladd this we need one red hot successful national blood soaked revolution on this planet
If we are to be taken seriously by the elite of corporate earth

Nepal was maybe on of the 57 revs so far but not
A splash of blood heard round the world
Like the limited liability set need to hear



This is johnson at his best

Not sure what you are trying to demonstrate ?

the double phrase empty sleeve bit
is one for the time capsule

The brown face line is merely realistic talk

Maybe you share my sense of the shrewd horse trader at work here

but I suspect not
What say u mate ?


That is a great quote from LBJ. Everything I like about the guy.


Here's the answer to old horse-trader's query and why nobody remembers whatever became of Hubert (even before '68):

HUBERT H. HUMPHREY: Well, I just don't believe so. He does, Mr. President, but I guess maybe it just takes it a little too far, too fast. Old conservative Humphrey.

Heck, even Republicans have cottoned on to the need for disarming the identity politics crowd by satiating their need for faces in high places. Remember how comfortable Dubya was with "strong women"? You'll be seeing more "only in America" miracles for a few decades to come. Enjoy the funk!


It's a little disingenuous for them to call it a -primary challenge. They seem to just want to force Obama to debate and get his and the Democratic Party's head on straight about defending the working class(!), not truly oppose him as a possible candidate. A lot of these folks still seem to be (to quote Tariq Ali) -disillusioned in their own illusions about Obama. And in the end, like the predictable recurrence of a cold sore before a big first date, Lesser Evil-ism will make it's diseased appearance.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Tuesday September 20, 2011 05:12 PM.

The previous post in this blog was On the one hand, on the other hand.

The next post in this blog is Libruls R Conservatives.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31