Message to Thoreau

Buddy, look, you’re totally over-thinking things.

I didn’t vote for Obama because I actually believe that he’s going to wave his magical “change” wand and suddenly make all the ugliness of the past seven years go away. I voted for him because, after some careful consideration, I concluded that he is the least likely of all the major presidential candidates to do something horrifically shitty while in office.

Yes, friends, I am that cynical. And memo to Obama: you don’t want me endorsing you in public, dude. I don’t exactly resonate with the audacity of hope.


Comments: 64


“I want action over rhetoric”

Newsflash matey. People who are elected, are capable of giving you action. People who arn’t elected, can only give you rhetoric, and the promise of action.

Do we have to go through this every election cycle? NONE of those fuckers can deliver on their promises.. unless they get elected. If you really want to know if they are going to fulfill their promises? elect em and see.


See, but I don’t even want them to fulfill their promises. I’d just like them to not get into war with Iran. Also, maybe not be so keen about torturing people.

My standards have fallen pretty low. I’m probably the least-idealistic left-winger you’ll ever meet.


I voted for him because, after some careful consideration, I concluded that he is the least likely of all the major presidential candidates to do something horrifically shitty while in office.

Pretty much why I voted for him too.


Ummm. not handing immunity out to corporate behemoths would be kind of nice too.

Low standards indeed….


I’ve got my Ohio absentee vote sitting right in front of me, and I plan on casting it for Obama.

Thanks to the people I helped vote into office in 2006 (Jennifer Brunner, Secretary of State, Marc Dann, Attorney General), I’m even over-optimistic enough to think my vote will count.


Reckon so, Josie.

It’s really about what they can deliver, and what they already promised.

The taboo question, the issue that we are no allowed to address, is just exactly how sustainable is the current system. If we continue to tell each other just so stories and and refuse to ask the REAL questions about the the reality in play, then what difference does it ultimately make?

What does it matter? What do we have to do to address the real future, not the stupid future they talk about in their speeches?

Sorry. I lost interest…..



I once voted for Herb Kohl with optimism too, and see where he voted on the Telecoms….

Maybe waterboarding should be legal as a way of keeping our Congress from turning into whores.


I’m trying to be happy here, billy! Work sings its sucky siren song in 10 hours or so.

I donated to Claire McCaskill’s campaign in 2006. I remember being happy when she won.



All you can really do, is keep voting for the lesser evil, till you shift the definition of “lesser evil” in the direction you want it to go.

It is frustrating watching america implode sometimes. Us in the rest of the world are affected a lot by the american economy, and we frequently get saddled with politicians which won’t take a stand against american insanity because they are too concerned about the economics stuff (fuck you very much tony)

When you stand back a bit, it couldnt be any clearer. The republicans are a leap towards oblivion, and the democrats are a baby step back towards sanity.

Okay, your expectations are low.. I can sympathise. But if all you get, every 4 years, is “someone who will leave the country better than they found it”, then eventually it all adds up. Avoid the fuckwits that send the nation backsliding by 30 years worth of progress, and the optimism will build up too. Honestly, I always thought the americans were renowned for their positive attitudes. It is a bit frightening watching the right wing grinding machine crunch that attitude into nothing.

Nil carburundom. Dont let the barstards grind ye down.


I’m so happy that my vote in Texas’ March 4th primacus/caucary means something again, I’m casting it for Paul Tsongas. Seriously, though. Obama. Because he’s a dude.


What i fear is that i’ve heard more than once from acquaintances that Barak evokes Jimmy Carter to them, and therefore they are more inclined to vote Hillary.


The only change the majority of American voters are going to except is Conservative change of limited government, secure borders and preserving America’s established traditions. Obama will bring about none of these, therefore he will lose the general election by a landslide if the dems nominate him.


Chris St. James said,



“you don’t want me endorsing you in public”
Didn’t you just do that? Ain’t this public?
Tomorrow headline: Will it be Obama? Sadly, No! All because of Brad!


I’d say Clinton and Obama are equally crappy choices; they’ve both promised mediocrity. And that’s certainly what they’ve delivered in the Senate so far.

The difference, I suppose, is that Obama is an interesting gamble — he might do great things, or he might be a pathetic do-nothing compromiser. You have a better idea of where Hillary is going, and while it’s not particularly pretty, a repeat of the Clinton years with a Democratic Congress this time wouldn’t be half bad.


You are standing on the edge of a cliff.

Obama sez: “I think we should turn around and run for it. Or at least walk. Well, maybe stroll…”

Hillary sez: “I am advised that stepping forwards would not be a good idea, so why don’t we take a step sideways, and then maybe a step or two backwards?”

Mcain sez: “Anyone who says there is a cliff is a communist! That is why I am a maverick! now CHAAAAARGE!”


Nobody will talk about the big issues. The huge issues.

A mongoloid could tell this is a non-sustainable economy.

Any student of history knows theres are violent upheavel coming, due to the imbalance in wealth.

Who will come out? The people who can impose their will.

Bad times are a-coming, folks, if we can’t even start to figure out how to address the worst of the problems.

Who ends up in power? Who ends up in camps? Who ends up in mass graves?

Oh my. Not so much a shining city on a hill after all, eh?



I do get goosebums from big O. And I am 40. So I guess I am doing OK, seeing here younger dudes that are more jaded…
My wife is 35 and she forbade me to give money to the campaign. She says, it’s useless, things are so scrood up, he wont be able to get them straight. Perhaps.
But, I totally buy his storyline that we’ll fail for sure, if we don’t get enthused. I need you to juice-up, kids… Come on! The guy is way better than anything I have seen in the past 20 years and that includes W.J.Clinton, who I thought was pretty cool…


Chrisy, your boys had eight years for conservative change and you blew it. Step aside and let the adult deal with this. (Isn’t conservative change an oxymoron anyway?)


Well what are you going to do? Admit that global capitalism is a giant pyramid scheme? Touch that fucking house of cards, and it all falls down. People are going to go hungry if that economy collapses, bullshit though it is.

What can we do? Just maintain the illusion for long enough to let it all down gently. Of course, that requires the WILL to dismantle “the american dream”, not some cockmongler that wants to build up the tower of arrogance and ignorance even higher.

All we need is a decade or two to de-escalate this shit. Get the consumerist insanity to bloody well back off a bit, and be happy with last years fashions.. Get the wall street bastards used to being taxed out the nose. Teach industry what “ethics” means. Teach american society to treat the poor as fellow human beings. Encourage the understanding that the down trodden are not just lazy, or “boot strap deficient”, the reason they are doing so badly is because some other fucker has his jackboot on their neck.

The trouble is… The world in general is headed for a recession. America specifically, is headed for a depression. People are going to believe any two faced cuntrag that promises them the consumerist opitates they are so addicted to. Anyone who tells them the dream is still real, they will rally around. Until they are sitting in the gutter, trying to work out exactly where they were mislead..


Really, bottom line, under which one will fewer people die unecessarily.


random, you are certainly not an idiot. You’re right on the money with everything you said. I don’t know why so few of my fellow US citizens can see the obvious signs. Other countries certainly can. Chomsky talks about challenges to US financial power in an excellent interview.


Until they are sitting in the gutter, trying to work out exactly where they were mislead..


Doubleplus: They will be rounded up by Blackwater™ and sent to private sector rehabilitation camps if they make unpleasing noises.


At least Obama *says* he is going to do thins like restore Habeas, not torture, run a transparent government, etc.

That’s not much but it’s a lot better than saying the opposite. With guys like Romney and McCain you have to *hope* they are liars because that could only be better than the plans they openly espouse.


I leaned towards Hillary, if only because she’s worked so hard- but not smart, apparently! After skipping today’s vote, when she ,I’m SURE, could have convinced 3 other senators to vote against Telecom Immunity and caused it to fail, she DIDN’T EVEN ATTEND! So I’ll vote for Obama, and hope and pray he is a good man.


“I don’t know why so few of my fellow US citizens can see the obvious signs”

I think it is the same reason it is so hard to get my little brothers attention whilst he is watching the TV. No matter how terrible the program, it somehow takes precedence over reality, until I smack him round the head.

Most people live in a trance. They don’t think about where things come from. Food comes from the store. Money comes from the employer. Society doesn’t need paying for or looking after.. it just exists. Politicians are all the same… all bastards, stealing precious air time from re-runs of american idol. Washington DC? Isn’t that somewhere on Mars?

Then one day, people get that smack round the head. They loose their job, the bank forecloses on the house.. Now its too late, and they don’t know who to blame. They are going to blame whatever feels right. Never mind whatever is really to blame.. Life is a made for TV drama. The answer is in the sound bite. Victory comes after the commercial break.


It’s like I told mom: if Hillary is the nominee, I’ll vote for her.

But it will feel more like renewing my car tags rather than getting a new car. Because I already know what I’ll get from a president Hillary – basically, status quo, more of the same triangulating centrism. Which I might also get from Obama, but at least with him there’s a possibility I might get something better.

Hillary’s misfortune is in running a campaign based on her supposedly superior experience. Only problem is, when you look at the way she’s voted on any number of issues, and the things she’s said on any number of other issues, you reach the inescapable conclusion that her experience hasn’t led to good judgement. And you know, if you don’t learn from experience, it’s really not worth much of anything. At least that’s the conclusion I reached, and I was just judging her based on what she said I should judge her on.


I was an Edwards supporter, but he dropped out before Super Tuesday, so I went for Obama.

I’m visiting my mom in Texas this weekend. She’s a longtime Republican, but of the moderate, Rockefeller variety. She surprised me back in 2004 when she said she was against Bush, because she thought the Iraq war was wrong, plus she was pro-choice. She’s also a life-long atheist.

I’m real curious what she plans to do for the Texas primary. She COULD go for Hillary, on the establishment/woman plan. But she and Dad didn’t like Bill. So she COULD go all crazy-wild and go for Obama.

But my money is she’s probably going for McCain. He’s a Republican, which is her comfort zone, and he’s an experienced senator, and not Huckabee – she’d never vote for Huck.

but we’ll see. She’s gotten unpredictable in her old age.


You know, the thing about Hillary, for me?

She’s a damn good senator (when she actually shows up and votes, instead of campaigning.)

I think she’d serve our country better being a powerful Democrat senior senator, of the kick-ass machine variety, than by being an ineffectual President that has to fight a destructive Right Wing Machine the whole time she’s in office.

Hillary, stay a senator. And be the biggest, meanest, attack-doggiest best one.

let us have Obama for our President.


I voted for him because I enjoy seeing wingers, who have spent the last eight years shrugging their shoulders while the vapid suit they worship rewrote the book on shallow photo-ops and empty rhetoric, suddenly rediscover their opposition to style over substance.

And I especially like, whenever they go on about “pretty speeches” and “slogans”, reminding them of Ronald Reagan.

This fall is gonna be fun.


At this point, I just want a Democrat in the White House. I want someone who won’t appoint people like Roberts and Alito to the Supreme Court. I want an attorney general who has at least a passing familiarity with Constitutional law. I want someone in charge of our natural resources who doesn’t think acid rain is just fine and dandy.

The most important thing other than the SCOTUS, in my opinion, is to elect progressives to Congress. Then President Obama (or Clinton, sigh) can rubber stamp good legislation into reality.


Me – you know what might be even more fun?

Watching the fuckers flounder around without their coded appeals to racism.

If Obama is the nominee, that’s not going to be possible. He will call them out on it. So they’re either going to have to drop one of their favorite campaign gambits (we’ll protect you against the scary brown people who are your fellow citizens) or go for balls-out appeals to racism.

I predict they’ll do the latter. And it will work with people who would never vote for anyone who isn’t a Republican…but it won’t work with anyone else.


They’ll go after his wife. Sexism is still permissable.


What i fear is that i’ve heard more than once from acquaintances that Barak evokes Jimmy Carter to them, and therefore they are more inclined to vote Hillary.

As someone who remembers the good vibe for the “refreshingly honest and moral” Carter after Election ’76, and what happened afterwards, I do reserve some serious skepticism that someone with three rather undistinguished years of DC experience can all of a sudden handle enough of the Big Demons from the bully pulpit, especially after Bush and Cheney have trashed up things for eight years.

It will be key not only to elect a Dem president, but to get some new Dem leadership in Congress as well. Carter needed more support from his Dem Congress and didn’t really get it; Obama will almost certainly need more than rope-a-dope heads like Harry F. Reid can provide.


Brad’s right– the last 7 years have been nothing if not a radical example of “lowering expectations”. How deep into the septic tank can our “leadership” get? How many more wars & financial scams can they launch against the peons & skate away from, knowing the sheeple are entranced by “American Idol” (shit! I think I’m missing it right now!)?

Till’s right too . . .While voting is inherently on many levels a fairly futile act (if it weren’t, they’d take that “right” away from us too, like the right not to have our phone calls listened to covertly by gov’t. thugs, the right not to be tortured, etc.) Obama does at least offer the slim reed of hope that we’ll get some deviation from a homicidal-suicidal status quo . . .

Perhaps a change will come when things get bad & ugly enough. They seem to be getting there (bad & ugly, I mean) even quicker. I spent several weeks in Spain a few years back and was impressed with the Spanish people’s resiliency and deep & abiding hate for the fascism they’d lived under for decades.

Unless Cheney & the NeoCons can turn Amerikka into the feudal state or smoking hole of destruction they’re aiming toward, we may someday have a future in which we look back & laugh at the clownish & vicious antics of the McInsanes, Larry “Closet Case” Craigs, Pat “Exterminate the Darkies” Buchanan, etc. If we don’t find a slim reed of hope somewhere, how can we go on?

Obama’s not my slim reed, but I still voted for him. It was less futile than any other option I had at the time. A system of death & militarism like we live under now can’t last forever– hell, most of us can see it doesn’t have much time left, it’s already plunging off the cliff. I’m trying to do more substantial things than vote for an Edwards or Obama, but I don’t feel it’s a waste of my time given the desperation of the current situation.


It was less futile than any other option I had at the time.



Hillary voted for the war and is unapologetic about it. When it came down to a race between Obama and Clinton, there was no other issue for me to consider.


Obama reminds me of Tony Blair. There’s very little in his record to suggest his idea of “change” is anything like mine. His seems like “change the carpets” whereas mine is “shoot the CEOs”.


Long time reader, first time commentor.

Here’s what I HOPE, a lot of Progressives will understand.

Ignore those that question the whole hope thing. Obama is a realist. He said it in his speech announcing his run. Ignore the promises, everyone will promise anything, but they rarely do it.

What Obama will do is LISTEN. He is my Senator and has listened and has fought hard for what we asked.

What he is saying. If you want change. YOU must demand it. If a million people DEMAND it, it can happen.

And he told that to people in Iowa in his first appearance. We want health care and end to war. Then we need to elect more democrats to the house and senate.

He made a call to ALL. Do not get bogged down in petty arguments. Which is all you will get.


the difference, I suppose, is that obama is an interesting gamble —

naw, the difference is that the dude can shore talk purty…

brad, i feel your indifference. tho i haven’t decided whom to back-handedly endose, yet, i feel that there is very little difference among all three candidates…obama, clinton and mccain.

sure, mccain admits he wants to stay in iraq for 100 years, but hillary and obama don’t. don’t admit it, that is.

hillary voted for the war. maybe obama didn’t vote for the war, but he’s been real happy to vote for funding for the war, which kind of is the same thing (i hate what you’re doing, here’s money to do it).

and shoot, don’t get me started on the “but we need a dem in office because of the supreme court!” argument.

if 55 dems in the senate and 232 democrats in the house can’t stop fisa (let alone iraq), what the flying image of st. jude on a vespa can 4 dems on the supreme court do?

until a dem shows a spine, i’m totally uninfatuated with them.

you heard me…the flying image of st. jude on a vespa!


My vote for Obama will be mostly based on the premise that he has the best chance to win the general election, while the Dems keep the Congress. Not that Hillary can’t win, but in a year when we cannot take a chance on four to eight more years of PNAC foreign policy and corporatist domination of the conversations about health care and the environment, I’m going to go with the candidate who seems to have the best combo of electability and potential governance. Hillary might have moderately more potential as an adminstrator, but at this point I’d say Obama has quite a bit more potential as someone capable of not only winning, but winning a mandate.


Can I interrupt and make a broad, sweeping and entirely unsubstantiated wild swing ???



mikey sez:

Any student of history knows theres are violent upheavel coming, due to the imbalance in wealth.

Funny thing…there’s been an idea kicking around in my head for some time — and while I’m fairly well-read I’m no student of history so maybe this is obvious to all you smart people — that fear of outright revolution is what allowed the New Deal to occur.

The situation as I understand it: things bad and getting worse in the U.S. Fascism (the real kind) rising in Europe, a reaction to…Communism, which was on the march in Russia. Both of these movements had some support in the States.

I think the increasingly violent cycles from the Guilded Age to Black Friday had a lot of people scared. Franklin Roosevelt got a hearing, got elected because people could see a civil war coming and they didn’t like it.

It might be that representative democracy is the ultimate safety valve. One can only hope it works as well next time around.

ObSnark: Jonah is fat.


Obama can’t win.

You seriously think that someone who was a state senator four years ago is going to become President now?

Such things don’t happen without a lot of luck or being puppeteered. Obama is a puppet of the Chicago Daley Machine, which is in the crosshairs of investigation by the feds.

For all the talk of change and reform, one of the first things a President Obama will do is firing US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who is currently working on prosecutions of Daley machine crimes.

Granted, the Great Pumpkin has better odds at winning the Presidency than a drug-dealing, dope-smoking, inexperienced flaky cult leader like Obama.

Being all charisma and no intelligence or experience may work in counties like Kenya. But the president of the United States needs more than just making good speeches.

When the Iranians threaten to unleash WMDs, President McCain will do the right thing. President Obama would fold.

I’m not worried about defeat in November.

If Obama somehow gets the nod. Then his ties to Rezko, the Daley Machine, and his lack of depth will doom him. As well, as noted by Democrat governor Ed Rendell, Democrats will likely desert Obama due to his racial background (such concerns don’t seem to be valid when it comes to black Republicans, who don’t see large numbers of white Republicans flipping over to the other side. But those white liberals are the tolerant ones here. George Wallace was a white liberal after all.)

If Clinton somehow gets the nod, then a huge chunk of Obama supporters will stay home or vote McCain.

Look at the exit polls, Obama consistently loses Democratic voters and wins Independents. Those voters will vote for the moderate McCain over the ultraliberal Clinton.

Most of the student vote will be too busy smoking pot and playing hackysack to vote.

Obama can’t win. No amount of stupid chanting than change that fact. Obama can’t win.



Because I want to go to Europe and not have to pretend that I’m from Canada.


Chris St. Ruppert

“drug-dealing, dope-smoking”?

Present tense?


Drug Dealing?


And liberals are the racist ones?

“Obama can’t win. No amount of stupid chanting than change that fact. Obama can’t win.”
“Obama can’t win. Obama can’t win. Keep chanting… maybe you could set it to music.


Good Lord, Skippy, now look what you’ve gone and made me do. I’m not sure who the moll is, but hey…

thunder, I feel ya on McCaskill. One of my more memorable moments of election night was standing in the bar, where it might as well have been the Superbowl for all the excitement, and having some random and rather attractive young lass poke her head in the door, look at the first person she saw, ask “How are we doing in Missouri?”, expect an answer, and get one. I love my town.

I gave what was to me no small amount of cash to the Jim Webb campaign, knowing full well there would be many things he’d do that I wouldn’t necessarily like, and there have been some. The alternative, however…

And so, I wind up back at Brad\’s reason for voting the O. I second the motion. I’d also like to have another Presidential election that doesn’t involve a Bush or a Clinton. It’s been twenty years. What the hell, let’s give it a shot.


Gary, darling, is that really you?


Ken wrote:
“What he is saying. If you want change. YOU must demand it. If a million people DEMAND it, it can happen.”

Ken, Ken, Ken, sweet, little Ken…

“And if you think that the million or so people in this country that are really interested in the truth about their government can support people who would tell them the truth, you got another thing coming.
Because the million or so people in this country that are truly interested in the truth don’t have any money. ”
Jeb Bush, 1986


“of all the major presidential candidates to do something horrifically shitty while in office”

I think thats how most people feel!


I voted for “Big O” so we could keep Hillary here in NY


I voted for him because, after some careful consideration, I concluded that he is the least likely of all the major presidential candidates to do something horrifically shitty while in office.

You too?!


[…] Note to Obama supporters- you don’t want the Bradrocket writing your slogans. So far, all he seems to have come up with is: […]


We don’t vote here in NC until May 6 and I have to say I have no idea who I’m going to vote for. Neither Clinton or Obama are my cup of tea, so to speak. Geez, what a quandry.


Fact of the matter is that both of these candidates have their flaws, but consider any Democrat who has been nominated since the 1950s and you would probably feel the same way. On the other hand, consider what every Republican elected in the intervening period has actually DONE and choke while you swallow.

I for one like candidates who can speak in complete sentences, and leadership is emotional — it is what makes a President effective once they are in office. Your cynicism, while understandable given the last eight years, is not helpful.


I concluded that he is the least likely of all the major presidential candidates to do something horrifically shitty while in office.

That’s too fucking funny for words. And sad.


I voted for him because, after some careful consideration, I concluded that he is the least likely of all the major presidential candidates to do something horrifically shitty while in office.

Exactly my reasoning as well.


Plus, he talks good.


He shore do talk purty


It’s tough for older women like me to see one of us get dumped,. Erica Jong is in a total rage over this at the Huff Post. I do not trust or even like charisma as a quality, because I think it is a form of mass narcissism. And Obama makes no promises.
So I just say to myself, “He’s better than Bush.” I hope.


“Your cynicism, while understandable given the last eight years, is not helpful.”

Does it still count as concern trolling if you mean it? Honestly, if there’s one thing we’ve proved this decade, it’s that no Dem gets to tell anybody what it takes to win. We’re the team that swept the midterms and then proceeded to legislate as though we’d lost in a landslide, remember? We SUCK, the lot of us, so as a fellow Chicago Cub I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell me how to scratch my nuts.

If this guy’s gonna get the nom, we’d do well to bring some cynicism to the dance. I don’t know if I’d go as far as Hattie, but yeah, there’s something weird about giving this much weight to such an undefinable quality. If he inspires you, great, but maybe it’s not an unalloyed good to be so easily roused by mere words.

And Hattie, Jong’s been pretty goofy about this. She’s been talking about mothers and daughters and shit, and throwing around charges of misogyny, which I would posit is far less of a factor among Dem primary voters than among, say, cable news dickheads. I’m sorry, but you can’t back a candidate that flawed and then cast aspersions on me for not joining you. Especially if you defend her awful record by essentially claiming that, as a woman, Clinton had to cast votes contra the country’s interests and her own conscience, which I’m pretty sure Jong did but I don’t feel like looking it up.

I’m actually glad she didn’t show up for the vote today. They’re both way too fuckin’ chummy with Lieberman, so this was, like, my tiebreaker.


Thanks very a lot for this flawless put up;that is the words that keeps me on monitor via out the day. I’ve been wanting round in your website after I heard about them from a buddy and was thrilled after I was able to find it after trying to find long time. Being a avid blogger, I’m glad to see others taking initivative and contributing to the community. Just wished to comment to point out my appreciation for your web site as it is extremely difficult to do, and plenty of writers do not get credit they deserve. I am certain I’ll visit once more and will unfold the word to my friends.


(comments are closed)