Hell to the No

KickmThe American people are held in thrall to a bunch of highbinders, think this isn’t true, let’s explore together. The realities of our current politics, as a nation are so completely polarized we are unwilling or incapable of holding our own to appropriate standards. We accept from our own what we would burn down the house if the other side even mentioned. We make excuses for our own, accepting hyperbole in place of transparency and action.

Think this isn’t a problem consider the following:

  1. Indefinite detention continues, in fact has expanded to include the detention of American citizens.
  2. The Patriot Act is continued; in fact, the assault on Civil Liberties has expanded.
  3. War, war and more war we continue to send our troops into danger, in foreign lands. Despite promises to the contrary, we are still all in and our young men and women are serving not one, not two but sometimes three and more rotations.
  4. Gitmo is still open.
  5. Drone strikes and collateral damage of civilians, most especially to date 174 children. Now we kill without looking our enemy in the eye. War is becoming a game, assassination a YouTube sensation. The rules are expanding and soon Drones will be targeting a neighborhood near you.
  6. Supported and signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 and 2013, one of the worst destroyers of Civil Liberties of Americans.

These are some of the issues as Progressives we should be concerned with. The US continues to expand its military presence, the defense budget is out of control and trillions of dollars are literally lost, why are we not demanding an audit? Are we honest? Did we fail to notice these problems, these expansions or do we simply not care as long as it is one of our own, not one of theirs.

Now let us move on to the new constant campaign. We cheer, the president is finally showing he cares about what we care about; he is showing he will fight back. Wait though, what is it he is talking about on this forever road trip to induce hwyl in the masses of his already fevered supporters.

  • Is he talking about VAWA?
    • With the exception of his State of the Union address on 12-Feb, the answer is no.
    • We, the American woman see our security, our place in society further eroded nearly every month as states slash and burn Aid to Families, Health Care, definitions of Rape and yes access to safe and legal abortion. The immoral Minority of the oh so Christian Right will soon turn us into a nation much like those we disdain and are fighting to free in the mountains of Afghanistan, hetaerism will be our standard we will be the first western nation to don the veil.
  • Is he talking about reasonable Gun Sanity laws?
    • With the exception of his emotional appeal on 12-Feb, again, no he isn’t talking about gun violence or gun sanity; this problem has been turned over to Joe Biden and members of Congress willing to be in targets.
  • Is he talking about reasonable solutions for the economy and sequester?
    • He is talking about the Sequester, he is campaigning hard on what the other side has not done and how the Sequester will hurt the nation. He is using his bully pulpit to make the other side look bad by their inaction.
    • The rubber meets the road on the economy and there is a presumption that elections have consequences. We should be demanding one of the consequences of this election is a conversation about jobs, not slash usgs_lineand burn of spending or deficit reduction at a time when frankly neither is called for.
  • Is he talking about campaign finance and fixing what is so clearly a problem?
    • The president and his staff have been unsurprisingly silent on this issue. Though his adherents clamor for changes, expect him to stand up for their principles and cross the bridge with them arm-in-arm against the tyranny of big money in politics, POTUS has not indicated his intention to do so.
  • Is he talking about voting rights and gerrymandering?
    • Is he trying to create ground support for any of the above issues with real solutions and specific steps the American Citizen can take? Our President invited Desiline Victor to the State of the Union, she drew the ire and several attempts at comedy by the talking heads of the other side of the house, however what was the real point. Is the Justice Department taking on Gerrymandering? Is this President using his Bully Pulpit to hammer home the message that each citizen of this nation has the right to a vote without compromise.
  • Is he talking about Immigration?
    • Not since his State of the Union, his impassioned statements aside our President has allowed his agenda to be set by the losers of the election.

What the POTUS is in fact doing during his constant campaign is pointing out he is powerless to do anything at all. He is showing us he is held hostage by Congress and thus must continue to campaign. What the constant campaign provides is the bully pulpit for the POTUS to continue what he is best at, communicating his high ideals (we love these) but hypobulic  when it comes to driving those ideas through a brassbound congress. We get the hypostasis of Barack Obama, what we don’t get is real substantive ideas put in front of Congress which the American People can latch on to and demand action be taken against.

I am a progressive, I have always been a progressive. It is my strong belief we must as a nation stand up, as citizens we must demand of all our representatives at every level of government they act in the best interest of this nation that is why we elect them and what they are paid to do. We cannot afford to give a pass to those who wear the same badge we wear, this includes the President of the United States. We may well like him, he may well be a moral and decent man. Does not matter a lick, he must do the job we hired him to do. Hysterogenic bully pulpits do nothing for us, fear, loathing has been the staple of politics for far too long we must demand better. We must demand real solutions to real problems.

Today Washington and Congress in particular is nothing more than a group houghmagandy party without the participants liking each other or wearing protection. This has to change.

The Hell to the No Words I liked



corrupt politician




a state of society characterized by the holding of women in common


the substance or essential nature of an individual




fervor, excitement


weak-willed, lacking in will power


inducing hysteria


  1. Val I still think you should run for President! 😉 🙂 my friend…

  2. well done, well done, well done, my friend. it’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place – the current state of affairs, now isn’t it? xoxo, sm

  3. The politicians seem to be trampling all over the consitituion by the erosion of civil rights, the patriot act etc etc. Yet talk about controlling guns in any slight way and suddenly everybody becomes contistutional champions protecting the sacred documents of the founding fathers.

    There was an interesting broadacst with John Huntsman on the BBC programme “Hard Talk” in which he is intereviewed about the state of theGOP. Obviously his answers were somewhat diplomatic – but reading between the lines – he seems to me to be what the GOp should get back to. I don’t know much about him. But it might be worth a listen.


    Don’t give up – keep shouting till at least one person hears you. It’s our responsibility.

    • Huntsman is pretty good, when he was in the running I kept wondering why more republicans didn’t like him. It dawned on my it was because he worked for Obama as a diplomat, they saw him as a traitor. Sad really, I liked him.

  4. There is so much here, Val, that I don’t know where to start.

    A HUGE part of the problem with stupid Americans electing stupid people is that we no longer teach civics and citizenship.

    But I disagree on the gun issue being handled by Biden. Obama signed, was it 23 Executive orders to get things started. The rest must be done by Congress — and that’s Biden’s forte. It’s not Obamas. You use what will work when you can.

    One of my frustrations with the whole debate is that folks in the media claim “both sides are doing it.” That’s a lie we need to get past. The folks who are stamping their feet and saying No! No! No! regardless of the cost are the GOP.

    As I keep saying Elections matter.

    • I agree with you on the issue of civics and citizenship, hell those trying to become citizens must learn more than those born into their citizenship. Of course, they also have greater respect for their citizenship and what it means.

      I did not say he hasn’t taken any action on gun control issues Elyse, I said specifically he has not used his Bully Pulpit to keep the issue in the minds of the common man. He hasn’t continued the conversation during his constant campaign. This is one of the issues that count, one of many but a big one.

      I agree, he along with many others need to take on the media. Call them on their lie and force the game out into the open. Elections do indeed matter, but this one doesn’t have enough consequence for those in the House as yet.

  5. Elections come and go. Promises are made and broken. Over and over again I’m on the other side of the pond and we are being hog tied. I’ve never cared about politics until the recent past. If you hire someone for a job, he or she gets fired if they don’t perform. We need to stand up and keep standing until we get it right.

    Most thought provoking post, Valentine.

    • There are supposed to be consequences to elections, it seems in the US there are less and less consequences and we simply stand still in the mud.

      It seems I have always cared. I can’t remember a time I didn’t care in fact. Even when I try to pull away I am constantly fascinated, pulled back in even if kicking and screaming, “no more, no more!”

      We do indeed, all of us whether up North where you are or down here, stand up and speak out until we get it right.

  6. The American people think they are finished if and/or when they cast a ballot or send a check to the appropriate party (or the IRS). Washington does no more than we allow. Just like the petulant child who wants chocolate for breakfast, Americans continue to say, “Well, just this once, but after this no more.” In the last 35 years, we have said it so many times I truly do not believe we know any other response.

    I find fault in your graph. Had you seen the graph of every other presidency, they all had the deficit dropping. Our Congress has the ability to ignore the ceilings and the statutory requirements to spend within their means. They will legislate themselves into whatever suits their purposes.

    • Actually the source data for the graph is excellent, this is why I use this source for these charts. The deficit is dropping and projected to drop because spending has already been cut.

      The American people are indeed at fault, but a President in his second term with nothing to lose and a Bully Pulpit is also at fault.

  7. I am about as far away from a progressive as it is possible to get but I, like you, am disgusted with what goes on in Washington, and very, very discouraged. Thanks for continuing to care and fight for what you believe.

    Thanks also for “houghmagandy.” Really – thanks.

    • I still love ya Peg, isn’t it marvelous we can find friends and common ground across the political divide!!

      I am not discouraged, I still believe there are enough people in this nation that care about this nation, not about ideology but about this nation as a whole and who want all of us to be successful as a people. I believe that. I believe if we truly sat down at a table we could find enough common ground the rest would become incidental, it would become tomorrows problems rather than something to bring the nation to its knees over.

      I believe in 75% of the people of this nation. The rest, well I am willing to be convinced.

  8. I am tired and sickened of the paralysis in our current congress. If businesses and other organizations around the country behaved like this, nothing would ever get done. It’s called compromise, communication, and problem-solving. Learn to do it, politicians. Please.

    • They are castrated by their own ego emissions.. oh my that was terrible of me. They are horrifying in their deliberate desire to take their toys and stay right where they are, nation and citizens be damned.

      I agree with you, unfortunately it seems the citizens of this nation would rather pull a lever for a party than for change.

  9. I hate politics and the shenigans that go with it.


    You do such a good job making these issues so flamingly understandable and relevant that I “get” it. I get it and I get angry and I want to get involved.

    Keep writing this stuff so we can make sense of the reality (nightmare) of politics. You really do an AMAZING job of this.

    Thank you.

    • The getting involved part is what is difficult. I have the address of each and everyone of my representatives, state and local. I write to them, email and snail mail. I tell them what I want. When they send me bullshite responses I call them on it. I am on their facebook pages I call them on their bullshite posts, none of them like me. I don’t care.

      I am on the White House, I talk back. I am a member in good standing of my local party even though I am not a Democrat I belong to the local party and attend their meetings.

      You have to speak up. You have to participate. You have to engage.

      • Sigh.

        I know.

        Maybe I can chalk it up to so many years in Debate rounds with students that I find anything related to the social discourse of politicians nauseating. But- that is an excuse…and a comfortable one at that. I have lived with my eyes closed to most political underpinnings for so long…again, perhaps, in my attempt to live the life of the invisible.

        This is an easy step I can take to re-claim my stake on the living, don’t you think.

        Baby steps.

        Time for me to take one.

      • You’re so right. Have become jaded with age but still vote and will occasionally spew write my ‘representatives.’
        Good piece my friend. Have to agree with Red in regards to the graph. too many years of college stat classes have taught me to be leery of graphs and polls.
        Recommend going to the source(s).

        I no longer believe my elected officials act in my/our interests. In fact, From the day a person decides to become a politician -as opposed to a simple citizen- they are beholden to whatever interests fill their campaign coffers, provide votes, the list goes on.
        Gridlock ensues. It’s like the old Internet joke about winning an argument by scoring a point. You still lose.
        It can’t be done. Not with a two party system.

        Jaded but Hopeful,
        ~Miss R

        • I refuse to be jaded, I will continue to care and continue to be hopeful we can fix this. While I agree the two party system is creating a gigantic void and one that must be broken to be fixed (it didn’t use to be this way). It can only be fixed by us, the people of this nation demanding change in a loud and obnoxious manner.

          I will say to you the same thing I say to Red, I trust the source of that particular graph. I reference the many great reference in that site as their sources are good and I can drill all the way to their sources.

  10. The idea of saying “Washington” does this or that is one of the problems. There’s no accountability…it’s all one monolithic, uncontrollable, distant, overbearing, and rapacious body that the governed don’t even understand. War is about the ammunition business – plain as that. The U.S. has not been threatened by a defined enemy since 1945, yet the U.S. is constantly at war. How many years of “peace” can you recall? Don’t forget the “dirty” wars, supplied by importing drugs using CIA transport. Eisenhower’s farewell address laid it all out, and nobody paid attention…beware the military industrial complex, or it will eat you and your children and your grandchildren alive…and, it is. Good luck all.

    • I do not say “Washington” I say we the people. It is us, we elect them we are accountable. We are responsible and only we, the people, can change the situation.

      While war is one of the biggest problems, it isn’t the only problem facing us. We have to face some very real facts, we are a nation in decline and until we get our entire house in order we face the very real prospect of complete chaos soon.

      • If you ever check out my pages, I just posted one on how Costa Rica constituionally banned any standing army…which is not possible for empires, but there are no begging children here – none ! And people are healthy, and not homeless…amazing what even a small country can do when they don’t spend trillions on blowing little brown people up for resources. I used to write a political column and interviewed candidates such as Bush, McCaiin, Kerry, Kucinich…and I got so sick of feeling slimy all the time…doused in lies that they saw as reality. Good luck.

  11. The past 6 years are classic examples of what Washington says is not what Washington means because the most true value is demonstrated by what Washington does … and that is there own self interests.

    • Indeed, truer words Frank. My fellow progressives will likely not be happy with my assessment today. Nevertheless, it has to be said. We are standing on a precipice and about to slide over.

      • After all, no matter who is in office or who has the majority in Congress, the chances are very slim that the left, right, and center will be happy at the same time.

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