[Pundit and author] Thomas Frank is convinced that Barack Obama single-handedly prevented America from becoming the lefty paradise it was on course for after the financial meltdown of 2008…
Look: Obama made some mistakes. He should have done more about housing. He shouldn’t have pivoted to deficit-mongering so quickly. Maybe he could have kept a public option in Obamacare if he’d fought harder for it. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But probably not. Like it or not, America was not poised for a huge liberal wave in 2008. It just wasn’t. It was poised for a fairly routine cycle of throwing out the old bums and electing new bums, who would, as usual, be given a very short and very limited honeymoon. Democrats actually accomplished a fair amount during that honeymoon, but no, they didn’t turn American into a lefty paradise. That was never in the cards.
All of us who do what Thomas Frank does — what I do — have failed. Our goal was to persuade the public to move in a liberal direction, and that didn’t happen. In the end, we didn’t persuade much of anyone. It’s natural to want to avoid facing that humiliating truth, and equally natural to look for someone else to blame instead. That’s human nature. So fine. Blame Obama if it makes you feel better. That’s what we elect presidents for: to take the blame.
But he only deserves his share. The rest of us, who were unable to take advantage of an epic financial collapse to get the public firmly in favor of pitchforks and universal health care, deserve most of it. The mirror doesn’t lie.
How to feel better about yourself:
1. Sleep without underwear every once and a while, it’s good for you. Maybe even try sleeping naked.
2. Take long baths with tea, ice cream, or whatever you please. Throw in bubbles if that’s your style.
3. Look at yourself like you look at your best friend. Find the freckles you love, what your eyes look best with, what hairstyle compliments your smile.
4. When you look at your naked body in the mirror, only think good things. Say compliments to yourself aloud. Watch yourself smile, and encourage yourself.
5. Take yourself out on a date. Treat yourself to the things you love. You’re alone yes, but there is nothing wrong with that. Remember all the times you were smothered by people and talking crowds, and you only wanted to be alone with yourself.
6. Write yourself a love note. Tell yourself your favorite things about you, and tell yourself all the things you want to become. Tell yourself you’ll love you forever.
7. Take pictures of yourself. Selfies are magnificent! Take 500! Take them everywhere! Find the good lighting! Pick your favorite one and realize what a wonderful work of art you are.
8. Acknowledge your accomplishments, all of them. Got out of bed? It’s hard sometimes and it’s been hard before, so honestly great job. Drink lots of water, and at the end of the day congratulate yourself for staying hydrated. Let yourself know when you are proud, and soak up the feeling of “well done”.
Thanks for checking out my arm! The two beauts are Dirac’s equation for a free particle (one of the first times that relativity was accounted for in quantum theory) and Schrödinger’s time dependent equation (which gives the description of a quantum system evolving with time). I searched high and low for more obscure ways of writing them (rather than what’s seen most often in the literature). This is my very first tattoo, and it marks the celebration of my recent decision to pursue a PhD in computational physics; I can’t back out now!
Republicans are such massively unequivocated failures
While we’ve gotten used to Tea Party primary challenges to popular and seemingly secure Republican incumbents, something unusual is happening in Kansas. [Teapublican] Governor Sam Brownback is facing an organized revolt from centrist Republicans, over 100 of whom just endorsed the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, so disgruntled are they with the effects of Brownback’s rule.
In many ways, Brownback’s term has been a perfect experiment in Republican governance. Take a crusading conservative governor, give him a legislature with Republican super-majorities so he can do pretty much whatever he wants, and let him implement the right’s wish list. The result was supposed to be a nirvana of economic growth and budgetary stability. But the opposite happened.