Obama's policy on Bush's crimes is how Kavanaugh got to the Supreme Court

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/14/doomed-to-repeat-it-2.html


The Bush-Obama administration was (and still is) a pretty bitter pill to swallow.


Oh well. Both parties are exactly the same. May as well stay home on election day. And what about her emails?


Wow, Cory. Chapeau!

I only wish it wasn’t true. With the return of pure, undiluted fascism with Bolsonaro in Brazil, this world really is going to Hell in a handbasket.


So, am I starting to want a centrist white guy with a lot of friends in congress and a healthy respect for the system in 2020?

I hate to say it, but I may be starting to. I’m waiting for someone to convince me that that isn’t going to be the best way to put things back to rights. And just back to rights is a long way from here. Warren perhaps?

It may become a test of efficacy over ideology

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Obama was operating under assumptions concerning comity and respect and civility that hadn’t been so explicitly and gleefully thrown out the window by the Cheney Regency. I’m not thrilled with his policy, but the next establishment Dem who gets into office will have no excuse.


The blame game? I don’t see the point, other than stating / restating the established facts, and yes they are not easy to swallow.

Americans need to show up en mass to the poles in 23 days, it’s imperative to our future as a Nation, and imperative to our future as human beings.



Wait, Kavanaugh is Obama’s fault? Hold on, hold on, I gotta dig through the junk drawer to pull out an old meme.


you forgot not punishing Wall Street for their crimes - Obama ignored that too


Yeah, I heard as well he strictly adheres to “if it’s yellow let it mellow, but if it’s brown, flush it down”.

Thanks Obama!


Point is, if you don’t smash bastards when you can, they often rise up again and become even worse bastards. As Cory wrote near the end (of what I guess is an overly long post for most folks to get through),

Here’s why that matters. There’s a good chance that Donald Trump is going to be out in 2020, and a Democrat will end up in his seat. If that Democrat follows the example of Obama and the Dem establishment, then Trump’s planet-cooking program of looting and racism and misogyny and oligarchic fattening will go unpunished.

Trump’s capos and dukes will lurk on the sidelines through the next Democratic administration, able to amass power thanks to a lack of official recognition of their crimes (against America, against humanity, against the Earth). Their programs of disenfranchisement, theft and brutality will never be named, never be reckoned with, and will thus never be extinguished.

We can’t afford that. The world can’t afford that.


I honestly can’t think of a way to faster undermine the popularity of a new Dem president than to go on a crusade against the old regime. Obama was right to move forward and if the next Dem president followed Cory’s advice, we’d be even more divided as a nation than we are now. And that’s saying something.

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Doctrow can be added to people like Matt Taibbi over at Rolling Stone and Jon Schwarz (and many others) at The Intercept, people where I read them going off on a bit of a rant, and it’s like being able to let your breath out, relax, and think, “Yeah, I’m not crazy; that all really is horrible and indefensible, yet so many defend it, so many go on as if all this were OK, nothing worth protesting; they’re crazy, not me.”

I encourage all to read Stephen Pinker’s book “Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”. It will fill you with both hope and despair, with luck balancing out to some serenity.

Hope because you realize that the end of torture, slavery, capital punishment, judicial maiming, and so on, progressing today towards acceptance of all types of people of every background and nature as people with rights – are all part of a great trend in human affairs that’s been continuing for centuries, across many nations and all political persuasions; it can’t be stopped, at best slightly delayed by “little speed bumps” (in the Big Picture) like America backsliding into torture.

Despair, because as Pinker’s history of how much horrible crap has been done and gotten away with - Indonesia and Algeria and Congo just within living memory, for instance - and never punished, no justice at all. Any notion that America’s powerful will be held accountable seems science-fictional; Iain Banks’ “The Culture” would have to land tomorrow, pissed and ready to not just intervene but kick ass and take names - for Donald Rumsfeld to die anywhere but in a fine mansion.

And perhaps serenity when you reflect that the Good Guys are winning over the long run, in spite of the lack of justice. I used to complain that if we “looked forward not back” on knocking over liquor stores, we’d have a lot more liquor stores robbed.

But Pinker convinces that things do get better just because people call for them and work for them, though little or no justice for past crimes is ever achieved. Punished or un-punished, the perpetrators fortunately die and are generally replaced by at least slightly better people. You may not get revolution but evolution never stops.

I’ll be content if the new crew can just lower the probability of future crimes, and lessen their severity should they happen anyway. I’ll kind of have to be, or have no hope of contentment at all.


I should probably clarify that I WANT to hold them accountable. I WANT exactly what Cory talks about. I just think it would backfire even worse than the situation we are in from Obama’s policy in this regard.


Wow, so many seemingly intelligent folks here completely missing Cory’s main point: if Obama had instead bothered to wield the prosecution hammer, we likely wouldn’t have Kavanaugh sitting on the Supreme Court. And further, if we do manage to get Dem power back any time soon, we should press for the president to stop coddling bastards, who often as a result grow up into bigger bastards.


I’m assuming that Obama put forward Kavanaugh as a candidate and then had the deciding vote to get it confirmed.
That is the only way it could possibly be blamed on Obama.


Slow change is lasting change.

“Patience is a radical virtue.”—Chris Carlsson


I disagree that is the main point, but happy to go with that for the purposes of discussion.

I’m not hugely au fait with how it works in the land of the free, but what is this prosecution hammer?

Doesn’t the FBI and other agencies go after alleged criminals, and they do so no mater what the sitting president says about it? Isn’t that where we are with El Trumpster?

Do we want each new president after getting signed in, if from the other side, to immediately go after their predecessor for their ‘crimes’, be they actual crimes or the crime of being a political opponent?

When Obama got in, wasn’t the House? Senate? whatever? (yeah, I don’t know the US way of government very well), anyway, were they not mostly GOP and thus he was severely limited in what he could do politically? How would that have played out if he was also going after GW Bush?

The article mentions a few facts that are plain to see, some ex-presidents and first ladies are now hanging out with each other. There is a lot of stuff in there that is speculation. Was Obama involved in suppressing investigations? Erm, how? Isn’t that obstruction of justice?

Anyway, it would have been great if Obama had cleaned up, drained the swamp you might say, after getting elected. The actual reasons he did not do that are unknown. We will never know what would have happened if he had attempted to vocally and aggressively go after them and we do not know why he didn’t

What we can speculate on:
If Obama had drained the swamp, would that be it? No more monstrous GOP people floating like turds to the top?
Will articles with high passion, but little else, that blame Obama for everything (a GOP tactic) help unify democrat voters?
Will the next Democrat President help heal the country and roll back the disasters, if he or she jumps straight into Nuremberg Trials?


On the 6th November the Republicans are the problem to be fixed. On the 7th November hopefully the Democrats are.

We just need to remember that better does not always mean good. Things are too broken for a return to the status quo to work.